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Words To Live By

By Elizabeth Major on December 24, 2015 in Other

Photo: Scott Howard

Photo: Scott Howard

The best and worst thing about social media is that it has made philosophers of us all. Inspired, broken-hearted, liberal, social, uneducated and brave, we all have a quote to perfectly capture our most private of moments in order to assuage our misery with a public broadcast.

My favourite incarnation of this very modern phenomenon is the half-naked selfie with a philosophical caption underneath. I’m sure the bikini-clad girl beaming out from my smart phone has no idea who ‘Virginia wolf’ actually is, otherwise she most probably would’ve gone to the trouble of spelling her name correctly. Or at least bothered to capitalise her surname.

I may be wrong. The reference to her latent wild spirit could possibly be a true cry for an expansion of consciousness; I doubt she is doing it for the ‘likes’. I mean nobody who quotes Marilyn Monroe could ever be accused of being shallow, could they? And nothing quite says intellectual like a quote from Albert Camus, especially if the scribe is a little dyslexic with his last name. But if anyone if seriously thinking about posting a quote that has come from Kanye West’s word hole, just stop. You’re banned from the Internet. It’s not even funny.

Of course some of the worst offenders when it comes to social media philosophy are the people who put up the quote without the reference. Just because you don’t recognise Oscar Wilde’s words does not mean you get to claim them as your own. A dead giveaway to this ignorance is the blatant disregard for the original context – Winston Churchill was not talking about that one last rep in your Crossfit WOD when he said: “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

Further still, if anyone is thinking about posting a really good face shot to Facebook, taken in a bathroom with a toilet in the background, no less, you should simply ask for the kind of attention you seek. I’m sure if it as captioned “Tell me I’m pretty, I feel insecure today” people would appreciate the honesty and offer you some kind of reassurance.

Better still, if anyone out there is feeling a little fat, allow the masses to see what you’re actually eating. If you’re lucky, one the many personal trainers you know in the Eastern Suburbs will assess your diet and give you a pseudoscientific explanation for your saddlebags (probably gluten), then you can work on their removal (and document the process, of course).

On a final note, I really wish that all the Instagram addicts would upload their sunset pictures without the hashtags, because it’s clear they fail to grasp their basic function and nobody is searching the term ‘whatisreality’ anyway. I only hope that the ‘Be Brave’ motto they use will encourage them in their daily fight against how terrifying their first world problems really are.