Do undocumented lives make an existence real?
“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” Who would know. But that doesn’t rule out the fact that the tree fell. Similarly, if we live a life without posting every single moment of it on social media, are we really living? If there is no (public) proof, how can you demonstrate you are doing the things you do?
There are so many artificial “lives” floating online these days that we are called to distinguish between what is true and what is not. People nowadays feel the urge to gloat, to advertise, and to boast every single – usually happy – moment they experience. But how can you really engage in that moment when you are so busy taking photos, filtering and editing it, coming up with the appropriate hashtags, and picking your brain for the best comment to accompany it with, and then striving to find a proper internet connection in order to upload it to all your followers who in your mind are waiting at the edge of their seats to find out what you’re doing? Does this seem like a life you are enjoying to the fullest?
What about all those people who lived before social media (yes, life did exist before the advent of the Internet)? What about all those Roman emperors and Greek philosophers? We don’t even have a picture of them, yet we know they lived and they accomplished greatness. Are our lives evolving towards pettiness? Towards being so superficial that it matters more to publicize that we are doing something than to actually do it? And what does this say of people themselves?
We are supposed to evolve so that we make our ancestors proud. Instead, the way we are progressing, we will only make our descendants ashamed (provided that they don’t turn out to be even worse).