Dipan Kumar Rout

Living life between backspaces.

Staying Low-Key is the Key

In a world that seems to constantly scream for attention, I’ve found an unexpected source of peace: staying low-key. It’s not about hiding or diminishing yourself, but rather about finding contentment in the quiet spaces of life, away from the clamor of social media and the pressure to always be “on.”

I remember the day it really hit me. I was scrolling through my phone, as usual, thumb moving almost automatically, when I paused on a friend’s post. It was a stunning vacation photo – crystal clear waters, pristine white sand, and my friend’s beaming face. For a moment, I felt that familiar pang of envy. But then, something shifted.

I put my phone down and looked out my window. The sky was turning a soft pink as the sun set, casting long shadows across my small balcony. My lovely wife was curled up on the bed, snoring softly. And suddenly, I was overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude for this simple, quiet moment.

That’s when I realized – I didn’t need to share this moment to make it real or valuable. In fact, keeping it to myself made it feel even more precious.

Since then, I’ve been intentionally stepping back from the constant need to broadcast my life. It hasn’t always been easy. There’s still that little voice that whispers, “Don’t you want people to know how well you’re doing?” But I’ve learned to quiet that voice by reminding myself of what really matters.

Although that’s not been the only reason, still I think of years I have been abstaining myself of putting any photos on the social media. My last update on Facebook was back in 2018 and so are my posts on Instagram too, six years. That does not mean complete abstinence. I do put on some random text musings and opinions on my Twitter handle “fourth alphabet“, now and then.

Staying low-key has allowed me to:

  1. Be more present: When I’m not constantly thinking about how to frame a moment for social media, I can actually live in that moment.
  2. Build deeper connections: The friends who know what’s really going on in my life are the ones I’ve spoken to directly, not just those who see my carefully curated online presence.
  3. Find confidence from within: I’m learning to validate myself rather than seeking validation through likes and comments.
  4. Appreciate the ordinary: There’s beauty in routine, in the everyday moments that we often overlook when we’re chasing the next Instagram-worthy experience.
  5. Rediscover privacy: There’s something wonderfully liberating about keeping parts of your life just for yourself.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not advocating for complete digital isolation. There’s joy in sharing and connecting online. But I’ve found that being more selective about what I share has made those shares more meaningful.

As I write this, I’m sitting in my favorite coffee shop, Third Wave. The person next to me is taking photos of their latte art, likely for their Instagram story. A few years ago, I might have felt compelled to do the same. Now, I’m content to simply enjoy the rich aroma, the warmth of the mug in my hands, and the soft murmur of conversations around me.

This moment – unshared, undocumented, but fully lived – feels like the real key to happiness. And that’s something worth keeping low-key.

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