My Social Skill Set

Whether I like it or not, social media has become an integral part of who I am. In addition to all the ID cards I have, I now take great effort to maintain my online ‘social identity’.  Maintaining a social connect is not as easy as it seems. It calls for a skill set that would put top-notch resumes to shame!


Picture courtesy –

So what are the skills?

It calls for a certain type of skill to read, like and comment on forwards and articles. It calls for a strong memory to remember which jokes have already been received and which jokes are to be forwarded, and to whom?

It calls for round-the-clock alertness. It calls for enormous amounts of self-control to stop refreshing messages. It calls for a calm mind to stop reacting each time you hear a ping.

It calls for the ability to take quizzes about your personality, your IQ and your vision. It tests your skills as a farmer, as a ninja, as a catapult expert, as a word builder, as a selfie-taker, and many more.

Social network forwards play on your emotions. You suddenly find yourself reading about missing children, and raising money for surgeries. How do you verify the authenticity of these posts?

While you worry about these little kids, there is one article that claims coffee can burn all your fat. As you scroll down in happiness sipping your coffee, you read another article which says coffee will make you put on weight. Phew!

Some articles make you guilty, some make you laugh. You read about the holidays people are taking, the movies people are watching, and add your own to this space.

Even if you go on a social media detox program, it will lure you back – back into a world where everything is virtually real.


Ringtone Persona

I have a new smart phone.  I am excited.  It is as large as my palm, and though this is not my first smart phone, a frisson of excitement runs through me.

I vow – to keep my apps neatly organized, to purge unwanted files regularly, to download only music I want, and not entire folders, to choose cool profile pics for screen lock, chat apps and …you get the drift.

I now look forward to choosing a ringtone, message note, notification tone etc.  I decide to choose a ringtone that depicts my personality.  I want a unique ringtone.  So I check out the available options.

I look for a bubbly, enthusiastic ringtone that will capture who I am, a tone that will cheer me up.

I scroll and play the tones one after the other.  From spring to chimes to ambulances wailing to rock to jazz to rainbow to silence to water to summer to writing adventure to day break to beeps to basic tones to fog to ecliptic to rays of the sun…phew…I play the entire list.

I try them all on for size, is this ringtone ‘me’, I ask?  By now I get clucks and irritated tch tches from my children and husband.

I lower the volume and try again.  I decide that something related to summer will be apt, so I choose a peppy ringtone.  I am happy.

I move to messages now.  I love the bottle-opening tone.  I set it right away.  All other tones can wait.  Have got the main ones sorted out, haven’t I?

I put the phone aside to get back to my chores.  The bottle-opens many times, and each time I am startled by this new sound, I laugh, as my kids ask me what it is?

A few days later, I am at the doctor’s clinic, the bottle-opens with a loud pop.   The doctor laughs. I laugh sheepishly.

At night when I sleep, I set my summery ringtone for my phone alarm also, waiting to be woken up by the strains of summer.  As 6 a.m. comes around, the phone wakes me up with its bubbly, summer ringtone.  I am not used to this new alarm, and I can sense something ringing, is it my husband’s alarm? I snuggle further into my quilt, as the summer ringtone falls on deaf ears.  Consequently, I am running behind schedule.

After a mad morning, I sit down to change the alarm tone.  I am serious about this – it has to be something that will shock me into waking up – I go for harsh – an old car horn, sounds more like an animal braying, but this will have to do, if I don’t have to go crazy in the mornings.

I am slowly settling down to my summery ring tone, though it’s a trifle too long and peppy.  The bottle opener has been replaced by a water-drop falling.  Every message, a drop of water.  I love the theme.

I thought my ringtone was uniquely me.  The taxi driver also has the same ringtone.   20 different people on the MRT have the same tone. Water drops in many phones….., people keep opening messages with their bottle-openers.  Who am I? Can’t I have my own ringtone persona? Each time a water drops, or I hear my ringtone even from somewhere far away, I grope for my phone.

I am not unique. I am a million others!