Text and images by Rita Maria
Anyone who knows me is perfectly aware that I’m not a big believer in Instagram or social media self-exposure. The main reason why I don’t like it is because I want to be wherever I am and with whomever I am, fully. I absolutely love talking to people from anywhere and everywhere, I just don’t like to swipe their faces to the left and right based on their hotness level. Additionally, I don’t really like to spend my spare time looking at Kylie’s lips or Kim’s ass. In today’s world the latter is unavoidable but I’m trying to do my best to avoid it.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m as guilty as you are. I just spent an hour taking a self-portrait for this article because the editor told me so. However, most of the time I just prefer hanging out with friends. Chilling, taking photos, skating, drinking wine.
“I absolutely love talking to people from anywhere and everywhere, I just don’t like to swipe their faces to the left and right based on their hotness level.”
According to a recent research, an average American checks their phone 46 times per day. Am I the only one who finds this absolutely ridiculous? Am I the only one who thinks that people look insane when they stare at their phones while surrounded by actual people? Am I the only one who thinks that everything we do as 22-year-old´s should not be posted online? Am I the only one who thinks that social media isn’t necessarily a good thing for young girls’ self-esteem?
For the past few years, I have traveled extensively. I have tried to fully immerse myself in the present moment and enjoy everything there’s to life. I have written countless of love letters to my loved ones and called my beloved grandmother from my Nokia 3310. I have lurked in the corners of continents, sunbathed in the flower fields and sniffed cultures like perfumes. I have spent my summers getting lost in the Christiania forest and winters marveling at the San Diego sunsets. Most of the time, life has been great and I’m very grateful for my privileged experiences.
“I think most of us are relatively uncool when it comes to daily life. Besides, to me life is not about who is the coolest, it’s about who is the warmest.”
After years of being disconnected, I decided to join the Gram a few months ago. Why if I’m so against it? I mean, let’s be honest. I ain’t Bill Murray. Wes Anderson isn’t going to call me and ask me to be part of his latest flick even if I refuse to have an online presence. If I want to continue working with photography, which I do, I have to answer to the industry standards just like everyone else.
After posting my first picture, I felt so unbelievably wack I couldn’t even believe it. There I was, years after everyone else had started, learning how to use hashtags to build my online presence. I felt like the biggest kook on the planet, going from zero to hundred on the scale of uncool. Previously, the whole hashtag thing had seemed quite lame to me, and there I was, trying to write some more. I started laughing and poured the rest of the wine into my glass.
“I had started to think of what other people thought about my low number of followers, which is probably the dumbest thing one can do.”
While I was gracefully sipping my drink, I realized that my initial decision to stay offline because I genuinely didn’t care had turned into something else. I had started to think of what other people thought about my low number of followers, which is probably the dumbest thing one can do.
I think most of us are relatively uncool when it comes to daily life. Besides, to me life is not about who is the coolest, it’s about who is the warmest. To me, a cool person is someone who uses their position in the spotlight to make a positive change. In addition, the starting point of having a voice in the society is becoming part of it. Your life is yours, do whatever you want. And stop caring about other people’s opinions.
“Your life is yours, do whatever you want. And stop caring about other people’s opinions.”
Even though I still think that people spend way too much time buried on their phones, and often forget to enjoy the things the world truly has to offer, I will keep sharing my pics and bruising my ego with hashtags as long as it continues not to make me feel uncomfortable. My journey from old school to uncool has been pretty conflicting, but I feel like I’m slowly starting to reach my final stop: the subtle state of actually not giving a f#ck.