Dystopian post, brought to you by rain

We buy, they sell. We sell, they buy. If authenticity is currency, how much is your value?

Almost everything on my feed feels like a sponsored ad. I understand that this is the price we pay for enjoying things for free. But nothing here is really free. We're all useful data to


and the sooner we realize that, well, I can't claim to know what happens then. I'm looking for ways to be more discerning. On one hand, I need this network to find work and make a living, but then, it isn't always so fulfilling. My worst nightmare would be to become a walking commercial of my own life.

I've thought about just quitting social media but that doesn't change anything. Instead, I reviewed my own posting habits and realized that if I didn't have much to say, it was better not to say anything. If I didn't fully believe in a brand, I shouldn't make others believe in it. If I didn't support the cause myself, I shouldn't be writing about it. Slowly, I learned that there was no shame in saying no. I've turned down a sunblock and a sports drink sponsor because the sunblock harmed the ocean, and the sports drink harmed the body. If I must use my voice to forward causes, it must be for things that will help fix stuff, or make us grow.

They've packaged and sold authenticity but they don't know how to take it out of the box. They can only look at it, thinking it's good as theirs, but it will never be theirs.

Unless you let it.


There's always a bigger picture. To see it, pay for the extended version.

Photo by Pat Nabong, 2012.

Photo by Pat Nabong, 2012.