Honey can you pleease smile? Mommy promises this is the last one!
Can you hold the phone higher? It makes us look better! But we’re not old, we’re just saying’…
These are just some of the recurring statements we made while on our week-long trip to Hawaii.
From Oahu to Maui, we island hopped from one movie set-like back drop to the next.
Palm trees swayed in the warm gentle breeze, pina coladas adorned with brightly colored umbrellas rested in our palms, and the most gorgeous sunsets imaginable kissed the ocean nightly.
And with such a picture-perfect locale comes the need to document. To post. To share. (At least for us!)
In this digital age, it’s almost impossible not to look at this beauty through the screen of our iPhones first. Before we even have a chance to suck in a breath, we’ve whipped them out of our back pockets and started taking pictures of said beautiful Hawaiian thing. Already mentally composing the status we will write to go along with it.
Is our desire to not miss the moment, causing us to miss it? Should we be stopping and taking in the beauty with our eyes first? Is our need to share with our online community causing us not to spend enough time living in the moment with the people who are right next to us? Or are we simply living in a time where it’s common to click, filter and share before we think?
We know there is a balance. And we can recognize when maybe our need to document the trip became a bit obsessive. Like when we were zip lining and had no pockets to put our phones in. So we stuck them in our bras as to not miss the opportunity to “get the shot.” This was probably a bit extreme. Especially when it started pouring down rain and we kept taking video. (But we got it!) Or when we considered chasing a tiki torch lighter in a loin cloth across the hotel grounds to get a selfie. (We didn’t!) Or perhaps when we asked our kids to take just one more photo so we could get one where they were actually smiling? (Guilty as charged.)
But if we're being completely honest, we didn't show you any of the questionable shots, the ones where someone captured us with resting bitch face. Or we looked like wet dogs after ziplining in the rain. Or our kids were scowling because we'd asked them to pose again. We showed you the "winners."
We came up with the idea of our forthcoming novel, The Status of All Things about a social media obsessed women who gets the chance to literally rewrite her fate on Facebook, because we wanted to tackle this obsession with social media that so many people have, this need to show life only through a perfectly filtered lens. We wanted to look at why we believe other peoples’ lives are more perfect than our own simply because of the blemish-free photos they post. We wanted to explore this jealousy that’s so easy to have as we watch people post incredible update after incredible update. We wanted to look at why it’s so easy to forget that everyone posts the good stuff! Even us!
So in an effort to be a little more like we hope our main character, Kate, will ultimately become, we are going to start showing you a little less "pose" and a little more "candid". We're using the hashtag #reallife and are peeling back the filtered veil to show you what our lives really look like. It actually feels surprisingly good to select “normal” before we Instagram a picture. It is quite liberating to show you the pictures we would have never posted. And we'd love for you to join us and share your #reallife as we head toward the publication of STATUS.
C'mon, we'll show you ours if you show us yours! Or at least ask you to "like" our photos so we don't feel totally lame when we post them!