I stopped commenting on Facebook or putting up status updates after an experiment quite a long time ago, the reason for doing so was pretty simple – why do I constantly want to tell people, whether I know them or not, how I am feeling or what I think about something they give absolutely no shits about? It was a short and pretty ridiculous experiment whereby each time I felt the urge to update Facebook, I asked myself “What will other people get out of this?”…the unsurprising answer 90% of the time was exactly nothing.
Technology is a great thing, social media, television and smart phones – they’re all great, I love them all almost as much as I like hanging off the side of a mountain on s Saturday morning but honestly, it has completely changed the way I think about other people. This is almost solely down to what comes up in my news feed each day, I feel like an old miserable pessimist for saying this but it just seems to be one long stream of people talking about how great they are, how great their lives are….and basically pointing out how shite mine is at the same time!
It dawns on me that even when people are not trying to make other people feel this way, it just happens anyway – a photo of a white sandy beach in the Bahamas can feel like a kick in the balls on a Monday morning in the office, a video of a skydive in Australia makes me reach for tissues for bringing up happy memories of my once exciting life when I too, was jumping out of perfectly good airplanes in Australia. Sometimes I wonder whether I need to travel again as it always seems so much more exciting and happier than being here.
Thing is, it’s almost never as good as it seems. It reminds me of the time I visited Easter Island, the most remote island in the world with people living on it (apparently). Before I went I had visions of these ancient Moai statues speaking to me and it was easy to also imagine feeling like Tom Hanks in Castaway looking for Wilson on a big tropical island but that’s not really how it went down. Easter Island was fascinating in many ways but I put up pictures back then without any words because the truth is, it cost a fortune to get there and in comparison with trips I have taken all over the world – it was a bit of a crap experience.
I spent every morning being chased down the street by two stray dogs, I have no idea how they knew to be there at the right time every-time..but they did – the bastards. The Moai were cool but like travelling around Bangkok Temples, when you see a few of them, that’s it, it’s time to start looking at something else. It was a lonely time, there were hardly any tourists when I was there and honestly, I just spent most of the time wanting to be anywhere other than where I actually was!
The Moai picture above has apparently made a lot of people I know want to go to Easter Island but in truth, just like the happy status updates on my news feed every morning, just like the pictures of white sandy beaches I see on Mondays, just like my time in Australia and every other time in the past – Travel is an amazing thing but it’s not always as good as it seems.