The Shallow End

I have an utterly unstoppable fascination with Rich Kids of Instagram.

At first I took it for what it was – an opportunity to fill a voyeuristic desire to observe a lifestyle that’s shiny and decadent and completely foreign.

Then the more time I thought about it, and the more and more pages and pages I wasted time clicking through, I began to think about the specific pictures that made me disgusted by their opulence, and the ones that made me most envious of this rare class of Americans.

In my self-imposed social experiment, I decided to pick a selection of just four photos out of nearly 50 that made me most envious. No one was more surprised than me at the results:

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It seems the things I crave in life actually don’t have much to do with fancy cars, expensive jewelry, oversized bottles of overpriced champagne or frequent parties filled with reckless spending and the excessive wearing of white linen.

What I really want is experience and adventure. The opportunity to see parts of the world that are beautiful for free (negating the costs involved in getting there and finding lodging) and to have the free time to savor them.

One of my dad’s favorite sayings is that in life, there are three things of importance – time, money and good health – and that you will never have all three at once. Either you will have time and no money (Hello, unemployment! Been there.), or money and no time (most likely the parents of these Instagram kids) or money and time, but not enough health to enjoy it. (Their grandparents? Retirees?)

Having all three, the Rich Kids of Instagram give us a unique window into the lives of people struggling with a question few ever do –

What now?

What else is there to work towards? Live for? Achieve? Derive meaning from? What do you DO when you are born in a state that most people work their entire lives to achieve?

In many ways I’m excited about the prospect of the tumblr theme spurring a TV show – I imagine it to turn out like My Super Sweet 16, but it really has the opportunity to be so much more.

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