Whale Photo

The other day I took a photo of an Orca (Killer Whale), not far off the coast of where I live and proceeded to post it to my social feed without comment. It’s a pretty good shot, right?

Let me list several problems with it—not as self-effacing humble-brags, but a deeper reflection on social media in general and how we perceive it.

Yes, it’s just a photo, one of many on my feed, on one of two social networks I’m on. Yes, it’s not even the best shot (the whale isn’t breaching or spy-hopping even). But still, it made me think for a minute about why I wanted to take it, why I took it, and why I shared it in the first place.

Maybe the next time you take a photo and post it you’ll question your motivations as well. Or maybe you’ll think differently when you see a well-curated, edited shot from someone online and remember that their life is likely not all that or perfect. Better yet, maybe you’ll see some whales, jump up and down a little and be like, “FUCK YES, WHALES”. And forget you even have a camera or social media feed at all.

Hi, I'm Paul Jarvis. I write a weekly newsletter called the Sunday Dispatches where I share articles about working and living online with 35k subscribers: