Week #27: A Pixelated World

There used to be a time – not so long ago in the overall scheme of things – when we only knew about the activities of friends and acquaintances, and their innermost thoughts, when they told us. Or in some cases, when overhearing gossip.

But today there is SO MUCH information shared about people on a regular basis. We know what one of our former co-workers from a decade ago ate for dinner and where a fellow high school alum traveled last weekend. I appreciate feeling connected to people from different stages of my life but sometimes all that information, along with all the news and entertainment content out there, feels very overwhelming. I keep scrolling through the newsfeed because part of me wants to know what everyone is doing, but other times it feels isolating because many are not deep connections.

This is what this week’s song is about. The song is from 2016 (my limited-guitar-chords-tape-recorder-recording-in-my-bedroom era), but I always liked the message behind it.

On one hand, my social medial newsfeeds are filled with depressing news stories from multiple news sources, but they are interspersed with cute dog and baby pictures as well as fun vacation snapshots. And at the time that I wrote it, it was popular to post when you “checked in” where you were, as if that information was important for everyone to know about. (Now that time seems so innocent, as it later proved to more of a security issue because you were letting people know that you were not at home.)

Here I am today, don’t know where I’ll be tomorrow
As far as I can see, a world tinged with sorrow
And yet the sunny snapshots smile on my troubled timeline
Fragments of a life I call mine

Of course we realize that all the photos we see on social media don’t reflect someone’s entire life. Everyone has their own challenges and nobody’s life is only beautiful sunsets on a tropical beach. Yet not many people are going to post pictures of the dull or difficult moments of their life. Instead they post the moments in their life that they want everyone to think their life is really like. Sometimes people are actually feeling so down about their life that they go out of their way to present happy images as a way to hide their sadness from others.

We live in a pixelated world
Presenting images of how we’d like to be
We live in a pixelated world
Hiding behind the scenes

However, there are those people who do share their life challenges (and those are some of my favorite people, especially those who do it with humor.) I think it’s more powerful for people to share those not-so-perfect moments, too, because those are those moments that others can relate to because we’re all humans (except for the robots) and being human can be difficult. It’s ironic that the technology we have today allows us to connect with people like never before, yet so many people feel so isolated.

Who are we if not for each other
Interconnected like never before
What can we be if we work together
Find a hidden treasure to explore

I know the song structure is all off and some of the wording is vague (what does ‘find a hidden treasure to explore’ actually mean?), but I still enjoy it. I’m not sure that I’d go back and try to rewrite it though, I’ll just leave it as a memory of that time.

And still the sunny snapshots smile on my troubled timeline
Fragments of a life I call mine.

We live in a pixelated world
Presenting images of how we’d like to be
We live in a pixelated world
Hiding behind the scenes.

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