Auditioning for life in pictures

Fewer things excite me more than building things.

Today I’m sitting in a coffee shop (surprise, surprise), I have my beloved overpriced Bose QC25’s cancelling out the loud music and white noise. I’m trying to smash out a lo-fi mock up by midday. Today I’m constantly thinking of ideas, seeing potential in everything.

I’m also having one of those days where the fewer interactions with people the better. It’s the glorious experience that one of my friend’s has labelled “lone wolf mode” – a brief sabbatical from human interaction while still engaging with the the world. This leaves me alone to think and make things.

When the waitress brought over my flat white, I returned to the world for a brief moment to say thank you and took the opportunity to look away from my screen for a quick people watch. What I saw came as no shock.

The main focus of my fellow humans was not the person sitting at the table opposite them, the individual deemed important enough that they carved out time in their lives to see. No, they’re on their phones, capturing beautiful snaps of their coffee from a flawless vertical angle.

They are sharing a carefully maintained and perfectly curated projection of their life to the world…through a filter.

I am both intrigued and horrified by this at the same time.

They are skipping an opportunity to connect with another person and instead striving to ensure that their other life, the one watched in pictures by strangers and voyeurs, their own personal audience, is perfect.

They are developing a character, an individual created for their audience to see, enjoy and envy. They are auditioning for that same role every single day.

Perhaps Macbeth had it right, “Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage”