Recently I have noticed my growing love-hate relationship with one of the newest social media trends, #TBT (Throwback Thursday), that paints the streams and walls of my Instagram and Facebook friends every Thursday. No, my gripes are not towards the other supporters and post-ers of #TBT, but about my own “throwback Thursdays.” I frequently post photos that are TBT-hashtag worthy and, in my opinion, just awesome, but #TBT has become more personal.
This fall marks my five-year anniversary of one of the best adventures and experiences of my life: my semester studying abroad. What was I doing five years ago today? Maybe gallivanting around my little town at the base of Mount Grappa in the Italian Alps, Paderno del Grappa; or drinking “bier” in Germany at Oktoberfest; or scuba diving in the French Riviera with an instructor who only spoke French; or eating baguettes in Paris; or taking the typical tourist “jumping” photo in front of Big Ben in London with my best friends from high school. But even if five years ago today I was doing homework or eating in the cafeteria or having a glass of wine or even taking a test, I was doing it all in in a foreign country with new friends, and that would even be #TBT worthy enough for me.
I’m sure it is obvious to see the struggle between the love and hate of these #TBTs. The photos tug at every reminiscent emotion, relive every memory and the desire to re-experience all again resurfaces stronger, and, simultaneously, the photos remind us how quickly time has passed since the original adventure.
Looking back (which we’re forced to do every Thursday), I thought time flew by quickly in high school and when I got to college, I learned how wrong I was. I never thought “real life” would fly by as quickly as it has either. Isn’t that scary? I told my dad this realization a bit ago and he told me, “Mar, it only gets faster.” Isn’t that even scarier? Thanks a lot, #TBT.
Since that lovely fall in 2008, I luckily have had more amazing adventures and experiences that I consider #TBT worthy, too. I consider my present-time an adventure (shout-out to the city of Houston), but since life apparently moves at quicker speeds now, I have realized I need to spend as much effort focusing on future adventures as I spend pic-stitching and filtering past ones.
In five years from now, will you want to #TBT what you’re doing today? For a society whose life is run by Droids, iPhones and like devices, maybe translating life into technology terms is how we have to encourage living to start happening now.
Hai un’avventura. (Have an adventure.)
Written by: Mary Paolantonio