Neeraja, you are a power searcher!

Did I think that is how I would be called by the end of the decade? Back in 2009, just around the time, when I was getting my life in order, a new role at work, my girl having “graduated” from Kindergarten to Primary school, settling in a new schedule at home that of course revolved around my girl, I had repeated requests from one of my dear school friends to sign up on Facebook. She said she had pictures of her family on FB and it would be great to be connected on this platform. Did I take the bait? I resisted for a long time, maybe I was anti social(media). One fine day, I decided to give in and created the user profile. What I saw on that platform was interesting and intriguing. The fact that I gave in to create a user profile on FB because I wanted to see my friend’s family pictures was not strange. In 2010, Facebook was seeing more than 100 million photo uploads every day. And I was also contributing to that number. I went back to check my updates on Facebook in 2009 and there had been a flurry of activity. I had to actually catchup and showcase my life to all my friends who were now on Facebook and I had done it in style! I also saw that I used to put out short status updates. “Busy studying.. with Sneha for the 1st std exams:-)”; “So, D and S – are we meeting up for lunch on 1st May?”. Really, did I put that question out on a public platform? Well, I am glad Mr. Zuckerberg went ahead and launched Messenger for people to share such questions in private and not have them up for the public to watch, like and comment! The next 5 years, I continued to add to my personal albums which also helped Facebook reach 350 million photo uploads every day in 2019!      

         

Life, for me, changed in 2016! My girl had started writing. Of course the school curriculum mandates them to write short essays, but she had taken writing to heart and was attempting to write short stories. I didn’t have to worry any more about engaging her during her summer vacations. She found different writing contests to participate in and we had our moment of realisation that she does write well when her short story won a prize that year! I think that was the moment when I started looking around for writing resources, writing competitions, writing workshops and everything else about writing. Which mother would not want to see her daughter do well in a hobby which seemed to be turning into a passion(and could be a career for her later)? While I did all the research on writing for my girl, it seemed to ignite some passion in me for writing! My Facebook posts became more “reader” friendly! I also decided to become more friendly with social media by signing up on Linkedin. I chose my Linkedin network very carefully; only people who had worked with me earlier got an entry into my network. Not even my friends or family, they had to be people who had worked with me! Well, after the initial few days when I searched for such people and Linkedin recommended such people, life on Linkedin became quite boring! As one can imagine, I had built a network of people who had worked in one of the four technology organisations that I had worked in, and most of them would have been from that one company where I worked for 16 years! Hence, the daily feed from Linkedin also turned out to be very boring!

2016 was also special because I became a mentor on a few online platforms to help women focus on their careers and reach their full potential. This also led me to attend many meetups and conferences; hearing from the diverse set of speakers opened up my mind to what the world of today has to offer in terms of opportunities. That’s how I also opened up to connecting with people outside of my immediate network(which up till then was only friends, family and colleagues) on the social media. When I look at my Facebook posts of 2016, there were some photo albums that got updated, but there were many posts about the different kinds of events, meetups, workshops and conferences that were happening around us! My intention was simple – I wanted the information to be spread to a wider community. I had arrived! As Facebook transformed from being a platform to connect people with their friends, to being a marketing platform, I had also unintentionally started using this platform to build awareness and communities. 2016 was also the year when I visited the city of Indore where I spent my early childhood years. It was the year when I realised that life was about living, enjoying, creating an impact and trying new things. It was the year when I decided that one needs to create opportunities for themselves rather than wait for opportunities to come by.

In the next 3 years of the decade gone by, I had moved out of the corporate job market where I spent 25 long years to head a Not for profit foundation and later, became a freelance consultant. I met and connected with people from diverse educational, financial, social and professional backgrounds and built lasting relationships. I decided to help other women build confidence in themselves, seek and create opportunities for career growth and reach their potential. I got more serious with my writing as I realised that the stories that I narrated helped scores of readers across the globe. I built online networks using Facebook and Linkedin to reach larger audiences. Now I understand why Linkedin calls me “Neeraja, you are a power searcher”:)  Yes, I learnt to tweet too! I created a personal brand that now helps me introduce myself beyond an identity that otherwise would have been restricted with the designation that I carried in the company that I worked for. I volunteered my time to help people and organisations reach their goals and in turn, it helped me learn and experience what I could never have learnt and experienced in a paid job! As someone said, Networking is defined as “I help because I can and when I need help, the community / universe will act in kind”. And yes, I had plenty of reciprocals. I was invited as a speaker for many events, on video interviews and podcasts. I won multiple awards for the work that I was doing and the impact that I was creating. I found different and interesting projects to work on.  Life has been extremely satisfying and fulfilling.

As we step into the next decade, “Learning to relearn” is an imperative for everyone. I am glad that I have opened up my mind to be curious, creative and built a knack for story-telling. Coordination and Collaboration are key to getting the desired outcomes in the digital world. I look forward to building larger networks and communities in the coming years! I look forward to working with the youth of our country, especially girls, to help them build problem solving, critical and analytical thinking, and creativity skills. I look forward to writing more(might even be a book)! I of course look forward to sharing more photos on Facebook(and learn to use Instagram too)! And do you want to know what my girl is doing now? She has fervently continued pursuing her passion for writing and has now started writing blogs on her own blog site. Yes, this blog has been posted on her blog site!!

This post is a part of ‘DECADE Blog Hop’ #DecadeHop organised by #RRxMM Rashi Roy and Manas Mukul. The Event is sponsored by Glo and co-sponsored by Beyond The BoxWedding ClapThe Colaba Store and Sanity Daily in association with authors Piyusha Vir and Richa S Mukherjee

-Written by Neeraja Ganesh, M/O Sneha Ganesh

64 thoughts on “Neeraja, you are a power searcher!

  1. wow, that’s such a quite fabulous account of the decade gone by and how you are using SM to reach out to people and help them in reinventing themselves. All the best to you in your new ventures

  2. Even though I loved that ending note – Written by Neeraja Ganesh, M/O Sneha Ganesh, Neeraja, you need to have your own blog. Please publish all your blogs or links to your earlier blogs on that so that more people get inspired. Absolutely loved the article

  3. Hi Sneha,
    Happy new year and thank you for sharing such an interesting and reflective post..
    In August 2019 I temporarily deactivated my Facebook account but kept on messenger. At the time I felt so liberated by the decision.
    From another viewpoint this decision may be restricting me moving forward in my writing.
    When I worked as A Health Visitor networking was a key part of our role and I seemed to thrive from the many connections I made thus leading to improved health care for my clients.

  4. Good to know all that . How you are using FB and other media to become a power searcher and also help others . Great to know about your daughter too who has started blogging
    . But don’t you have your own blog ??

  5. It was a lovely account of your life in the past decade..You wrote it with such fluidity that it kept me hooked till the end.. And yes I have also diligently contributed to the 350 million pics..😁Loved reading it.. Best wishes to you for the coming decade..

  6. True..we do need to learn and relearn. I am on FB, Twitter and Instagram. But, not really active on other than on FB. However, I do wonder if i would be left behind if I dont update myself and get active on SM like snapchat which the next generation seems to be adept at

  7. You have had quite an amazing decade. I could relate to sharing information on social media. Facebook was the tool of choice for me too for the longest time. Technology is often considered evil but used the right way, changes lives. More power to you. Keep inspiring.

  8. Wow, what a remarkable journey! You are definitely a power searcher, I am impressed by how you are using social media to connect to people and build larger communities. You are an inspiration & I loved the positive & energetic vibes from your post. You should definitely have your own blog, would love to read more of your work. Hope you achieve your dream of writing more in this decade.

  9. A writer for a daughter!! Wow. It must be in the genes 😄😄

    I’m glad you mentioned LinkedIn. I have a hot and cold love affair with it! I suddenly get inspired and go and update my profile there. Then I forget all about it for a couple of months…..! 😋
    You seem to have had an interesting decade. Best wishes for the present one too.

  10. That’s quite a journey. I remember approaching FB gingerly , myself and now there’s no looking back. Glad to connect with you here. Let’s take this further

  11. Oh my. A mother’s post on a daughter’s blog. I am impressed. And that linkedin story just reminded me to clear the mess I had created in my account. I have all unneccessary people on my list 😐

  12. Wow, what a lovely post it was. I am a networking lover, and I really loved this post and your whole journey of the decade. Best wishes ❤❤

  13. How we plan to utilize the social media makes the difference. Glad to read about your journey and would be happy to follow if you ever start your own blog.

  14. It is inspiring when mothers inspire daughters. But it’s downright delightful when daughters inspire mothers! You both should write a book together! My daughter is 5, but she already has giant plans of writing a children’s book with me!

  15. An articulate post about a wonderful journey. You have proved yourself as a strong, empowered, and enterprising woman who has the will and courage to chase her dreams.
    Now, next thing you need to do is get yourself your own blog. Would love to read you more often, Neerja! 🙂

    Best wishes to you and your daughter.

  16. Wowie! Inspired by your post Neerja. I am specially motivated by 3 things you that you mention: the thirst to learn, to be curious and the need to unlearn.
    Janaki

  17. We all have contributed to the photo sharing on Facebook and have posted silly updates. I also realized in the latter part of the decade that there is much more to SM than sharing your life. I am glad you have used it well and have achieved so much. You must write on your blog so that we all can read some wonderful posts from both of you 🙂

  18. wow this is a wonderful post. I loved the candid write up and the honest confessions regarding facebook and linkedin. You are an inspiring mother and you have an equally inspiring daughter. Eager to learn more from both of you. Your journey of the last decade is really very impressive. Wishing you a more successful decade ahead !!

  19. How lovely Neeraja! It is so nice to see your mother-daughter writing trajectory take off at the same time. May both of you continue to regale your audience, while making meaningful and lasting relationships with your readers.

  20. Sneha and Neeraja… Good for you both to get together and do this!
    Facebook and LinkedIn… Ha ha.. I too have similar experiences!
    Liked the post… It struck a chord with me!

  21. I strongly recommend for you to have your own blog. I loved how you have build up a life full of karmic goodness for yourself. Totally enjoyed reading about your journey.

  22. Wow that’s the way to put social media to good use. Hope you n your daughter continue your beautiful journey.
    Much love
    Deepika

  23. what a beautiful post..n m sure ur daughter has got ur genes in writing. what a blissful feeling it would be to write for your daughter’s blog.. kudos to all the learning… Keep it up. 🙂

  24. Amazing mom and daughter duo, writing and encouraging each other. Seems to have been a very interesting decade. Somehow I wish I knew how to network All the best to both of you.

  25. Few lines just left a great impact – I realized that life was about living, enjoying, creating an impact and trying new things, and “Learning to relearn” is imperative for everyone.
    This says that life is all about trying, learning and experimenting. It was fun to read your FB and Linkedin growth.
    Much power to your writer girl, look forward to reading her other posts.

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