Friday, March 2, 2012

Facebook Equality

Facebook can look like a bad remake of a bad movie, Autograph. But Facebook is a great evener in a lot of ways. The hot girl in eleventh standard and the most popular boy in tenth standard who never so much as acknowledged your presence all those years ago are now "friends" with you. You are on the same or comparable standing, even if only virtual, with the boy/girl who was ranked first in class while you came sixteenth. He/she wanted to get into IIT or work for NASA. You wanted to score just pass mark, become a government office clerk and fail officer exams. Fast forward to present, he/she is in XYZ company and you are in ABC company. XYZ is a client of ABC and both companies are listed on the NASDAQ. You could pretend that eventually you turned out to be as good as he/she and no one would know otherwise. You got married and posted some cool photos. The scores are even, more or less.

Before there could be Facebook or at least Facebook as we know it today, there had to be June 1983. No, not that thing called the "World Cup" but more pertinently the Fourth Pay Commission was constituted in India and a lot of central government employees saw their monthly salaries touch four digits for the first time. The National Savings Certificate with miserable interest rates was the investment of choice for the lower middle class. Now, with the extra cash and the trend of the times, there was a shiny new stock called 'the best/right kind of education.' This new stock cost the best/right kind of money but would pay off handsomely in the long run.

By all tangible measurements the stock has performed. Socioeconomic alchemy, the ration card to credit card transformation and the Facebook equality discussed above. The middle class bias of frowning upon non-mainstream career/academic ideas seems to have worked mathematically in providing some minimum guarantees. This was possible in no small part due to a benign happenstance, Aamir Khan did not make -- considering how well the movie was received -- 3 Idiots in the 80s/90s. The problem is that teenagers and young adults think they know everything but lack the perspective to make important decisions. The difference between following the heart and obeying the parents is not as trivial as the mere size of the car or house. More often the difference is living with some romantic regrets versus crushing failure accompanied by a lot of remorse. Unless your father has a lot of money to spare or you are (let's be honest) female.

It will be interesting to find out how many of the people who made non-mainstream career/academic choices do not have considerable regrets. You know the people who pursued B.A history, advertising, photography, fashion design and other cool things. From what I have heard, I am thankful I am locked into conformity and a job I hate.

1 comment:

Alan Smithee said...

You know what? Your posts have to be drunk friendly. I cpuldnt reat after the 1983 pay commisson bit...