Facebook is very worried about me. It keeps sending me notifications.
“You haven’t updated your status in two weeks!” it screeched, with the plaintive moan of a very large behemoth working itself into a lather over a broken fingernail.
“People are INTERESTED in going to something that’s on somewhere relatively near you, if that notion of relatively near were to be very loosely applied!!” it bellowed, beseeching me for some, any, level of engagement.
“We’ve made a video for YOU, Tara!” it wheedled, finally. “Because you mean so much to us, some algorithm made a thing out of randomly selected stuff from your past you couldn’t care less about!”
I turned away, preoccupied with something resembling real life.
There was silence for a time. Tumbleweed rolled past my closed eyelids. My fingers ceased twitching in my sleep. I was known to go without checking my phone for entire afternoons.
And then it tried again, its voice ominously stealthy as a very large truck rumbling through fresh snow in a neutral gear.
“You need to update your status, Tara…” The sounds of sniffles were becoming annoying at this point. There is nothing less appealing than a corporate giant with the dubious morals of a wealthy toddler, claiming that your lack of attention is ruining their pudding.
“All right,” I snapped crossly. “I’ll do something next week. Just leave me be on my holidays for now.”
I could see its binary eyes narrowing, unwilling to concede even a few days more of blissful quietude for but one of its captive servants. But I was not to be moved. I would not update my status until I was good and ready, and possibly not even then.
Having said that, I am a product of my environment, and years of schooling and universitying and working in 5-day-week professions mean that I am now institutionalised to the extent that I find it difficult to disobey orders (unless, of course, they are orders I find offensive; irritating; tiring, or in any way inconvenient).
So without further ado, I hereby update my status, having taken a complete break from social media for two weeks, during which I visited Hong Kong.
It is a marvellous city, teeming with life and colour and noise and smells and air so thick with humidity you can taste it. A west-meets-east feast for the senses. A hundred thousand reasons to get your face off social media and on to the humanity right in front of you.
But on to business. I’m not a fan of taking photographs when exploring, because it ruins my experience. Just my opinion, and most definitely not shared by the 2,305,967 tourists pouring off buses and into both Hong Kong and Dublin every day, camera phones clutched tightly in both hands. But some photographs are worth taking.
You know I’m a lover of the English language. Other languages too, if I’m honest; I’ve been known to be fairly loose with my affections when it comes to the written word in particular. I know I’m not alone, and so I hereby present to you: English, as loved by the Chinese.
I will finish this post with words of heartfelt love to something which is dear to my heart: the designer brand industry. I am accompanying this with photographicalish visual art of unique beauty, to illustrate the depth of my feeling on this subject.
ODE TO THE LUXURY GOOD INDUSTRY
Designer brands are really great
They fill our lives with meaning
When we don’t like ourselves that much
Rich goods will soothe our grieving
The expense is great; that’s true, no lie
Though small hands work long, for little
But knock-off goods are the absolute worst
Because cheapening brands is very bad for the economy but especially for the shareholders of the company selling four thousand euro handbags to people on a waiting list for their SOULS
All right, Facebook. Are you happy now? ARE YOU???? Can I get back in my writing cave now please?