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Pokemons, Fidget Spinners and Amnesia

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Posted By Shreyansh Jain

As I scrolled down my Facebook feed out of sheer habit and occasional boredom, a turquoise blue image with some praise was posted by one of the college friends. Curiosity, as always is the case, got the better of me and I googled the name of the app immediately. The concept was not bad though it had a lot of potential for cyber-bullying and half the world would pronounce it incorrectly), I had thought then. Fast forward the next day and my feed was filled with such posts, mostly secret crushes and praises that seemed to satiate the Ego/pride of the person receiving said messages! For two and a half days, Facebook was just people asking for feedback on the app by sharing their usernames, people posting all things nice they received in feedback, some brave one’s going out of their way to even post criticisms! FOMO had already gotten the better of me. Anyway, I have realised that to be part of any conversation these days, you have to do what people are doing, watch what people are watching, post what people are posting and so on! Herd mentality, yes, I know! Stupid, I know that too! But somewhat necessary! So I did the same. Two days later and I had already uninstalled the app. Fast-forward to New Year’s Eve when I was reminiscing about all things 2017, I was struggling to recollect the name of the app that everyone had suddenly adopted and as quickly, abandoned.  Sarahah. Or was it Sararah? Sarahahahah? I just couldn’t put my finger on the correct spelling. Even now I can’t.

It was mid 2016 I think. And childhood returned with a vengeance! With a flavour of technological advancement of course! Mind you, I’m on the wrong side of the twenties. And so were many who were around me. And yet, catching zubat’s around trees or squirtle near the lake seemed like the only purpose in an otherwise purposeless life. Artificial reality had truly taken over the mundane realities surrounding me and looking stupid trying to point your smart-phone at nothing seemed, well, normal. People were travelling all over the small city of Kozhikode to find a Pokemon Gym and suddenly, things like health benefits of walking seemed like the implausible outcome of a game that well, combined the real world with the fictitious utopia that you sometimes wished existed. Unlike Sarahah (Or Sararah, or whatever is the correct spelling!!), this however, wasn’t abandoned so quickly. There are still players out there, fanboys who immerse themselves in this world. Honestly, I don’t blame them. However, in a few days, the app was no longer in my phone, and though I did go back to the cartoon a few times post that, (most recently in June 2017), I never truly felt the urge to download the app again. Nor did it occupy space in my head. Like almost everyone around me.

Fans have been overhead for ages now! 135 years to be exact. And suddenly, one fine year, the miniaturised version in the form of a toy between our thumb and index finger would be selling like crazy all over the world – the world surely had gone crazy!! Surely, the markets didn’t have a gaping hole that this ‘new innovation’ would fill! But it did, and how! At some point in the first half of the year, 19 out of the top 20 selling toys sold online was a spinner of some kind. Unlike the other fads, I didn’t fall for this one. Nor did FOMO strike. But curiosity does always get the better of me. On multiple occasions, I managed to sneak in a spin or two after striking a deal with a kid in the vicinity! And then, on failing to understand the craze, would wonder what the fuss is all about. Anyway, last time I checked, the craze was gone and I wouldn’t be surprised if the toy is barely available in the market this time next year. And in some time, we would barely be able to recall.

Talking of recollection, does anyone even remember the absolute trash that we used to post on Facebook? Or the multitude of applications and games that used to eat our time for lunch, dinner and breakfast. “Who will you marry”, “By what age will you die”, “what does your sunsign say about you” etc. The list is 10 years long! And I hardly remember something that was such an important part of our lives back then. Gives us perspective, doesn’t it? Short term memory is an important trait in our times and I can’t even seem to remember when it started! Surprising! Fads take over us and years, months and sometimes even days down the line, we can’t seem to put a finger on what and why and how (Sorry Sarahahah!). Only when in the future Meme’s come out do we realise how crazy we were! Come to think of it, when did Meme’s grip us? Images, Gifs. Videos. Hard to imagine the internet without it now!  I’m sure the language of the internet is here to stay. But who knows, We might soon forget.

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