A macabre part of me wishes Facebook and Instagram and LinkedIn and all these social media personality platforms imploded and self destructed.
Imagine all these digital personalities, these faux avatars that people parade, completely disappearing overnight.
What would be left?
There’s a lot of good these platforms do. Lots of great information and knowledge that’s disseminated. Lots of quality goods and services that get exposure.
But there’s also a ton of bullshit. People making millions from exploiting boredom. Exploiting fantasy.
They do funny things. Pranks. Or post travel pictures. Or their cars or houses or savvy work life. Inspirational quotes. Or record their musings. Insert a product placement here or there, for some company or their own.
I just imagine…. what would happen if it all just… disappeared. What would these people do? Their lives revolve around curating and cultivating a digital avatar. It exists night and day. Static images or recordings trapped in this ether-net. Always present.
I guess it’s a permanent part of humanity now.
I’m mostly curious what would happen if the ability to self-promote en masse was suddenly taken from people.
What would they do?
I guess it’s no use wondering.
I just wonder.
I saw a post from a wealthy self made real estate developer:
Left The Bahamas, caught a flight in Florida, and made my way back to BVI.
I’ve been traveling a majority of the days in the past 2 months. It’s been crazy and stressful but also each trip has taught me something new about myself, how to run my business, and have given me new ideas to scale my impact.
If I were to give in to my stress by staying in Nashville and running my businesses from there, I wouldn’t even come close to creating the change I want to see in the world within my lifetime. I’ve got one chance and this life and I refuse to settle for mediocrity because that’s what is “comfortable”.
Your higher self is in direct opposition to your comfort zone.
What are you stuck being comfortable with? Change that.”
There’s a picture of her on a mountain overlooking an aquamarine ocean.
I thought to myself:
if a tree falls and there’s no one there to hear it, did it make a sound?
If you do something important with your life and there’s no one there to validate you, does it matter?
The power of social media to validate and self-reinforce these ambition tropes is a strong force.
It’s not necessarily bad or good.
But I really wonder.
If the ability to self-promote your carefully curated digital avatar was stripped from you, who would you really be?
What would happen to all these personalities? Would they have an existential crisis?
We have a growing portion of society whose identity is directly tied to the validation of the masses.
What problems does this create?
What happens to these personalities when their fabricated digital identity is suddenly voided? And they are left with themselves, no mass validation? Just the small circle of relationships that typically accompany a person’s life. Are they in good company? Are they good with themselves?
This social media personality avatar phenomenon is only fifteen years old or so. Yes, there have been entertainers forever. But it’s different nowadays. People compete for seconds of the public’s attention. A few seconds of stimulation that someone reacts to, and you have a follower. Your utility as a digital avatar is to produce seconds of stimulation while they scroll through their feed. This is the value you bring to the world. Your online identity is validated by those who endorse your abbreviated ability to stimulate for moments, every day.
It’s all very curious.
Is there a lifespan to this economy? Will society grow tired of it in 15 years, and revert back to more traditional forms of community for validation? What happens then?