Hurray, suspended from Facebook

I had scheduled the below post six months ago when I had taken a hiatus from Facebook, but never published it as I had resumed my daily book reviews on the platform. But, yesterday, the platform decided to suspend my account, for a group of aroused activists had apparently ‘mass-reported’ a series of posts I had written to promote the holy practice of ‘Sandhya Vandhanam’.

I had published some old records of discourses on Sandhya Vandhanam by the legendary Sengalipuram Anantharama Dikshitar, Krishna Premi Swamigal and had urged those, who had the ordainment to do the ritual, to do so with the sincerity and devotion that was needed. As a practitioner, I stand testimony to the benefits.

Later, I had followed up with daily posts on the legendary Tamil savant ‘U.Ve.Saminatha Aiyer”s book ‘En Charitram’. I was so enamoured by the book that for the past one month I was continuously writing about the book as I progressed in an incremental basis.

Some groups had apparently thought that the above two amounted to ‘Ethnic Superiority’, ‘Racial Bias’ or some other stupid classification based on which posts and accounts could be suspended.

Facebook wants me to ‘contest’ the claim and reclaim my account. I have decided that there is no need to ‘pluck the nail’, as the Tamil saying goes, and have chosen not to plead for restoration of my suspended account. So much for freedom of speech.

Friends and well wishers have asked me to contest and reclaim the account. I could give in at a later time, but not now, for sure, even though I understand the immense broadcast capabilities of Facebook.

Here is the post that I had wanted to publish earlier.

I have been away from Facebook for a month now. I continue to link my blog posts to FB though I haven’t spent more than a minute in my Timeline. Once I post my blog link, I exit FB. ( now this will not happen, though)

How I feel now:

  • No more ‘Always On’
  • No more irritations in the morning
  • No more anxiety disorders
  • No more wasted / stressed days
  • Mind is free to discuss real matter rather than politically correct / perceived issues
  • No need to feign anger on issues that don’t have to be feigned on
  • No need to be politically correct while being rationally stupid.
  • No need to worry too much on a post that could be perceived as being sensitive
  • No need to be ready to consume abuse from unknown trolls
  • No need to be continuously bombarded with apocalypse and armageddon
  • No need to ‘feel’ for Syria, ‘stand’ for Cuba, ‘pray’ for Palestine and ‘save’ dog/cat/bull/whale with hashtags
  • No need to counter fundamentalist preachings of any kind

Benefits :

  1. Come out of the state of mind that any name that has a Christian or a Muslim connotation would naturally be anti-national and a social evil
  2. Peace, bliss, mental stability
  3. More time to read and write
  4. Mind is calmer, all neurons are well rested and ready to perform any analysis without any burnout due to social media induced stress
  5. The benefits list continues to grow.

BTW, the world hasn’t ended, yet. Facebook fights should be continuing and people would be abusing complete strangers and thus spreading the venom of irritation. Only that I am not partaking of the ‘feast’.

  • … and I will continue to be away from #Facebook.
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ஃபேஸ்புக் – சில குறிப்புகள்

ஃபேஸ்புக் மன நோயாளிகளின் கூடாரமாக மாறியுள்ளது. வெறுப்பை உமிழும் பதிவுகள் அதிகரித்துள்ளன. கேள்விகள், பதில்கள், பின்னூட்டங்கள் நாகரிகத்தின் எல்லையைக் கடந்து ஒரு மாமாங்கம் ஆகிவிட்டது. என்ன எழுதினாலும் இறுதியில் சாதி / மதம் சார்ந்து வைகிறர்கள்.

ஒரு காலத்தில் மது அருந்துபவர்களுக்கு என்ன மரியாதையோ இன்று ஃபேஸ்புக்கில் எழுதுபவர்களுக்கு.

‘பேராசிரியர்’ என்பவர்கள் கூட அநாகரிகமாக எழுதுகிறார்கள்.

எழுத்தில் வன்முறை என்பது பரவலாக உள்ளது. மனித மனங்களின் கீழ்மையை உணர்த்தும் விதமாகவே அப்பதிவுகள் உள்ளன. வெளிப்பார்வைக்கு நாகரிக மனிதர்கள் போல் தோற்றம்; உள்ளத்தில் வெறுப்பு. இதனால் மன உளைச்சல், ஒவ்வாமை, குருதிக் கொதிப்பு மட்டுமே சம்பளம்.

அன்றாட வாழ்க்கையும் இவற்றால் பாதிப்படைகிறது.

ஒருவருக்கு அளிக்கும் பதிலால் மற்றவர் பாதிப்படைகிறார். கோபத்தில் பதிவிடுகிறார். அதற்கு மற்றொருவர் கோபம் கொப்பளிக்கும் பதில். இது தொடர்கிறது. பலரின் கவனச் சிதறல்களுக்கும் வழி வகுக்கிறது.

இணைப்பில் பல நண்பர்கள், உறவினர்கள், எனது ஆசிரியர்கள், உயரதிகாரிகள் என்று பலரும் உள்ளனர். வெளி ஆள் அளிக்கும் பதிலால் இவர்கள் கலக்கம் அடைகின்றனர்; புதியவரின் மொழி நடையால் பீதி அடைகின்றனர்; சொற்பிரயோகத்தால் மன உளைச்சலுக்கு ஆளாகின்றனர்.

பல மாதங்களாக இந்த நிலைமையைக் கண்காணித்து வருகிறேன். ஆண்டாள் விவகாரம், பிரதமர் தொடர்பான வெறுப்புப் பதிவுகள் என்று சிரமப்பட்டு ஜீரணித்துக் கடந்தேன். எதிர்வினை ஆற்றினேன்.

தேசத்தை இழித்து, தலைவர்களைப் பழித்து, புனிதச் சின்னங்களையும் இழிவு படுத்தி வரும் பதிவுகள் என்னைப் பொறுமையின் எல்லைக்குக் கொண்டு சென்றன. இவற்றால் உடல், மனம் கெடுவதை உணர்ந்தேன்.

ஆனால், சங்கராச்சாரியார் மறைவு, கலைஞர் சுகவீனம் தொடர்பாக மிக மிக அருவருக்கத்தக்க வகையில் பலர் எழுதியதைக் காண மனம் பொறுக்கவில்லை. நிதானம் இழக்கும் வகையில் பல பதிவுகள் இருந்தன.

இவை அனைத்தையும் தவிர்க்கவும், எனது மன நிலை, என் தொடர்பில் உள்ள பெரியவர்கள், பண்டிதர்கள், ஆசிரியர்கள் முதலியோரின் மனநிலை, மன அமைதி – இவை வேண்டி ஃபேஸ்புக்கில் எழுதப்போவதில்லை. பின்னூட்டங்களுக்குப் பதில் அளிக்கப் போவதில்லை. எனது வலைப்பதிவில் வரும் கட்டுரைகளை மட்டும் பகிரவுள்ளேன்.

என் பண்பை இழந்து, என் தேசத்தைப் பழித்து, என் புனிதர்களை ஏளனம் செய்ய வழி வகுக்கும் ஃபேஸ்புக்கில் இனி எழுதுவதில்லை என்று முடிவெடுத்துள்ளேன்.

இந்த நேரத்தில் எழுத்தாளர் ஜெயமோகன் ஃபேஸ்புக்கை இழித்துரைத்தது நினைவிற்கு வருகிறது.

கட்டுரைகள் தொடர்பாகப் பேச, வலைப்பூவிலேயே பதிலுரையுங்கள்.

The End of Absence – a review

  1. Do you check your email every one hour or even within a shorter duration ?
  2. Do you feel left alone if your Facebook post is not ‘liked’ by at least 10 people ?
  3. If your Tweet is not ‘RT’-ed ( Re-Tweeted ) at least by 10 people, do you experience panic attack ?

If any of the above is true, then “The End of Absence” is for you.

Michael Harris amazes with this masterpiece. He talks about the absence of ‘absence’ in our lives. No doubt being connected has its merits but its de-merits merit attention.

Absence should also become part of our lives when we get to connect with ourselves. But in our zeal to be connected with all others, we seldom connect with ourselves. And that has disastrous consequences.

The post-1980 generation has become so used to the internet and the devices that they are seldom aware of a world out there that still continues to function normally without the necessity of internet. This generation would suddenly cease to exist if they are cut-off from internet.

Harris compares his life before and after the birth of internet and writes a compelling story of life with and without being connected.

The number of examples that he cites, the volume of documentation that he has researched, the number of people he has interviewed – all these amaze me as a fellow writer.

I am left wondering -‘What drives this humongous effort ? How much driven should the author be for accomplishing this feat of writing such a book that touches upon neurology, history, psychology and computer science?’

I am touched when he quotes from my favorite authors Henry David Thoreau and Wordsworth.

What if you read this book :

  • You would want to listen to your inner voice and correct your course of daily life.

What if you don’t read this book :

  • You would continue to exist in the virtual world oblivious to the real world and to the beings our there.
  • You wouldn’t know the difference between living and existing.


To Like or Not to Like

You stumble upon a great status update in Facebook – a rarity indeed. But it does happen at times. So, you are really fascinated by the post. The post is short, sweet, and sharp. You like it. You are about to ‘Like’ it.

Then you just scroll to see who posted it. And voila, it is your friend who has a reasonable command of the language and some critical thought process. 

Your hand withdraws on its own. It takes great pains not to click the ‘Like’ button. 

You want to be doubly sure. So you check the post again and the person yet again.

You are sure that the person is your friend.

The fire of jealousy grows inside of you. And you quickly ‘Logout’ from Facebook.

Couple of days later, you meet your friend. But you don’t utter a word on the post. Casual conversation happens and he mentions something about the post while you feign ignorance. 

But your friend knows something that you don’t know. You had inadvertently clicked on the ‘Like’ button and that had triggered an email to him.

I am the friend that has got this e-mail. Who are the feigners ? There are too numerous to name.

But I know this is the moot question ‘To Like or Not to Like?’. And so I let that go. To err, is human, indeed.

Multi-organ-wiki-lympho-static-ischemic-unstable-anginosis

Finally the doctor thought over the problem for many minutes. Time seemed to stand still. Seconds seemed not to exist at all. And the minute hand never seemed to move.

It seemed as though the world had come to an abrupt stop.

The whole family was waiting in grand anticipation. Father sweating profusely, mother praying to all gods in no particular order but in a rhythmic monotone, the wife staring at the only picture in the clinic that was actually a random scribbling by the doctor’s child and myself confined to the bed with a large lamp glowing over my head as if in an attempt to provide a halo from the front.

The Doc said I had  multiorganwikilympostaticischemicunstableanginosis.

And then the world seemed to resume its functioning.

The whole affair started like this on a Friday afternoon in front of the office when I met Angela Chang. First I ignored her as she was handing out some hand bills. But the words that she uttered made me stop and listen to take a look at the pamplet that she was handing over.

Some questions in the hand out made sense. It talked about the different dysfunctions that one was likely to undergo especially in the IT sector related to banking. It proclaimed thus :

1. The predominant illness found is a mild pain in the chest especially after lunch in the air-conditioned environs of the office when we start looking at the computer to look at a spreadsheet. This might be the initial symptom of a much malignant heart that has started to believe that the next most important task that a human needs to perform after lunch is to have a siesta, reclining on a sofa, all alone. Any other task that needs the brain to be active is deemed an interruption to God’s prerogative of actions ordained to man. Looking at a spreadsheet, in office, on a Friday afternoon, after lunch, was the most sacrilegious task that man could indulge in after the original sin. Hence such a person shall be cursed to spend his fortune in the intensive care unit of the five star hospital in the city.

2. The next predominant illness one in the IT industry undergoes is the tendency to feel sick in the abdomen whenever there is a meeting that needs to happen. It is a different matter that any meeting is a pain in the you-know-what. But the tasks that precede a meeting that encompasses multiple original drafts of presentations, editing, re-editing, re-re-editing and reverting to the original draft multiple times, sending the presentation over mail to multiple stake holders multiple times in the form of a zip file and waiting endlessly for a feedback, reminding the stakeholders and reviewers of the PPT over phone or SMS just to open their mails to see the document, getting some wry remarks such as ‘looks fine but would need some editing and additions to the content’ kind of messages that signify everything in general but nothing in particular, getting stoic replies that border on ‘unable to open the file hence re-send’  and finally having to present the original initial draft in the meeting as nobody would have added value to the draft- repeated occurrences of these tasks in alarming frequency results in the sickness of the abdomen that releases a sense of pain all over the lower and upper areas of the stomach that finally seems to result in the slowly emanating pain in the chest that we saw in point number 1.

3. The third predominant illness  is the tendency of the head to take different dimensions other than a sphere or an ovaloid ( oval shpere ) as and when newer tasks arrive in mail. This is invariably the result of the cumulative past experiences of having to accept tasks that are half done and abandoned by some body who had quit without notice and whose documentation for the tasks completed until then would never exist. These tasks would have been just begun. And the other person would have gone by the maxim that ‘well begun is half done’ and would have reported the progress of the task as 50% and suddenly decided to call it a day. And when these tasks arrive on mail they would already have been past due for many months and would have come to the serious attention of the management. And the management would have needed a daily update on the progress. These tasks result in the head taking all possible shapes other than a sphere and thus resulting in pains all over the skull. One possible remedy for this would be to hit ones’ head against the computer screen so hard that either the head or the screen breaks.

4. This fourth illness is the constant urge to smash the mouse to pieces by hitting hard on it repeatedly. This is a result of receiving constant meeting invites over Outlook or Lotus Notes. Importantly the urge increases when you are prompted repeatedly reminding that a meeting is already overdue by 10, 20, 30 or 40 minutes as the case may be. If a mouse does not exist, then the urge would be to smash the constantly buzzing telephone to pieces. This is so far un-curable and hence the only remedy is to either smash the mouse or the telephone or both to pieces.

5. is the constant urge to fiddle with the mobile phone when in face to face conversation with friends and in meetings. This disease is increasingly assuming alarming proportions that companies are formulating procedures to restrict cell phones in meetings. The only remedy for this illness is to remove the battery of the mobile phone. One might not be able to receive calls but not receiving calls actually helps avoid family problems.

6. The last but not the least in prevalence among the IT folks is the instant urge to visit wikipedia even to find out what the time was. And currently the IT folks have started to visit Wikipedia even to find out to whom they are married to. A different variation of this is called ‘facebookosis’. Early symptoms point to a person looking at a blank computer screen and pressing the F5 ( Refresh ) button. Severe cases are the ones that don’t even power-up the computer yet press the F5 button. Last week my friend had the worst symptom of this disease ( Type III as it is called ) when he began to check my status in Facebook when we actually met over coffee.

After reading all the above, I began to feel that either one or all of the above, in varying proportions, was prevalent on me that Friday afternoon.

The first one to come to my attention was a mild pain in the chest that started from the left side and began to proceed in all directions and in all planes. When I began to feel that, the head throbbing started in a small way and made my head to constantly change its shape from a sphere to a cuboid to a cube to a rhombus like solid. And then happened the itch to grab the mouse and hit the table hard while the left hand was fiddling with the mobile phone to check a Facebook status. All the while the pain in the abdomen started to increase and proceed towards the waist on its downward journey.

When all this happened simultaneously, I saw myself in the hospital bed with the doctor proclaiming that I had multiorganwikilympostaticischemicunstableanginosis.

Do let me know by email if you come across a cure for this disease.