Textures. How to be authentic in a digital world?

Life Inspired by Nature


“We strive to smoothen the rocky paths of our lives. A glossy surface is slippery. Only a reflection of what is. Our development happens in the texture of life.” ~ Maria Lehtman

I recently read in the news that people are increasingly seeking out for support in mental health issues. The specialist interviewed for the article assured that the level of mental illness and anxiety had not increased, but support staff and the threshold to seek out help were reduced.

Is it not possible that we have instead begun to search for the impossible, the holy grail of living. A stage or a facade created by a theatrical display of our digital presence. The old phrase ‘what you see is what you get’ may have reversed. What you get is what you see – but that’s not the full story.

People are increasingly not what you can ‘see.’ A digital footprint is too narrow, too flat to decipher the many faceted personalities creating peoples’ storylines. Attention span per post has decreased from minutes to seconds. Does it capture your essence?

The staggering growth of social media.

In July 2015 total worldwide population was 7.3 billion. In 2016 there were 2.3 billion active social media users with an average of 5.54 social media accounts. Instagram for example with 400 million users, and WhatsApp with 900 million users.

Snapchat with 100 million users is measuring active users per hour to get up-to-date statistics. They enjoy a very high engagement rate with over 65% of the users uploading content. (More about the statistics in Brandwatch.) For an advertising agency, the challenge is to capture an audience in average less than 3 seconds a view.

It is a fast-track, fast-food life inside and outside of our premises. And the risk?

We will not have the complete picture of what is happening behind the scenes. We act based on an impulse and instinct instead of intuition and knowledge.

Gaining perception to the texture of life.

The image above is from a fallen tree in a nearby national park. The unique park environment is tended but left to its original state. If a tree falls, it will be left on the ground for birds to find living quarters and various insects to recycle the material over time. Nothing is wasted. The story of the forest remains preserved.

Below image is the same pattern photographed at a little longer distance. The beautiful, random texture is now creating a unique form that could be a mystical creature, an insect from the deep oceans or a cave painting.


A storm that hits the forest leaves a trail of fallen trees behind. They are only cut to make way for the narrow hiking paths. Elsewhere they lie where they land.

There is no ‘photoshop’ to mend the impact. What seems like a chaos is the only way for many endangered species to find their perfect living conditions in the area. There are very little original and natural habitats for them to thrive in.

How much of original habitat do we leave for us?

Do we carve that natural, authentic space for our lives? Can we keep an original part of our personality flourishing without trying to smoothen the edges?

Life on earth offers us a texture unique from any other condition. A body that ages with time but learns each day how to survive. A heart that carries both physical and emotional responsibilities and learns to love despite all odds.

Texture often appears to be a random pattern. When we view textures from afar we begin to see shapes, and order, a path, a map. Something unique and yet part of a larger interconnection to other people, other lives, other textures, and patterns.

Authenticity takes courage. It takes strength to understand that we are here to learn. And the more we learn, the more we are tested in our capabilities to help others.

Embrace the original. Accept that life’s texture includes counter-weights. Good only feels good if you know what the other side looks like. It does not mean spreading negativity. It means trying to understand the truth in everything we experience. Social media can be a great source of understanding parallel realities and sharing higher lessons of life.

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”  ~ Mother Teresa


Ref. Weekly Photo-Challenge by Daily Post: Textures

4 thoughts on “Textures. How to be authentic in a digital world?

  1. Mabel Kwong says:

    ‘Do we carve that natural, authentic space for our lives?…Authenticity takes courage.’ Great piece, and a great topic too. Many of us are social by nature. That is, we long to make connections and feel a part of something, and that has probably led to the proliferation of the use of social media over the last few years. But the more we get involved in social media and the more we use it, the more we seem to what we have around us.

    Agree with you that what seems like chaos, like a tree falling down, is actually a part of life, a part of the life cycles in this world that keeps it going. Personally, looking at the scene you showed and really spending time out in nature is something that I enjoy a lot. Space and less clutter is what I like, and I can go for a few weeks without using Facebook compared to many of my Gen-Y peers. Space, and most importantly, finding inner peace through appreciating what we have around us is a great feeling and a feeling I want to feel more of.


    • Naturepic Production says:

      Many thanks, Mabel, for your insightful feedback! Just recently I was watching a TV show where someone said that social media is like shouting into a strange crowd (Twitter was the example in that dialogue). Yet, Gen Y has found a way to operate digital niche ecosystems very smoothly as a way to develop meaningful relationships. Yet, I feel that each person still needs that personal space where electronics is not interfering the experience with nature, the natural aspect of being a human being. 🙂

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