Friends, Followers and Vanity

sunset

Why the “Duck Face?” What IS that? The woman who wants to be a girl, the girl who wants to be a woman, both of them holding an iphone at arm’s length. Or it could be an absurd man-child with an over-abundance of love for both self and tight shorts, all of them with the lips protruding in a way that conjures a platypus on crack.

Who is it that finds these creatures suddenly intriguing, as though an uninteresting, average person has miraculously morphed into something more and greater, something to be “liked,” and “followed,” and “commented” upon. I don’t understand it even a little bit, but the phenomenon is inescapable.

I could go on a rant about the objectification of women, and while I do think that’s a part of this trend, I think it goes deeper, and in some ways is more insidious. It’s harmful, any way we slice it. People crave connection and validation, and do stupid things to satisfy that innate thirst. I’m an author, so there’s a certain irony there. I’m trying to do it with words, not pictures, and while I’d like to believe it’s more meaningful that way, perhaps it’s not.

Next to war, social media is the most unsocial thing mankind has invented. We are invested in documenting life without living it, more concerned with the appearance of happiness than the experience of joy, showing memories rather than making them. It’s a collective sickness of the soul.

We want to matter. To make a difference, and believe our short time on this rock is something other than nasty, brutish and short; rather than make it so, we try to convince others we are something we are not, and hope that we can sell ourselves in the process, even if it’s a fleeting illusion. When we look back on the time we’ve squandered in this manner, we’ll no doubt see we’ve been deluded fools.

The things that matter in the moment are often the things that matter the most, and when the time has slipped away, there’s no getting it back, no matter how many pictures we took. Sometimes it’s better to be in the moment, and let the moment be.

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