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    The Reality of Social Media

    Overlander TV

    by Overlander TV

    Watch­ing the Adam Cur­tis BBC doc­u­men­tary "All Watched Over By Machines Of Lov­ing Grace" changed my view of social media. In the style of an Adam Curtis doco (like the dog is rolling on the remote) I made this tribute, using only stock footage.

    Quotes from or about the Documentary:
    "It is fash­ion­able to sug­gest that cyber­space is some island of the blessed where peo­ple are free to indulge and express their indi­vid­u­al­ity. This is not true. I have seen many peo­ple spill out their emo­tions, their guts online, and I did so myself until I began to see that I had com­mod­i­fied myself.

    Com­mod­i­fi­ca­tion means that you turn some­thing into a prod­uct that has a money value. In the nine­teenth cen­tury com­modi­ties were made in fac­to­ries by work­ers who were mostly exploited... but I cre­ated my inte­rior thoughts as com­modi­ties for the cor­po­ra­tions that owned the sites that I was post­ing to, and that com­mod­ity was then sold on to other con­sumer enti­ties as entertainment

    Cyber­space is a black hole. It absorbs energy and per­son­al­ity and then re-presents it as an emo­tional spec­ta­cle. It is done by busi­nesses that com­mod­ify human inter­ac­tion and emo­tion and we are get­ting lost in the spec­ta­cle..."
    Car­men Hermosillo

    "On social media you are per­form­ing to attract peo­ple -- you are danc­ing emo­tion­ally, on a plat­form cre­ated by a large cor­po­ra­tion. People's feel­ings bounce back and forth -- happy Stakhanovites, ignor­ing and deny­ing the sys­tem of power. It's like Stalin's social­ist real­ism. Both Social Media and social­ist real­ism are inno­cent expres­sions of the ide­ol­ogy of the time, which don't pull back and show the wider thing they are part of. We look back on social­ist real­ism not as inno­cent but as a dra­matic expres­sion of power; it expresses the supe­ri­or­ity of the state, which was the guid­ing belief at the time. I think some­time in the future peo­ple will look back at the mil­lions and mil­lions of descrip­tions of per­sonal feel­ings on the inter­net and see them in sim­i­lar ways. This is the dri­ving belief of our time: that 'me' and what I feel minute by minute is the nat­ural cen­tre of the world. Far from reveal­ing that this is an ide­ol­ogy -- and that there are other ways of look­ing at human soci­ety -- what social media does is rein­force the feel­ing that this is the nat­ural way to be."
    Adam Curtis

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    Awaken the Spirit