Call it vicarious pleasure or voyeuristic, if you so wish, but I love to watch videos of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. For instance, I believe there is something calming about watching a three-minute clip of a young mother struggling to feed mashed peas to her fussy toddler. It’s even better when the baby in turn decides to feed mashed peas to the pets in the house. The splatters of green mess secretly consoles me. I am as flawed as anyone else. Toddlers and pets notwithstanding.

But calming consolation is not all that I’m looking for. These videos make for great fodder for times when I’m wanting to escape from my reality to a mindspace where I want to analyse what these people are trying to achieve by creating and posting such videos. Supercilious I know. But I often make it a point to read the comments on these videos to understand what it is about these clips that make people stop by and watch and, more importantly, find valuable time to comment.

This thought stems from the interview with Patricia Lockwood. This young American author’s latest offering, No One Is Talking About This, is a graphically sharp book – part insightful, part witty – that not only reflects on our exaggerated digital lives, but it’s impact on our real lives – how it is making us incompetent of dealing with its small and big issues.

What makes the book uncomfortable and therefore successful is the fact that it eloquently highlights our mutated sensibilities and twisted truths, all originating from our want of a strong online presence.

Tell me what you think of social media. Has it blurred our reality?

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