The age of pictures

The problem with this age of pictures, of snapchats and instagrams, is that everyone is pressured into painting a fair – no, luxuriant portrait of one’s life. The world must know how well I am spending these moments of precious life. In other words, I am to be envied, and thereupon I attain some sense of power, some unseen authority over those whose cheeks have turned green.

Quickly, indignantly, the snapchatters and the instagrammers shall refuse these statements: “we think nothing like that; it is atrocious that you should affix us with this ungodly characteristic! We take pictures so that we might let our friends know of our preoccupations. It is all about keeping in contact.” Indeed, but underlying the impulse.. is there not an inconspicuous will to power? I must let my friends know of my preoccupations, but oh surely, not of those sullen ones; only of the vibrant, fanciful ones. For what shall people think of me if I impressed upon them the keenest of my thoughts, the most actual of my moods, and all the wailing sorrows of my soul?

Thus, the attention is focused entirely on the prosperous side of one’s life, while leaving little, if not none, for the ashen and more melancholic side. And if one so happens to feel a little upset on a certain day, he shall be less obliged to announce it through his social media feed, or to take pictures of things swollen with gloom and expound the discord within. What is more, if he, impelled by habit, scrolls through the pages of snaps and instashe shall find himself only more discouraged. Out there, everyone has a smile plastered on their faces – the world continues in its euphoric strides, indifferent to his grief. In truth, it is indifferent to the grief of everyone; and this age of pictures, this propensity towards the exhibition of merriness and merriness only, has made it so.

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