• Scott Carnahan

Lurking in the Neon.

Photo by Daniel Monteiro on Unsplash

It is 3:45 in the morning, in that special West Hollywood club that keeps the dance floor open all night.


Men dancing on men, girls flirting with girls, and all the straight people there just trying to score. Bros proud to pick up girls at a gay bar, girls combing the sand for boys to make out with. People looking for people, and this is the hour of desperation. Desperation or unbridled pleasure, if you’re not in the dead heat of a grind on the dance floor you’re searching for prey.


In this late night deluge strange beasts lurk in and out, with the bar thinning humanity’s bizarro dimension is easier to spot. It was at that time when I saw a strange creature waltz into the bar and walk with the eyes of a predator through the field of neon light.


She was wearing high heeled boots, the kind that go to the knee. With her leather jacket, she seemed like any other Los Angeles girl out for a night. After noticing her, I paid no mind and continued dancing. The second time was when I could tell this girl was strange.


Walking around the dance floor with her phone out. Taking peoples photos, shooting video of friends dancing, guys grinding. She would put her hand in front of the camera at times, being a part of it. With a couple swipes and a tap she would post and continue walking around.


Right around the time I saw her take a selfie with a random group of people, I had to have my friend slap me. It couldn’t be real, there is no way, this girl was trying to pass all of these people off as her friends. The straight girl with her crazy gay friends, living it up at a bar in California, making her Instagram followers envy her and the crazy life she lives.


With a smile creeping across her face she left, another nights work done for the social media queen. Her most prized possession is the number of her followers, so much so that she needed to get all dressed up and go out to fake a lifestyle. If only she would put down the phone, maybe she could make real friends.


She isn’t the only one with an attention problem, people are struggling to find the meaning in their lives and sadly they are finding it on social media. They are everywhere.

I still laugh when I think about the time I went to the Vasquez rocks. A handful of rocks that jut out of the ground, it is a state park but it feels like another planet. Every social media junky in Southern California calls that place home and on a nice weekend they come out in droves.


Every car that comes and goes is filled to the brim with pretty people dressed in their various fashions. There are the young up and comers out building their portfolio, the people charging ridiculous prices for ‘professional’ photography, and of course the average joe out for a day. A cell phone in all of their hands so they can inform the world they weren’t binging Netflix for a day.


It is sad when you see a group of girls dressed for a festival, when there is no festival, and they are passing around their phones talking about all the likes they are getting. There is a complete disconnection from the present, from others around them. All that matters is a number and that number gets higher the more skin they show off.


Of course there is the whole range of posts. Girls out to be models ranging from sexy, to free spirited, to feminist. The boys flex and parkour off the rocks or pose to ensure everyone’s belief that they are above all others.


Broadcasting to the world, your whole life live for all to see. The key to attracting more followers.


I’m guilty of it. Aren't all of us, even this website is that way, everything is about followers and posts. I don’t know how social worth was valued before the age of followers, what was it like to see a room without anyone staring at some sort of a screen.


People make money off their followers, it is a hustle that can make you rich so it makes sense that people flock to it. I believe that they should, by all means. But at some point we need to taste reality. Boredom is reality, lack of communication is reality, and in reality none of your followers really care that much about you.


Before I become too irate from my lack of hope for our generation, at least in the social realm, I will end by reassuring you that it is best to just live. Put down the damn phone and make real, in-person, connections. Because that is what life is really about, the people that make you who you really want to be.

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