Here at TDY, Lali and I have a most unusual symbol of friendship and business partnership: We both have our own Tamagotchi.
That’s hers on the left, and mine on the right.
Now, what would two twenty-something millennials be doing with a toy that caused shock waves of delight around the world twenty years ago – when we were still children?
Here’s the story: Lali has a much-beloved friend who got one for her – and herself, among others – as a gift. This particular Tamagotchi model is called Tamagotchi Friends, and what sets it apart is that you can wirelessly connect, or “bump”, them together to let your Tamagotchi interact with each other – such as go on playdates, give and get gifts, and even get married and bear children.
It was going to be a symbol of their friendship, but being an overly sentimental and nostalgic person (I bought a Tamagotchi in late high school or early college – one of the first models to connect to the Internet), I had other plans.
In a burst of creative silliness, I found myself suggesting that each of the partners at TDY ought to have their own Tamagotchi Friends, as a symbol of our being partners and, more importantly, friends and members of the TDY Family. And so, a few days later, I happily walked out of a Toys R Us bearing my own virtual friend.
Tamagotchi – or virtual pets in general – made news in the past for disrupting schoolchildren’s education, because particularly in the infancy stages, they need taking care of very often – just as human babies do. They could die in a day if left untended to, and as such, children would often rush to them to check if they were doing well. That’s one reason why the original Tamagotchi series now has a pause function, which helped me A LOT in my school days.
But as working and living adults, Tamagotchi could well provide a purposeful antidote.
Even as adults, Tamagotchi will occasionally need care from us – feeding, playing, and washing. And they aren’t usually brought to our attention by the attention beep – those are reserved for other things such as bedtime. So to keep utmost care of your Tamagotchi requires conscious checking every so often: an exercise in mindfulness, in awareness. It reminds us that there is a world around us, that there is someone (or something) that needs our attention.
On the other end of the spectrum, it’s an exercise of self-awareness for us, especially in the working world. We can sometimes get so caught up that we fail to notice things around us, or to take a break – a much-needed break, in some instances, that could provide the best cure for us. Lifting your eyes off your tasks, however momentarily, to check on your Tamagotchi is a fun and nostalgic way to do so.
Of course, it doesn’t have to be Tamagotchi – any exercise in self- and other-awareness is just as good. What can you do everyday to practice this?
Have a purposeful week!
Disclaimer: Bandai, the company behind Tamagotchi, did not approach either of us to write this article. We are simply writing about our own personal experiences, feelings, and reflections.
Featured Image by the National Cancer Institute