+ Identity, in the digital world
For most people the new year technically begins on the first of January; but for me, it has long-been the first signs of fall that officially declare the start of a new beginning. Since a very young age I naturally began to think of the calendar year as September to September. I consider my first grade teacher partially responsible for this; and also for the fact that I take rainy weather as extremely motivating. Around this time of the year, most likely I do a lot of thinking. Whether it's a waste of time or not no one can tell.
Late summer look in beige and leather jacket/Zara+H&M, Orange Leather Dragonne Pouch/Céline
Not so very long ago, social media was a completely undiscovered world for me. I was pressured into buying my first smart phone back in 2015 and shortly after this, I moved to China to work for some time. During that period I remember using Skype once. I must admit, I was probably not the most sociable person at the time. Remember how we used to ring each other on our cell phones? Well, that was pretty much it. I wanted for that romanticism of the smart-phone-free-era to last a bit longer. I would memorise streets, sketch maps and orient myself pretty much in every country in the world just alright. I felt so proud of it. It was not until Carlos had challenged me on a 'Who's taking the best picture' contest, that I actually installed Instagram for the first time.
I had no more than a handful followers and at the time I didn't seem to care about whether people would like my pictures or not. I only cared about sharing a 'better' looking picture than Carlos. When people started liking my pictures I was wowed! It was so easy. At no time have I felt insecure about what to post, and I always shared as much as I would feel comfortable with. I never wanted my face to be much out there. Not because I don't like myself or the way I look. I just never saw myself as the centre of what I was aiming to create. I believe in the image and in the concept; myself was always just an element in the picture like any other. I wanted to share the beauty of living, my architecture of things, buildings, geometries, travel and fashion. All in good measure. Eventually, this became another thing I wanted to perfect; and part of my daily life. There was a point where I reached about 1500 followers on my personal account and realised that I didn't like my audience. There was a lot of traffic there; family, friends, colleagues, all our past and a lot of limitations. I couldn't express myself the way I wanted anymore. And this is when Slowanderluster is risen.
Starting fresh I decided I didn't want to follow many accounts. I wanted to prevent myself from being influenced in a certain degree by other Instagrammers. If I wanted to, I could always change this at any moment. I know it sounds self-serving but it was a well considered genuine choice. Slowanderluster began anonymously and was discreetly advertised so that only the people that really cared about its context would eventually follow.
Throughout the last couple of years, this image sharing console has helped a lot improving my 'lifestyle'. There are a lot of things I always dreamed of doing and never put this amount of attention in doing. I could start seeing things from a different perspective. Like a third eye. Memories were captured and effort was put onto sharing them in words. A small form of art. The art of sharing living. I would suddenly pay much more attention in buildings and was way more curious in learning more about everything. I would prepare nice things for the eye, not only to share them, but also to enjoy with my friends and loved ones. New traditions were established. In certain areas, it was refreshing and funny. In some others, scary. Until I found the balance between separating these two. I always kept in mind that the image is nothing close to reality. It is only a snap of it. Sometimes reality can be worse, some others it can be way better than the picture. And I was aiming for more of these moments. Sometimes you need to lose yourself in order to find it back even stronger. There are no true rules.
So what is identity at the very end? These days it could very much become one and the same thing with a digital identity. Our fingerprint in the social media world. In a world where everyone has tried everything can we really speak about originality? Sometimes it's even difficult enough to separate an authentic bag from a fake one. There are such good imitations out there. Imagine when it comes to people! We all have identity. Some are very shy to explore theirs and they are hiding behind observing other people's identities. Some have a hell of a strong identity whether is working beneficially for them or not. You can never really say what's best. I come to think that what's important is to embrace who you really are or who you want to be and be it. Shy or less confident, loquacious or unrestrained. At the end of the day the value of identity is that so often with it comes purpose.