Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Social Media Illusion

I open my instagram app to find a photo of my soon-to-be son-in-law standing in front of the nose of a corporate jet. His caption reads that he's on his way to work. Tis true. He's filming an event for his company.

Wow, I think. Way cool to commute to work in a private jet. Lucky guy. I hope he realizes how lucky he is, because certainly through instagram, everyone in his world now knows how lucky he is, and what a waste if he doesn't.

However, Instagram doesn't tell all; there is the rest of the story, as Paul Harvey used to say on national radio, and more often than not, it's the rest of the story that tells the best of the story--and so it is with London.

When London boards the plane, the CEO, his boss and friend, tells him he needs to sit on the toilet in the lavatory at the back of the jet. Always the good sport, London assumes he's kidding and heads to the lavatory, sits down, makes himself, ummmm, comfortable. He waits for the joke to end.  CEO comes back to tell him the plane is at capacity and he does, in fact have to sit on the toilet. Turns out, this private jet toilet also doubles as an extra seat. CEO pulls out the pads, and the safety belt that will accommodate London safely to work.

Now, the instagram photo was honest and fun, but left out the rest and the best, and certainly the irony.  The photo helped us to imagine the probability of the rest of the story: London, reclined in his seat, surrounded by the conversation of sharp executives, all the soda he could drink and peanuts he could eat, when in fact he was sitting on the toilet.

To this London would retort, "Hey, Pat, I'd rather be sitting on the toilet in a lear jet on my way to work, than ummmm, just sitting on a toilet."

To which I would most likely reply, "You're right London. It's not about the toilet, it's about where you're going while you're on the toilet."

And next time you see a glamorous Instagram photo? Remember, it's only part of the story.