Updated: May 4, 2021
Do you sometimes wake up and think that you are almighty God and then quickly realize that nothing but a grand case of delusion of grandeur?
I do. All the fucking time.
I open my eyes that are still heavy from the night’s debauchery and gluttony, get out of my bed that’s adorned with cloud-like pillows and blankets that flow like cream, face the morning sun from my 11thfloor large window with hope and optimism like Caesar about to cross the Rubicon.“Veni, Vidi, Vici! rings inside my head as I fix the laurel wreath around my head.
I am fucking Ted and I am here to rule!
And then I pick up my phone, open Instagram to check on the activity of a cool photo I posted last night of me holding my Rickenbacker guitar trying to look as mod as I can be with my Fred Perry polo shirt, tight-ankle pants, and brogues.
ZERO likes. Not even my mom.
And then like a speck of dust getting sucked into a powerful, state-of-the-art Dyson vacuum cleaner, I get thrown back to where I am really at: A street level room at the Super 8 motel on highway 440 with one window facing a porta-let for construction workers who are renovating the sordid toilets in the building.
There are no fluffy pillows, velvety blankets, and soft-serve mattress. NO signs of the previous night’s high life either. Instead, Doritos crumbs, hotdog wrappers from 7-11, and empty cups of Slurpee lay wasted on the rust-colored carpet. Fine wine? Aged cheese? Slabs of cured meats and bowls of fresh, ripened fruits from across the vast empire? Nope. I got canned pineapples on top of the motel side table.
But then despite the huge gap between dream and reality, it dawns on me that it isn’t so bad. What really pumped me up and induced that grand delusion was my addiction to Instagram likes. I posted a photo expecting my notifications to blow up and destroy my iPhone screen as thousands click the heart icon in appreciation of my latest look. I woke up hoping to hear Siri just sigh and say “Ted, that IG post was fire!” But instead I got zilch, which resulted in the deflation of the ego bubble buoyed by social media approval.
The reality is, nobody cares. Sure, you’re marketing your new song or hustling to get views on Youtube or visits to your blog. That’s all great. But do not ever think that you are any less when you do not get the thumbs up or the heart on social media.
Promote your stuff, do the grind to get the traffic, and sell shit! But never equate social media likes with real and meaningful appreciation. Hell, you can even buy and manufacture likes on Facebook and IG! We are worth more than the retweets, the Facebook loves, and the IG likes. Real appreciation comes from real personal relationships. It comes in a phone call, a personal conversation, a hand shake, a pat in the back, a nod, a smile, a letter, an email, a text message, a thoughtful comment hug, and a kiss. Never from a single button.
My general rule now is that if I hit the like button on social media platforms, I make sure I send a thoughtful message as well. I mean, how difficult it is to write a well-crafted, sincere note to send someone some real appreciation? Have we become extremely lazy as a society that we have denigrated appreciation to a single meaningless button?
Besides, who cares if I got zero likes for my recent pic on IG? I still rocked that mod look and that shiny Jetglo Rickenbacker did I not? Rocked it so hard that Sheryl told me I looked sharp as a Gillette. That should be more than enough for me.
Spent the night in a bed bug-infested motel room instead of a boutique hotel overlooking the Seine? That’s ok! I am on my way to a gig anyway that will expose me to more people who might dig my sounds. So that’s cool.
Had Doritos and 7-11 chili dogs for dinner instead of Iberico ham and Aged Gouda?
Well, that one, I think, was inexcusable.