In today’s world, we are coerced, if not mandated, to be up-to-date with current events and trending topics. Being up-to-date in your areas of interests is good. Having to be up-to-date in everything else to be accepted by society is not so good.
I’m a programmer and an avid book reader. Lately, I’ve been interested in home decor and cooking. I like to lead an environmentally friendly life. I keep tabs on the things I’m interested in. So I follow blogs related to technology, coding and computer science. I browse about book releases, follow bookish accounts on Instagram and check Goodreads every 10 minutes (Hmm, I may need help here). I check apps on home decor and interior design. I scout out healthy and yummy vegetarian recipes. I’ve subscribed to a handful of green-living websites and try to read every single article.
However, I’m thought of as not being up-to-date or tech-savvy by some folks. Why? Because I’m expected to know about all the latest memes, the viral YouTube videos, highly shared Facebook posts and the trending Twitter topics but I fail to meet these expectations. Incidentally, the ones who think I’m not tech-savvy due to this are the ones who think being tech-savvy is all about being active on Facebook.
Remember when Alia Bhatt was the butt of all jokes for one wrong answer she gave during a talk show quiz? Answering the name of her country’s president incorrectly during a rapid-fire round does not make her an idiot. Yet, we were flooded with memes and jokes about her IQ. She certainly did not deserve all that bullying. She proved her mettle with a brilliant response video:
What I loved about this video was how it illustrates that one can never know everything. No matter how much we try, the known will always be a tiny drop compared to the ocean of unknown. So why waste time on being up-to-date on things you do not care about and don’t necessarily need to know about?
I feel that a huge problem with obsessing over the new and trending stuff is that there won’t be much time to experience the olden and golden things. Let me explain this with my tryst with literature. There was a time when I could not wait to get my hands on all the latest ‘it’ books. After reading them, I’d feel that they didn’t live up to the hype. Then I came across classics. While I was initially bored, I found something great in every classic book I read. Now, I’ve joined the Classics Club Challenge to help me enjoy the old classics full-time while leaving some free time to go after the popular new releases.
I’m trying to apply the same principle in everything. While I will only race to be in-the-know of things I love, I will also explore other new stuff. Only that the exploration topics will be chosen by me and not dictated by society.