To Get More Out of Life, Disconnect
Last weekend, I met a unicorn. A Spanish one. Born and bred in Madrid. 26 years old in human years. Female. She had this thin, lifted nose bridge that is the envy of many Filipinos like me. Her mane was nicely twisted into pretty french braid pigtails.
I asked her, “Did you do your own hair?”
Yes, she neighed. A little while later I saw her redo her french braids, her fingers swiftly interlocking her hair like a piano virtuoso.
Let’s call this Spanish unicorn Ressa. (You must pronounce the R, she said. “It’s Rrresa!”) My new friend is a smart, sociable, and well-informed being. I noticed she’s good at picking up social cues. We got along very well; there was no language barrier as she spoke English effortlessly. She dresses like most people our age, maybe even better. She has a boyfriend. She seems completely normal except she’s not.
She’s a unicorn. Because she’s never had an Instagram account. Or Twitter account. Her Facebook has long been abandoned.
I know of people who have taken a hiatus from social media or have quit altogether. But I don’t think I’ve ever met anybody — especially within my age range — who never joined the bandwagon.
When she told me she didn’t use social media, my eyes widened, and I didn’t know what to say that would capture my praise and disbelief and envy, so I just said: “THAT’S SO NICE!!”
Naturally, I asked why she opted out.
“I don’t need to know what everybody else is doing.”
That’s it. It was so plain and so true. I think this is something we all know intuitively, but the allure of being online tempts us to believe otherwise.
Connection is important — but that doesn’t mean we have to know everybody’s business all the time. Our parents and ancestors were perfectly fine without knowing what their friends were eating for lunch or what they were doing at 2:34pm on a Thursday or what entertainment they were bingeing on the weekends. They survived. They flourished. Progress was made. The world moved forward.