Recently, my family and I went out for dinner with one of my cousins who was visiting. We had so much fun and we were laughing like a bunch of idiots when for a second there I wanted to pick out my phone and take a selfie of us to remember this moment. But then I stopped and I am so glad I did.
Selfies are a rage. The word was temporarily termed as a “mental disorder” by a few websites. Everywhere you go, everything you do, it’s “Selfie time !” My sister’s biggest regret is that her phone does not have a front facing camera. The need to look perfect for every occasion has gone up by a million. Kids that used to say “Ugh ! Family gatherings ! Boorinnnggg,” now eagerly dress up because “We can take lots of selfies!”
I am just as self-obsessed as the next girl, so I am not going to point fingers and act like I’m any different. But on that particular day, I learnt something. It might not change me permanently, but it did make a dent in how I reacted at circumstances like that.
Someone I know was talking to me about weddings recently. She said “We have to get married early in life. Late marriage isn’t always the best choice.” I agreed. Some times, some people get used to being alone so much, that the later they get married, the more difficult it becomes for them to re-adjust to living with someone. This person is quite independent. So I presumed that’s what she meant and I admired that she had noticed that about herself. Until, less than a minute later, she said, “Yeah. The older you get the more old your face looks. It won’t look good in photographs.”
*Abruptly screeching to a stop sound in my brains*
Wait, what ?! Have we really gotten to that now? That you would get married early not because it’s better for the relationship but because it’s better for the photos? I even asked her this and she just nodded.
When I stopped myself from picking up my phone to click a selfie with my cousin, the jokes continued and the night ended up being one of the best times we’ve ever spent. Had I picked up that phone, the topic would’ve changed and become all about “Oh wait. I have to fix my hair” or “I’m smiling weird. Let’s take one more.”
When I thought about it, almost all my memories over the past year have been “OMG, so we tried to take selfies, it was so funny. It was the best time ever !!” It makes me feel extremely lame. It was sad enough when I realized that none of my friends from school, that I now call “best friends,” would’ve stayed so close to me without social media. And now, I have been sucked into a world of needing approval from a third person by posting the “perfect selfie” for “as many likes as possible.”
Some day, I’m going to exchange that phone or this computer. I’m going to want to move the data from it. How am I going to make space for 20 selfies a day over the past three years in addition to an extra 100 on every special occasion and still have enough space for important data and other new things that I might add in the future?!
Surely we all have more things to worry about than “I look like crap today selfies” and if you don’t have anything to worry about, I advise you to turn on the news and worry about things like Gaza & Palestine or the missing flights.
Make memories by having fun in a no-technology kind of way. Go out and reminisce about childhood memories. How many of us have whined about wanting to go back in time and be a kid again? Maybe it’s time to realize that the reason we had so much fun was because it was board games, cards, video games (I realize that IS technology but it was just different) or spending time outdoors with hide and go seek, hopscotch and statue. And no, you’re never too old for games like that. Giggle, throw your head back and laugh until there’s no sound and just tears.
Because here’s the life lesson I’ve learnt this month..
Sometimes, the best memories are made not in pictures, but in your heart.