|The idea of being a hippie is huge on social media.|
|The real world.|
For those who do not know, Pinterest is a site where people post pictures that appeal to them. Many post pictures of a house or a meal or a trick that makes life perfect. In the world of Pinterest there is no sadness, no anger, no death. It is a feel good place where life is always peaches and cream. On Pinterest (as well as Instagram) one can escape reality and show off a life that is all too serene. It is, in large, a fantasy world.
The world of Pinterest has invaded the rest of the internet, and Facebook is not immune. While I believe that it is great to look at life with a positive viewpoint, I can not help but wonder what kind of depression people are feeling when they log off their computers and phones and see the world through their own eyes. A messy house, a broken family, arguments with ex friends, dirty clothes, a dog who needs walked, a pouty stepson, an upcoming divorce, a car that needs fixed, keeping up with the neighbors, overbearing parents and grandparents. Perhaps living in the world of (a)social media is better to many people, who see pictures of beautiful homes with fine decor, food that is both healthy and saccharine sweet, children who are well behaved and well dressed in ways that are both extra fancy and extra frugal. Instead of going on a vacation we are bombarded with Photoshopped images of beaches of florescent sand and golden skies with blue water that shimmers unlike anything that exists outside in the real world. We see a nighttime scene of lights and alleys with people singing, carroling, and carrying on in ways that hint of a perfect world somewhere just out of our grasp. We try to maintain a feeling of awe and wonder and happiness as we try to ignore the sounds of our family begging for our attention with their real needs and wants.
If only the outside world was like Pinterest where all the water of the Earth is sweet and pure and animals do not die for the meat we eat! If only the world was like Pinterest where we could all start our own organic farms and live in old cabins in mountain valleys that shined with purple skies and flocks of deer that came to eat out of our hands!
Much of the Pinterest world reminds me of a snake oil vendor, selling ideas and cures for the ordinary world. Like a snake oil dealer, Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook are dabbling in the idea of life being perfect behind the screen. "Don't stray from the computer, where life is messy and real. Everything you need is here"
The world outside is a beautiful place, full of awe and wonder. Yet, the realities of the world are in stark contrast to the imaginary world that exists through the screen of (a)social media websites. When one goes hiking deep in the woods there are dangers to be aware of. When one travels across the world, there is poverty a few meters away from the beaches. When you see an image of a house that looks perfect, full of furniture that would cost a small fortune and a huge amount of time to acquire, there is the chance of the elements destroying it, of thieves ravaging it, and of time warping it. The world is not perfect, and one can not hide behind (a)social media and pretend it is. As humans one of our jobs is to make the world a better place, not hide our heads in the sand of (a)social media and pretend that the world is something that it is not.