The nostalgic 90s – undoubtedly the best phase of our lives. Lots of exciting things were happening back then. While we were playing all those outdoor games our parents did, we also had a computer. While we socialized with people face to face, we also started getting the convenience of a telephone.
We remember all these things, but doubt if we remember HOW we managed to keep in touch with our friends despite not having any technology that would keep us connected every single minute, like the Whatsapps and the FB messengers. Today, instant messaging is indispensable. We keep messaging our friends until they’ve reached the scene of party, or our significant others till they’ve safely reached home. Do you remember how did we do without these things way back in the 90s?
We did manage it pretty well, and in fact, better than today. In spite of technology connecting us every second today, we keep lying regarding our whereabouts, and at times conveniently switch off the data connection if we want to ditch a plan. Earlier, we just made one phone call to a friend and set a meeting place and time. And more often than not, we would find the friend at the given location at the given time!
A few months ago, I had the chance to live life in the good old fashioned manner. Well not exactly, but almost! One of my very close friends lost her phone, and the absence of any other device at that point of time, coupled with a strict parent who’s averse to letting my friend meet a ‘close friend’ of the ‘opposite sex’ (ME) made it all the more difficult. But when the bond is strong, you do find a way!
We managed to meet often, at least 2-3 times a week, in spite of the technological handicap. And this experience is exactly what compelled me to write this piece. It was an experience that took me back to the simple times, when relations weren’t hampered by technology. When socializing actually meant meeting face to face, and not over a social networking platform.
The friend would use a relative’s phone, and drop me a simple SMS informing me about the time and place of meeting. I was not allowed to reply to the texts because what if anyone else opened it! Aah, the fears our generation has today. Moving on, it was sheer trust and belief that we both would land up at that place at the given time that enabled all those meetings. It has been almost 4 months since that day, and until last week, when my friend finally got a phone, the situation was the same!
In fact, in this era of only instant messaging, even receiving an email made me feel like how a cave man would have reacted to well cooked food for the first time – delirious with joy! Often, conversations that couldn’t be exchanged through any other means would be exchanged over email, which she could access over the PC only when there wasn’t anyone around! If you are wondering if any letters were exchanged, Yes, they were.
Once, we had a terrible fight, and we didn’t talk for a couple of days. We even met in our music class, for our respective rehearsals. Even though eyes met, the brain made us act like strangers.When I was leaving the class for the day, I noticed her car parked nearby. I quickly removed a piece of paper, wrote a letter, and stuck it on her windshield, adjusting it between her car vipers. I waited at a little distance to see if she would notice and read the letter. She did, and her eyes started finding me. I emerged out of nowhere from my hiding. The smile on her face turned the dull night into a brightly lit morning.
These few months made me realize the simplistic joys of life. Social media can never replicate the personal touch that real socializing has. If you can, try doing away with your phone for a few days, and enjoy life unadulterated!