“It may indeed be the highest wisdom to elect to be a nobody in a relative paradise than a celebrity in a world which has lost all sense of values.” – Henry Miller
We live in a world so dramatically different than any before us. We live parallel lives of reality and virtual origins. We are split. Told that if we aren’t pretty enough, popular enough, happy enough, then we are defective. We live in an age where people are “famous” because they are beautiful, and that’s it. That’s all it takes. They have a camera, and they show us how beautiful and happy they are, and we all believe it. We question our realities. We take a photo for “the gram”. We check our angles, we suck it in, we make sure our makeup is in place, our hair perfectly coiffed, and we put in place our perfected smiles. We want to be a part of the popular crowd.
But we aren’t just posing for the photos anymore.
Why do we all have this need to be a somebody? To be different, remembered, better? Why do we feel the urge that what we are is not enough. That being ordinary isn’t extraordinary? That we need to convince others of our happiness? Pardon me, but there are very few people that actually give a shit about each of us. We have our select few (family, friends, coworkers) who would actually be there for us, who would bring us soup when we are sick. So why do we feel this urge to take our pretty pictures so to make sure they know how happy and pretty we are too?
We are in an age where we are no longer living for ourselves. We are living to show others how wonderful we are. We are living in a show to convince the world that we matter.
Why? Honestly, why? If you have an answer please tell me. Because it seems skewed to me, to live in front of these screens when there’s a beautiful world outside. A world where things are different, where we actually interact, where you experience sounds and smells and feel the wind in your hair. Where you meet people and they see you back, you both get to look into each other’s eyes. There’s something about reading your book at the park or at a coffee shop. About going on a walk alone with your thoughts instead of suppressing everything that makes us individuals by watching what the masses are doing. There’s something about not wanting every product that social media ads target at you. There’s something about being the person that brings the soup to someone who is sick instead of sending them a message to feel better soon. There’s something about feeling whole being ourselves.
I don’t believe there is anything wrong with living a simple, ordinary life. About realizing that we are all just a small part of a big beautiful world.
We can make differences in the lives around us without pretending for those outside of our circles. We really don’t have to pretend. We don’t have to fear oblivion, because you know what? It’s going to happen. We are all just small parts of a whole.
We matter, of course we matter, but each of our individual existences is not the end all be all of the human race.
We don’t need to focus on getting a nice picture of our fun day unless it’s something that is kept for ourselves. The amount of likes a photo gets is not a measure of how wonderful we are, or how successful our day was.
We can dress up nice because it makes us feel pretty, go outside, and take pictures that empower ourselves and make us feel confident in our skin. We don’t have to document every small sliver of our existence as though without it we are nothing. We can use social media as a photo album of our lives, for ourselves.
“What he knows and does, and what the average citizen can not or will not do, is to enjoy solitude, to live life simply, to crave nothing, and to share what he has when called upon. Let us leave him where he is, Mr. X. a master of the anonymous life.” – Henry Miller
P.S. It’s okay to take breaks from social media.