Selfie zoo mislabeled as petting zoo

Social media has taken over our lives and this llama knows it


Avery’s column runs biweekly Wednesdays. She can be reached at

For those of you who are not aware, there was a Teeny Animal Farm in the amphitheatre last week. No, that is not the name of the band you’ve never heard of. It was, quite literally, a little zoo full of little animals.

This petting zoo first and foremost gave us all the opportunity to feel the guilt of eating bacon. Sure, you can tell yourself you only eat the ugly pigs, but I’m not sure that’s how it works. It also gave us the opportunity to update our profile pictures and test out Instagram filters. Animals in attendance became the subjects of countless selfies.

I was most intrigued by the oddly shaved llama. A group of people were falling over the llama while holding their phones up, trying to take a picture of themselves with him. The llama was selfishly uncooperative, keeping his head down and eating grass. These selfie-crazed people proceeded to pull on the llama’s neck to try to get a picture with his head up. I swear one person was even lying on the ground, most likely in the llama’s excretions, trying to get a picture.

To my delight, once the llama reached his breaking point, he let out a massive wad of spit onto these people. I hope their social media presence was worth being soaked in llama saliva.

Everywhere I looked, I saw people taking selfies. Many of the pictures I took of the animals include people around the animals taking selfies. It was selfie inception, and I was overwhelmed.

The spectacle left me wondering whether our social media presence has become more important than our real, physical presence. Does who we are online define who we are in person? Or, even worse, does it replace who we are in person? Have we become so enveloped in social media that we have forgotten how to have real experiences?

I am constantly making an effort to reverse the effects social media has on me, but I feel I’m not doing enough. I can never permanently detach myself from technology. Sure, I can leave my phone in my room for a day, but I am only a tourist in this land of no technology and my visa is quick to expire. I dream of taking a Thoreau-inspired trip out to Walden Pond or somewhere deep in the Alaskan wilderness for months without any phones or computers, but I’m not sure if that dream will ever be realized.

Don’t get me wrong, technology is an amazing tool and I wouldn’t be able to have the relationships I do with friends I rarely see if it wasn’t for my phone and computer. Pictures are lasting keepsakes and the power of photography is breathtaking at times. However, we cannot forget to enjoy the moment and look at life through our own eyes, rather than through a phone.

We have become one with technology; we just need to learn how to limit it and use it wisely. When people take trips into the land of no technology, they always return. Hopefully they learn from their trip that selfies with an uninterested llama aren’t as important as appreciating the weirdness and wonder of said llama.

Avery’s column runs biweekly Wednesdays. She can be reached at

Published April 8, 2014 in Life

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