Reality Is Better Than Instagram
Struggling to take a photo that could capture the magic of scuba diving around the Similan Islands of Thailand, I remembered a passage in Gone Girl.
Nick Dunne complains, “Mona Lisa, the Pyramids, the Empire State Building. Jungle animals on attack, ancient icebergs collapsing, volcanoes erupting. I can’t recall a single amazing thing I have seen firsthand that I didn’t immediately reference to a movie or TV show… I’ve literally seen it all, and the worst thing, the thing that makes me want to blow my brains out, is: The secondhand experience is always better. The image is crisper, the view is keener, the camera angle and the soundtrack manipulate my emotions in a way reality can’t anymore.”
Upon first reading that passage I didn’t even pause to think before arriving at the conclusion that he was, unfortunately, correct. Especially with today’s obsession with social media, it’s difficult not to feel a little depressed when you are more interested in the color-enhanced Instagram version of someone else’s sunset than the one right in front of you.
But as I was swimming around looking at coral, I realized I didn’t fully agree with his definition of “amazing”. Yes I was definitely excited when I saw a turtle my size swimming only 1 foot away. Or when I realized that a stingray was the source of all the stirred up sand in the water. But there were other things, things I couldn’t capture on photo or video, that were equally as thrilling. Like when I felt weighed down by all my equipment on the boat but then free the moment I jumped into the water. Or how I shared a bunch of sightings with my mom without being able, or needing, to talk about it.
So when looking at the pictures of my time scuba diving around the Similan Islands, keep in mind the following: Most of my photos are intentionally chosen or edited, and some of the most amazing things I experienced I could not capture.
Until the next post!