Our society today has become ignorant of many things: artificiality, each other, but also of the true meaning of certain holidays. I wake up today to an Instagram feed covered in beach pictures and Facebook status upon status about vacation destinations, yet no mention of why we celebrate Memorial Day.
What happened to a time when Memorial Day was about honoring our veterans? How did we regress to Memorial Day being just a summer kickoff and socially acceptable time to begin donning light-colored clothing? Today I have seen more pictures of white outfits and beach vacations than mentions of our veterans.
In the age of social media, we have become very artificial. Instagram is the opportunity to show off your "food porn," "artsy" surroundings, and expensive possessions. Twitter is the perfect avenue to update others on your fabulous life. Facebook the place to brag about your recent college acceptance or any other milestone.
Even getting asked to prom, an intimate moment in every high schoolers' life, is now accompanied by a photographing friend who will immediately post the coveted shot on any and all forms of social media. Of course, these prom pictures will always get at least 100 likes, because how could you not like somebody's prom proposal picture?
On Facebook profile pictures have become a competition for "likes." Quite often, girls get dolled up in their cutest outfits, styled hair and makeup to have a photo-shoot with their friends in order to take the perfect shot. Following this, the picture is over edited in order to make it "artsy." Once posted on Facebook, the picture is shared by the girl's friends who all write "like the pic not the link." This comical series of events are now commonplace, showing how all we care about is the verification that we are beautiful or artistic.
Rarely do I see a candid picture, one where somebody is laughing with their friends, just hanging out with their siblings, cuddling with their dog, or doing something funny. Vibrant personality shots have vanished in favor of a quest for beauty. Instagram is not only a virtual beauty pageant, but also a hub of materialism. A shopping trip warrants a picture showing off new purchases. Whether it is Chanel Espadrilles, a Rebecca Minkoff bag, or a Marc Jacobs phone case, it's instinctive to let others know we bought it.
Nobody's perfect, I get that wholeheartedly. My Facebook pictures are edited, I recently Instagrammed a picture of my new Cambridge Satchel Company bag, but the more concerning issue is that our artificial lifestyles have replaced days that should be celebrated properly.
Enjoy your day at the beach, bust out those white jeans, but take a moment to reflect. Think about those who fight for our nation, those who keep America the land of the free and the home of the brave, maybe even Instagram a picture thanking our veterans. Every bit of caring counts, keeping us from becoming too fake.
We need to modify our ways before all that is real has been replaced by artificiality.
Follow Morgan Levy on Twitter: www.twitter.com/morganslevy