“Do it for the ‘Gram”
Social media continues to be the iPhone-sized thorn in my left armpit. The balance between meaningful record and shallow, cheap tokens of potentially meaningful experience grows more difficult to decipher. I have resisted social media for years, but am occasionally forced to dabble for short periods of time. The deteriorative effects of social media on mental health are obvious, as it takes the shallowest parts of human experience and image and masquerades them as valuable measures of worth.
As an unabashed human experience romantic, cultural emersion and reptile-brain pleasures such as food remind me of the world’s limitlessness. A guided bus tour through the most photographable sites of a place is only slightly different than an afternoon spent procrastinating on Google Earth. (Tip: looking up Mongolian monasteries on Google Earth is a fantastic, dumb way to waste time.)
While the desire to brag about travels or show off a flattering bikini shot can be tempting, the narcissistic nature of social media repels interpersonal connection. My feelings toward social media fluctuates as reputable journalists and purveyors of evocative storytelling utilize the tools. I am learning to be more flexible, but participation remains difficult. I roll my eyes at myself at each tag, tweet, and temptation to Snap Chat a beautiful location. Now, If I could only get over myself, or make enough money to hire somebody to do social media for me.
Inspiration: Saatchi Gallery in London is currently exhibiting an artistic collective on the theme of “Selfies.”