A Strange Thing Happened When I Was Challenged About My Social Media Notification Frenzy

Posted: April 30, 2019

Being an extroverted person, I was very active on social media, constantly updating my status, and looking at every notification… until a cousin challenged me to get off it for a month.

I have always been a very social person. The kind of person who makes talking to a stranger seem like a piece of cake. I have naturally therefore made a lot of friends and acquaintances in my life. But life has a way of showing exactly where one stands in relationships through circumstances or some wise advice that comes from the mouth of a well-meaning person; and so it happened with me.

One evening while I was dining at my cousin’s place, who has been with me through thick and thin of my life, and she chided me at my habit of getting back to the phone for every single beep that I heard.

Notifications ruled my life, so much so that I did not realize when I finished the soup and started off with the dessert. Of course I hid behind the courtesies of the other family members who seemed to be involved in the get together but my cousin noticed my every move.

After the dinner while everyone settled down to watch a favourite family sitcom with home-made cookies and beverages, I joined my cousin in the kitchen table. It was a summer night and the open window brought in with it the scent of a sweet breeze scented with the flowers in the garden.

I took in a deep breath while cradling the mug of coffee in my hand.

‘How you wish you could update this to someone don’t you?’ my cousin asked observing me while drying the dishes coming out of the dish washer.

‘What nonsense?’ I retorted. ‘Of course not!’

She poured herself a cup of coffee and joined me at the petite kitchen table near the window.

As she settled down next to me she said, ‘Would you be up for a challenge like the old times?’ she asked stirring her cuppa slowly.

‘Yes, I am game anytime.’ I told her.

‘Okay then, for the next one month, can you simply not connect to the usual close buddies and people on your contact list through any of the medium that you might use?’

‘But it would be rude not to connect and moreover, they would be worried if I don’t.’ I added.

‘The ones who would really worry if you do not send a LOL to a forwarded joke would call you to check on you.’ She replied.

It was a strange proposition from a woman who was herself so much updated on social media or so I thought. But I accepted the challenge agreeing to it with the exception that I can connect with the office people.

A month went by and interestingly, no one noticed that I was gone for a month. The only ones who noticed were the people who I never messaged but were added to me on my various account handles.

‘Are you okay. No updates?’ asked one close childhood friend who I connect only when I am down.

‘What happened to juicy updates?’ was a message that came up from my siblings who I connected on a regular basis because we are family.

I am sure, had the proposition not come from my cousin she would be another one who would have asked me ‘Where I had been?’

Of all the contacts and the interactions and tags and the status updates put together, when it really mattered, there were only three people who asked if I am okay. Well, there were a few others of course, who knew of the challenge and naturally did not ask the obvious. People who I actually live my life with.

After a month, as I sat in my cousin’s house at the same kitchen table by the window, I let the frustration of the month gone by flow.

‘But I thought I mattered.’ I told her.

‘You do.’ She answered and in her wise answer I realized that in the midst of the notification frenzy, I had left aside not only the people who are dear to me, who are always there, who can drive many hours just to hug me if I need one, but also things that made up my life.

It was an emotional revelation. I sat there with mixed feelings and while I sat I looked out the window at the beautiful hues of an afternoon sky. The summer breeze blew in yet again carrying with it the scented aroma of the jasmine outside.

‘Are you sure this time you don’t want to update this feeling?’ my cousin asked.

‘What nonsense? Of course not, I answered.’ And this time, I spoke the truth.

Image source: shutterstock

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A Social Media Content Writer by profession. A writer by heart. A genuine foodie. Simple

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