Recovery Social Media Etiquette
Recovery: Day 19.
Recovery from what? A surgery.
What surgery? It’s complicated.
In the process of wanting to have a stress and setback free recovery from a critical surgery, it has been brought to my attention that I have offended people. What did I do? Well, the day after it occurred, I posted a brief outline of the operation on Facebook, and apparently I breached social etiquette by doing so.
Who was offended? Good question. According to some of my Facebook friends, it was some of my non-Facebook friends. Huh? How would my non-Facebook friends know what I posted, unless my Facebook friends showed them. So actually, thanks to the kotha lagano, I am not certain which was the aggrieved party.
But I can picture the scene. Did you hear? So and so had surgery. What?! How do you know? Wait. *screenshot of my post and forward* How dare she?! I am offended. I am too! Who does she think she is? Having surgery...hmmph!
Let me digress here on two points. Firstly, telling you frankly, I deeply appreciate that those I do not even feel close enough to add on Facebook (900+ friends by the way) took the time out to read screenshots of my post, especially when some who are my ‘friends’did not bother to message or call. Clearly, I need to do some addition and unfriending now, to achieve perfect harmony in my social media life.
Secondly, I personally feel it is high time someone collected everyone’s opinions and formulated a do’s and don’ts of Facebook posts (and everything else for that matter) in order that all of us know what is acceptable and what is not. Digression over. Meanwhile, since I have not removed my post, I remain a transgressor.
Now, as someone who would like to have the good wishes of everyone on the path to good health, I thought that some self-reflective chinta on my part was advisable in order that I do not commit such a grievous misdeed ever again (yes I am aware that the smarter thing to do would be to not commit myself to surgery ever again, and therefore there would be no need for deplorable health updates).
Accordingly, I have compiled a list of possible reasons my post would be offensive.
1. My choice of words. Perhaps I ought to have inserted “lavish”, “sumptuous”, “exquisite” or “haute” because that would make my medical issues sound so much more appealing.
2. My obvious denial that perfection is the ‘reality’ of social media.
3. My utter disregard for decorum by displaying agency and directly announcing my own health issues. Maney? Maney I ought to have told a few close associates in hushed undertones and then pleaded with them not to tell anyone, because that would be the signal for them to tell everyone. I would have looked like a martyr, and they would have gained some self-importance in knowing the bhitorer kotha, win-win.
4. My oblivion to my gender. I am a woman, a middle aged one too, and therefore it is my duty to suffer in silence or be excessively grateful, that despite not bearing a son, not having a large fortune or powerful parents, that my husband cared enough to nurse me through a very critical period of my life. I ought to be dhonno dhonno and my post ought to have been an ode to him, not about myself.
5. My inability to act like a victim: I should have been weak, disempowered and needy, and not alert and confident and in charge of myself.
6. My complete insensitivity in briefly describing a women’s health issue, and striving to raise awareness about it. Since the advent of social media, as many are pursuing evergreen and ethereal beauty plaudits, it was just not the done thing to hint that maybe thorough health check-ups, as one is aging, might be incorporated into one’s busy schedule to achieve beauty, inside and out.
Enough said, and there you have it…a deep chinta on how or why I went wrong. Upon reflection (of my post and this piece of writing), I am contrite. Really, I am. Meanwhile, a full recovery awaits.
Chintamoni grew up in Dhaka, where she will always belong, but never quite fit in. She is an enthusiastic traveller, a compulsive procrastinator, and a contumelious raconteur.