The holiday season always serves as the reminder of how social media plays an epic role in validating the bedazzled statuses of users — big and small — who are engaged in the competitive spirit of convincing friends and strangers that life is giving them the very #best it can muster on the daily.
But I happen to think that platforms like Instagram would be a lot less intimidating and a lot more inspirational if we made it a point to document the hard knocks with the same enthusiasm that accompanies the never-ending wins.
This past holiday weekend, really exposed the crippling mindset of users who are entirely carried away with the damaging messaging that mixes boastfulness with earnest wishes.
Celebrities with all the money to spare posted images of waterfront mansions and the buffet of champions on Thanksgiving Day, and then added the extra stuffing of well-wishes to the less fortunate gawkers, who could at least have that to munch on.
Regular users did the regular shit of working hard to keep up with the social expectations of being verifiably social. The problem lies in how all the turkey shots and Insta stories of delectable locations sort of blend into a cookie sheet of identical offerings, that really don’t offer much when it comes to capturing the humanness of our existence.
When babies are born, they instantly get grammed with pages that certify how they are already #livingtheirbestlives even before their #lives are fully formed. When engagements become official, the diamond sparklers dominate the length and breadth of pages with the assurance of wealthy mileage. And when the love machine kicks into high gear, the hashtags and photo ops are never splashy enough to reiterate the most valuable status of all.
We can’t whisper the branding of the minutes that showcase why we are able to answer the roll call of fabulosity, that demands the ability to rise to the task of being able to consistently log in all the evidence that proves how you can flawlessly skip frequent pot holes — that threaten all of us.
You must believe me when I say that I often immerse myself in the scrapbook of fantastical receipts that never stop registering — all day — past midnight.
However, we can’t afford to wholly rely on the inherent routine of deflecting the challenges of being an earthling in favor of distributing pictorials, that highlight how immune we are to the ailing job market, terminal economy and societal ills, that can’t be avoided no matter how ambitious we are to curate idealistic escapism.
It’s also quite clear that Instagram’s issue with dysfunction is its dysfunction.
I do fantasize about users being overwhelmed enough to surrender to the fuckup of the moment long enough to establish the incentive to share the splendor of a very bad day — that won’t be vanquished with the photoshopped renderings of instant gratification.
It would be so refreshing to have an avalanche of posts that depict enough losses to assuage any doubt about the legitimacy of failure, and how that season can’t be tampered with because of what it represents when you make it to the other side.
Bad days are just as vital as the lucky streaks, and we’ve been conditioned to buy the falsehood of how vulnerability can’t be relatable in a climate that forces us to go on our knees in accordance with the plea bargain — that may or may not sustain us through the religion of gun violence and domestic terrorism.
I get the cluelessness of blissful teens who deserve the era of being blinded by the need to display the vibrancy of naïveté with unapologetic fervor. But when mature folks get submerged in the distractions that aim to glaze over the words of wisdom — that form after winning the battles that shape enviable trajectories — there’s a gaping hole that remains starkly empty and neglected.
As we accommodate the ceremonious betrayals of Facebook and Twitter, with all the renderings that reveal how we all played a major part in embracing the infiltration of mammoth surveillance — that was never going to guarantee the quality of anonymity if the seamless access to personal information via passwords and log ins was as easy as ABC — we have to admit how Instagram demonstrates how and why we got what we asked for.
We are primed to be reduced to puzzle pieces at the behest of evil-minded techies that comprehend the dispositions of millions of contenders who are poised to rule kingdoms that don’t exist.
The gloriousness of owning the unreal reality that commands our damning participation that we willingly offer at the expense of realness is the conversation that’s not being feted.
It’s also the reason why Instagram is thriving from the near-death experiences of users who need to climb the highest mountain sporting the latest gear from Adidas.
Or is that the thrill of YouTubers?
Either way, the opportunity to feed the feed with the blatancy of what it means to operate in spaces that remain entombed in untruths, is being squandered with the desperation to bedazzle every inch of our journey in an effort to showcase superhuman tendencies.
But when does exhaustion set in, and how will we finesse the extended episodes when we hit that brick hall that won’t budge?
Are those purposed breaks from “sharing” our #bestlives, enough to reorganize the thought process into the blueprint of original settings, that encourages the breakdown of pride and prejudice?
Nigeria isn’t just the port of fabulosity that’s surging into the trending cycle. It’s also the hell on earth that has forced natives into slavery after fleeing into the tragic grips of foreign captors.
And more of us experience way more bad days than good, and instead of holding off to throw the best of the best in our faces, lets shockingly illustrate what we’re all feeling, and add the booster of imagery that gathers the hearts of strangers who needed that signal to survive.
Dysfunction isn’t always the disease that needs an immediate cure.
We can’t be expected to function in perfect harmony without the required interruption that’s meant to instruct our unfolding playbook.
Happiness is great, and having all the elements that are supposed to regulate that temperature is an amazing feat, but it’s time to give long overdue props to the power of buzzkills and the unflattering Insta-stories that are unfiltered and staggeringly profound in potency.
The obsession with righteously aligning with the objects of affection, that embrace how untimely missteps won’t yield the pleasantries of algorithms, that end up providing free room and board at palatial resorts in exotic locales — isn’t going to save you when unexpected news hits and never lets go.
We need to start endorsing our #bestdysfunctions — now more than ever.