“Cool photo you took!”
And with that I double click it, and scroll to the next, thinking to myself, I’ll see it again later cause Instagram stores my likes, but guess what, I never do. So I spend less time properly absorbing what is in-front of me, and more time, scrolling to the next.
The average user spends less than 3 seconds per image on Instagram, that includes time to click like.
We are archiving the things we are seeing these days and putting them into meaningless “lists”, never to be seen again. Kinda like that time you shot the fireworks on your phone’s camera and later in the year were like:
“FUCK YEAH I AM SO GLAD I SHOT THESE FIREWORKS ON MY SHITTY ASS CAMERA WITH A HORRIBLE MIC, I AM WATCHING THIS AGAIN!”.
But if it wasn’t bad enough that we endlessly scroll through each “firework” of our social media lives now we create “Pods” and “Bots” to do the scrolling for us. We automate the scrolling and liking process because we want to grow our “influence” faster.
But what are you influencing when 99% of the instagram nobody is doing the exact same thing. You are converting a society that created Beethoven’s Symphony, put men in space, into the digital simulated “drones” that Elon Musk believes we are living in. And even if we are not in a simulation, powering our alter simulations lives, we have pretty much become so many steps disconnected from actually connecting with one another that the idea of others botting us as we bot them to grow our “influence” doesn’t seem to matter.
Why doesn’t anyone understand that the like or “Awesome!” comment on their photo means absolutely nothing if no one is actually there to mean it? Or to spend the time walking between photos or places or people and interating with them like you might in a museum, or intimate party, or exotic vacation. Without documenting it, just looking at it, seeing it. Soaking it in for more than the 3 seconds allocated for an archival process never to be looked at again.
Barney Bailey could sell you fire in water, but this is far worse and you all, myself included, bought in. Because we know, or we hope, that perhaps if I bot longer than subject 2917271 bots that I will grow .1% more followers and likes and “engagements” to be recognized for a brand deal that actually pays me for all this time I am spending.
Engagements.. Haha how do we even quantify this anymore. I comment on your photo, hoping you comment on my photo, hoping that will drive me into the algorithm of “seen posts” and someone else will comment on the photo, but they are commenting on the most popular photo in hopes that someone else will comment on their… DO YOU SEE THE ENDLESS FUCKING LOOP OF ABSOLUTE NOTHING?
We have created a system in which nothing, not a damn interaction, not the “color scheme” of your page, your content, your “engagement”, matters. Not even brands who endorse “influencers” understand this shit fully, and to be honest, if I were you and you have paid endorsements, ride it the fuck out hard until it eventually either implodes or our new currency in life becomes likes. Like cryptocurrency mining, but like and “engagement” mining. We are already putting enough energy and “effort” into these kinds of actions that we could most likely have randomly typed Shakespeare faster than the monkeys if the likes were random keystrokes.
But this is the world right now. Never seeing, only archiving, with no intent of looking back. Wondering why they feel empty, alone, and stuck without a sense of permanence in the world. We created this world.
We fuel this world.
Wake the fuck up and fight for your right to be human again and not an automated system.
We define how technology defines us, not the other way around. But if you keep clicking “like” in hopes for your “like” or because “well I will look at it later”, the cycle continues and those who benefit from it, will encourage you to continue feeding the system that makes them money.
We have more choices than we think when we decide what defines as in society, online, commercially. We have the power to stop using a product, stop putting money into things that hurt us or we dislike, and we have the power to change a lot, by smacking those in the wallet who would try to have only their own interests in mind to stop it from happening.
So let’s challenge ourselves in 2019 to be present more and utilize technology to make us better not… automated.