Let's play a game: I say a word, you tell me the first thing that comes to your mind. Venice. Los Angeles. California. America. These words signify places, places with their own sets of meanings, points on a mental map that is redrawn for us daily. As concepts they are shortcuts, synapses well traveled in the web of associations and assumptions where we find our own place and point of view.
These pathways are how we can process the seemingly infinite influx of information, the streaming download or steaming shit, the day and night data dump that is modern life. It is how we can say we have read an article on the Internet by glancing at (if not clicking on) the well-composed or otherwise catchy headline. A series of these headlines, appearing on the margins of our bookmarked web pages and the periphery of our consciousness and read over the course of a news cycle, allows us to string together narratives, even if we’re only telling them to ourselves. We can even formulate an opinion or outlook on these stories; I have not read one article on Caitlyn Jenner and yet I still have something to say. If only I am asked.
Beyond but also featured on your favorited websites are all the places you want to go but never will. Instagram, the lifestyle blogger, the bucket list, the buzzfeed listicle. Daydream from your desk. Budget vacation days. Cash in your miles. Go. Instead you are reading words sandwiched between images; for all intents and purposes you are looking at someone else's vacation pictures. Cerulean waters, brightly hued umbrellas, designer sunnies, food porn. Must be nice, click on it twice. Let's play a game: I say a word, you post me a picture. Europe. Mediterranean. Italy. Sardinia.