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Incentivized joy

I find myself frustrated by today’s Instagram culture. The system creates an endless toxic cycle of envy fueled by inauthenticity, when we’d all be happier just being present.

Children are great reminders of what it means to be in the flow of joy. Below is a photo of my daughter at the Museum of Ice Cream that captures her authentic joy of being in that unique place. It wasn’t posed, edited, nor planned – she just ran over to this thing she liked (a swing!) and laughed because playing with it was giving her joy.

And below is a photo of an instagramer who was visibly annoyed by this display of authentic joy, which was getting in the way of her photographer snapping a photo that looked like authentic joy.

The juxtaposition above captured the irony of instagram culture so well. While I hope the Instagrammer was having a good time, it sure didn’t seem like this was anything more than work. Her followers of course only get to see her inauthentic joy.

I hope my children (and those of her generation) find a way to disavow this false prophet of incentivized social sharing, and never allow people like this to question the value of their authenticity.

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