By Debbie Olujobi
Lately social media has woven its technological claws into the tapestry of everyday life. I am not much for conversations; especially on a phone, I find that I follow updates on messenger applications to see how my friends and family are faring.
People post the most amazing and amusing status messages and photos on their profiles and I will most likely find one to either make me laugh or cringe daily. In all of the activities on social media one must surely notice a frenzied need for people to capture events and broadcast them.
I always wonder why it is so important to spread news most of which is quite bad with such delight and zeal? I am especially appalled by those who send you photographs of carnage and my contacts lists are limited to people who actually are living their own lives and sharing a bit of themselves rather than self appointed bad news mongers or even worse, the narcissistic few who feel the need to take pictures of their own face and outfits a 100 times a day!!
Time seems to be flying by and everyday lived is a day gone. I often find myself wondering where the time goes. Last sunday I had a meeting with someone who seemed to be just as shell shocked as me that we were old; that we were parents and finally responsible. Does anyone recall the days growing up when the word responsible seemed like a noose?
It seemed responsible was the anti fun! I can remember most grown ups using that word to deny me of all my earthly pleasures. Too much make up was irresponsible, watching television and daydreaming( my specialties) was irresponsible, don’t even mention partying or hanging out with your friends!. On that particular sunday I was the soul of responsibility.
I had dashed out of church after listening to a particularly wonderful word from my Pastor for my meeting. I was early and had synchronised all contacts and parties; very responsible! In the course of that meeting I recall mentioning how surprised I sometimes am when people bow or courtesy to me, or how people defer to me the way I used to defer to elders and how it was dawning on me that I was the elder ( its becoming quite regular). In fact my exact words were that I got old when I wasn’t looking and nobody had bothered to send me a memo! Where on earth did the time go and what did I do with all of that time?
I have come to conclude that social media’s favourite tool is emotion. We all get in touch with our inner philosopher and begin to share our thoughts; some of us even broadcast those thoughts regularly; some broadcasts unconfirmed news, stale gists and spread rumours.
Nostalgia, morality and religion play lead roles in all the musings but lately I get worried when I see a burning candle or a black out profile. Its the new obituary and the faces get younger with more frequency. It brings me back to the question of time and what we all do with it. It is amazing that the transition from young to old happens so fast that time is lost in between. Responsibility is not a choice we make, it’s an inevitability that happens before we have time to even consider the possibilities!!
One minute you are being fed, housed and clothed and the next you become the one doing the housing, feeding and clothing. I am not denying the joy of family, growth and independence but are we paying any attention to the passage and usage of time? I am not in anyway advocating irresponsibility and frivolity but I am advocating spending our time judiciously balancing our responsibilities with a higher quality of emotional, spiritual and physical presence.
This last week I have seen at least two burning candles on two different profiles; two young and vibrant people died and their time stopped. Thats what happens to all of us at one time or the other; our time runs out. No one is ever going to live the perfect or even the best life possible but we can try to rein in the amount of stress our myriad responsibilities places so heavily on our shoulders.
Mastering time is a divine privilege but applying our hearts to wisdom and accepting our days are limited is the grim reality we all have to embrace. I turn 44 in a few months and from where I stand; the young should savour their youth! Its fleeting and will be over before they know it.
Truth is I still don’t feel old but my age and responsibilities beg to disagree most strongly. I have spent the past week in the company of my best and possibly only friend; we have had so much fun and redeemed a bit of our lost youth. Between motherhood, running households, husbands and businesses we hardly ever have such escapes.
Fate and circumstance have created this opportunity and while I would rather it was a choice we were afforded by a motive of fun I am still grateful for the opportunity. I am trying to make time a friend by being present and embracing all the facets of life as it is presented to me. I end with a Blackberry profile that had me in stitches this past week..”Don’t grow up; its a trap”