Letter: Soiled by social media
January 3, 2016
She is beautiful, she is seductive, she is Aspen and Snowmass, she is the Roaring Fork Valley, and she is also our whore. By no choice of her own, we the locals and visitors alike have pimped her out against her wishes. Whether it's the glamorous real estate brochures or the tens of thousands of social-media posts, we dress her up and parade her out onto the virtual streets for our own benefits. Perhaps if you visit the popular areas that are having overcrowding issues such as the Maroon Bells Wilderness or Conundrum Hot Springs, refrain from the Instagram or Facebook post. You might notice a positive effect on your experience by keeping it to yourself. Perhaps the official Aspen/Snowmass social accounts can dutifully help minimize the impact in those areas by not posting pictures of the Maroon Bells in the summer. Don't worry — plenty of people will still go up there. May this letter be a call to awareness for locals to be more cognizant of our collective social-media impact on the areas we love. In the end, "likes" don't pay the bills, and studies are confirming that they don't make you feel better, either.