Wednesday, 15 February 2017

The Death of The Screensaver: FOMO and the benefits of IRL.

9pm, Sunday night. James & I were engrossed in an episode of Fargo (we’re late to the party as usual) when we were hit with a bit of early 00s nostalgia in the form of one of those corny Windows screen savers appearing on one of the character's computers. You know the one with the 3D fish.

No? Remember it now?

Where the flip has all the screen savers gone? I can't remember the last time I saw one for reals. Do they suffer the same fate as all the hair-grips and merely vanish from the face of the earth as soon as one’s back is turned?

Somewhat irrationally, it spurred a sad realisation that plainly, there isn’t the need for a screen saver in 2017. We’re always switched on. So much so, our poor computers and phones are no longer granted the opportunity of a Sunday afternoon power nap.

Despite the occasional wistful idea I have of ditching technology completely in favour of returning to simpler analogue pursuits (who doesn’t like an instax snap or a hand-written note), I’m not going to say that computers are wrecking society or any of that malarkey, because quite frankly, I don’t believe it.

The Internet is SO GOOD.

We all know it really. We can learn about anything that we want to. We communicate all over the world daily, share interests and life stories, bonding with like-minded (and non-like-minded) individuals that we may have never realised shared the same planet as us.

Not only that, it allows us to create so much; to push ourselves and the world around us in to unmarked territory. It’s a place that’s constantly evolving because it allows us the space to expand our thoughts and creativity.

Despite all of that, I have found myself longing for more IRL ('in real life' time) and so, recently I have been trying to organise and say yes to more impromptu face-to-face meets - to talk more in that sphere, and most importantly, whilst there really listen.

I started before Christmas by deleting WhatsApp and OMG, why didn’t I do that sooner?

Gone are the group messages and all the “must-reply” guilt that comes with it, plus the FOMO that binds us to our phones.

No longer do I feel the need to constantly interrupt real-life conversations or making myself dinner to speedily comment on the current group-chat topic before the conversation changes, or send a soulless “good thanks, you?” response to someone I love. Now I relish in the IRL plans, enjoying the catch up whilst finding out how people really feel… and it’s blooming lovely.

In a time when we’re constantly being pressed to feel the feels, I think it’s also important to take the time to listen to all the feels that are being put out there. Something which I’m not confident I did the best I could have previously. I heard something recently that people don’t remember words so much, particularly those written in haste on a smart phone. They remember real acts of kindness and that’s what I’m striving for this year.

Even up until this week, I have been internally debating whether this whole notion is hypocritical if I still enjoy tapping away on twitter or sharing snapshots of my life on Instagram or even divulging thoughts on to this blog.

I hope not. These days we have the option of being present both online and offline; to say which lines of communication do or don’t make us happy or fulfilled and it’s that choice which we should embrace.

Will this laidback, easy-going persona that I’m currently entertaining last forever? Who knows, maybe not. Probably not. However, if there’s one thing my twenties are teaching me is that it’s okay to have fluctuating goals and stand points.

For me, at the time being, practising more kindness IRL is kinda cool.

Much love,
L x

p.s. all images taken during an INCREDIBLE afternoon tea at the place of dreams, Sketch London
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