Words according to Thomas, Co-Founder, Jack of all Trades, and Creative and Visual Director of Raven Vanguard
The Grand Fallacy and Subterfuge behind Instagrammable Moments
Regrettably, we now live in a nightmarish world governed by influencers (many of whom are downright charlatans), followers (including fake followers, bots, and follower farms), likes, dislikes, favorites, sponsored content, inauthentic content, vanity metrics, algorithms, and engagement rates. What may have started as a fascinating way to disseminate original and innovative ideas and artistry many years ago, has long since evaporated as an empty promise into the ethers.
By informed choice, I do not have the Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat, or LinkedIn apps on my smartphone; in fact, I purposely don’t have a single social media app on my device. Also, by choice, I reject the arrogance of gratuitous self-promotion, and long-ago dispelled any need for instant recognition or instant gratification.
In other words, gratefully, I am not a member of today’s insta-share society because I place far greater value in my privacy and firsthand interpersonal engagement. I feel very strongly that the risks associated with sharing information that is both personal and private in an online environment far surpass any potential benefits. Here’s the thing, 21st Century-connectivity has turned genuine intimacy into nothing more than a handful of windblown and scattered ashes.
Nevertheless, with all of that said, I refuse to believe that we live in a world where everything is positively and inescapably fucked. You see, thanks to Julian of Norwich, I am now blindly devoted to the imperative – the imperative being discovering proof of the existence of God Herself and the incorruptibility of the feminine aspect of the divine, but I digress.
When did being Insta-worthy become more important than the essence of the experience itself and the opportunity for social engagement by building personal relationships through face-to-face communications and purposeful interactions? Instagram and the like have seemingly infiltrated every aspect of our existence. Because, as we all now know, if it doesn't show up in a social media feed, then it never really happened — such utter bullshit. I lived a fantastic and meaningful existence before the development of the Internet. Fast forward to today, when it comes to the vagaries of social media, it seems like I am single-handedly waging a war without end against the infinite and intractable perils of hyper-connectivity.
Isn’t it clear to everyone that Instagram is spoiling the way society now experiences creativity in art and design? Is it fair to judge the work of a creator in the context of thoughtlessly random and vanity-driven selfies? Moreover, is it fair to judge the quality of someone’s creativity based on whether an influencer has disingenuously given, or unjustly withheld her or his stamp of approval? From my vantage point, social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter make us more likely to be entirely dismissive of the artist’s labors because those platforms discourage the observer from engaging in independent lingering exploration and analysis.
At its best, in the commercial context, social media is a necessary evil, and at its worst, in the personal sphere, it makes us indiscriminately hateful, desperately jealous, dangerously divisive, and horribly depressed. Spend five minutes on Twitter, and you’ll see plenty of evidence of the utter madness that I am referencing.
For those of you who have the Instagram app on your phone, how often do you mindlessly check your feed? I am willing to wager that most people are checking their phone every ten minutes, even throughout the workday when their employer is paying them to work, not daydream while imagining you are living someone else’s fairytale existence. Distractability is undeniably the curse of social media.
I have heard many proponents of social media claim that these new platforms have helped to bring all of us closer by reducing the global communications gap among all peoples. Theoretically speaking, this may be true, but I can soundly make the argument that, in practice, social media makes us less human by taking away the authentically experiential part of what it takes to be truly human. In effect, what we have done is trade the lifeblood of human endeavor, adventure, and intimate interaction for triviality, banality, imaginary connections, and make-believe encounters.
Is there a solution or countermeasure to the absolute insanity of living life in the online bubble? There is, and we invite you to delve into our world – a world of the arcane, ritual, and sacred mystery – a world dripping with unbound creativity and imagination – a world where darkness is born of light.
You are Cordially Invited……….
Raven Vanguard is about to gradually lift the curtain to unveil a boldly unique approach to experiencing creativity, aesthetics, curation, intimacy, social gathering, and engagement, one that is immersive, high-touch, and requiring your undivided attention and mindful presence, the resourcefulness of your imagination, and your active involvement and spirited conversation. And one that decidedly encourages you to disengage from your device long enough to reawaken your sense of adolescent curiosity and wonderment.
Our mission – the reincarnation of the intimacy of the centuries-old Salon. Take a moment to read about our Salon-styled extravaganzas here - https://www.ravenvanguard.com/our-studio
We have meaningfully set out to bring together a diverse community of human and otherworldly beings to encounter one another, to exchange ideas and opinions, and to connect through open, face-to-face conversations over art, design, music, the mysteries of life, food, drink, esoteric viewpoints, and entertainment.
In the months and years ahead, Raven Vanguard will assemble, from all walks of life, creatives, visionaries, harbingers, revolutionaries, clairvoyants, forerunners, explorers, schismatics, trailblazers, heretics, scholars, philosophers, and messengers to help us encourage and perfect the art of mindfulness, conversation, collaboration, and cultural transformation.
Since our series of Salon gatherings will be by invitation only, providing us with your contact information is the best way to give us the privilege and opportunity to extend an invitation to you. If you are interested in joining us, start the conversation by reaching out to me at email@example.com