Did I ever tell you the story of how the bomb cyclone in the east coast helped me bake banana bread? Confused? Let me explain.
So I was sitting on my couch on a very cold winter afternoon, wondering when the temperature would rise above 0° C. I took my phone to check the weather predictions for the next few days - and voila , it lead me to banana bread.
[Something I realized about "Googling" or "looking up stuff" on the internet - It is kind of similar to your train of thought, but, you're not exactly thinking.]
Anyway, the weather predictions got me reading about the bomb cyclone in the east coast and the winter pattern for the year, which in turn lead me to a suggested post which was titled, " 7 skin care tips for winter".
[This is a very catchy title these days. People don't just open any link. Believe me , they're lazy like that. If it's called "skin care tips", they'd just skip it. But if you numbered it , say, 7 or 9 - they open it, like it & share it. What's with the number anyway?! It's not even a whole number like 10 or 20. Somehow an "odd" number of tips makes it authentic or believable! Just try typing a random odd number along with the word "tips" and you'd be amazed by the search suggestions in Google. I tried "23 tips" and I found stuff like " 23 tips.... to save iPhone battery, for parents taking selfies, on how to deal with an insecure boyfriend, for drinking more water...etc " Ok, who on earth needs 23 tips to drink water?!]
As I was genuinely reading about the skin care tips for winter, I came across the benefits of Aloe Vera gel. I wondered if I should get a small indoor plant. I looked up the prize and started looking for pots too. It then struck me that we neither have a balcony nor a window sill to place a planter box. Now this leads to me a whole new world of 'n' number of trains of thoughts, a.k.a links, a.k.a. Amazon.com. I browsed for planters which could be stuck to the window.
[Once you're logged into Amazon, it's like the whole world is watching you. There is no escape. It is like the snake that tempts you with an apple, or an Apple watch, in this case. They know what you like and what you've bought. They even know the things that you secretly wish you bought. Damn it, they even know what you are going to like in the future! ]
My browsing history in Amazon suggested me to buy the 8" loaf pan that I've been eyeing for a long time. I ended up buying one in Walmart months ago. Still it made me wonder if the one in Amazon was cheaper/better. I was considering for a moment to buy another one- which made me realize that I haven't baked a single loaf of bread since I bought the pan. This lead to guilt, which lead to determination and resolution and this ultimately lead me to Martha Stewart's Banana bread recipe.
Did you see what happened there? Bomb Cyclone > Winter > Skin care> Aloe vera > Planter > Amazon > Loaf pan > Banana bread! Tada! You can link anything to anyone for that matter. Eg: 21 best movies on Netflix right now (not 20, 21) > Series > Orange is the new black > Orange > Donald Trump! Tada!
On a serious note, I really miss exploring my mind with endless thoughts - having real conversations with friends jumping from one random topic to another. These browsing sessions are limiting the expanse of our imagination. My train of thought didn't lead me from bomb cyclone to banana bread - I was literally pulled into the train and shoved out of the compartment, into a station that I wasn't prepared to get down! I followed the links, not my thoughts.
We don't talk anymore. It has been reduced to mere posts, comments, reactions and emoticons. Posts about ourselves, our photographs, our accomplishments, our opinions on every other issue in the world - we can't seem to stop talking about ourselves on social media. Are we becoming more and more self absorbed?
Imagine how absurd the kind of things we post on social media would sound, if we were to do so in real life? Imagine shouting from your roof top to 500 people about how you just had hot chocolate and how you're "feeling amazed" or try talking to your friend in broken phrases like #sunset #beach #drive. It sounds hilarious and crazy. But that's exactly what we're doing. I think it's time we took a step back and shift the spotlight away from us. Try a social media detox. Talk to a friend if you haven't in a long time. Don't write or text. Call. Hear their voice. Have real fun conversations about dreams, books, music, movies, travel, science, technology, anything.
If you're my friend and haven't heard my voice in more than two months, say hi, I'll call you or you call me and I will tell you how to bake banana bread.