The allure was undeniable. Just a little dabble and I knew I’d get the dopamine hit. I had it in the palm of my hand…Instagram, that is. I wish this was a more sultry story. But true to who I am, the real temptation wasn’t in a sexy French man, but in social media.
It’s been four months now of being social media free, and on this trip to Paris I came face-to-face with real temptation to get back on Instagram to post photos and videos of the amazing city I was exploring. One of my goals in being off of social media was to do things for me, and not for the internet; I wanted to fully experience the moments I was in without worrying about capturing content for my feed.
Paris is so magical for me. There’s incredible culture and diversity. I loved listening to the different languages and accents walking through the streets and sitting in cafes. I shot five rolls of film and was able to capture memories on video as well. I knew though that if I was taking photos and videos on my iPhone I’d be pulling myself out of the experience, whether it was mildly or blatantly. Every time I think about social media and the desire to post and garner attention, it comes back to the insecure feelings of adolescence and wanting to be popular and well liked. I needed to be validated by other people, told I was pretty or worthy or cool. What better way to show off that I was cool and special than by posting pictures of Paris while everyone else I knew was still back in their daily routine.
This is the downside of social media - we post the cool and unique experiences as if they were the every-day experiences, and then we get caught in a trap of thinking everyone else is doing cool shit 24/7, when in reality we spend 95% of our year at our desk.
Each frame on my film camera is engrained into my memory. I took my time. I was patient with getting the shot and waiting for people to clear out, or looking for different angles and perspectives. I know that my worth and happiness do not depend on the internet for validation.