Thu, 21 July 2022 at 10:23 am
(Photo: Eugene Gologursky via Getty Images)
Tap, tap, tap. I upload the cliched plane shot, glorious sunsets, crystal waters, and colourful colonial architecture during my summer travels to Colombia.
But, a few minutes later after posting, it’s delete, delete, delete. I don’t want to do too much or be too much on other people’s social media feeds, as though enjoying myself too much shows I have no chill or don’t holiday enough.
But perhaps I should channel Drew Barrymore for whom something as mundane as rain can bring the greatest joy.
The actor and chat show host recently uploaded a TikTok of herself running into the wet and laughing delightedly as the rain hits her face. “Whenever you can go out in the rain, do not miss the opportunity,” she squeals.
Naturally, some people on the socials scorned, while others shared their scepticism.
“She’s enjoying something as mundane as rain while the rest of us are just trying to survive,” wrote one person under the same video on Barrymore’s Instagram.
For the most part, though, people revelled at seeing the Hollywood star delight in a bit of precipitation. Fellow actor January Jones even added a bit of context to the charming clip, explaining in the comments that rain is pretty rare in their part of the country.
“I don’t think people understand how rarely it rains in Southern California, when we DO get to experience actual precipitation, it’s very emotional,” she said, while others continued to nitpick that Barrymore might have been in New York where rain is hardly an occasion.
The fact Barrymore’s video has amassed so many millions of views and courted comments from all sides of the conversation shows that, as an audience, we are used to feeling disillusioned by online posting, and have certain feelings about people who veer into content we deem unworthy, uninteresting, or overused.
Celebrity posts have a different set of rules – they shouldn’t be rude, offensive, tone-deaf (think, the infamous Imagine video during the pandemic, Chrissy Teigan doing rich things, most of the Kardashian clan’s archive), or, worst of all, feign relatability. But there’s plenty of judgement for regular folks, too.
Consider how jaded we get over “live, love, laugh” platitudes, or those infographics we might once have deemed helpful; how we often preface genuine moments in our lives with “sorry to be earnest on main”, reserving the unapologetic, unedited versions of ourselves for the Finsta – or not at all.
Somewhere along the way, less became more on social media. Gone is the passport and boarding ticket shot at the airport, “catch flights not feelings” captions as we boarded the Ryanair plane, the abundance of Insta-friendly food posts, and hot-dog legs by the pool. Even selfies are on their way out (goodbye duck-face). As Wired wrote last year, the future of social media is posting less.
And with the archive feature on Instagram, many have opted to privatise much of the unadulterated ‘cringe’ posting we’ve done over the past decade or so.
Which is why Barrymore’s video feels whimsical, weird and refreshing. She’s just happy to see… rain? And maybe we could all take a leaf out of her book. Contrary to conventional social media wisdom, our accounts are as much for us as they are for other people. And if something makes you feel good, go for it.
Writer and author Poorna Bell perfectly summarised this sentiment in an Instagram post that also went viral, in which she told her followers not to hold back from posting their holiday pics.
“This idea that we have to hide our good things, diminish our joy, make ourselves smaller because we’re worried people might think we’re too uppity – quite frankly F*** THAT,” she wrote.
Bell continues: “Anyone who begrudges you that joy, or can’t see it or finds it too hard – that is a person with issues that aren’t to do with you. You can’t fix or help them. You are not responsible for someone else’s misery, as long as you’re posting in a way that isn’t unkind or thoughtless. We need more joy, lots of it!”
So while your online posts might not sit well with everyone, as long as you’re being respectful and not spreading harm, who cares what your followers think?
They can always block or mute you. In a climate where everything feels more heavy and serious and depressing, let’s be more Drew.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.