Pascal on Instagram

Who’d have thought a 17th century French Philosopher could have predicted one of the perils of 21st century life? But sure enough, these words from Blaise Pascal are a challenge for those of us who document our every lunch, landscape or latte-art on social media:

Curiosity is only vanity. We usually only want to know something so that we can talk about it; in other words, we would never travel by sea if it meant never talking about it, and for the sheer pleasure of seeing things we could never hope to describe to others.” (Pensées, 77)

Replace ‘talk about’ with ‘instagram’ and you have a damning analysis that will make many of us wince.

As Peter Kreeft comments:

We take vacations only to take pictures. We use reality as a means to the end of producing appearances of it.” (Christianity for Modern Pagans, p80)