19 September 2018

Bright pop

Pre-SNS, photos were nothing but record-keeping tools for me. Then came Instagram, which I (insta-)enjoyed the moment I signed up. And still do. Digital images continue to serve as pages of a diary. Yet like this public blog, however personal, they are kept with a degree of performance. Too many greys; looks dead.

The platform gets flak for various reasons you already know. I am particularly annoyed by the algorithm-based feed. But my response to the critique regarding FOMO and self-pity connected to the app is: follow strictly what you like. (Also, the universe is too big to miss-out; you are always missing out.)

To be fair, who would want to reminisce about tragedies? Of course we'll mostly post beautiful snaps capturing beautiful times. Bad news are exchanged over the phone or in person. And the moment you decide to be in front of the camera is already a moment dedicated to playing pretend.

I'm not being clever as well when I declare an appreciation for selfies — taking and staring at them. They are the ultimate status update. Your face paints a thousand words.


Friday night I found a fountain of youth: Dua Lipa Live in Manila. My friend, Mich, is a fan, and from experience, even if I only enjoy a couple of songs from an artist, I grab the chance to catch their concert because of their capacity to surprise me. So I volunteered to join her and boy what a good decision that was.

When social media does its job, it does it well. Or, okay, fine, it's how we use the medium. Though if not for said medium, another friend and Dua fan won't be able to hear about my upcoming adventure and recommend a song to listen to. Lost in your light. "She's amazing live," friend adds with heart eyes emoji.

I thought she meant grand productions. Because that's how it's been so far with pop stars. Quickly I learned that it was something else. I won't forget the energy in that arena. Maybe I was too far, yet not once did I suffer from the weight of starstruck admirers. Dua Lipa's entire performance was an unrelenting invitation to dance and sing along with her.

Don't watch me; have fun with me.

Outside, after the show, I overheard a young lady. "Seems like it was barely an hour-and-a-half long, but it was so tiring!" Agreed. We felt spent in the best possible way.


Needless to say, I have the highlight reel of that little party on my IG. While primarily for my viewing pleasure, please do take a gander.

Before, when I see myself in old photographs, I think, "I wasn't as bad as I thought." Now I am changed, and charmed by myself more and more each day.

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