It’s something unpredictable but in the end it’s right, I hope you’ve had the time of your life

School had ended, but we are still posting statuses and tagging photos. And I’m suddenly glad social media exists.

Meiryum Ali April 19, 2012
School is over. No, I don’t mean it’s over because of a strike or bomb blast.

I mean it’s over in the sweetest, most beloved of ways the end of year party. Eighteen-year-olds from A-Level institutions across the city suddenly cleaned up, straightened their ties, and ironed their dupattas. Mascaras were lost and found, bathroom mirrors were overtaken, and poses were struck in airy gardens and sleek white studios. Jimmy’s and Dossani’s probably made a killing this week.

And Facebook won’t let me forget it.

Suddenly, everyone’s cover photo is that of them with their friends, eating halwa puri at Boat Basin on their last day, hanging from the back of a procession of trucks making its way to school, or in wild costumes.

I don’t need to read what people signed on my uniform on the last day. All I have to do is flip through the 343 photos put up of everyone’s uniforms. Every single move has been recorded, every silly pose outside a teacher’s room you hated has been documented.

In the weeks that led to the end of school, it’s as if everyone whipped out their cameras and shared the results with everyone else. Plans and events are less for the sake of fun and more for the pictures that will go on Facebook to show how much fun it was. It is as if everyone our age wants to say,
“Look at us, remember us!”

Things are ending. And yet they’re not. Facebook won’t let it end.

When some of us tried to figure out why our parents used Facebook, we discovered it was to meet up with old high school and college friends. To find out who’s now fat, or bald, or lives in Dubai, or just down the street. We scoffed and found that funny. There is some logic behind keeping tabs on people you seldom meet. Not your best friends, but those people you shared those five-minute conversations outside chemistry class with who will slip away.

Older people now off to college and beyond talk about it “hitting you”. They are referring to the fact that 15 years of education in a particular institution have now all ended. But I’m still waiting for that feeling. I don’t blame it on a lack of sentimentality. If anything, this past week has been a barrage of sappiness.

No, it still hasn’t hit because we’re still connected. We’re still posting statuses and tagging photos. And I’m suddenly glad (despite all the negativity about social media) that it exists. We’re the first generation to have this. We’re moving on to college and beyond but the break isn’t severe. I don’t need to take down everyone’s phone numbers or form my own email group. For a while I watched my parents painstakingly organise their own class reunions like that.

In a few months from now I’ll probably see more pictures in college. The boy I knew in physics lying in a California beach, and that girl in history now posing with friends in Lahore.

For now though, it’s about bracing yourself for the notifications and cursing that idiot whose profile picture got more ‘likes’ than yours. Be grateful for it; no one else had the technology for such instant documentation as we have.

Read more by Meiryum here.
Meiryum Ali A freshman at an ivy league school who writes a weekly national column in The Express Tribune called "Khayaban-e-Nowhere".
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.

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