“We all want to be famous, to be seen, frozen, preserved in the media, because we’ve come to trust what is seen more than what is actually lived. Somehow we’ve gotten everything backwards and images seem more real to us than experiences. To know that we really exist, that we really matter, we have to see ghosts of ourselves preserved in photographs, on television shows and videotapes, in the public eye…”
“And when you go on vacation, what do you see? Scores of tourists with video cameras screwed to their faces, as if they’re trying to suck all of the real world into the two dimensional world of images, spending their “time off” seeing the world through a tiny glass lens. Sure, turning everything that you could experience with all five senses into recorded information that you can only observe from a distance, detached, offers you the illusion of having control over your life: you can rewind and replay them, over and over, until everything looks ridiculous. But what kind of life is that?”
What’s the point of watching anything if nobody’s doing?
– From 2001’s “Days of War, Nights of Love” by CrimethInc. Free Press
How much more does this ring true in 2016, where each of us has a video camera, microphone, and all the platforms to expose ourselves and “our lives”, in our very pocket?
We want to encourage everyone to examine their inputs and outputs: what are you taking, and what you are making? Social media lures us with the promise of status and celebrity, or at the very least recognition. Yet that expectation constantly grows, as the returns on your investments constantly diminishes. You may have seen this video by Derek from Veritasium detailing the Problem with Facebook:
“We expect organic distribution of an individual Page’s post to gradually decline over time” – Facebook
That’s just the personal use side – when it comes to using Facebook for your artistic or commercial endeavors, the fiscal motivations and artificial limitations imposed by Facebook become all too transparent:
What is to be done?
Learning is only the first step. Let’s start talking about ways to revolutionize our personal lives, and thereby embody the qualities and morals we wish to see in our societies. This transformation, for its grand scope and intent, is going to get a lil messy, but remember that a large part of the philosophy of Unism is that humans need goals that they must work reasonably hard to obtain – ideally in service of one’s self-determined purpose. This functions on the individual level, as we will detail in the coming weeks, and on the societal or community level, as we will be slowly incorporating into our posts within the coming months.