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A nostalgic look

Past forward
Last Updated : 28 June 2016, 18:34 IST
Last Updated : 28 June 2016, 18:34 IST
Last Updated : 28 June 2016, 18:34 IST
Last Updated : 28 June 2016, 18:34 IST

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There was a time when every school kid scrambled to the nearest stationery store to buy a slam book. Social networking sites were still in their infancy and Facebook wasn’t even born then. A slam book, at the time, was the social equivalent of ‘stalking’ a friend on Facebook now. But those days are a thing of the past; technology has rendered such simple pleasures obsolete. There is no need to fill fun questions, make scrap books and photo albums or buy photo frames... Everything you need to know about a person is archived on the Internet.

The very act of ‘looking back’ or reminiscing has changed. Now, most memories can be stored online instead of your closet. Every morning, when you open Facebook, it notifies you with a ‘memory’, asking you whether you want to share it. Pictures, videos, stories, status messages; they are all thrown at you on a daily basis so that the past never seems to dull. This is one of the reasons why no one creates photo albums these days — why go through the trouble of printing and filing photographs that you can go through every now and then when they are all easily available to you on a daily basis?

But that’s the thing, the act of opening an album came from a place of warmth, and has been trivialised and made mundane now. Even writing on paper has lost its charm.
Krithika, a young professional, says that it’s natural to look back but technology, especially social media, has changed how this act is perceived. “With social media, the past is in your face all the time. On one hand, the memories stay stronger. But these are anyway recently created memories that aren’t difficult to remember. On the other hand, some bitter memories are also brought back, and they show you how vulnerable you were before. Now that we are more accustomed to social media, we are watchful of our words, but at first, we weren’t.” This is why she thinks while reminiscing online is fun, it does have its drawbacks.

Aside from such features, the Internet brings up the past on a daily basis, but in it’s own way. Recently, a Buzzfeed India video went viral for it’s portrayal of the past. Titled ‘Your childhood in 100 seconds’, it showed things we took for granted but made up our childhood — binding a book with brown paper, polishing white canvas shoes, carrying pencil boxes and big lunch bags. It made a lot of youngsters remember what has now been replaced by technology. Kiran Yadav, a network operations engineer, loved the video because, “It reminded me of all those things which we did when we were young. It feels like we were happier and better off than the kids of the coming generations because we had to do everything from scratch. Technology has made everything easy for people now.

And since I can’t go back to those days, it’s nice to re-live them online.” This, he adds, is his way of holding on to the ‘best of both world’.

Lovlyn Pani, who works in the corporate field, says that the Internet has made it easier to connect the past to the present and future. According to her, when you want to share your past with a new friend, it’s easy because of online updates and photo albums. People have also taken to uploading pictures of themselves as kids. This is a way for them to accept the online space with letting go of something older. “I recently uploaded a picture of my childhood days. I felt that it was more unique when compared to today’s time where posts are about which party one has gone to and who their partners are,” she says.

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Published 28 June 2016, 16:10 IST

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