I never read your airplane ticket Instagram. I don’t really care where you’re going. If the whole reason you’re going on a trip is to “get away” and be “less available”, then stop being so available and get away from your phone.
The act of staring at a 568×320 pixel screen in a room of friends is almost the same as being inside your phone. In your phone, friends are just 2D figures with hands on their hips and their arms in the air, their funny 2D tweets, and their status updates.
If you are inside your phone while you’re “getting away” you are not even on the airplane — I DON’T CARE. Technically, I already know where you are, what you’re doing, who you’re with and what food you’re eating. I didn’t need to go to the far side of the Santa Monica pier to feel like I was already there because I was in my phone and you were in your phone and we were in our phones together at the Santa Monica Pier. I saw that you waltzed into a photo booth with a cute guy to take pictures, that you bought cotton candy, he won you a stuffed animal, and you’re TOTALLY in love (when you’re in love you’re naturally going to spend 20 minutes editing the photo you just took because your opinions and thoughts are not interesting enough to be expressed verbally to each other).
Yep, I saw it, and the people you’re trying to “get away” from did too. You’re not making yourself any less available by taking us on the trip with you inside our phones. We might think it’s insanely awesome that you’re able to wear purple lipstick outside of the most hipster pizza place in Upper East Side Manhattan, but your ex-boyfriend that you keep sub-tweeting isn’t wondering where you are or what you’re doing or who you’re with because he already knows. Do you want to seem like you’re getting away? To seem like you’re “underground and obscure”? Let me tell you a secret. The right thing is always the hard thing and the hardest thing for us 2k tweens is to get OUT of our phones and fake sense of reality and breathe in the salty air on the Santa Monica Pier.
Forget what your boyfriend at home is doing; forget what he ate for lunch. You’re around people who have infinite potential to create new experiences with you, they have actual memories to CONVERSE about, they might end up being long term friends. Nobody’s Instagram will be as beautiful as where you are. When your iris allows the light to pass through the pupil and your retina screens your surroundings with rods and cones, your optic nerve will carry your experience right to your brain and your life becomes a TV show directed by YOU. Don’t numb these memories by feeling like somebody else’s might be better than yours. An Instagram can be worth a thousand hashtags, but a view can only be felt in your heart when you fully experience your surroundings. If you want to lead the most interesting life in the world, then LIVE it. Be where you are. Your phone is not a place, and I don’t miss you when I know exactly what you’re doing at all times. Validation does not come through the over share of information. If you’re sitting inside your phone waiting for an orange bubble to tell you that somebody liked your ticket to SLC to LAX, you’re going to miss the details that self-actualize you, don’t miss the salty breeze, the sweet of your cotton candy, and certainly, don’t neglect a friend.