A glide and an outsweep towards social media’s determined destiny


I am arriving at the outdoor swimming pool. It represents functionalism, built originally for the Olympics. Just a little bit high, in the middle of a small wooded area, kind of like a stone in a plum. The center of the stone, because it is a little bit above, right?   


Vivid green turning into an even more vivid autumn foliage. Not the spruces though. The spruces tend to keep their happily evergreen. Which are laughing at each other? The spruces or the trees with their green leaves on their path to the warm colour symphony, heading to their downfall oblivion? Perhaps the four-sided everly green needles of the spruces are not laughing at the other trees, but rather they are proud of the ability their buddies are capable of evolving into. Into yellows, reds and in-betweens. Either way, both would surely pass the castings of being the models of Uhra-Beata Simberg-Ehrström’s modernistic colour ryas, a.k.a ryijy, if she were still alive.


I forget why I am cycling this stupid slope with my kitten heels which are barely there but very much out and about. I don’t have the stamina, perhaps because of the recent diagnosis. As a matter of fact, the slope isn’t stupid. It is this gorgeous thing that prevents me from getting bored with the otherwise flat landscape. It also wants to make sure my thigh muscles are getting stronger and my calves elegant, while keeping its babylike softness. So, I thank this slope for existing in the pathway to the swimming pool sanctuary. I’m pedaling. 


I finally get to the locker room, gasping. Strong thighs and elegant calves, lol. Why are the teenyboppers holding their phones in the locker room? What if one of them accidentally pressed the camera button with the phone facing my soon to become strong thighs and elegant calves? And then accidentally sends it to a social media platform, for it to become a part of the post-pandemic internet continuum. I guess it could be that easy. In that case would the itsy bitsy teenyboppers be writing my destiny with the help of a large technology company’s enablement? Will the companies be owning me, even though I am not part of the social media, never mind the post-pandemic one?


I jump into the pool with my body slightly curved, imagining being part of David Hockney’s art. Cringe. At this part of the year the water is feeling warmer than the air. No need for hesitation towards the water. With the minimum amount of touch in this era, at least I can rely on the water while I can feel it snuggling with the soon to become strong physique of mine. While I’m diving towards a breaststroke, I get this strong panic like a sensation of whether I forgot to wear my swimsuit. 


A glide, outsweep, insweep, whip kick. What is my role in my own destiny as a person who has never entered the world of social media by creating a username and a password, contrary to the teenyboppers in the locker room? Since the power of social media is always present in various ways, there is often a sense of being left out. But for many, this path might be interpreted as a freedom which furthermore equals power. 


A power which at the same time is seen as an alien like. I realise I am swimming with my heels on which are barely there, but very much out and about. Nothing beats the feeling of an unexpected elegance. 


Of course even a person like me is led by the billion dollar companies in a moment of a whip kick. Some of the experiences intensify my Raynad’s syndrome. As I glide, outsweep, insweep and whip kick I can’t help but wonder, are the swimmers in front of me, after me and beside me swimming in the direction of social media’s determined Kismet?  


Text and drawing: Ama Essel
Ama Essel is a craft scientist.