Things That Count

There’s a saying in the running world, “If it’s not on Strava, it didn’t happen.” While this is always a joke, I’ve noticed how it points at some truth in how it feels when an activity doesn’t get posted or acknowledged by an app or social media platform.

I read this article by Maria Popova on the subject this summer, coincidentally while traveling. In it she mines Susan Sontag’s observations on the use of photography to validate experiences, observations made three decades prior to the arrival of social media.

This quote resonated with how we seemed to use our camera phones while exploring a different country:

Photographs will offer indisputable evidence that the trip was made, that the program was carried out, that fun was had.

– Susan Sontag

Fun was had. This thing happened. Somehow the reflection of our own experience on the very screen where we observe much of our friends’ experience validates it.

I’ve experimented with avoiding taking the photo, and not posting the run, to notice the discomfort and myself respond.

Whether you post the experience or not, it happened. And your body might quietly remind of each one of those 14,000 IKEA steps the next day through the aches on the bottoms of your feet. 😉