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Being able to share happy moments with your friends and family makes them even happier. We all like sharing our little achievements or moments of joy. Back in the 1990s that pool was very limited, we only had word of mouth, so the reach was limited to our mahaulla. But now with the explosion of social media, it has become far easier to share things with a larger audience and there is a template to do it too. Damn, social media has templatized our lives, let that sink in. There is a template for everything. Now you don’t even have to write happy birthday, it’ll just ask you if you’d like to wish someone and present you with options and you just have to click!

But yes, my point being, you join a college it goes up on social media, you get a job that too, you go for an outing and you can’t resist sharing it on Instagram and the same goes for our vacations and trips.
So something that began as just a naïve way of sharing your experiences with your close ones has now become an important part of making the experience enjoyable, or for that matter has started driving experience.

The origin of this thought is my impending trip to Manali, with a friend. This is the first of a kind for me. Normally I am someone who does my research and plans everything out. But not this time, we just got our tickets done and are going. Arushi Pandey is winging it! It even sounds odd. Another thing you need to know is that I am largely off social media. My social media is restricted to Twitter and LinkedIn (yeah that is where I am at, liking people’s thought pieces at 2am, who I am kidding I doze off before the clock strikes 12). You could say this blog is also a form of social media, but there is nothing social about this media. I just like penning my thoughts down in a place that will not get lost in drawers. Sorry got off-topic.

So yeah, this thought crossed my mind, where will I share my pictures now that I am not on social media, to be dramatic, how will the world know that my “coffee” is the only thing keeping me warm while I am sitting in a cozy café in Manali. These are the feelings of a recovering addict if you may. I was the person who would Instagram everything, but since I have gone cold turkey, I had a sudden thought, what would I do? This panic subsided and another thought came into my mind, why not take this opportunity to do a digital detox, one I have been wanting to do forever. To let my phone become dumb again. Unplug from the world and find my own way instead of Google Maps guiding me, try out cafes without checking their rating, and read my book and drink coffee by the river without spending 30 minutes trying to take a perfect shot of the scene before actually immersing myself in it.

I am going back in time. Will roam around the streets of Manali with a huge paper map and stand on it to read it (did you get it?), carry a bulky camera around my neck, and wait for weeks to see the pictures and see everything without a lens. Here is to embracing the unscripted, relishing the unfiltered, and rediscovering the joy of living in the moment and not the Instagram story.

Update: I went to Japan with my husband earlier this year and we carried a film camera with us. We have 30 shots and only 30 opportunities to put something on the film, unlike the 256GB on your iPhone. Honestly, waiting for the pictures to get ready is exciting and gives you a chance to really look at them. 


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