All eyes on me: Holiday divas on social media

Showing off your holidays on social media.

“Look at me, I can afford luxury!” Or that’s the widespread attitude on social media, especially during the summer holidays. Because summer is the holiday season, right?

But who doesn’t take summer holidays? Well, there are of course those whose work nature doesn’t allow them to (usually people working in the hospitality industries). Or people who cannot meet the expenses. Some can only afford a tiny bit and they will usually choose a modest way to spend their free time. And then there’s the majority which will most likely resort to endless boasting about their luxurious breaks on Facebook and the likes. That is holiday narcissism for you.

True, the social media epidemic could be responsible for this kind of behaviour. It’s the perfect tool for showing off and comparing yourself to others. While some might choose a cheap weekend break or a road trip, there will be those uploading photos from expensive resorts, sipping extravagant cocktails, their dinners resembling those of celebrated gourmands.

What’s wrong with that, you may ask. These are well-deserved holidays, after all, some of these people have been working 24/7 the whole year (OK, an exaggeration maybe). The thing is, it’s not just about holidays but also about everyday activities: I know people who will post a selfie every time they visit a hotel bar or have breakfast at a bistro reading their book (the latter often being an excuse for the selfie itself). But don’t they have the right to spend their money as they wish?

Showing off your holidays on social media.

I guess they do. But how proper is it to display their pretentious lifestyle on Facebook or any other social media? It depends on the social context. And in the case of my country, the financial crisis-stricken Greece, where the minimum wage is under 586 euros per month, the unemployment rate is roughly at 20% and bearing in mind tragedies involving the drowning of refugees every now and then or the recent wildfires that caused the death of nearly a hundred citizens, well, in this case, the social context is plain wrong.

“So what are we to do? Waste our summer in mourning?” a friend recently asked me. Yes, we can definitely mourn (albeit silently). But we can also be humble and modest and try to promote a creative/productive lifestyle instead of being provocative on the social media platforms.

That is true for the nouveau riche kind, the pretentious elitist, the working-class employee who finally gets a chance to spend their hard-earned salary,  the digital marketing geek who uploads photos programming on his laptop on a hammock overlooking the ocean or the booklover who takes selfies reading in expensive beach houses. With this democratisation of luxury, one wonders whether luxury is still the appropriate term to use.

Poor or rich, showing off your expensive lifestyle is pathetic, even if it lies within the temporary state of holidays. And not just that: I think it is downright offensive to those who are in need.

What happened to witty flirting?

dating, chat up lines, dating techniques pride and prejudice

That means flirting through clever dialogue, no chitter-chatter.

I’ve been witness to the following, goofy efforts:

  • Offensive chat-up lines: “I thought I saw you staring at me, let me introduce myself…”
  • Silly compliments: “Those three tiny moles on your shoulder look like the Bermuda Triangle and I’m ready to vanish into it.”
  • Childish accidents: “Sorry, my friend who’s quite drunk accidentally pushed me towards your direction, I didn’t mean to spill my drink on you…”
  • Buying a drink for the stranger at the end of the bar and waiting for him/her to come and say thank you. Who do you really think you are?
  • Real slutty dress code reaction, like when a guy pulls up his sleeves to show his biceps (yes, we all have them) or a girl “rearranges” her neckline.
  • And most of all: enough with the intense staring. Unless you have the charisma of a James Bond or Marlo Brando you’ll make an uncomfortable situation. This needs tact, and just plain staring is usually associated with stalker tactics.

Of course, there is the no-nonsense approach of “Do you want to go back to my place?” which usually works but a) is as cheap as anything, b) implies your motive is sex only, c) doesn’t give you a sense a fulfilment (after all anyone would say yes to a free meal).

Instead of the above silly methods, why aren’t we more old-fashioned?

There is some kind of pleasure in the pre-flirtatious games. You know, for instance, when trying to guess the mysterious aura that surrounds the other person: Not just who they are, but what they might like, the way they move, their facial gestures, their body language. Where could they be coming from? What are they seeking? What are their failures and ambitions in life?

Of course in the 18th and 19th-century people used witty dialogue to flirt with each other. You should already know that if you’ve read your Jane Austen and Henry James. There is nothing sexier than trying to stimulate the senses through the brain. Being intelligent with a good sense of humour (no slapstick comedy style allowed), showing you are really interested in finding out about the other person’s character instead of just gossiping.

It’s the little details that matter in a conversation and, alas, it seems that we have lost the art of fine speech.
Why? Well, for one, people can’t seem to engage in clever conversation anymore. Blame it on text messaging, the social media, the fast pace of modern life, the Internet. Or let’s just get rid of any lame excuses and just blame it on incompetence.

The big question is: do we need to be among these people?
Should we take it as a compliment if one flirts with us, even if the flirting technique is downright dopey?

A search for witty on a thesaurus bring ups the following results:
sparkling, ingenious, lively, entertaining, clever, smart, sharp-witted, piquant, quick-witted, waggish, epigrammatic, scintillating, facetious, original, jocular…

Which makes you think: so many words for an art that is lost…