I have a confession to make. I really don’t understand why people take photos of themselves posing at the gym and then post them on social media.

Am I meant to be inspired? Impressed? Jealous? Turned on? Crying into my delicious cookies?

I can comprehend going for a bike ride in the forest and sharing a photo of a cool sunset you saw – that is both noting that you exercise and that it has helped you experience something unique and beautiful. I can even understand the “look at this amazing dance and/or acrobatic move I just mastered” photos – because you’re capturing a moment where sustained effort has enabled you to learn a new skill. But I just don’t understand the purpose of proudly sharing the fact you think your ass looks good in lycra and that you can pick up a bit of metal that weighs 100 lbs. So what? This is far from the pinnacle of human endeavor. I can pick up a 100 lb bag of cement (and have done so many times) but I’m not photographing it and then asking for emotional reassurance from someone I knew in high school.

In fact, perhaps that’s it: I don’t understand the gym photos because I don’t need to have my ego stroked by friends and random acquaintances. Although apparently I know people who do.

I’m sure that it sounds crotchety to share this thought in our current world (and it is, a bit). Even if we don’t all laud the growth of narcissism, we at least tolerate it. Mostly. And I am certainly not opposed to sharing the wonders of human achievement and resilience – no matter how insignificant. You managed to perfect your eyeliner after eight attempts? That’s great!

But getting it right the first time? Just showing off how much better your eyeliner is over other people people’s eyeliner? Why am I supposed to give a shit?

… Yeah. I’ll just be over here with my delicious cookies.


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