On this Father’s Day, may your life be as marvelous as your social media presence

Happy Father’s Day! I am writing this blog post on a train ride to visit my son. Image generated using You.com

On Social Media, Many of Us Are Happy Heroes

In the age of social media, it’s easy to get caught up in the carefully cultivated personas that people present to the world. We scroll through our feeds, admiring the seemingly perfect lives of others, thinking they have it all figured out. But the truth is, social media is often a highlight reel, a curated version of reality. And I, like many others, have fallen victim to this illusion.

I recently discovered that some of my childhood friends living as far as New Delhi and Connecticut, connected with me through Instagram and Facebook, refer to me as a bodybuilder,1 not in jest, but that is their sincere perception of me. This revelation via common friend left me chuckling because anyone who sees me in person would never mistake me for one.

Other people connected with me LinkedIn and GitHub refer to me as a technology and artificial intelligence (AI) expert, an accolade I wish I deserved.

From videos and articles about me in the press and from reading my blog, there are others who think I’m a successful leader and manager who always excels in his job without any difficulty. It is one thing to write about leadership and management. It is another thing to successfully implement and execute them each and every day in a job.

Years ago, when Facebook was the place everyone online seemed to be, I would wish people: “May your life be as wonderful as your Facebook feed.” Social media often presents an idealized version of people’s lives that does not represent reality. My social media presence is no different.

The reality is, I’m an ordinary man, navigating the complexities of life like everyone else. I wish I was a social media influencer, or even better: an inspiring influencer in the real world.

Unlike me, my son guards his privacy on social media. He prefers to keep his photos and personal information away from social media. I respect him for his own independent perspective about social media. I wish I had learned this when I was younger and spent less time in the virtual world, but my social media train left the station many years ago.

Every person is unique, just like everyone else

While my social media presence may project an image of success and expertise, the truth is far from glamorous. I grapple with the same challenges as anyone else — struggling to get enough sleep, indulging in unhealthy food, and trying to break bad habits. I’m constantly grasping for much needed personal growth and improvement.

I write and speak about leadership and management, but implementing and executing those principles in my daily work is an ongoing journey.

In her bestselling book, You Are What You Risk, author Michele Wucker interviewed me where I shared how I feel the imposter syndrome in my life and work.

But amidst all the misconceptions and misrepresentations, there is one aspect of my life that defines me more than anything else — being a father.

The Most Important Thing About Me: A Devoted Dad

I am not an exemplary dad, nor do I claim to be. I am an ordinary father who loves his son deeply. And that, to me, is the most awe-inspiring aspect of my life.

My son lives with his mother, stepfather, and now his new younger brother who they recently adopted. My former wife and her husband are wonderful influences in my son’s life. I am forever grateful for the love and care they provide him. While divorce can strain relationships, I am fortunate to share a friendship with my former wife and her husband, which fosters a supportive environment for our son.

As my son lives in another town, every moment I spend with him becomes invaluable. Love is not measured by quantity but by depth and quality. I embrace every opportunity to be present in his life, cherishing the time we share.

The Joy of Fatherhood

Being a devoted dad is the core of who I am. It is in this moment riding a train to spend a day with my beloved 11-year-old son that I reflect on my purpose and write this blog post.2

His laughter, curiosity, and endless joy illuminate my world, surpassing any achievements in my career or the perception of success on social media.

My son and I love traveling, visiting Walt Disney World, museums, and parks. We learn Math and Python programming together. We wrestle, fight, play and compete with each other.

Watching my son grow into a kind, principled young man fills me with immense gratitude. Guiding him through life’s ups and downs, witnessing his journey, and nurturing his development is an honor beyond compare.

Embracing Imperfections and Finding Meaning

As I reflect on the idealized snapshots presented on social media, I am reminded that true meaning lies in the messy and imperfect realities of life. It’s in the struggles, the imperfections, and the profound impact we have on our children each day. For me, meaning is found in the relentless pursuit of being the best father I can be.

To all the devoted dads out there, may you find solace in embracing the imperfect, the unpredictable, and the meaningful moments of fatherhood. Let us celebrate the profound impact we have on our children’s lives, knowing that our love and guidance shape them into extraordinary individuals. May your realities far surpass the idealism of social media, and may your lives be filled with the immeasurable joy and purpose that fatherhood brings.

Happy Father’s Day!

P.S. As I complete this blog post, my train nears its destination. I look forward to spending the rest of this day with him and being offline.

  1. When I was growing up in India, the term bodybuilder was used for anyone who worked out regularly with weights. I assume that is what my childhood friends meant. I found it amusing, nevertheless. []
  2. I’d rather spend more of my personal screen time writing articles and writing code than on social media. []




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