It’s a funny medium, Facebook. Take my friend Olivier Scheffer, for instance. I met him over a year ago during an event at De Schouw, a local bar in Rotterdam, right across the street from the Goliath store for which I used to do the visual merchandising. We became friends on Facebook, started keeping up with each other’s lives, but never met in real life again. Stuff like that never happened before social media, or at least that’s what it feels like. I’m not really sure what Olivier and I should call each other. Friends? Acquaintances? Mutual followers? In any case, we’ve been giving each other a glimpse into our lives and apparently sometimes that’s good enough.
Things got interesting when Olivier moved to Rome for the summer to work on a production of Romeo and Juliet. In his free time – mostly during the day – he starting taking Instagram pictures and sharing them with his Facebook friends. Tourist stuff in the beginning mostly, but as the novelty of living and working in the eternal city wore off, his cellphone camera turned towards more everyday subjects. His apartment building in Saxa Rubra, the local bus station and the backlot of the RAI TV studio – he shared it all. As summer went by, Olivier began showing signs of home sickness – or Rome sickness, as the case may be. Not only did he start posting even more Instagram pictures, they also got more and more beautiful and melancholic.
As I’m writing this blogpost, Olivier is on a plane that is flying him back to Rotterdam. I won’t be at the airport to greet him, but I will definitely click the ‘like’ button of the first picture he takes at home here in Holland. Olivier, welkom thuis!