The Life of the Young and Fabulous? Or, #KeepingUpAppearances?

IMG_20130518_120819“Promise me, Joe: when I get married, you’ll do my wedding.”

One of the great advantages to my job is that I have a roladex full of caterers, event photographers, and florists. When weddings happen, I’m your go-to gal for the essentials. When my turn comes, I won’t need a planner. I’ll just call a few friends and ask them to show up with their talents. Joe is a florist. A fantastic florist — the kind that takes you into Wonderland and deposits you among fanciful, gorgeous flowers.

“Of course! But don’t hurry to get married too fast. If your facebook is anything to go by, you’re pretty busy being fabulous and not married.”

It’s (mostly) true.

Artful adventures are just  another day in the life
Artful adventures are just another day in the life

If you follow my (arguably) overactive (and private) instagram account, you’d say I was living the life. Roof-top, top-shelf cocktails. Midweek museum outings. Designer dresses. Center ice playoff tickets. Legends boxes at Yankee Stadium. Michelin star restaurants. Jaunts across Europe. Exhibition openings. Beautiful men always at my side.

You said it, Macklemore: We’re here to live life like nobody’s watching.

Are we, am I, really?

Maybe it’s more like everybody in the club, all eyes on us... and that club is our ever-reaching, ever-expanding internet audience.

When I was a freshman in college, facebook was still a kind of exclusive club. High schoolers and employers had yet to infiltrate it. I was the designated photographer at parties (this was largely because I didn’t drink and was, therefore, the one most likely to be sober enough to remember to take off the lens cap) which meant that, come Sunday morning, mine was the album holding all the documentary evidence. In those days, albums could only have 50 photos — so I was selective. 50 photos came to represent an entire year, not a single night out the way it does now for some college kids. Also, facebook wasn’t linked with our smart phones… in fact, there were no smartphones… my laptop didn’t even come equipped with WiFi. There was no instantaneous sharing. Everything was a #latergram.

That was then. Fast forward a decade, and I’m a curator with an instagram handle, 2 twitter accounts, a pintrest, 3 blogs, a vine, and a facebook. My internet imprint has grown ten fold. So what does that mean?

"I knew it was you!" Thanks to social media, people think I have style.
“I knew it was you!” Thanks to social media, people think I have style.

“I knew that post was from you, even before I saw the name!” my friend living the other side of the world commented on a photo I posted.

It was of a pair of high-heel peep-toe oxfords and my recent neon pedicure.

In thinking about my addiction to all things visual, I realized my decisions on what to share is dictated by a kind of personal branding. A kind of play at keeping up appearances. I guess I want people to see a picture of great shoes, intriguing art, foreign locales, and haute cuisine and think — Kathleen’s at it again!

It’s true that I think my life is pretty interesting — the people in it, the places we go, etc — and why not share it. But it’s also true that, believe it or not, you don’t see everything. After all, sometimes I like to see the sunrise through both my eyes.

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