Sometimes, I’ve got to admit, I get the feeling that the whole world of social media has taken mankind a bit closer to insanity. We regularly hear and listen about people experiencing their trip on their smartphone, restaurants, ice-cream parlors etc. being flooded. But not because the creations you get there taste so well, no, but mainly because they’re perfect shots for an Instagram feed. For quite some time I’ve hated this trend, but since I talked with my great-granny about social media, or, to be more exact, tried to explain to her what this is all about, this really opened my eyes. We discussed about this topic because in the coffee-shop, where we were sitting, the people on our left and right took pictures of their cappuccinos and my great-granny kept wondering why they were acting like that. The more I told her about Instagram etc., about likes and followers, the more I started to realize how absurd all of this actually is. We meticulously document our lives in pictures in order to make people we often don’t even know give us a like, and we hope that sometime the likes will become a follow? We travel to Instagram hotspots all around the world just to have a photo of it in our feed? We almost lead a life we stage up for unknown persons on social media channels, even if the feed mostly isn’t even our reality? What for? What do such likes really mean to us? Do they confirm we lead a “good”, “likable” life?
Since my chat with my great-granny I really kept pondering on this issue a lot, and to be frank, I’m really worried about it. If so many of us even feel the urge to share their most intimate moments via social media channels with an anonymous crowd, is this moment really still the same moment it could have meant to us? Why can’t we just enjoy these particular moments “only for ourselves”? Why do we always want to show the world that we’re among the lucky ones experiencing such moments?
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Yesterday I came across an article about a museum in Shanghai. It is about an exhibition which is only about getting photographed for social media. The entrance fee to the “Egg House” costs about 25 Euros. The rooms of this exhibit are designed to make them look as if one lived inside an oversized egg. It’s furnished with egg-shaped toilets, a chair looking like an egg box, a saucepan where you can play fried egg and so on. The concept sounds fairly simple and frankly even a bit stupid, but it’s a huge success and attracts crowds of Instagram users.
Next time I’m going to sit at the kitchen table with my great-granny, I’m definitely going to show her pictures of the “Egg House” in Shanghai. I’m thrilled what she’ll think about it.