The Fear of Missing Out: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Instagram showed up in my inbox this morning. (Follow the link! Read the article. Then come back, because this will make more sense if you do.)
It felt really beautifully timed. Like the universe was telling me something. Except not really, because I like traveling and I love my life, but it was a good reminder that every life involves trade-offs. We’re all making choices, every day, about what we want to be doing and how we want to do it. No matter what, we’re going to miss something.
A while ago, I mostly stopped posting to Instagram because I discovered that it was making me feel… disconnected, maybe? Fake? I didn’t like looking at a meal or a view and thinking about it within a framework of what other people would appreciate about it. A fantastic dinner that was maybe not aesthetically pleasing in a photo didn’t stop being a fantastic dinner, but when I imagined posting the picture, it was with justifications and explanations. And when I looked at a view and rejected it because I’d never be able to get a good picture of it… I didn’t want to disdain my life because it wasn’t pretty enough to share, if that makes any sense. Instagram can’t capture the intangibles — the taste of good food, the smell of autumn in the air, the feelings of community and friendship.
But maybe I’ll learn to love it again, because what I liked about it when I first started using it was that it worked for me as a reminder to appreciate the moment I was in, to celebrate the meal that I cooked instead of just shoveling it in, to pause and admire the view instead of glancing out the window and moving on.
Today is going to be a highly practical day: picking up a prescription (I hope), doing some grocery shopping, dumping the tanks, washing dishes… but it started with peacocks.