Feb 26, 2014

My casual dalliance with Facebook Free Fridays (FFF)

About a year ago I hit a wall. Of noise. It was my Facebook wall.

My FB community has served me in unexpected ways, from forging new connections with old acquaintances to exploring hobbies that would have otherwise gone unexplored. From being in touch with breaking news to gleaning insights on current debates. From reading heartwarming stories about the goodness still around us to cute kid stories from doting parents. From reading inspiring recipes to getting links to great web articles I would have otherwise missed.

Perhaps more valuable than all of the above has been the ability to engage in discussion, debate and musings with people who, if not real-life 'freinds', have taken on that mantle through meaningful FB interaction. In the midst of busy work days and hectic after-hours,  juggling home, work and parenting, it's provided an easy release. Escapist entertainment like reading or TV can only go so far as they require free swatches of time. But there are always free minutes lurking in-between tasks for instant 'conversation' and stimulation that is unparalleled in real life. I know that the dynamics of communication get permanently warped when diverse people who don't know each other can jump into the fray and exchange thoughts with impunity for the social graces. But it's uniquely liberating too. You won't have to see those faces at the water cooler the next morning or share a meal with them that weekend, so it's easier to be frank and speak your mind.

Feb 3, 2014

Keepin' it real.

Blog stats
Signed into my blog account and got a thrill to see the following stats on a 1 day old post:

They're reading me in Brazil! 

73 people in just 1 day!

As I furiously patted myself on the back and let the gentle shower of validation wash away my writer's insecurities, these sobering thoughts washed up.
1. "They" are not reading me in Brazil. Precisely 1 person - a freind on a work trip with nothing else to do - is. (Thanks Saikat!)
2. The 'Don't track my own pageviews' option in my account was not turned on. Undoubtedly, I'm reading my blog.
3. Technical difficulties made me delete then re-post the link on my FB wall, which is where I trap my unsuspecting victims readers. Some followed the second link to the same post  (from a combo of loyalty, coercion and boredom) and were double-counted.
4. The tally counts the people who landed on the page but not what they did next, which was hopefully not surf immediately away.

The water in that comforting shower ran out. I'm now trying to pretend that it never even happened. While re-checking my Traffic stats.

Feb 1, 2014

Listen To Your Mother: First Un-born

The kidney-shaped hospital tray is a deep, cheerful red. It's a stunning mismatch with both its contents and this moment in my life. Empty and tired, I try to focus my bleary, post-surgery eyes on the advancing tray. Gripping the kind hand of Nurse Janice while struggling for clarity through the anesthetic fog, I peer into the tray. A single thought takes shape: who knew a two month young fetus could look so perfect? Whole. Real. And utterly unaffected by its own untimely demise.