Then & Now
Before the online world, it wasn’t like this. We take photos, have the film developed, and then store them in photo albums. When friends, family, or visitors drop by, we show them the albums and reminisce about those days. There were no concepts of likes and hearts. People just went through the albums, commenting at times and just browsing through others. We just showed our pictures to a limited number of people.
Now in this world of instant everything, we post photos as soon as they are taken, for everyone to see. I guess that’s where people started having issues about how those who project the archetype of the “Online Cool Girl” (or Boy) can be shallow or pretentious because not everybody can maintain that. Reality also means responsibilities, adulting, and not always picture-perfect days. Thus, when others always seem to see a curated gallery of someone, they would either appreciate it or feel a bit inadequate and annoyed at that other or perhaps feel both. Not everybody would admit to the latter though.
Welbart Slowhands’ Phases, Oil on Canvas, 2017
Two Sides of The Coin
I think some people do want to maintain a gallery to showcase a better part of their lifestyle, some to gain approval or recognition, some to create an [online] album of their memories (because the days of film are way past for them plus it’s more convenient), some to express their creativity and themselves, and some to be a voice that sparks a positive effect on others — and whatever reason, to each his/her own. A constant reminder though that not everyone will appreciate your reasons and that is completely normal. Knowing your reasons should give you peace enough.
Meanwhile, those who do see these galleries of others may do well by stepping back and taking time offline if it feels too much. Find gratefulness for what we each have and stop comparing. Know that reality is not perfect for everybody else. Still, don’t focus on that aspect but rather celebrate you for you.
Welbart Slowhands’ One Sunday Afternoon, Oil on Canvas, 2017
An Alternate Plane
The online world can be an Upside Down that we can travel to anytime. It isn’t the spooky one but an alternate plane which can be a good space for some and not for others. But it is there and will be there. Both planes co-exist and we just have to know that whatever is happening in any of the worlds is both a part of the reality we have now. Rather than let it be a bad place for some, may it be a better platform for every self-expression.
Just some thoughts after I read a magazine article about people feeling bad when they see somebody else’s rather perfect world in social media. In reality though, everybody gets to experience good days and not so good ones, which just leaves each of us to decide what stories we’d tell with our art or photos or writing.