PrettyPorn: Living The Instagram Life

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Did you know that Instagram is now touted to be the new Facebook?

(!)

I found a most provocative piece in the NY Times (of all places), written by financial planner Carl Richards.

Now I must confess, my news reading habits do not generally fall to the financial page, but he caught me with this one:  Living the Instagram Life.

In it, he confesses and admits to shadowy things.

Competitiveness, for example:  “It’s very difficult to compete without feeling envy.  A wise friend once told me that every time you try to compete, you’ll always lose.  Because even if you’re the best this year, someone will be better than you next year.”

(I hear echoes of Marion Woodman on Addiction to Perfection in this)

Money:   “And nowhere does envy raise its ugly head more often than with money.  Earlier this year, a former hedge fund trader wrote an op-ed…that opened with this line:

‘In my last year on Wall Street my bonus was $3.6 million–and I was angry because it wasn’t big enough.’

(!!!)

Richards continues… “Something good happened to this guy, but in his mind, it wasn’t good enough because he knew there were other people who received more. Who receives $3.6 mil and gets angry about it?

People who want to live what I call an Instagram life versus a real life.”

He goes on…

“If we’re living a real life, we’ve gained the understanding that getting more doesn’t always lead to feeling happier.  In an Instagram life, we’re instead focused on making it look like we have a better life than everyone else.  But even as we take our own pictures and apply filters to our world, we’re flipping through other people’s photo streams and feeling envious about what we see.”

(Hm!)

… i.e., “they’re only stories…by making these stories our focus, we’ll never be satisfied.  There will always be something else we don’t have that someone else does,

and our envy becomes a trigger for all the bad behavior we’re supposedly trying to avoid.”

E. A. Hanks, a writer and blogger posted about this in the Huffpost 2011.

(yes.  the Huffpost)

She called it PrettyPorn.

“I have a problem:  I can’t stop looking at porn.  I can look at it for hours and I’m not satisfied.  Worse, I think it’s giving me unrealistic expectations..I don’t even really remember how it got started…

If I’m honest, it started when I was looking for new curtains, which then lead to rug possibilities.   Suddenly I needed to pick out a new paint color for my bedroom, and pretty soon I was waking up in the middle of the night feeling as though that I simply had to see more soft-lit pictures of people kissing in swathes of wildflowers…

Goth Fiesta

Goth Fiesta

Here are some of the things that figure largely with PrettyPorn:

Scanned polaroids of cozy-looking disheveled beds; charmingly messy dinner tables post-dinner; high quality jpegs of romantic braided hair; skinny women’s pale backs; cats; cups of tea/wine; fields of wildflowers.    Lots of French things.”

(I would specify Parisian)

Slim Paley

Slim Paley

“PrettyPorn consists of the seemingly endless chain of blogs where dreamy young things post photos and notes (and poems!) about the things they think are beautiful.  It’s an ongoing love affair with an aesthetic based on fragility, beauty, and romance.  “

pinzelladablava

pinzelladablava

(I would add sentimentality, and we know what Jung had to say about that)

So Hanks admits her addiction to it, and alluded to the thesis Richards posits,

which, in essence  means if we’re busy consuming others’ images and measuring ourselves by them, then we are not living our own life.

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So here is a confession from yours truly.

In all honesty,

I can fall into PrettyPorn too.

I fall, get up, take a shower, and remember my life.

I am truly and more sincerely interested in authenticity.

Authentic Beauty.

I’ll be writing more about this…

And I ask you dear readers, bear with me!!!

And please do let me know your thoughts on this.

(It can get a little lonely out here in the muck and the mire)

Warrior Dash Arkansas Outside.com

Warrior Dash
Arkansas Outside.com

Vox Anima, SDM

muck and mire cemetery blog

muck and mire cemetery blog

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2 Responses to PrettyPorn: Living The Instagram Life

  1. Jana Botkin says:

    Susan, I read recently that we can learn to replace anger with curiosity,amusement, and envy with admiration. I’ve never been on Instagram, gave up on Facebook after a few months, but do enjoy Pinterest. So I understand about “pretty porn” – it takes an effort to be present in our own lives and to consciously seek the beauty that is here. Contentment is a learned behavior, and harder with every passing hour on the World Wide Web.

  2. susan says:

    Dear Jana, so wonderful to hear your voice here at Vox Anima!
    You are so right to point out envy’s opposite: admiration.
    (very Jungian, you know)
    And, I agree about contentment…
    Please continue to visit, and comment.
    From one mountain girl to another! xo

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