On your birthday, your social media lights up. You’re reminded of people you are friends with, of those who you met maybe once or twice and of those you have no idea who they are.
In the era BCV (before the coronavirus), we used to be dismissive of social media, shunned smartphones and tablets because we believed that face-to-face, physical contact is fuller, that it’s worth more. For the record, I still believe that. But we also quickly reinstated and rehabilitated social media and all those smart devices. Because it turned out that, when we are not allowed to come together, they are the next best thing.
This is how the world reached out to me today, and it was precisely the quarantine that made it special; I somehow valued it more than in the past years.
Of course, we still celebrated in the family, and of course, nothing compares to the little presents and favors you get from your child or wife. But this was also the first year we didn’t go to my parents’ place – we had a video call instead. All provided for by this pesky technology.
I always make it a point that I thank everyone individually. But I was more eager to do that today. As I wrote to a colleague in a chat (!), I was getting better and better at typing ‘Thank you’ in various languages.
But I want to put it out here, too. This is thank you to you all who didn’t even send me a greeting, just thought of me for a reason or another. Thank you. You are my connection to the world and to sanity.
One more thing: These last few years, I have grown dismissive of birthday reminders on social media, and I didn’t send greetings much. Today I’ve learnt how wrong I was. I’m officially back in the business of sending birthday greetings online.