How would we ever share our lives without WeChat or social media? Conversation? Con-ver-sat-i-on? Am I spelling that right? Feels like ages since I’ve used that word. It’s as if, ever since WeChat, I haven’t had to use that word at all, and I’ve nearly forgotten it. I don’t miss it, though.
It’s been a long year. Let’s reminisce about the present-future of human interaction.
Yoga Pose in Empty Room
Nothing recreates the emptiness of ‘Zen’ like a photo of a person doing a yoga pose in an empty room. It’s a perfect way for a person to say, without a single word, “I am empty. I am hollowed. I put on a tight sporty clothes/underwear (in accordance with ‘Zen’ practice) and posed around taking photos for an hour.”
Jumping on Holiday
“Jump motherf*cker jump!”That’s the song everyone’s listening to when they take these pictures. They just happen to be on holiday in some sandy, blue water place, doing as the song says and taking photographic proof of it. They’re not at all out to brag and show off and make you feel like a piece of furniture.
A key step in the Chinese middle-class checklist of life—you have to drink wine, and you have to prove you do with photos. The same goes for eating European cheese, sitting in a Jazz club for ten minutes, playing golf, and being on or near a small boat. Remember to put your wine glasses together for the ‘cheers’ of social ladder-climbing while you’re eating cheese in a jazz club on a boat in a golf course.
In a Car
“I have a car! It goes and also stops! I can afford gas, parking, and maintenance. It’s my emotional sanctum on wheels. The way the light comes through the windows while I’m cooly wearing my driving sunglasses and driving gloves makes for a delicate and poetic photo. Public transportation is so working class. Just let me take a photo to pro—AHHH!”
You Are in a Meeting
Post photos from conferences, meetings, and exhibitions you attend, and your WeChat friends will know that you mean business. You are shaking the sticky and prickly hands of all the biggest names in stuff that makes stuff stick to other stuff. And your WeChat friends must know it.
Weather: the timeless go-to subject when you have nothing to talk about with co-workers, strangers, acquaintances. You could probably go back to the Ice Age and see Grock and Zack half-heartedly complain to each other about the snow blocking their cave entrance. The tradition stayed alive, from the old ways of talking face to face, to the newfangled new ways of talking screen to screen.
Grock: “The weather, man.”
Zack: “It is what it is.”
Grock: “Thank you for that. I wouldn’t have known otherwise.”
Zack: “Why are you raising that big rock over my head?”
Grock: “Because we never have anything to talk about.”
WeChat has given us so much. We can stay connected with our friends and family, no matter when or where we are. We can see pictures of them doing something exciting with their lives and feel that thrilling sense of loneliness and fear-of-missing-out.
And right when we’re about to get bored, it gives us more stuff! More pictures! More memes! I can feel myself needing fewer and fewer words!