on media, technology & digital culture
Are you liking what you really like or are you liking the skewed perception of yourself? It’s a question rarely anybody honestly answers yet it is one that leaves us puzzled in this digital world. Does that like you just gave to William Burroughs a true appreciation of his work or did you do it because it will make you look “cooler” amongst your peers? Let’s say you die in 50 years and by then “digital immortality” has become a viable option. Let’s say somebody mirrors that episode from the “Black Mirror” and creates a digital version of YOU based on all of your digital activity (surfing the web, liking shit, etc) or better yet the digital remnants of your self. How accurate would that portrayal be? Would it encompass who you truly were or would it be a representation of who you wanted to become?
We lie to ourselves on a daily basis and we tell ourselves they’re small lies, nothing to worry about as long as it doesn’t progress into a complete figment of our own imagination, as long as we don’t become the lie we propelled for so long. And that’s fine, these lies stay in our heads, give us a sense of false accomplishments, of greater personalities than what we truly are. Because what we truly are is a remnant of who we wanted to become and we suppress it by lying some more, by “experiencing” the world that is literally beneath our fingertips but in reality – it exceeds our grasp. We are infatuated with information to the point where we lost the path to properly devour it. We don’t seek challenges and adventures anymore but rather conform to only what is infront of us, on our goddamn retina screens.
Don’t worry, this isn’t another manifesto where I warn you go get a life, shutdown Facebook and live your nightmares to the fullest. This is a memo, a memo that should serve as a reminder to look a bit further than that screen that’s blocking your horizon. Because if you don’t, if your entire life can be summed up into what you just read, surfed or blogged, then it might as well have never existed. You should be a product of your life, not what you wanted to become. Nobody cares what you want to be but they do care when you finally go out there and be it. Be that sparkle in your fucking eye, that tingle on your forearm and don’t let the digits get in between you and what you can become.
So, unless you want a future representation of yourself to be a bunch of urls that you surfed and a bunch of porn you wanked off to, I suggest you take this crazy trip and have something to talk about with other people. Because, in all honesty, in order to communicate – you must be the medium, not the other way around.
Artist Dadara explores those concepts at the Next Web Conference from a very grounded perspective comparing the digital lives to our real lives. We seem to have replaced direct experience with virtual events that make us believe we have actually experienced something. “People will share twice as much useless information as the year before”, Dadara said at one point.