• Mohana Prabhakar

Forward or...sink into oblivion?

A well-meaning person recently said that she could help me get a good following on social media on the platforms

of my choice. She believed it would help grow my ‘brand’. I understood what she was saying but told her I

didn't think I had the stamina to be constantly on top of my tweets, Instagram or Facebook. It requires true dedication

– or a truly dedicated assistant - to make your presence felt online, and I don’t have either.

Others, as one of my nieces explained, subscribe to the ‘you scratch my back...’ adage for the digital age – ‘you like mine, I'll like yours’. That's how it works. Perhaps this is a case of not seeing the forest for the trees, but there’s something impersonal about this compared to when someone takes the time to call, message or mail me in response to something I’ve written.

The same Good Samaritan said that I felt this way because I have never experienced the rush of online success. She explained how I would reach so many more people if only I was more active on social media. She may certainly have a point. Of course, as all print journalists do, I have often wondered whether everything I write goes into a deep

dark hole, but then all it takes is just one person to write in and the sun is shining again.

It’s completely understandable that those whose jobs revolve around social media - Youtuber, vlogger etc are now bonafide job titles – would make a concerted effort into maintaining an online presence. But for the rest of us it would be like working double shifts, except that one of those shifts continues all day. To remember each time that you need to take a picture, or to find out something and rush to be the first to tweet it, or failing that, retweet it - requires time and commitment, and that’s something I’d rather dedicate to my actual job.

Of course, there are ways of working around this. No doubt the most entertaining advice that I got from someone older, and therefore even later into the digital revolution than I, was - just forward! So when in doubt, or when you have nothing to say, or someone else said it first, forward it, share it, retweet it! And you are set.

How about checking what you are forwarding? For what, he asked. People have their own filters - let them worry about it. At least you will be the one to forward it to the most people. He also pointed out, rather indelicately

I thought, that he had five times the followers I had.

So forward, or get left behind.

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