All these questions have my philosophical mind posing another one…will this digital demand become a digital dystopia?
In a world where selfies and social media is prevailing against typical face-to-face interaction, society faces a previously unexperienced challenge. A challenge against a fundamental …yet feral aspect of our humanity that is being unleashed and unlocked with each click of a phone camera and each tap of a text message’s letter. It is the challenge of self-consumption and narcissism. In this post, I hope to shed some light onto the threat posed by humanity’s flawed self-image and how, through observation of ourselves, we can achieve a more admirable and less cringe worthy societal status.
It seems fair to say perhaps ‘social’ media should rather be dubbed ‘anti-social media’ due to the lack of actual realistic socialisation that occurs. It appears it is instead a breeding crowd for narcissism, rather than a new place to make friends.
Two words: Social media. But in many senses of the words, this is a contradictory concept. When we consider the term social, implying conversation, socialisation and interaction between people, we notice that it takes a wholly different meaning here. In truth, online, we do not physically communicate with others: with studies demonstrating most of conversation and the multiple meanings this can take on, is conveyed principally via body language, tone of voice, gestures and facial expressions as opposed to expressionless, empty words alone. Where these are substituted by those yellow, fun ‘emojis’ online, it seems fair to say perhaps ‘social’ media should rather be dubbed ‘anti-social media’ due to the lack of actual realistic socialisation that occurs. It appears it is instead a breeding crowd for narcissism, rather than a new place to make friends.
I’ve taken multiple selfies in my youth…in fact, if you were to scroll through my camera roll at this very moment, it would simply be a long linear timeline of mirror selfies, outfit selfies and screenshotted snapchat selfies that others sent me in the faith of anonymity. With true introspection, I’ve found social media and the internet to be a digital space wherein I develop my identity and indulge my inner ego with self-loving behaviours. As you may even have heard, such narcissism and instant gratification is actually said to be wiring our brains to crave the WiFi!
And how often do we gratify this inner indulger? Daily? Weekly? Twice, thrice a day? A lack of self-control could be one of the leading descripters, the characterising traits of today’s up and coming, technologically in-sync generation. All these questions have my philosophical mind posing another one…will this digital demand become a digital dystopia? Perhaps it could if we’re not careful. Everything nowadays, from our self-worth and emotional stability, to our relationships, bank account details, hospital records and precious family albums are in the all too fragile and breakable hands of easily hacked and corruptable technology. Our reliance on such technologies should be limited and we should try not to allow it to bring out the flaws of our humanity; not only our self-obsession but our inert anger and corrupt tendencies against our neighbours…which can lead to consequential acts of terrorism, suicide and other horrible human horrors.
So how on earth do we stop all this before the machines rise up…and the Wasokwski brother’s fictional Matrix becomes a comparable threat? Well, it starts with us as human beings, realising the flaws that technology brings out in us. Realising and coming to the revelation that social media fuels our egos and selfish qualities as opposed to the unifying and social purposes we first intended it for.
Our world and our self-consumed society. Let’s just take that blue pill for now, Morpheus…don’t want to see how far this deep, dark rabbit hole goes.
Hey all you Alices out there…want to explore my Wonderland some more? Jump down these rabbit holes: