Recently you all posted “likes” and comments on the “Note from a Former Self” article here on Diary of a Quirky Girl. Your comments got me to thinking about who else I’ve been missing out on from my past. Who had I been wondering about and what they were up to. What were they doing now?
It seems that along with technology, we live in the age of trying to go as fast as we can to get to that next moment in life. In the process we try to keep up with others but do not have enough time to post a comment. In the past, I will be honest, it used to be annoying someone could “like” something but not comment. A recent business trip to Chicago enlightened me.
While in Chicago I was in route to places at several different times and couldn’t always get great reception. When I did, I had enough time and a short window to click the like button on a friend’s page, picture or comment, just enough to let them know I was thinking about them and wanted to see how they were doing. It seems the like button is a quick way to cheer someone’s day until you can get to a place where you can leave a lengthy comment.
In my plight to catch up with friends and like things on their page, a few names popped up I hadn’t seen in a long time. Some were childhood friends from the neighborhood and one was even a crush I had in grade-school.
I was talking to my parents about memories of note passing, and how that seems to have morphed into the like button. I was explaining to my Dad about who I had recently seen on the front page of my Facebook. He was trying to remember who this person was, which is when I went into a long explanation of who they were and what they meant to me when I was younger.
Here is the story I relived for him.
My parents and I were at our local grocery store, it was 1988 and the 4th grade school year had just started. I was riding on the back of the cart while they pushed me through the aisles. We were just rounding the cereal aisle when I saw this particular boy, his sister and his mom, riding and walking with their shopping cart. Obviously good genes run in their family, they were all as cute as buttons.
When I was younger I had a hard time looking a crush in the eye. However in my head as a 8 year old girl about to turn 9, this scenario played out differently. In my imagination, my parents had been running their cart down the aisle with the tires smoking and leaving trails of fire with me on the back; as if we were in a motorcross competition to see who could get their groceries fastest. I was dressed like Willow Smith in a jump-suit of bright colors, wearing a huge smile with an un-shy personality exuding fun and sunshine. In my pea brained 8 year old imagination, I got down off my cart with finesse, looked the boy and his family in the eye, waving a large wave saying, “HELLLOOOOO!” Then I broke out into a break dance, with his family, the entire grocery store, and my family gathering around me in the cereal aisle starting out with a slow clap and finally breaking into a standing ovation.
Sadly this isn’t what happened.
What really happened is I stepped off the cart dressed in my hot pink beach bum shirt and cut off jeans. My hair was thrown back in a pony tail because I had been out all day playing and probably looked like I had just wrestled a bear…a care bear. I didn’t want this particular boy to think I wasn’t mature or so silly I couldn’t just walk next to my parents with the cart. With my head down, I barely looked at him and said a quick, quiet, “Hello.” Then I waited for them to pass by.
Today as I think back on that moment, now I fully understand the puzzled look on he and his sister’s face. He was in my class after all, why couldn’t I just say hi like a normal kid? After they passed by, my parents asked with a smile, “Who was that?” All I could say was, “Oh he’s in my class.”
In telling my Dad this memory and what this particular person meant to me, he broke out into laughter and said I should write a blog about it. So here I am, all because of a maze of thoughts, lead here because of the simple idea of liking something.
Back then, even if we had a “like” button for a boy, I don’t think I would have had enough guts to click it. As a child I was loud, goofy and outgoing, but as soon as I “liked” someone I turned into an introverted shy kid looking at the ground. However with time, age, wisdom and technology that has all changed. I can flirt without having to look someone in the eye now, do it with a click, finesse and for all the other person knows, maybe I am dressed like Willow Smith on the other end of the computer radiating warmth and sunshine.
Were you ever originally annoyed by the “like” button? Did you ever feel like it removed the effort needed for a friendship or relationship? What has lead you from one thought to another to think of someone you haven’t thought about in a long time?