No. 12: Social Media, Simulations and Stepping Away
The Crown always gets me in my feelings.
Is anyone else watching the newest season of The Crown? For the first couple seasons, I was able to watch with pure delight. It was entertaining, awe-inspiring, and straight up transportive. I constantly forgot it was real. That it was true. But as the seasons go on and time catches up with us, I find the episodes to be more sad than entertaining. Though it’s dramatized and beautiful and stunning set to song, I can’t help but thinking how difficult it must be for the royal family. Difficult is relative, of course. Silver spoons and unrivaled wealth are quite an opposite reality to what we would picture as “a hard life.” But to me, in so many aspects and so many ways they have lost the ability to choose. How sad must it be to live in what I can only imagine is like a simulation?
But the more I think about it, the more I get that strange, sinking feeling that we’re all at risk of living in a simulation, you know? I listened to this podcast episode over the span of a few days and the conversation highlighted something I’ve been feeling for a while now. Living in a world where social media is our source of information, our most frequent form of connection, as well as our preferred outlet for our happiest moments and ugliest grievances and everything in between seems to have heightened the worst in us and numbed the best in us.
On the one hand, we’re more calculated and curated than ever. On the other, we have no fear in saying the very first thing that comes to our mind. Completely unfiltered, we say things we never would have said even mere months ago and happily type out things we still never dare say face-to-face. It makes us braver, it seems, and not always for the better.
Next month marks 11 months without Instagram and I can’t wait to share my thoughts and reflections on the way this past year has shaped me when the time comes, but to give an enormous spoiler alert right now: I’m not a person who believes social media is the devil. Some of my favorite relationships and sweetest friendship are the result of these glowing apps on our phones and I’m so thankful for technology like texting and Voxer to foster friendships with some of my favorite people in the world. But something I thought about often before the great Instagram exodus was, “is any of this real?”
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