So, recently, someone made a fake Instagram page, pretending to be me. While, on the one hand, it’s rather flattering that anyone would want my dull, uninteresting life, there was a malevolent intend behind the creation of this page… to discredit me using images that had been carefully curated to present a certain image. Other than the fallout of reporting this to various authorities and telling 200 people who began to follow this page that it was a fake profile, there was the added concern of loss of reputation as some folk would choose gossip and photoshop over truth.
But I discovered, to my surprise, I had a global army of people who had my back. Who wrote in to report the fake profile were aware of the malicious and contrived nature of the profile and called me to comfort me. The experience taught me some important lessons.
Firstly, we never know our impact on people. We have no clue when a kind word, a listening ear, or an act of generosity, while a small thing for us, may give another a sense of purpose. We need to stay kind and gentle and be the ballast in a world where people will do anything for 15 minutes of social media fame. My army came from kindnesses I did not even know I had done.
Secondly, and this one is important, as we navigate the weird and wonderful world of social media, we can choose to create envy or choose to enlighten. I tend to choose the latter these days, but I have been guilty of the former, and I am ashamed. You see, our stories can be another’s guiding light. And we each have the power within us, via social media, to leave this world kinder than we found it. I truly believe there is no greater purpose to our fragile and turgid existence than to allow our mistakes to become life lessons for another who is struggling.
And lastly, I figured, social media is way easier to negotiate than my struggling 50-year-old mind thought. I learned in 24 hours more about handling Instagram than a year of being on it, as I struggled to deal with the fallout of this malignant online move against me. So there’s a lesson in there too somewhere. Adversity makes one a quick learner. And as Rumi, most beautifully said centuries ago, “The wound is where the light enters us.”
Sangeetha Shinde Tee is an author of four books, editor of 3 international magazines, an acclaimed healer, and reluctant entrepreneur. Also an unconventional traveler, rebellious truth seeker, and inveterate animal rescuer, she is working on her fifth book – a collection of ghost stories from around the world. Find out more about her life, books, and work at www.sangeethashindetee.com