It’s a Friday night at Rutgers, which means the pressure to have an absolutely amazing and unforgettable evening is here once more. It has to be Instagram-worthy. Snapchat famous. As I sit on our (oddly short) couch, I mentally prepare myself for the cumbersome routine of getting ready to go out. “Why aren’t sweatpants socially acceptable at a party? Is it okay if I eat my leftover Indian food before we go? Can I leave early and binge-read Pride & Prejudice instead?” These are the important questions I ask myself as I refresh my news feed for a third time, reluctantly planning out my night.
But then something magical happens.
Amidst the virtual realities we each occupy on our computers, one of my housemates pulls out her guitar, sits on the floor, and begins to strum. One by one we slowly start to close our Buzzfeed articles and Netflix pages. It starts with a small hum and within 5 minutes, our silent house is filled with an original rendition of Adele’s Someone Like You. Then we switch to Jason Mraz. Then Beyoncé.
With our windows open, our neighbors are probably confused as to whether we’re singing or crying, but in our living room there is nothing but smiles and laughter. And quality music of course. It’s absolutely wonderful.
Something as simple as sitting around a guitar at 10 pm on a Friday while the rest of the street is planning its own unforgettable night makes me appreciate moments like these. It is so easy to get sucked into this idea that if you’re not going out tonight, you’re missing out. There’s an entire acronym dedicated to this feeling: FOMO.
We see it through Facebook and Instagram. All the candid shots, the perfectly timed, mid-laughter photos. It’s almost instinctive to want to take a picture of a moment because we’re so afraid of forgetting it. We’re afraid that if we don’t capture it now, it didn’t really happen. Well did it?
I realized while smiling to the words of “I’m Yours,” that I don’t need a picture to remember this moment, because it’s okay if I forget it. It’s okay to just immerse myself in the feeling as it is and not remember it weeks from now from a hazy photo in my camera roll. Because truthfully, not every moment is going to be unforgettable. Most of them we will forget and that’s okay because new ones will come along with just as much laughter and sentiment as the last.
As a member of a generation so eager to record and store every single caption of time on our iClouds, I think we should take a step back and stop worrying about whether or not a moment is Insta-worthy and instead, just appreciate it for what it is. And just that.
In the end, we did end up going out that Friday night and taking one or two (maybe more) outrageous selfies in the process. But I can say with full confidence that the wonderful feeling of dancing with my friends and singing along to some good music is something that was never captured in a picture and I’m perfectly okay with that. 🙂