California Instagram Blues
Sideburnista Gary Inman on California and the Fear of Missing Out
Life used to be simple.
I had, after years of yearn, found an almost buddhist calm. Be clear, I wasn’t living a monastic existence: I’d acquired good stuff and plenty of it; got married; co-created a couple of smiley kids; bought a house, albeit in an unfashionable area of rural England; carved out a career I enjoyed; had my health, and I’d proudly reached a state of contentment with my lot.
Not for me was the increasingly loud chorus of ‘Want!’ screamed at a photo of the latest shiny crafted lifestyle accessory and dreamy motor. That was for the sheep and consumerist popinjays. The gullible mugs.
Then came Instagram (Oh yeah, I had a smartphone too, but not the latest one. I’m not that shallow.) If you don’t know, this app is like Twitter, but for photos and captions. I never got into Twitter, and I know they also do photos now, but Instagram was my social media crack cocaine. And it fed me images of Ventura vibes, San Diego shindigs and Huntingdon Beach happenings on an hourly basis.