I could be just about any media student, and this is an episode from a story called “My Life”. My mum and I have always had a very strong mother-daughter bond between us, ever since I was a little girl. To be honest, it’s not because we have always been best buddies who shared everything with each other. Trust me, in today’s world your mum would have to be a Madonna for that to work. However, like most people belonging to the present generation, I learnt with time that a bond that strong needed much more strategising and planning than mere honesty could afford! So, the bond in reference here was actually formed by creating a delicately balanced scenario which revolved around a daughter keeping her mother happy. And this wasn’t difficult really, once I realised that all I had to do was keep my mum blissfully unaware of what was really going on in my life. in short keep my world outside my home just there- outside my home!
And all was well, for quite some time. But then one day, out of nowhere, a phenomenon called social networking suddenly became the next big thing. And, without so much as a warning, the world outside my home suddenly found its way into it through a dimensional worm-hole called the computer screen. Social networking sites were the beginning of the disintegration of a proven, smooth functioning system, whereby the walls between my outer and inner world became wafer thin, to say the least. Even with time and new strategies and techniques, status quo could be maintained only for a short while. And one fine day all hell broke loose as I received a friend request on ‘Facebook’ from MY MUM!
My mum is a middle aged woman, a simple woman at that. So I always thought things like technology and gadgets were way beyond her reach. And even though I grew up comfortably in the part of the world where technology evolved at a rathe fast pace, I never once assumed that she could have been comfortable with such things. Perhaps my mind was clouded by the image that had been formed there by the traditional Indian thinking according to which mums do the cleaning, cooking and mending. In that sense, perhaps I was more traditional than my own mother. For how could I have overlooked the fact that before becoming my mother she was a part of the generation that had struggled harder than anyone else for things like women’s’ liberation, emancipation and the likes. So when something like social networking sites began to make their place in the lives of people all around the world how could she, and others like her be left behind. For no matter how ‘kewl’ we think we are, they are way beyond our league. After all, they are the ones who have ‘been there, done that’ in every sense of the word(s), if you know what I mean.
That was the day when the world around me first came it a standstill, then did a summersault, and then became so twisted that I could never make it straight again. That was also the day I looked at my mother through this worm hole for the first time, and realised for the first time, that all this while my mum too had had a world of her own that was not only beyond my reach, but beyond my wildest imagination. I also realised that it was not her eyes I was trying to close by building make believe walls between worlds, but my own. And it took my mum just one click to open them for me.
The internet and new media may have changed the world, but it still is a world where change is for the taking. And anyone who can accept and evolve with the ways of this fast changing world will be the survivor. Things like “facebook”, “twitter”, and “linkedin” etc. are only the tip of the ice-berg if theorists like Marshal McLuhan are to be trusted.
If we had stuck to my theory, soon there would have come a time when the next generation would have looked upon our generation as the outdated one. And the way of the world having always been simply that the old must make way for the young, I and the likes of me would have been thought of as outdated. But this will never happen anymore, for my mum has changed my world for ever, by showing me that the future is truly unpredictable, especially for those who foolishly believe that there is no world beyond their imagination. For though I could never have imagined it, I’m proud that my mum’s on facebook!