Recently the UK has been hit by monster storms. Huge displays of natures might, and the internet has become the new way to show skill. The skill of catching nature at her best.
So, of course, there’s always one or two pricks who ruin things.
The world is huge. The amount of people in it is phenomenal. The technology and internet that has been developed over the past decade or so has connected more corners of the globe than anything else. We have the capability to find out about anyone and anywhere we like. Yet, we’ve never been more alone. We’re more sealed away, more closed off and singular than ever before.
A world of news is at our fingertips, an entire planet can be accessed, all the reports, all the scientific breakthroughs, all the amazing, incredible, horrific and terrible things that happen in the world on a daily basis. We can get to them all. But we can’t get to each other.
Celebrities and famous people used to be something to aspire to. To be able to dance like Ginger Rogers, to sing like Aretha Franklin, to act like Peter O’Toole. Even modern day, to have the stage presence of Sir Anthony Hopkins, the grace and quiet calm of Helen Mirren, or even better, to be as inspirational as The Dalai Lama or The Pope. But now, none of these seem to apply.
Now, with just a few drinks had with footballers, or throwing enough money at it, or even just knowing the right person, you can be famous too. You can be a classy as Amy Winehouse, dragging herself through her own vomit on holiday. You can use auto-tune like Avril, or, in fact, pretty much any other ‘singer’ in the charts now. You can be famous like Kim Kardashian, famous for being famous, for having an enormous arse and coming from a rich family.
Wow, there’s some inspiration. Instead of teaching people that if they work and try and apply themselves to become famous in their field, instead they can strive and try and give it all their blood, sweat and tears and be pipped to the post by a coke-addled slapper from a loaded family who doesn’t need any fame.
But, in this amazing new world, a new way to try has emerged, very similar to an old school one. When movies like ‘Twister’ came out suddenly loads of people wanted to become storm chasers, tornado followers or cloud busters. Logic would step in eventually and say that they needed some meteorological knowledge. It’s all very well chasing storms, but if you don’t know where they’re going to be, you’ve got no chance.
Now, art and science have combined brilliantly, beautifully and incredibly, with the advent of camera phones Facebook and instant upload. Now, we can film something amazing with our phones, we can upload it to Facebook, share with our friends, family, frenemies and complete strangers earning their absolute approval or, at least, attention.
Mobile uploads and Facebook are the adult equivalent of running home with a new macaroni picture, Easter bonnet or terrible Christmas wreath from school and begging to show our parents. Desperately seeking approval for our work, a quiet nod, a mildly impressed hand on our shoulder and even better, the chance to be on the fridge.
We’re so alone and constantly told we’re not good enough. We’re too fat, too short, too thin, too tall, too white, too black. We’re not smart enough, we’re too smart, we dress too well, too shabby. We don’t take drugs, we don’t take the right drugs. We’re constantly bombarded with shows, magazines and celebrities reminding us that we’re crap, daily memos of shit arrive in our world, and we let it in.
But the new, grown up version of pasta pictures on the fridge is Facebook, especially storm pictures. Videos, photos and sound recordings of these storms have been going onto Facebook at a rate of knots, and some of them have been beautiful. Art, science, skill and timing have all combined to make hundreds upon hundreds of amazingly fabulous uploads.
It seems that we now think that if we can get a decent video on youtube or Facebook, something that everyone wants to share, they’ll all talk about it, they’ll all know our name. We’ll be like grumpy cat, doge and angry kid.
We’ll finally have that hand on the shoulder, the hug and the words said from on high “I’m so proud of you, this is amazing.” Some people were lucky enough to have that as kids anyway, but now, we need to hear it more.
Yet the main response from the world of Facebook hasn’t been praise, congratulations or local fame, it’s been abuse. Status updates along the lines of “I don’t care about your storm crap, I saw it all myself” and “So glad I know so many met office workers, really, stop with the damn storm updates, I don’t care.”
We’re so scared of rejection that we don’t try, and we’re so scared of having our flaws pointed out that we don’t show anything. But when we do try, or try to show some skill with a camera, we still get struck down. We still can’t win.
We’ll never be good enough for other people unless we’re good enough to ourselves. If you can’t be happy with you, then you’ll never be happy as you with tons of fame and cash.
Also, by the way, some of those storm pictures and videos, amazing! Keep it up, it really annoys the arseholes!