So we'll live,
And pray, and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh
At gilded butterflies
- Shakespeare – King Lear Act V : Scene III
Look how beautiful, glamourous, fun, happy, balanced, zen,
successful, rich, valued…. I am. Social media the gilded butterfly
of our time, when “likes” became a plural noun. Only the best view,
best composition, best “reflection” of who we are appears on
social media and the “likes” do seem to matter, social media
masquerades as objectivity. When does filter and fact become
blurred? When does the footnote of a photo, become the subtitle and when is
it the script?
Some efforts to make the perfect post takes it to the level of ridiculousness,
“influencers in the wild”. Technically we could gild a butterfly and
make it more beautiful than it already is but would it be worth the
effort and the cost, if the original beauty is forever hidden. Like a
celebrity that no longer can just be a butterfly, the gilding limits
their movement, weighs them down and sometimes crushes them.
The heart and the thumbs up icons on social media have become
the added gold. This gold can hold people down, limit their
movements, decisions and ultimately drives much of the world we now live in.
Social media creates a fantasy world where people feel they
can gild their own lives, creating exteriors making lives seem
better, more exciting, more holistic, more beautiful than reality.
Sometimes life is just living, no matter where you are. The groceries
have to be purchased, the meals cooked, the clothing washed
and the human body maintained, the simple act of
sleeping must be done, none of these things can be gilded.