Walter Mitty And The Secrets Behind Oversharing

As I stare blankly at the blinking cursor, I’m thinking of what I should write about. It should be something informative, educating, or witty at the very least. But I can’t think of anything.

Today went by so fast. I disassembled our bed—old, fucking noisy bed—had the car washed and got a fade.. all in the morning. Me and my wife, Nouelle, had plans to watch a movie in the afternoon and after doing the requisite chore or task given by either my mom or dad whenever we go out, we headed to the mall.

On any Saturday, every mall in the Philippines is full of people—with only a handful who are really doing some serious shopping inside. Most are just sucking up on air conditioning and free Wi-Fi with a 1-hour limit; it is almost like a refugee camp for the pauperized.

We decided to see “The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty” as we’ve already seen Scorsese’s “The Wolf Of Wall Street. ” You should know that me and my wife never go into the movies without bringing food good enough to feed two starving families—at least. So we scoured the mall to get our supplies, trying to dodge the zombies—useless bunch of people with their noses attached to their mobile phones walking aimlessly. After getting the customary popcorn, fast food hot dog sandwich, and providing free consultation for process improvement to a nacho vendor on how to handle their queues better, we went into the cinema—about 2 minutes late into the movie.

Now, I wouldn’t go into much detail about the movie so as not to spoil anything for those who haven’t seen it but this I would say: if the movie doesn’t touch you in any way it’s probably because you’re either a sore piece of rotting junk who’s given up on life or the exact opposite—you’re already living your life to the fullest and thought of the movie as a mere memoir.

Anyway, the best thing I got out of the movie is how Sean Penn’s character understood beauty—or how he depicted it to be. There’s a scene where he’s trying to catch a snow leopard on film—or so it seems—but hesitates to take a picture at the very end saying “Beautiful things don’t ask for attention.” Which very much speaks to today’s generation of people who just can’t wait to share everything their smartphone captures—even if it’s twenty five pictures of the very same face—to the world.

As opposed to what everyone seems to think, we don’t owe the world—specifically, the people living in it—anything, particularly those in social media. There is no written, or unwritten rule per se, which requires us to share every little thing we come across or every bit of high we experience. However, sharing would’ve been acceptable if anything but it usually isn’t the reason or the goal why people put their entire lives up online for everyone to see, judge, and criticize. It’s almost as if they’re asking people to validate, to provide one’s blessing to their existence. It’s like even if they actually hit it big by winning the lottery or maybe as simple as having a beautiful family, they are not contented unless the general public approves of or “likes” it. Find someone who regularly posts pictures of him/herself online with no good amount of people liking or commenting on them and you’ve found yourself a sad, miserable person. So, really, it’s not them having the world’s best interest at heart when sharing what they think is beautiful, inspiring—or at the very least—helpful to it. It’s more of them trying to provide the world something that would, in return, give them the valuing or that high they’ve desperately been looking for.

If you really think about it, we’ve been doing things like this for ages—even before smartphones existed; hell, even before digital cameras were put in place. Remember when everyone had to use films which had very limited exposures? We pick every shot we take carefully—thoroughly deciding whether it’s worth the snap or not—but just the same, when people go to our homes, we proudly brag about the pictures we took—typically inside photo albums we perpetually hide beneath the coffee table in the living room. The difference between then and now is—plain and simple—limits. Since we can snap limitless pictures of our best duck face impression, we get lost in deciding on which image we look our best and end up uploading an equivalent of 5 films in ancient photography.

Me? I’d rather live in the moment. Keep some things to myself and preserve it exactly the way my eyes—not the camera lenses—saw it and even be morose if someone thinks of speaking to me while I immerse myself in the simple beauty and tranquility of things. This is pretty much accounted for in my Instagram account with no pictures to be seen (or criticized) on it.

I don’t like to think I owe people anything, more so the need to share every beautiful thing I come across with them, and I sure as hell have no imminent need for their endorsement. No one’s ghost writing my story any time soon. Think about that the next time your urge to post something online comes.