Lately, I’ve been having a hard time trying to understand why we spend so much time and energy – in other words, so much life – on the internet. I even wrote a couple of things that I am not going to publish – that’s how troubled I felt about the whole thing.
I’m browsing through my social media feed as if partaking a case study. My eyes are attracted by the beautifully curated photos, yet my heart feels the void. Everybody is happy and everything is boring – that’s all I could make out of it.
As always, when in a dead end situation, I turned to books and friends. Away from the “aesthetically coherent” Instagram feeds, away from the nonsensical hashtags. The world has suddenly become a better place.
Today – on Facebook chat, how ironic! – I was discussing the exact same thing with a friend. He said he’s no fan of hashtags and definitely not interested in getting validation on social media. Instead, he’s happy to live an analogue life. After discussing some more, we decided to see each other in the weekend and continue the conversation – offline, that is.
“So, Saturday or Sunday?” I asked, ready to place the slot into my phone’s calendar.
“Well,” he hesitated, “I don’t feel like making an agenda for the weekend. I am sick and tired of agendas. Not sure what to say to you right now.”
I started to smile. Was that for real? Were we just planning to meet this weekend without picking up the day and the time?
“Cool!” I said.
“Hear each other on the phone instead?” my friend asked.
“Old school, I like it,” I said.
“You have my number?”
“I have it.”
He smiled. I checked to see if I had his number.
This conversation got me out of my social media dilemma. Once again, I realized that happiness is not a hashtag. Friendship is not a hashtag. What is a hashtag anyway?
I came home and, after a quick dinner together, my boyfriend was getting ready to leave for a concert. As always, he bought two tickets, in case somebody wanted to join. But none of his friends could, when he dropped them a group message on What’sApp, earlier today. As he was getting dressed, his phone rang. His best friend called to say he would join, if the ticket was still available. Hearing them discussing where to meet etc. made me smile, just like the conversation with my friend did, earlier in the day.
After all, life does happen outside our media devices. Life can only be analogue. No hashtag, no filter.