Reality retold

Last night the taxi I was in hit someone, or more accurately, someone ran into our taxi – mistakenly and drunkenly teetering sideways into the black cab’s side mirror. I admit this now, as shaken though I was, it jolted me back into blogging… the need to share an eventful and unique insight to Fulham on a Saturday night, and the perils of making the return journey out of the slippery floors of a bar or club and towards your front door. Nevertheless, this post does not concern the lessons to be learnt from a night out (and nor am I honest enough to tell that), but more how the process of “sharing” has become engrained into our experiences or a one-off event. In other words, my tale of woe quickly became a story to show, through a mass of grumpy to alarming texts and a mysterious Facebook status, titled along the lines of “never again…”.

In my mind, this willingness and urge to share demonstrates three things –

1) Inclusivity. Ultimately, I was looking for a response from my friends and wanted them to know what had happened. Clearly part of this stemmed from selfish reasons (think personal sob story), however I think today’s propensity to share is also fundamentally linked to friendship, and hence symbolises an expansion of the conversational sphere/gossip roster.

2) Seeking the spotlight. Yes “sharing” can only be one-way traffic, but doesn’t it feel great to be seen driving that new car, wearing that designer dress, and worse of all.. baking that cupcake. Online “seeing” converges with “being”, so suddenly that Facebook ‘friend’ (met twice) seems much cooler than they really are, and infinitely more attractive in the flattering shades and tones of Instagram. Unsurprisingly, one third of women admit to lying on social media (and many more are probably lying in response to this question).

3) Control. Arguably, the most significant reason behind sharing is the ability to shape how people perceive you – my Saturday “run-in with the police” (even if in the back of cab) giving me respective brownie points for ending up “okay”. Admittedly the person sharing thrives on people’s responses, even if what was shared was stretched, beautified and carefully worded – in other words, not entirely the truth.

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