Instagram and other black holes: A Conversation with my brain

My Brain: Look, I cannot allow this to continue.

Me: What, you got a problem with photography now?

My Brain: No, not photography. Instagram.

Me: Well, that’s where photographers post, don’t they? And it’s not like I’m revealing my life to everyone there. It’s just gonna be photos of trees and stuff.

My Brain: You put up a picture of some carrots and an orange today.

Me: It was an artistic picture.

My Brain: An orange. In close-up. On Instagram.

Me: Well—

My Brain: Next thing I know you’ll be on Snapchat, using flower crown and rosy-cheeks-enlarged-eyes filters.

Me: Eww, no.

My Brain: That’s what you used to say about Instagram first.

Me: Don’t blame me. I was forced to join it because of college.

My Brain: Yeah, but who forced you to post there? I thought we were simpatico on this— no DP, and only post when absolutely necessary, like for that competition in December.

Me: Shutterstock won’t accept my pictures; what else am I supposed to do?

My Brain: Click better pictures.

Me (exaggerated hand gestures): Oh my gawd, I feel so insulted right now.

My Brain: You should. You’re not gonna make a career out of it anyway.

Me: I am a woman with diverse hobbies, goddammit, and I’m gonna explore them all.

My Brain: Diverse hobbies, my ass. You—

Me: You don’t have one.

My Brain: What?

Me: You don’t have an ass.

My Brain: I do. She’s sitting right in front of me.

Me: I don’t care what you say; I’m gonna keep posting those photos on Instagram until they get accepted someplace.

My Brain: You’re just clicking photographs with your phone— it’s not even real photography, and you’re not that serious about it.

Me: You don’t know that.

My Brain: I do. I know you. A month from now you’ll have taken up basket-weaving for all I know.

Me: Hmm. Baskets are pretty.

My Brain: See, this is what I’m talking about. One minute you’ll be all ‘This is my dream and I am going to work to turn it into reality’ and the next you’ll go ‘Oh look a butterfly’ and go simping off after it.

Me: ‘Oh look a butterfly’ is, very literally, the kind of attitude you need for photography.

My Brain: Okay, let me torture myself into abandoning all reason for a minute and assume that you’re serious about it. Why haven’t you made your page public then, so everyone can see what you’ve clicked?

Me: What do you think I am? Brimming with confidence? No way I’m going public on that app so soon, even if I’m only posting fruit and leaves.

My Brain: Then who’s gonna see your pictures?

Me: My friends, of course.

My Brain: The number of friends you have? You can count them on the fingers.

Me: That’s not true.

My Brain: Of one hand.

Me: Now that’s more accurate.

My Brain: So? How do you plan on getting famous?

Me: I do have double-digit Instagram followers. That’s why I followed all those randos from school I hardly ever talked to.

My Brain: I can physically see your integrity crumbling.

Me: Loads of artists and photographers use that app for constructive purposes. It’s not like I’ll become one of those attention-hungry social media abominations one day.

My Brain: Or worse, one of the– *gulps* – #writersofinstagram.

Me: Oh no no no no no. You put a gun to my head, I’m not doing that.

My Brain: You never know. One day your photography obsession will run out and you’ll lie there, hungry for likes, and then—

Me: What the—

My Brain: —and then, that will be the beginning of the end. That will be the day you’ll abandon everything, all your remaining principles, everything you’ve ever stood for and you’ll become— oh I just cannot say that name again.

Me: You’re being paranoid. You’re—

My Brain (crying): Everyone who… who tells the truth is always… is always called crazy and then—

Me: Why’re you crying?

My Brain (sobbing): andthennubdyevverlizensand—

Me: Wrinkles, calm down.

My Brain (still crying): —evvydingoestoshitandnowdawasfuhedoveranolucandisregreten—

Me: I can’t even understand you.

My Brain (still crying): —uduncareenuillbekumamonstahan—

Me: I’m typing gibberish on my blog like a Tumblr shitposter now.

My Brain (sniffles, takes a moment and finally stops crying): Okay, okay, I’m… I’m calm now.

Me: That’s better.

My Brain: But you don’t understand. These social media websites, they’re designed this way. They’re made to keep you hooked, addicted. In their grasp you’re Tantalus; you’re always hungry, desperate, dissatisfied, with that delicious fruit and that cool water just within your reach but so far away.

Me: Wrinkles, please. Zuckerberg isn’t Hades.

My Brain: Oh no, he’s much worse. Hades is a pretty chill guy.

Me (sighing): Don’t you trust me?

My Brain: Not a micrometre. You’ve experienced four black holes already. And this is a supermassive one.

Me: It’s not. And stop playing ‘Supermassive Blackhole’ in the blackground. Background.

My Brain: Blackground is more accurate. *involuntary singing* Glaciers melting in the dead of night, and the superstars sucked into the—

Me: And those four black holes? Pinterest, Tumblr, Youtube and WhatsApp? They’re—

My Brain: Shh. We don’t mention the WhatsApp one out loud.

Me: I thought the Pinterest and Youtube ones were bigger, to be honest.

My Brain: Yes, but that one’s more embarassing.

Me: If posting was what made you more addicted, I should’ve been addicted to WordPress then.

My Brain: It’s not social media. And have you looked at your stats?

Me: Ouch.

My Brain: I have a better idea. Why don’t you start a photography blog over here instead?

Me: We’re barely managing this one.

My Brain: Then put them up on the Factory itself. Then you’ll have two things to choose from when you post, and your stats will fare much better.

Me (thoughtful chin-stroking): Hmm. Not bad.

My Brain (excited): Right?

Me: But I’m gonna pass.

My Brain: That’s it. I’m out.

Me: Why? I’m not talking to another person right now.

My Brain: I don’t do that when you’re talking to another person.

Me: That, and you clog up my vocal chords with spit so I have to clear my throat four times a minute on an average.

My Brain: We talked to that girl from your batch last week. She said it was nice meeting you.

Me: We were texting.

My Brain: Everybody starts somewhere.

Me: I’m not three. I’m not supposed to be learning to speak.

My Brain: We do know how to speak.

Me: There’s a difference between speaking and croaking.

My Brain: There’s a difference between speaking and socialising too.

Me: It’s not like I’m asking you to attend parties, meet people and become a social butterfly. Is it that hard to not shut down while I’m talking to somebody?

My Brain: Is it that hard for people to just follow the damn script?

Me: It’s not a theatre play, Wrinkles. There is no script.

My Brain: ‘All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.’

Me: Well then enbies aren’t.

My Brain: You’re not an enby. And neither have you met one.

Me: Even if all the men and women are players, it’s an improv act.

My Brain: Look at you. Already abbreviating words.

Me: You want me to say Indian Space Research Organisation instead of ISRO next time?

My Brain: That’s an organisation name, that doesn’t matter. I fear the day you’ll start replacing ‘you’ with ‘u’ in your writing.

Me: U r overreacting.

My Brain (coughs for a whole minute, wheezes, gasps): Don’t ever do that to me again.

Me: Wut? I didnt do n e thing.

My Brain: I can see you cringing at your own words.

Me: Fine, fine. But I am going to put up those pictures over there. I think I’ll put up that one of the park sidewalk next and caption it the cursory ‘Not all those who wander are lost’.

My Brain: Walking in a park that’s literally fifty metres from your house isn’t wandering.

Me: Well…

My Brain: And you’ve even started making memes now.

Me: I absolutely do not do that.

My Brain: You have the app in your phone.

Me: Doesn’t mean a thing.

My Brain: You proudly looked at your Distracted Girlfriend Programming Meme yesterday at 9:37 PM.

Me: It’s just the one I made for the coding club icon—

My Brain: And the Spongebob one, and the Death Note one, and—

Me: Okay, okay, I get it. It’s not that big a deal.

My Brain: Not that big a deal?

Me: I’m not a language-impaired instagram memer. And don’t pretend you don’t like memes.

My Brain: As long as they’re not bigoted.

Me: Of course. And mine are?

My Brain (annoyed): Not bigoted.

Me: Exactly.

My Brain: You know, I miss the days we used to make fun of social media together.

Me: Just because I’m on Instagram doesn’t mean I suddenly love it.

My Brain: Now that just makes you a hypocrite.

Me: I was never against artists and photographers and cake decorators using it. I still hate all those preening peacocks over there.

My Brain: Don’t get me started. It’s like yeah, we get it, you have this all-consuming void of insecurity inside you and you need validation so you’re putting up your friggin’ night routine for the general public’s edification.

Me: That went from zero to hundred quick.

My Brain: If it’s not that it’s just plain vanity. It’s like Narcissus died and a million more were born.

Me: I’ve read it’s actually affecting people’s mental health.

My Brain: Oh god, that reminds me. Those ‘mental health’ pages.

Me: Mental health? More like a rich five-year-old kid’s glittery, unicorn-y wardrobe. ‘Live Laugh Love’ bitch please I’m not on a world tour with my twenty friends.

My Brain: I’m so thankful we haven’t experienced Snapchat yet. Its Youtube advertisements are enough to make me almost press the vomit trigger.

Me: I don’t get it. Are you so dissatisfied with your species that you digitally change it to Canis familiaris?

My Brain: If I wanted to change my species I’d be a tree.

Me: Of course you would. You already turn into one in social situations.

My Brain: A cherry blossom one. They’re beautiful.

Me: They only grow in Japan.

My Brain: I don’t think so. I’ve seen them in American shows too. They couldn’t grow in India though. Too much… everything.

Me: You’re a human brain. You can’t be a cherry blossom tree.

My Brain: Just you wait and see. I’m gonna break a glass ceiling or two.

Me: This is not a glass ceil—

My Brain (singing non-existent song): Sakura, Sakura, I’m a rose-hued dendron spreading blossoms and joy in the world, I will bloom and bloom for—

Me: Trees don’t sing.

My Brain: Uh, the nineteenth century called. They want their stereotypes back.

Me: It’s not a stereotype, it’s a fact. And it’s also a fact that—

My Brain (singing off-key): I will bloom and bloom forever, for you, for me, for beauty is what keeps the world turning…

Me: Why, why do I even try.

My Brain: Now end this so I can be a tree in peace.

Me: Just like that? So abruptly?

My Brain: I’ll end it. *turns towards reader* If you want to laugh, please do so in the comments because we have this all-consuming void of insecurity inside us and we need validation.

11 thoughts on “Instagram and other black holes: A Conversation with my brain

  1. And for all that matters, I think wrinkles is being a little paranoid about losing your integrity and what not. It’s just a social media app, not the cave of Satan. And the #writersofinstangram, sure I’ll give you, they’re mostly cringe, but I’ve found great writers and poets over there. It’s about how you stay true to yourself, even in the face of temptation. And why are memes so bad??? I wish I had the creativity to make memes. Please share your creations with the world. As far as mental health pages, again, you can’t generalize. Most of them are really out of touch, but some of them have literally changed me as a person. There are so many artists I follow that I’m grateful for. So many cartoonist, embroiderers, sculptors. But overall, all these things are just me trying to justify my internet addiction. You can get these valuable inputs from other mediums too. Stay offline if you can.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A classic monologue turned dialogue with a brain personified. Fitting, given the classical references sprinkled throughout. You have a real talent for working through a thought so poetically, I have to say. And you’ve got a fair bit of humor to boot. I wouldn’t worry so much about social media and what it says about you. In the end, it’s a tool. Use it for what it’s for and go on with your day. You’ll be fine. I mean, where’s the harm in sharing a pic or two of fruit, trees, and… I don’t know, a close up shot of a nostril? As for going public, I know I’ve felt that same feeling of “do I put myself out there? What will people think?” I had it burning very strongly in me when I first booted up the Wormhole. I wasn’t sure what people would say, or if it was worth putting my digital thoughts on digital paper at all. Five and a half years later, I’d say it was pretty worth it. I have my own private site where I store stuff just for me, but no one will ever… ever… find it. EVER.

    Thanks for continuing to entertain us, Anisha. I look forward to the future, and whatever well composed orange eventually ends up here on the Factory. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I guess you’re right about seeing it as a tool. A major concern I had was about digital privacy, but I know I’m never gonna put up pictures/information of myself or my family over there, so I guess I should be fine.
      I had the same reservations with the Factory four years back you had with the Wormhole. And like you, I am so glad I took that step.
      And I know I’ve put a lot of my personality into my blog, but I dunno, it feels… safe, weirdly. Like it doesn’t matter if I unleash myself over here, no one’s gonna judge, my thoughts won’t be used against me some day. It’s not true, I know, but it just feels that way.
      Some day, maybe we’ll have Macro Mondays here like Chuck Wendig’s. Thanks for such a warm comment, Dan.

      Liked by 1 person

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