It was in the midst of a lone rickshaw ride, as I peered over my phone and sent in a tweet, that an epiphany whispered itself into my ear.
Why am I constantly updating my Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest (I used to till I moved out to a hostel and could no longer enjoy the services of a good wifi), ask.fm (I, like many, had that phase too. Eventually it got boring so i left), Blogspot, and WordPress. I also try my best to keep up with Tumblr but because it’s so heavy to load, I am not AS REGULAR. But I do keep it updated by ensuring my Instagram posts go up on it simultaneously. And occasionally when I do log, I reblog the hell out of it.
But why this urge to keep up with multiple social networking platforms whilst having to balance a whole different life which involves actual physical presence in all spheres?
I’ve thought about it for a while now but could never come up with a decent answer. In fact, there is no reason behind why I do it except that I just do. It’s what I’ve always told myself until one fine morning my brain suddenly connected a strand from my past to this particular strand of my present!
When I was younger, I had this thing for notebooks. Not pretty, aesthetic ones, but an obsession with maintaining different kinds of notebooks for different things including almost 10 journals where I jotted down almost every thing that happened every day. Even when nothing as relevant did, I’d make sure to scribble “nothing very important happened today so goodnight” before falling asleep at night. They’re still there, accumulating dust amongst all the other stuff I have hoarded over the years.
Then I had these really fat notebooks, a lot of them, which I used for two things. One was to just stick newspaper cutouts, kind of like a scrapbook. An article I really liked, some celebrity I was fingerling over, and at times, even the weather report for reasons I can’t remember anymore. The other one I used for jotting down song lyrics. I’m not even kidding. I actually did that. I remember spending afternoons just sitting on my table and writing down the lyrics of songs I really enjoyed. Sometimes I think that maybe I was just in love with the act of writing, the way the nib of the pen embraced the paper and spilled words from a language that had been socially imposed on me. Also, believe me when i call them FAT, because they were almost 2 inches in width and would obviously expand after I stuck all the cutouts.
(On a side note, I used that sticky transparent glue that came in those blue bottles. I can’t remember the name right now. I have just been informed that it was called “Gum”, so that. So much fun!)
Then I, like everyone else my age, possessed Slam Books. A new one for every year despite the fact that I would ask the same people to fill it out every year. Including my parents, and myself.
Then there were these notebooks with a lock and key each (anyone remembers these?) which I used to, well, write about, um, people around me. I’m trying to play safe here but yes, you can call it bitching. I maintained these with my best friend and we still laugh about it every time we think about it.
Then, there were these fancy books I maintained very regularly (still do) for my poetry and prose. The first one I ever had was a Powerpuff Girls spiral bound notebook I got at some birthday party. I was very particular about these. I’d always have spare ones just in case the current one run out sans me noticing it.
Then, there was a notebook of my favourite quotes from movies/books/songs that I maintained until very recently (read: 11th grade) (Sometimes I can’t believe myself)
Then I had this scrapbook that I’d wrapped in purple paper (because purple was my favourite colour at that point of time) and named it “My First Step Towards Journalism”. This was the first time I made my aspirations to be a journalist vocal. And then I went a step ahead to make sure I had a book for it too.
Then there was the random stuff that I’d scribble here and there. Now you might laugh at me and say to yourself, “But everyone does that”. You are right, except that everyday I’d go home and copy these scribblings down in a different notebook too! Or I think it was in the notebook of poetry+prose . Memory’s a little hazy about this one.
Eventually, I gave up. OBVIOUSLY.
As I grew up, the newfound time constraint was the primary reason. Then came the awkward realisation that MAYBE all of this was a bit immature. And I think, at some point, I did get bored of it too.
This was, of course, only the case till I found a smartphone and the world of social networking platforms that came with it. Each one representing a completely different virtual world in itself. They replaced the way I documented my life. In some ways, they’re more evolved versions of all my notebooks:
Facebook/Instagram could be, like a more public, journal/diary or a section of one of the fat scrapbooks?
Pinterest could be the fat scrapbook with the cutouts?
WordPress/Blogspot could be the notebook of poetry+prose?
There isn’t actually a direct connection, to be honest but at least I have a theory for myself now!