It was the day before y’day that I fired up Instagram and came across this post with a Christmas Tree that had the alphabets of brand Bulgari dangling from its branches.

There was really NOTHING special about the tree, except that it was from Bulgari.

Then there was the post description which went something like “When a Christmas Tree looks so much more beautiful, because it’s from Bulgari.”

You know what? Fuck that post.

Fuck that post, because it pretty much signifies almost everything that’s wrong with us today.

We shit money on everything and pretend that it makes stuff better than it actually is. We will go to lengths to guild everything in gold, emboss everything with brand-names and then put it up on public display for people to gawk at.

Let’s go back to the post. It was plugged by a wildly successful Marketing Head of a massive brand who must be an ideal for hundreds, if not thousands of corporate workers out there.

All I could think of how SAD her life must be. Either she actually believed that a branded Christmas Tree is better than a regular-Joe-decor-store-bought-decorated-at-home-by-hand version. Which is such a terribly heartbreaking thought.

OR she was under some sort of compulsion to plug this turd of a post on her timeline. In which case she’s already sold her soul to the devil; is meant to indulge in such trickery and must be kept away from.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

We just put up our own Christmas Tree at home. Do so every year. And you know what the best part of the entire tradition is? The entire process of putting it up.

Sure it looks beautiful and adds the whole happy Christmas-y vibe to the house. But it is the process of taking it out of the box, straightening the crooked plastic branches (that Shu-Lin in Shinjiang must have spent her afternoon shift on), deciding where in the house will the tree stand this year.

Putting up the decorations on it, adding the fairy lights (or not), arguing on whether we’ve put up too much cotton “snow” (lol), and finally adding the fake plastic pine cones that you pestered your friend to get for you from INA market.

It’s the process of spending this hour or two, alone, or with family, that makes the Christmas Tree beautiful.

Not a fucking Bulgari logo.

Now you could launch a mental tirade, or a bitching session about my hypocrisy here. What gives me the right to take someone’s branded acquisition through the shredder when I myself have been guilty of showing off products and experiences that project status-through-acquisition?

That probably is part-point of this post. I agree that I have, on a consistent basis indulged in such behavior, and also feel that it’s time to admit that I was in the wrong.

Like a drunk in an AA meeting, the first step to de-addiction is standing up in front of a crowd of strangers and admitting that you are an alcoholic. Here I am, admitting to my social media douchebaggery mostly in front of people I know.

It’s not been easy to address this, but the Bulgari tree made me realize that if I don’t stop now, I might end up posting an image of a porcelain puppy from Lladro with a caption “Puppies are better when they’re from Lladro!”

Don’t want to scrounge the bottom of THAT barrel!

Social Media has made vacuous, shallow beings of us. It has provided us with a medium where we can create our show windows behind the scenes and then present them to the world in a carefully curated manner.

In a world devoid of true achievements, we showcase our fake ones that we bought off the shelves with passion that was earlier dedicated to maintaining real relationships with our parents, kids, SOs and friends.

And marketers have taken complete advantage of this. They’ve become stunningly successful at extracting your money for their products, which they assure you are better substitutes for authentic experiences, of which some require hardly any money.

Why would you go lengths to click pictures of your daughter looking pretty in that new dress, applying a thousand filters to it and then posting it on the internet, when you could, spending the same time, take her to the park downstairs and make sure she has a blast on the swing-set?

I understand breaking out the shimmery outfit and the sexy dance for attracting a mate. But I don’t get why, even when we have no such intentions, do we strut about in the public arena, shimmying our Juicy Couture bottoms for all to see.

Photo by Kai Pilger on Unsplash

Stopping the Bulgari Christmas Tree

None (okay barring one or two) of you who are reading this or follow me on Instagram or on Facebook or on Twitter pay my salary that I need to make any efforts to impress you through any means.

Hardly any of you have even interacted with me virtually in the past year, let alone catching up in person over coffee, or a meal.

So I have no need to tell you what’s happening in my life, what I bought, or enjoyed. And I am pretty sure you have zero genuine concern for what’s going on with me.

It’s only my insecurity, making me want to feel important and relevant that makes me post.

It’s only your voyeuristic tendencies that make you check those posts.

Neither of us have any real fucks to give about each other.

So why not stop imagining that the other does, and give up our curated timelines?

Don’t know about you, but I stop here. I am done with hours of projecting and consuming an edited life.

All you will see from me now are photos that have aesthetic value, photos that tell a story and posts that probably will add value to the life of the person consuming the content.

Fin.

You are free, to post your Bulgari tree. Just be mindful that there are people on your timelines who are nowhere as financially (or otherwise) fortunate, as you have come to be.