I am addicted to social media; I get a thrill when I see that little red notification pop up and feel a sense of pride when someone likes my photos. It’s narcissistic and a little bit pathetic but I am living in an age when if it isn’t on social media, it “doesn’t count.”
We are all guilty of portraying this perfect life or relationship online and comparing ourselves to others instead of focusing on what is happening behind the camera.
I find myself out to dinner with my boyfriend with this impulse to capture how beautiful he looks across the table from me, or even when we are in bed with sleep stained faces and frizzy hair because I don’t want to forget how I look wrapped in his arms, or how it felt to be in that moment.
I want to come across the image years from now and be catapulted back to that very moment.
But I couldn’t tell you what we spoke about as we lay there. I cannot recall the pitch of his laughter muffled into my hair. I do not even remember the pressure of his lips against mine. I only have the photograph, just an image but no memories, no flutter of my heart as I run my fingers across his face.
So this year, I will choose more preciously the moments I want to share with the world and keep the rest for us. I will be present. I will let my eyes dance across my boyfriends face and remember the slight crookedness to his smile, and how one of his eyes is a slightly lighter shade of blue. I will reach across the table, run my fingers over his knuckles and ask him to tell me a story, one just for us, without searching for something social media worthy.
I will goofy dance in the rain, hold my head up to the fierceness of the storm and kick my way through puddles without fear of who will see. I will be silly, childish and free. I will laugh, cry, kiss and love more authentically.
I will go out with my friends and drink prosecco without constantly checking my lipstick is intact and my hair still perfect. I will live for the fun of it, the recklessness, the story I can reminisce over years from now, from memory, not a Facebook post.
I will enjoy my food as soon as it is ready and hot, knowing no one really cares if I made blueberry waffles for breakfast. And I will exercise for my own health, not to take selfies in Victoria’s Secret active wear with perfect lighting for 100 Instagram likes.
I will learn to live for myself, to enjoy a moment without fear I will forget it because the camera is only stealing them from me, diverting my attention and not letting me appreciate the raw beauty of it.
I will watch the world and the people I love with my eyes, no screen between us, and capture it all with my heart and that warm, fuzzy feeling in the pit of my stomach because honestly, haven’t we all forgotten what that feels like?