A recent BBC article points out there are over 19 million Instagrams with the hashtag “#beach.”
I have never used Instagram and only vaguely heard of it, so I had to do a quick search to educate myself. Instagram is an online social network service that allows you to take photos and videos, I assume by smartphone and tablet, and immediately share them on other social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr. The hashtag is the label attached to each item.
“Sharing” was once the sole property of religious proselytizers who justify their imposition by calling it “sharing.” “Sharing” has moved to a new level with sites like this where anyone can push vast quantities of their digital trash onto the world. But I digress, guilty of pushing my own opinion on you. Sorry.
The 19 million Instagrams illustrates two things, the article tells us.
“The first: The numbers show the beach is unanimously loved. It never gets old. Each time we feel the sand between our toes, hear the waves break at the shoreline and watch that ball of fire sink toward a pink-reflected ocean, we lose ourselves, if only for a moment, in awe.
“The second: The high count of hashtags reveals that you are not doing anything new. There are enough Instagram photos of the beach. It is time to put away your phone and enjoy all of the many things that inspire you to digitally capture the moment in the first place.”
Well said, anonymous author.
The New Jersey beach, for me, has lost much of its charm. Now, as I watch the the ball of fire rise over the horizon (what we see in New Jersey) with my toes in the sand, I can only think of it as a Disney set, as artificial as the Instagram itself. There is nothing natural about the vast stretch of sand I sit on (as a quick glance over my shoulder at the boardwalk and its tacky amusements would confirm). It was dredged up from far offshore at great cost to us all—financially, in consumed energy, and to the environment—just to temporarily protect the investment of the beachfront homeowners who despise us and wish we would all go home.