. Some time ago I did learn some practical lessons which changed and re-changed my long held feelings and attitudes. I will narrate my experience of the times when I had felt that a bird in hand was worth two in a bush.
Few years ago, after joining Facebook, I had got too involved with my re-discovered friends from my childhood as well as youth. Of course they were not in school, college or university anymore, but to me they were the same. We were all a bunch of cronies almost approaching middle-age but talking in a childish manner, recollecting our old times, reminding each other about every intricate detail of our younger days spent together. We compared our looks as to who looks older or younger even after so many years. Meaningless talks that had deep meaning for all of us.
My school mates discussed trivial things like who used to get more marks in what subject, who was better in music and who was sporty, also who has done well in life now and who has fallen short of school time expectations. University mates wrote about fun times. How we could tirelessly walk very long distances to go to our favorite haunts and eateries, all the places we used to throng and the way we would enter the classroom eating a snack, only to annoy the lecturers.
I knew each one of my childhood friend very well so I had started spending a lot of time targeting and planning my posts to please and suit my friend’s individual tastes and choice; say the songs, jokes, philosophical quotes or when putting up pictures from our old times or even current pics.
Today I know it is a sadly futile exercise. When thinking about our future, we are dreamy-eyed as we visualize some distant unseen path but going backwards in time is all about living in our bygone past that was real once upon a time but cannot be again, esp. if we all live so far away in different cities.
And yet, after joining Facebook, such extreme was the nostalgia and euphoria that I was perpetually living in the past, hooked to FB during my morning cuppa, during any free time during the day, and at the very last moment before retiring to bed. I had almost forgotten that I had moved to a new neighborhood in my current city and I need to develop friendships with people next door. They invited me for some function but I went half-heartedly and came back. If my neighbors asked me why I was never seen outside my home even on a holiday, my excuse was that I have been busy. Of course the fact was, my heart was content yapping with my old pals.
But soon I had realized that the bird in hand is worth two in the bush.
During the above phase, my son who had just finished high school had started going to his new university by local train. One busy day he got himself into trouble. When boarding his train from the train station close to our home, he fell on the train track (how that happened is a different story). A fast running train had passed next to him while he was still on the track clinging to the wall. It was a terrifying moment when I got a call from his fellow passenger. Away for work, I was nowhere near his train station and in those moments all I could think of is to call the family who lived next to our house. Indeed, the generous husband and wife pair, who were at home that day, went running to the train station to help my son. They brought him back home, looked after the obviously shaken young boy till he was balanced and till we parents came back.
After this incident, I was suddenly woken up from my nostalgic reverie. I reminded myself that I must come back to my real life. I can’t spend any more time recollecting and remembering old times spent ages ago with old friends, that too at the cost of my current life. I live so far away. My world has nothing in common with them anymore.
Hence I began focusing on my friends within my own city as only they can help me in my times of need whereas my online friends and overseas relatives are only good for moral support.
It was a wise decision that I did stick to for some time. Whereas once it was all about old friends and about arranging reunions, thereafter I had absolutely stopped bothering about them, almost a total boycott with my re-discovered pals who were once my life.
It took me some time before I could learn to calmly balance the bygone world with my current life. Nowadays I don’t boycott my old friends but I know that my priority has to be towards my present life as it is, good or bad.
The lessons learnt continue to be applied to all social media, be it blogging or whatsapp. I now always take an informed decision, that I do not have to make it such an addiction that I forget to live my real life.