“Mirror Mirror on the wall, who is the prettiest of them all…” said the evil queen, jealous of our precious little Snow White, and we fed the same crap to our young ones from generations.
People think vanity is the symptom of the time we live in. I think it has been here all along, and the time has just brought out the worst in us. What we never used to say but only think and smirk subtly on social occasions — things like ‘oh look at my watch, my car, my house, my wife and my mistress and her dog and what not…’ in our best outfits, we do that now out loud on social media in front of more number of people.
Romance and butterflies have reduced to swipe movement of fingers, no more lingering looks across the halls, no more long talks, the thrill of dating, watching fireworks and lights, getting to know the favorites, long drives, drunk nights and bike rides?
We are not wandering… “Not all those who wander are lost,” J.R.R. Tolkien and about a million people on Instagram said the same on their captions and hashtags because it sounds so deep and cool, doesn’t it? But we have failed to know its meaning. We need to wander to get new ideas. Ideas come when we have time for it between two moments, when we are not scrolling endlessly.
Creators, writers, and philosophers are who they are because they look at things and make something out of them when they let their minds wander, when they are not thinking about anything. See, that’s the thing about ideas, our brain will find it, it will draw out patterns if we just give it enough time to do so, but no, we don’t have time for that we have to go live in 20 seconds or better think of a caption for the next post.
So what are you selling? Is it your existence? and to what end? They do explain there’s a certain level of stimulation, a dopamine hit with every like but then when you do it over a bunch of times, aren’t you bored in a sense you think it’s not working anymore? Oh yes, they come with more stuff, more buttons to press. All of this would have been fine, and it was okay for some time until it stopped becoming a mere habit and turned into your whole way of existence. Your dreams and aspirations are not your own; you saw it online and said, ‘I wanna have that.’ Now there’s nothing wrong with that because how else would we know? The problem lies when you don’t see EVERYTHING and then say- ‘I wanna have that one.’ We have become slightly mutated digital copies of the trends we follow, without reason or depth of character. We are not real anymore. I remember how we used to be more than the hashtags, or our bio. People who were capable of carrying out conversations without looking on our phone screens or filming stories to ‘capture the so-called moment’ like our brain would just stop holding information if we don’t post it.
If it comes down to that, you can’t even make up a smart argument. You go like- ‘but that how things are.. that’s how it is.. that’s how I am…’ so? What’s disturbing is the use of the continuous lousy practice to justify it further? If that’s how it was done, does that mean it always has to be like that? I mean, slavery and marriage are something we have been doing for a long time so, does that mean it’s okay, and there’s no scope to advance? People are made of struggle, uncertainty, and mess, a lot of mess, which in no way is depicted in the picture-perfect life on the internet. We don’t capture the time we sit on the floor and cry till our lungs hurt because it makes us vulnerable, exposed, it is private, but these are the things we used to find out when we would try to know someone in real, but they are not here anymore. There are just pages and accounts and not people.
It makes me wonder if we all have turned into this evil queen seeking validation from this mirror called the internet while the Snow Whites of the world (influencers and the big companies) are making money off our vanity.
I miss knowing real people, just the sheer thrill of how dots would connect and explain their story once I figure out their motives. I feel like a ghost from the past, still holding on to my paperbacks and hardcovers, running short of stories while the world continues to stream endlessly.