We frown upon the fact that technology is a big spoiler. The concept of love seems to have shifted from an eternal to an ephemeral one. A concept now that presents itself in it’s most fleeting forms of texts, heart emoticons, likes, selfies and a public status of ….feeling loved.
We fantasize about the glorious past probably because we are the “in between” generation that knows how life was prior to smart phones, yet a generation that understands the point of Tinder, Instagram and Snapchat.
To console our digital angst, let me tell you a story of our digital times – a love story that starts on Instagram and is kept alive on Instagram and that would definitely inspire you to live fully and love hard.
This is the story of Anjali Pinto and Jacob Johnson. Anjali Pinto and Jacob Johnson first met on Instagram in 2012. Commenting back and forth on each other’s posts, their online friendship blossomed into a crush, and later, a thriving relationship. The couple moved in together after eight months of knowing each other and married in 2015.
Anjali vowed to do everything in her power to make their lives rich with passion. Jacob vowed to love her for all that she was, all that she was not, and all that she can be.
Throughout their relationship, the astonishment of finding each other inspired them to take photos – a lot of photos mentions Anjali in her blog. Together they dreamt of building a life and family that focused on making art, being kind and treasuring new experiences. But fate had it otherwise.
Jacob died suddenly on Dec 31, 2016 due to an aortic dissection, an unknown defect in his artery wall. He was 30. Anjali was devastated but decided to share their story and keep his memories alive. She started sharing their pictures each day with heart breaking honest captions – as honest as it could get. When asked why she did so, Anjali says – “So many people will never get to meet him but through my stories I hope that they feel grateful for their own life, and their opportunity to live fully and love hard.”
Sympathy and condolences out poured as comments to her posts, but she didn’t want pity. She wanted to remember how amazing Jacob was. She mentions – “It’s been important to me to try to paint a picture of the real person that he was. ”
She just wanted to celebrate him and the love they shared in all its realness.
Recently she hosted an exhibition of Jacob’s photography. In honor of his talent and generosity, she also established Jacob Johnson Memorial grants to support documentary photography.
You and I
Have seen most everything
But oh, what the future brings
Well that scares the hell out of me.
Time goes by
With every second passed
The good times
They won’t last
I can assure you that.
Written and sung by Jacob
Anjali’s posts are a proof of how being the real, vulnerable person attracted another real person. How we could deeply connect over love as well as grief.
Technological advancements are not the real “culprit” that’s making an entire generation feel shallow and disconnected. It’s all about how we want to make use of it. If we opt to put forward our flawless filtered impossible perfect pretentious self – so be it. Superficiality will attract superficiality, authenticity would attract the authentic. Technology is a tool – it’s entirely up to us how we choose to use it. Amen!
SoulCafe: Brewing Soulful Relationships