Volume 50, Issue 3: Editor’s Desk
Carlo Javier // Editor-in-Chief
“I used to care what people thought. Now I care more.” – Childish Gambino
I woke up to a loud crash the other morning; loud enough that my deep-sleeping, loud-snoring ass actually woke despite a tightly shut window. It was a car crash and I knew it right away.
The first thing I did was what most people would’ve done. I tried to go back to sleep. It was 5:44 a.m. and I still had an hour before my alarm, enough time to savour my precious slumber. Waking up and realizing that you have a lot of time left before your alarm goes off is one of the great moments that we can never take for granted.
On the other hand, waking up just minutes before your alarm blares is like walking to Fatburger for a Spicy Buffalo Chicken Sandwich, then walking over to the nearest McDonald’s for cheaper – and quite honestly – better fries, only to find out that those motherfuckers at Fatburger forgot the buffalo sauce in your Spicy Buffalo Chicken Sandwich.
Ultimately, I caved in. I got up, opened my window and saw a dismantled white hatchback. The hood and the bumper of the car were smashed in and the front right wheel had been completely detached. On the other end of the impact was a pick-up truck. Because of how fixated I was on the hatchback and the distress calls that came from the very few bystanders, I almost didn’t notice that the left side of the truck was caved in.
The accident was undoubtedly brutal and it took the first responders several minutes before they could pry the driver of the hatchback out of the car. It was a surreal, eye-opening sight that wasn’t marred by my initial hesitation to even care, nor was the gravity of the moment lessened by the fact that I simply sat in my room and looked from afar – opposed to going down to see if there was anything I could do to help. Though both of my choices were certainly erroneous, it was a third notion that in retrospect upset and even embarrassed me.
I wanted to take a photo of the accident – and I did. While I’ve worked as a reporter and writer for years, I had zero intentions of snapping a photo to report about the accident. I wasn’t even live-tweeting. I took it because of an inclination for the sensational, for the over-the-top, for something or anything that would draw attention to my Instagram, Snapchat and what have you.
This week, our feature story takes an unfiltered dive into the world of Instagram – a world overrun by ideals built around popularity, aesthetic and “highlights”. It’s a domain dominated by deceptively young models who blur the lines between body positivity and fat shaming and between being fit and being healthy. It’s a place littered with one of true scourges of the internet – kids who create and popularize “challenges” that most often venture towards inappropriate, distasteful and really, harmful behaviour.
Yet as much as I point out aw after aw and complaint after complaint about Instagram, I can’t help but admit that it is the one social media platform that truly presides over my own online behaviour. My Instagram, despite it’s sad lack of followers, is curated to an aesthetic that I deem to be appealing for other people. I never would’ve posted a photo of the accident on my social media feeds. My sometimes attention-seeking self has yet to reach that low of a nadir. Let’s hope it never does.