I was Not Sad. I was Excessively Distracted. Are You?

I wondered what was I doing with my life. As I scrolled down the wall, I felt everyone was so happy — the folks on Facebook & Instagram whom i called friends. Some friends were roaming in beaches, some were dancing in parties, some were getting their backs tattooed, some were getting beaten up in protests, some were telling jokes, some were singing songs, some were telling what they did last night, some had just woken up to a beautiful sunrise in the mountains.

All of them were in so much love with their spouses and political leaders. They just couldn’t express it enough.

So much was going on. I was liking it. I mean, I was pressing the “Like” button.

Actually, I was feeling sad. I don’t know why. Was I not happy that everyone else was happy?

What Should I Say

For last few months I had been wondering what should I post in Facebook or Instagram?

My list looked like this:

Post 1 — I am working from home.

Post 2 — (5 minutes later), I still am.

Post 3 — Still working from home folks.

Post 4 — Something happened last night. I worked from the other room. A mosquito bit me.

Post 5 — Now I got up in the morning I realized my code is still running.

Post 6 — WFH… arrrrgggghhh.

Gotta be Part of the Action

In the beginning, scrolling Facebook was a pastime. Now, it had grown into a full time hobby. A hobby that I repeated every 5 minutes in middle of anything. It kept me aware of what was going around in the world. Facebook was my world.

Every time I looked at Facebook I felt shouldn’t I be part of this action too? Out there? Or, in there?

I wanted to be like everybody else — happy & killing it. Having fun. But all I was feeling was sadness.

“What should I do? What should I do? Other than work from home…” I kept thinking.

I thought maybe I should go to the beach and click my topless picks. But I realized I needed to flatten my stomach for that.

What’s this? Facebook just showed me an ad of how to build 6 pack abs in 30 days … Wow!

…What’s this next post? Garcinia Cambogia tablets?… just for $20? Sounds like I should get these.

…What should I do? hahahahaha…. Look at this guy. He just ate 30 burgers… That’s so funny.

…Oh my friends are touring North Korea. Is this even possible?

…And these kids are learning how to code now. They just wrote an app to launch spaceships… What?

…What am I doing with my life? Working from Home.

…Where’s my code? Dam.

I continued to feel sad.

“I must do something about it”, I kept repeating in my head.

Enough was Enough — I was Ready for Action

Then I decided enough was enough.

I cannot sit here with my laptop and do nothing about it. I need to get out. I will get life like these genuinely happy folks of the Facebook & the Instagram. I will also have fun.” I said to myself.

Destiny has a way of giving ideas to the one who asks for it. I remembered there was a waterfall near my place. I could drive there. I could click some selfies.

“My Saturday afternoon well spent” would be my post. Or, better “Got naked yesterday. hahahaha…”

Moreover, I hadn’t seen any of my friends post pics of that place. This could be my start of a happy fun filled life.

So I prepared a small back pack. Took my phone along. I made sure my phone battery was full. Then I switched it off to save the charge.

All the way I kept thinking, “Now I will be a happy contributor on Facebook and Instagram.”

“This is going to work.” I smiled as I looked outside at beautiful hills from my car as I drove towards the waterfall. Sunshine. At last I was going to make it.

I had Arrived

I reached the waterfall. Parked my car; almost ran over a dog there. Thank God, nothing happened.

There were so many vehicles. While I was slowly moving my car through a small gap, I almost scratched another car. Thankfully, a man behind shouted and thumped on the trunk from behind. He was shouting & abusing me. But I ignored. I was happy there were no mishaps. That’s all what mattered.

I got out. Took my bag. Switched on my phone. The battery was 100%. I was ready for the kill. Destiny had chosen me to be there.

The place was crowded like hell. As if everyone after the lockdown had swarmed in for their first mass bath.

“No problem. I just want my selfies” I thought to myself.

I approached the waterfall. It was a stampede. There as hardly a place to stand. How would I get the shot?

The First Selfie

I turned around to take a selfie, there were already 5 people behind me taking selfies. Where ever I went, whatever angle I took, there were selfie bombs in my shots.

We were rubbing shoulders as if we were commuting to work in a metro. It would have looked more like my selfie on the way to work. This is not what I wanted.

I thought let me move closer to the waterfall. I will get my selfies there.

Less people dared to go near the danger zone. I was liking the idea of danger. How good it will be for my Facebook post — close to danger, where nobody dared to go.

“I will get unique shots” I felt proud.

The TikTok Dance

As I moved ahead closer to the waterfall, I saw a spot which I felt was perfect for a selfie.

But what was this?

These 3 kids suddenly popped out of the waterfall dancing. It was their TikTok video move. That’s when I realized the kid who was standing behind me with a phone was waving & shouting at me the whole time asking me to not bomb his TikTok video shot. I stepped back. The kids did their thing. There was a glitch. So they did it again. And again. And again

Then they did their solo moves.

That’s when I saw there were 3 other groups waiting for their chance to do their dance.

The Perfect Couple

“Do I need to be in the line to take selfie?” I smirked and joked to a couple standing next to me. And they stared at me.

“Did I say something… ?”

I realized the couple had just fought. “How indecent of me to have bothered them”, I thought.

But then, in a flash, they started smiling and kissing each other. And then they took a selfie while smooching. They moved their lips apart as if nothing happened, and started swiping the pics on the phone. They started arguing again.

After the feud over the perfect smooch was settled, the girl wanted the boy to hold her hand and click her photos while she led the way to the waterfall. The boy was upset that he had already done it a 100 times. Anyways the boy took the photo. Immediately after the shot they went to the phone and looked at the photo and started fighting again.

This was not going to end I figured. So I started moving on to the other side. There was ramp on the side. A tourist spot of a kind. I thought let me try my luck there.

The Science Project

I moved ahead. I stood and looked at the beauty of the water. The water was falling down. The droplets were thick. I was soaked. It relieved me.

Now I was ready to take a selfie. It felt perfect. At last….

“This is water. It is made up of Hydrogen and Oxygen.. There are two Hydrogen atoms that pair up with one Oxygen atom to form a water molecule…” I heard this voice which reminded me of my chemistry class.

It was voice of a kid. Where was it coming from?

“Excuse me” shouted her mother.

I noticed a young woman in her early 30s. She was waving at me. I signaled her, was she telling me something.

“Yes sir. You. Can you please move out. We are shooting a YouTube video here”.

I stepped aside and saw what was happening.

I looked at this 5 year old kid making elaborate gestures with her hands and face. She was looking dead serious right into the camera held by her parents. Her father was standing with the tripod. While her mother was nodding up and down, gesturing the kid to pull her chin back, stand straight and keep the smile.

Then I heard the mother speak intently. “Do you know why water falls fall down and not rise up? Any guesses?” She took a sudden pause. Then, like a movie director, she gestured her daughter to smile ear to ear. Then she clapped her hand giving her a cue. The kid shouted in exhilaration “Of course, It is gravity.”

And then the kid went on to explain gravity.

I was taken aback. She was just a 5 years old kid. The kid was shooting a YouTube video. I later found the kid goes by the name YourLittleScientistFriend (not real name) on YouTube.

I stood there like a dumb ass. Looking at the whole thing for 5 minutes. And it just went on and on like some Hollywood movie shoot.

I snapped myself out of it. “I got to keep moving.”

Finally the Last Free Spot

Anyways, there was this last spot right under the waterfall.

“This is it.” I said to myself. “Now is my last chance.”

I was so close to the water fall that the only thing my camera covered was water falling on my head. I might as well have done it under the shower in my bathroom.

“What the hell! I am here. I must do it”, I resolved.

As I moved forward to get under the waterfall, I saw a half naked guy interviewing half naked youths about their experience of the waterfall. They were shouting. Making faces. Holding each other. Frolicking.

“Not gonna happen” I sighed.

The Perspective Pollution

So, from under the waterfall I turned back and looked at the crowd.

I could not hear anything. Only the loud deafening sound of the waterfall.

Suddenly everything slowed down. In slow motion, all I could see were people with their phones, with made up smiles, clicking photos & making videos. TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube were flashing in the air.

Every drop of the water fall was getting filmed. Not a place was left for a solo selfie. Not a perspective was there for me to capture myself with the waterfall.

All shots were bombed. All angles were crowded.

I thought Facebook was going to be full of these pics tomorrow.

That’s when I got a notification on my phone. A survey. “How was your experience at the waterfall?”

Dam it. I had not turned off the geolocation.

The Selfies at Last

I looked up and wondered “Here I am in the age of videos trying to click a selfie. I am old and outdated.”

I didn’t even have an iPhone. I was carrying around an old OnePlus.

It was as if a big play was being enacted in front of me. While I was the person in the audience who had been asked to switch off his phone.

Switching off the phone is for those who have nothing to share. Nothing to say. Nothing to express.

Anyways I took some selfies. But i couldn’t smile. All selfies were photo bombed.

Is this what I am going to share against selfies of my “friends” who were somewhere in New York going live on FB, Insta and YouTube?

What was I gonna do?

I did not enjoy the waterfall. I was sad in all my selfies.

I tried smiling but I couldn’t.

I hated the waterfall.

I left.

Reason of My Sadness

When I reached home, my sadness continued. But why was I sad?

“I couldn’t take a selfie under the waterfall for posting in Facebook?” Was this the reason of my sadness. It sounded dumb and stupid to me even in my head.

Maybe I was sad because others were having all the fun & I missed out on it. MOOF — Missed Out On Fun.

Then it occurred to me. I could have at least taken photos of the huge crowd. I realized I had so many options. I could have taken selfie with the TikTok kids, with the science girl, with the perfect couple. I could have taken selfie with the crowd in the background.

Now I had missed that too. This made me more sad. MOOFT — Missed Out On Fun Twice.

Happiness Returns

I turned off my phone for 2 days. I didn’t even look at it. Got engrossed in my work.

I realized I was getting happier. I was beginning to forget. I was even laughing to myself — “what was I even sad about?”

That’s when I realized I was not sad. I was distracted. I was immensely distracted. Insanely distracted.

Distraction had taken over the mainstream narrative of my life. I was doing everything else in between distractions.

What a strange thing, to have fun you just have to be in the moment. Even if you were doing it for posting in Facebook, you have to be in the moment.” I wondered about fun.

Distraction killed my enjoyment. All I had to do was be myself and just go with the flow.

I pondered “Every body in the world is doing their own thing — whether in social media or out there. Why was I so distracted? Why was I so hooked at finding out what everybody else was doing? Why was I getting affected by whether someone was going to the beach or talking politics or singing a song or smooching their partner.

What was it? Why couldn’t I mind my own business?

And why was I addicted to picking up my phone again & again & checking the posts? Why are my hands picking the phone now?... Why am I switching it on?… Oh no…What is happening?… No… Nooooo….

No. I was not sad. I was excessively distracted.

Are you sad too?



Can inner game be mastered by meditating? Can words become a medium for realizing silence? Writing in pursuit of finding answers…

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The Pragmatic Seeker

Can inner game be mastered by meditating? Can words become a medium for realizing silence? Writing in pursuit of finding answers…