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Share Scare
Dissent: Volume 6 of the Helter Skelter Anthology of New Writing

Share Scare

“Sipping masala chai off the highway. Super drive to Bombay so far.”

Wow. Imagine that. On a random Tuesday evening, you’re driving to Bombay. It’s a great ride, thankfully great weather. You’ve been listening to that carefully compiled ‘on the road’ CD. You pull away just for a bit, to enjoy the rustic taste of strong tea and a slight breeze. And then you take that gorgeous creation of technology and type it out, thus updating your status on Facebook.

Hmm. Definitely doesn’t make any poetic sense. I would say that it doesn’t make any logical sense either. Or any kind of sense at all. Yet, we do it.

Helter Skelter: Scare Share
We are right in the middle of an experience and we update our statuses.

We are right in the middle of an experience and we update our statuses.

Why we do it is a question I’m afraid I do not have the answer to. Do you? Do you think it is because we want everyone to be a part of our experiences? To like our experience? Do you think we need validation for our experiences? (“You killed it, man! This is awesome.”) Or do you think I am stretching this, pulling at it a bit much?

We do it to simply share! That’s that.

Like Beverly Clark in the movie Shall We Dance said, “We need a witness to our lives. There’s a billion people on the planet… I mean, what does any one life really mean?”

Do you think it is actually that sort of a larger intrinsic human need we’re fulfilling?

We just need to share. Period.

Is it?

But then, please do tell me, how do you share an experience when you haven’t even fully had it yet? What is this insane urge to share? Immediately? Definitely? Publicly?

Here’s what I think. I think the sharing is the experience. We’re not really, actually sharing the pleasure of having done/eaten/seen/not done/not eaten/not seen something. The pleasure is, in fact, in the act of sharing.

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Do you think this makes sense? Do you think we do to share, and not just to do? We go to a party (or wherever else). We want to click pictures that can be uploaded. We already know of an album name, what kind of pictures it will have, who is meant to see them and broadly, most other details. It’s like the event is merely something we have to experience to be able to share it. And does this not raise another important question? How much do you think we construct our experiences to make them share-able? Don’t you think we already know how and what we want a particular experience to feel like? Haven’t we already charted out a draft in our heads and are just waiting to read the final edit?

I think so. I think the actual experience is just a validation of what we already have sort of lived in our heads, on our virtual screens. It’s just a matter of living it in the reality now.

And this brings us to the only other obvious question that is left to ask: What do you think would we do (or not do!) if we knew we could not share it with anyone?

Would we be living exactly how we are living right now?

You think?

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