Life in the time of social media

Published: Dec 29, 2013, 08:18 IST | Waleed Hussain |

Moral science is fine, but what about social media etiquette? Children, even those as young as five, spend so much time on their phones and tablets that it is time to have social media etiquette as a subject in school. And while we are on the topic, how about everything, from exam results to weddings, on social media?

Report card retires as exam results are sent in 140 characters
Every student and parent has gone through sleepless nights waiting for exam results. Students spend many nights praying for a good score, while parents get ready for days to get up early and drive to the school/college for the result.

Even if it’s bad news, schools should ease the pain of examinations by sending results directly to parents’ social media accounts

Then begins a long wait in a serpentine line to get to the notice board to see the much-awaited result. All that can be taken care of by simply having the results delivered to the parent’s Facebook or Twitter account. A message from the institute would take care of that. It would also save students from worrying about getting their parent’s signature on the report card.

No more excuses over ‘how the report cards are delayed in printing’ will help students fool their parents. One little tweet will solve that problem, once and for all. Again, this is not a far-fetched dream and very much within the realm of all things possible. Many school board exam results can already be downloaded and seen on computer screens. Taking it to the social media platform is a logical step forward.

Behave, you tweet!
What can’t be cured must be endured and ultimately encouraged. Social media is as much a part of our lives today as food and water and therefore, it is in our interests to ensure that children get educated in social media etiquette while still in school. 

So while moral science and social studies classes will continue, 2014 will hopefully see at least the progressive schools in the city introduce social media etiquette in the school curriculum.

Students need to be taught the importance of being active on social media networks and at the same time, behave responsibly. The more active and responsible a student is, the higher the grades. Things to be taught in class would be what pictures need to be uploaded on sites and which ones should never be put up and seeking consent before tagging friends in pictures that do not show them in great light (Yeah, those pics!) Also on the syllabus would be when to stop sending a friend request. After the request has been denied ONCE, you shall not send another friend request to the same person. Students will also be taught how to use Twitter and other applications so that they know early in life what is good behaviour in the virtual world.

A for Android, B for Battery and C for Computer
The first day that a toddler steps into a pre-primary school or nursery is also the day when the teacher hands him/her a pen to write the alphabet. But in 2014, we can expect toddlers to walk to their nursery armed with their own Smartphones and tablets. This is not as far-fetched as you think. Some of the leading private schools have introduced iPad-driven classes from the junior primary levels.

Along with moral science and social studies classes, social media etiquette classes should be introduced in schools

Children as young as eight carry tablets and iPads to class for projects. Laptop-centric projects have also been introduced from Class I itself. But 2014 will make sure kids step out of diapers and into the lap of a laptop. Don’t be surprised if kiddo comes home and says “A for Android, B for Battery, C for Computer...” The pen, which was once the mightier tool, shall find a good space in a museum in a huge glass box. Soon, we will be telling our kids about the pointed piece that was once mightier than the sword.

Blessed by an RT, as weddings go online on social media
We have already seen weddings take place on Skype. Our bet is that 2014 will see the first Indian wedding on Facebook or Twitter. Wedding vows in 140 characters? Why not! Come to think of it, the idea really makes monetary sense. If the couple decides to get married via Twitter, think of all the money they could save. None of that anxiety that comes along with trying to find a dream venue.

In 2014, we can expect toddlers, still in diapers, to walk into their nursery armed with their own smartphones and tablets. And be warned, it is not as far-fetched as you think

The venue will be right there on the computer, and as the medium is social media, there would be no anxiety attacks about not booking the wedding hall in advance. No panicking over the flower arrangement either. The best part? An end to worries about forgetting to invite a cousin of a cousin of a distant cousin’s sister-in-law. Just mass RT the wedding invite and all bases are covered. The guests at this ‘social’ wedding would bless the couple with a load of RTs. 

Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from

loading image
This website uses cookie or similar technologies, to enhance your browsing experience and provide personalised recommendations. By continuing to use our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. OK