No I did not suffer a tragic accident involving fireworks sometime over the last few days, but rather, amid all of the excitement and gorgeous weather surrounding the 4th of July weekend, I decided to take a mini-break from blogging.
Also, it’s pretty hard to write full-length blogs when you are not sober. Not to make it sound like I embarked on a rambunctious four-day bender, but, for the first time in quite some time, I put together a sizable streak of days in which I consumed alcohol. In college that may have been fairly commonplace, but as I am no longer 21, such habits don’t go over quite as well anymore.
Nonetheless, it was good to live a little and have a some fun, and in the meantime, I look forward to returning to my boring, midweek life for the next few days.
During this time last year, my post-4th of July blog was devoted to mocking all of my Facebook friends regarding the excess of statuses that included photographs of fireworks. It’s standard practice now to snap a photo of your personal fireworks celebration, and upload it to social media. The majority of photos are unoriginal and uninspiring, and therefore I typically avoid Facebook on the 4th.
However, this was the first Independence Day since the Instagram boom, and that came with both positive and negative effects.
On the positive side, there were significantly less photos of fireworks on my News Feed this year, which was a huge blessing. I don’t mean to sound like a buzzkill, but amateur photos of fireworks are just plain awful. They’re almost just as bad as selfies. So to have less of those is only a good thing.
On the negative side, Instagram suddenly became unbearable. Instagram still has that allure of being a “new trend,” and therefore people are using it any chance they can get. Unlike Facebook, which has been popular for the better part of a decade, we only follow our close friends on Instagram. There’s no friend-of-a-friend, or that girl you met at a bar one time that you spontaneously Facebook friended the next day and never spoke to again, etc.
So there’s much less consequence to excess posting on Instagram. If you overdo it, you’re only troubling your close friends, who are already aware of your personality. So you can’t really annoy them too much.
As a result, people had no shame bombarding Instagram with fireworks photos.
I almost wanted to start my own website called ShittyFireworksPhotosOnInstagram.com just to expose the drivel that I was witnessing. And I certainly mean no offense to any of my Instagram friends out there, but, you know what you did. You know.
I think people were just dying to test out the effect of what different filters would have on fireworks photos, and that excitement perhaps led to a lapse in most people’s judgement. Either way, I expect it was only a one-time thing, and with people being more accustomed to Instagram by this time next year, hopefully a recurrence is not in store.
And speaking of fireworks, it continually amazes me on a year-to-year basis how few accidents there are. Think about it. Independence Day celebrations usually start in the early afternoon. Fireworks, on the other hand, require dark skies, and start much, much later. Since the day falls just a couple of weeks after the summer solstice, it doesn’t get dark until late — about 9ish.
Which means, by the time fireworks are being lit, most people have been drinking anywhere between a good six to nine hours.
So by my calculations, when you combine drunk people, fire and explosives, one would think that would equate to some type of devastating result, wouldn’t it? And to boot, most fireworks displays involve multiple pyrotechnics being lit at once, which requires a slight bit of synchronization among said drunk people. However, year after year, you really hear nothing of the sort. And trust me, I’m thankful for that.
But it just amazes me because I have personally seen fireworks go wrong on numerous occasions, only to have briefly scary but harmless results. Inevitably, you’re going to have the one person who places the firework upside down in the canister, and then there’s the idiot who stubbornly tries to light a dead fuse while other fireworks are seconds away from being lit just a few feet away from them.
I enjoy fireworks, but in the back of my mind, I’m always anxiously waiting for something terrible to happen. Hopefully it never will.
And another good thing? Due to her recent lack of relevance, we did not have to bear any painful Katy Perry reference during this year’s holiday.
Amen to that.