Another strange week. We’ve all found ourselves in a bizarre position. Whether you’re working from home, making the transition to virtual study, or in fact not working at all! Everyday conversations are becoming increasingly less personal, the twenty-first century has always been seen as a time of virtual interaction. Now, with all communication being conducted online things seem a little scary.

A Temporary Problem

Obviously the set of circumstances we have found ourselves in are only temporary, at least we hope. After lockdown ends and things begin to calm down, it is perfectly possible to imagine face to face communication happening just as frequently as before. The decision from offices, business and education institutions to take their content online wasn’t really a decision at all… I’m sure many business owners would much rather have stayed open. Anyway, what I’m trying to suggest is that this could happen again. A complete shift in our communicative infrastructure, could lead to more and more encounters being conducted online.

Through the numerous events that have shaken the globe in the past ten years one industry seems to thrive, due to the need for alternative tools in communication. Obviously, I’m talking about social media, even politicians and journalists use platforms like twitter to get their message across. Social media has had many critics in the past, saying it can lead to mental health issues, extreme vanity and many more unattractive traits in humanity. I’m sure that looking at the state of the world today, these critics would suggest it is evident we need it, despite the flaws.

Stepping Into Another Dimension

Truth be told I myself, not really being an avid user of social media before all this, have completely abused the tools that were presented to me to remain connected. I’ve been talking to people I never usually speak to in ‘reality’, and for that reason I think social media offers us a completely different experience to face to face interaction. Social media is like a completely different universe… If you really want to trip, think about it as another dimension. Maybe think about it more as a 2D world rather than a 4D one though! I know it’s engaging but you can’t exactly taste people’s photos on instagram… even though some of the breakfast pages I follow look delicious!

Social Media as a Game

The heart of the matter is just this: social media is not a replacement… you could call it an alternative due to the situations we are currently presented with, but we have to understand that social media is no substitute for physical human interaction. I’d rather see friends and relatives smile in reality instead of seeing smiley face emoji’s, and I’d rather eat your breakfast than looking at pictures of it. Social media is another ball game… take this example in dimensional metaphor and imagine if Call of Duty was reality and social media was Pong… kind of accurate despite the guns right? Unless you have very difficult militant lives, I’m not here to judge! 

 Can we determine that social media is a form of entertainment like a video game or is it something more? Can we draw a line between social media and life? These are the problem questions that seem to float about right now, can we really call social media a game when people get hurt through trolling? People really care about their follow count and the likes on a photo, it begins to infringe on their happiness in reality when their virtual happiness is infringed upon. So social media: is it still a game when it begins to distort your visions of reality? Is anything still a game when it becomes a key and prevalent part of your reality, your life and your happiness, what do you guys think? I’d be really interested to know…

Distraction from distraction by distraction

T.S. Eliot