There was a time when the world was disconnected, with numerous countries completely unaware of each other’s presence as humans struggled to master new inventions of fire and weapons. Then, like a plug to an outlet, everything changed—the world woke up, millions of lights ablaze. Society was gifted the internet and connection to places much farther than their country borders. People were happy—absolutely thrilled and itching to have a try at this new technology. Then, it grew too much. With passwords and online security systems, we felt the heaviness and utter fear of having all kinds of our private information out there. People were wary—closing the gate to their personal lives and whatnot off against strangers and potentially dangerous individuals. Enemies were no longer only in real life, but behind black screens, poised and ready for attack with just a click away.
As the world harbored this dog-eat-dog society, humans grew smarter and more guarded, limiting what people would see of them or completely hiding themselves in a different identity. No one was no longer the single layer of a person they would say they were.
As sad as it was, we saw how the simple things such as religion, sexual orientation, and mental health statuses among others were masked behind seemingly euphoric faces. That is, until a brave few took this opportunity to preserve and immortalize the real version of themselves in social media.
Most people would have an idea of what I was talking about: the 365 or the Finstagram trend.
With the simple act of requesting access, a person would be granted the trust and sacred access to someone’s Finstagram account. This was either an account where the individual was no longer scared to be themselves or an outlet for them to present identities that would’ve clashed with their everyday one. Following the Finstagram accounts of the people I knew and were familiar with, I didn’t think too much of the whole movement. What else was I to remark about the breakfast they had at T-minus hour? But, it didn’t take long for me to be hit with harsh reality.
As if turning the storybook to a page that I haven’t read before, I found myself knowing these people more through the aches and sorrows that they weren’t afraid to lock away in this safe haven. I found myself resonating to the many insecurities they shared—completely open and vulnerable negative thoughts once high walls and strict boundaries were no longer put up. My feed and heart was blessed with the assurance that someone was going through the internal struggles I was—and understood. Now that I knew about the heavy weight that even the strongest of my friends were carrying on their shoulders, I started to recognize and see them as more human.
It made me feel less alone and more willing to reach out to them, telling them that they weren’t alone and that they didn’t have to bear the burden alone. Likewise, I found gentle hands outstretched to me as well—strong, sturdy shoulders ready and more than willing to catch my virtual tears whilst patient and open ears listened along with no judgment.
As another day passes and new photos are yet again uploaded with their caption, the 365 movement only grows stronger, solidifying itself and planting its pixelated roots into hard ground. From this, people are given the chance to be real and genuinely human to the people they love and trust. What seemed like a simple trend for posting everyday life became an avenue for our society, who was so used to being strong, to feel okay at being a little broken.
Besides, we are only human.