But over the next six months, things only got worse: She was posting multiple times a day, increasingly in nausea-inducing poses with her boyfriend that looked about as staged as a rom-com poster: laughing and eating soft-serve on a stoop, holding hands while walking over a bridge, stealing a kiss post-run. Soon, they had their very own hashtag. It involved the word “lover.” I was traveling a lot for work then, and each time I mindlessly scrolled through my Instagram — in airport lines and long, jet-lag-riddled taxicab rides — it was like removing the pin from a grenade of secondhand embarrassment.....That's Hayley Phelan, at New York Magazine, talking about her friend or... who knows whether anecdotes like this are true? Like this one she relays from one "Josh, 36," who "fell for a beautiful fine-arts student who was 'fun, smart, cool, and kinky,'" but then:
“She’d ’gram her sculptures and performance pieces and they were just awful,” says Josh. “It bewildered me that this person was in arts school and could make such thoughtless, unoriginal work. Once that seed was planted, it just grew. When we went to art shows or dinners, I started hearing her differently. [Eventually] we stopped going out.” He adds, “And yes, I still hooked up with her after. I’m a snob, not an idiot.”Heh. Put the creepy stuff in the mouth of some guy, some Josh, and let's all laugh at (nonexistent?) "arts school" girl. (Are we in England? What's with "arts school"? Was that at university?)
It’s well established that who we are online is not who we are in real life.And who we are in a magazine article is also not necessarily true. I used to read magazines for a living (for a couple years, back in the 1970s, after I went to art school). I'm used to how the details in these anecdotes look, with just the right cool-sounding people dribbling out short quotes that exactly embody the problem the author wants to discuss. But maybe it all happened that way, and I'm sure the problem — in a more boring way — actually exists. Yeah, you went somewhere, you ate something, you wore something, your boyfriend/girlfriend/kids were cute. You saw an animal... if only somewhere else on line. And I wince and think it's embarrassing/dumb/boring/phony.