“People are hungry for genuine human stories now more than ever. We’ve gotten so caught up in this culture of self-branding where everybody cherry-picks what they show on social media and glosses over their failures and setbacks… But it’s the failures and the setbacks that people want to hear about, not these carefully curated success stories. That’s not real life. Nobody is interested in following yet another picture-perfect life on Instagram. Nobody.”
“We’re also living in a time where everything feels a bit pessimistic, even apocalyptic. I think there’s a desire for more real-life stories that have a positive message, that are hopeful. There’s a certain comfort in having an 80-year-old tell you, ‘I was 15 years old in 1940 when the Germans invaded Paris and it was la grosse merde but in the end, we got through it.’”
From an interview with Laurence Guilloud and Fabrice Le Dantec, founders of the magazine, L’Instant Parisien
Who are we, what are we trying to do, what’s this big deal about our Instagram life?
Go back 40 years. (Oh I hate saying that, it means I have enough years under my belt to be able to go back forty years and still be on the page. But this is a mindset thing…what is wrong with not being young (???) so yes, go back 40 years.) You will find a 12 year old girl hammering away at a black Corona portable typewriter with silver rims around its keys, dreaming up stories.
No Tippex then (and now almost obsolete). Typing errors were crossed out by hitting the hyphen key and you had to change reels when your ribbon ran out of ink. Copies were made with carbon paper — I had not heard of a photocopy machine, nor a scanner; computers belonged in SciFi movies and certainly there were no cell phones. The idea that one day you would be able to talk to somebody and see one another via a screen was a fascinating, far-fetched thought. People saw you in the flesh…or not. There was no way you could pretend to be who you were not. “Hard copy” was all there was.
Now to the present. While in the old days we could admire all the cinema stars as untouchable, awe-inspiring and, somehow, charmed, Cyber media has presented us with the opportunity to be such stars ourselves. Life has become a cinema. And thanks to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google, Gramblr, flickr, we have become movie stars. We put our best face forward…our best moments forward. Quelle horreur, what would we do without the delete button! Much of what we are actually experiencing is not going any deeper than how quickly we can curate it for the public eye. And then, editing complete, we re-live the moment by looking at it on a screen. We never really lived it as it happened, while it happened. Our mind was too governed by recording it, by how it would appear not only to others, but also to us. This cherry picked, curated life is called living by proxy. [Definition: by proxy the ability to do or be something without actually physically doing it.]
Somehow, we are protecting ourselves and others from our reality. But when real life happens, when our reserves are called upon, when the merde hits the fan, really hits the fan, no one will have time to think about “how this is going to look”.
That is the genuine human story we are actually hungry for.