Simulation of social existence


Facebook has become the marketplace where we trade ideas and opinions regarding politics, religion, art, etc.

The public library, the town hall, and the art gallery have been rendered obsolete. Generally speaking, real social interactions are disappearing with each new way technology manages to integrate our personal identities into cyberspace.

Our community has been replaced by a digital representation.

John Doe posts a scathing critique of the president’s foreign policy, and Jane Doe clicks “Like” to indicate her approval. When they bump into each other in the soda aisle, they exchange a quick greeting-or maybe they just ignore one another-and go about their shopping.

No need to actually discuss matters in a public setting. The exchange was complete when Jane decided to “Like” John’s post.

We now only have a sense of who our peers are based upon the one-dimensional character they’ve constructed on Facebook.

Alienation and social isolation are often times the byproducts of living vicariously through a copy of yourself reflected into the digital labyrinth.

Politically speaking, a citizenry which is alienated from one another in this manner will never rid itself of plutocratic governance.

Unfortunately, the experience-if you can call it that-which social media provides rarely acts as a positive supplement to one’s life.

Our new digital existence becomes pervasive, taking up more and more of our leisure time, time that should be spent in the company of real people.

What aspects of modern life are pushing us into a simulation of social existence? This is the question we must contemplate as a society moving forward.

Lewie Rice