A scathing commentary on the state of the world, if you're willing to endure it.
The first few minutes + various parts we particularly like are transcribed below
I know what you're thinking, what the f***? Another random person dishing out their unsolicited, trivial opinions like they're focus-testing the bible part two or something; waiting to slip in a sneaky little ad so they can hock you some companies plastic or a service they "can't recommend enough". No product here. This is an important personal essay to you. Let me bend your ear; caress your jowls. Lean in real close and whisper... shut the f*** up.
Discourse on social media is an incessant mosh pit of uneducated guesses, uninformed opinions, arrogant takes, low effort tease, and all this is usually dipped in pandering batter and fried with posturing sauce. A surface level description no doubt, but it'll do. See, we only see the dominant conversations that are selected for, by algorithms and engagement or what we've chosen to follow. The verified, the trenders, the celebrity, the viral, the politique, the chic, the influencers and the influenced.
It seems the cream of the crop, rises. What we've been taught by polonium mountains and carbon footprints is that it's a place of abundant information, that one can access as freely as they're allowed. A space where anyone can express themselves as they desire. We're marketed to by valleys of silicon, with notions of the virtual town hall, the digital agora, the technologic school, the endless bazaar; an internet for all and a commons for those who sign up to join the conversation. But no, I know you don't believe any of that. That's why it is the way it is. You've seen it firsthand I imagine; felt the manipulation. Wondered if the promises of the social age were true. All of this does, it compel you? does it affect your volition as a person? Does it divert your attention? Demand your eyes or your fingers? Command you to care? Wish you to react? Dare you to respond? Invite you to comment? Screens of android sheep as you count somnolently, laying down to engage. To nap away and trade your antsy thoughts and lonely dreads for a few hours of fattening entertainment. A few days of photonic consumption. a few years of conversation. Disembodied banter from people you don't know assuming they know what's best for you, pretending to know how to fix the world; or a slice of its problems. Hammering on as to why their camp are morally superior or why their guy is better than your guy or why the media YOU enjoyed was actually terrible and problematic or where exactly you f***ed up at being a human being. That your efforts at trying were done badly or that you're less of a person until you align yourself with their beliefs.
As you angrily, comedically, sheepishly subtweet their shitty declaration.
As you double tap on the woke influencers lookbook of booty and purchases.
As you upvote the meme encapsulating how you might have felt on that given topic.
As you like and subscribe when the pavlovian lower thirds commands you to.
An ad pops into view. A shriveled little imp, whispering "buy me". There are thousands of ads accompanying you as you curl up in the waiting room of the virtual agora, patiently waiting for your turn. With all the dopamine of achievement coursing through your brain while the singular accomplishment is nothing more than accepting an invitation.
alive, at least
eating it all up
And there you are [...interacting...] wasting so much precious time. Withdrawing from your emotional bank account. Posting and tweeting and memeing and seething. Almost immediately, after your ape brain wrangles all its neural chemicals and convinces you to keep interacting, your rational brain fails at convincing you that your engagements actually mattered.
So there's a new event; a happening. News shouts across the world. Tongues wagging on twitter, facebook, whatever. There's entirely too much commotion for you not to be involved. And then there's your (((phone))). A perfect window to look through. It's all happening right now. And you're there to see it; at the least you see it's shadows. And oh boy, you got something to say. You've got a reaction, a spicy retort, a meme in mind, a political brownie point and you tap and tap and tap and hit post. And you're wrong. Nope. Wrong! whatever you said just then is wrong.
You misplaced your facts.
You didn't get the full picture.
You don't know enough of the details.
You misunderstood the cause or the effects.
Whatever it is, you're wrong, if even by a smidgen.
So what does one do to be less wrong? To make more sense?
That same event can happen tomorrow. It could be something crazy like the Gaza strip getting nuked or Brazil (the entire country) just catching on fire. Then you take to twitter and figure out more about what the f*** is happening...
And all you get instead of facts and information is people's f***ing opinions on the matter. They'll just say what happened and [insert politic here]. And that doesn't tell you anything. Think of the rampant misinformation and all the bullsh** takes and opinions that are just distributed momentously on social media.
And we see all of it. The virtual spread of brain rot and misapprehension and blatant propaganda; it's creepy. In indirect ways, maybe, this contributes to your IRL. The people in your life. And then you may realize your callousness, carelessness and flippancy. That everyone, including you, who conducted themselves on social media might have something to do with it. This affects everyone and anyone you may want to know. It mostly adds to the piles, causes ripples and echoes out into your neighborhoods, your country and your future.
A few more bites...
This is a game too. An rpg your virtual self plays well. The game's difficulty is set to easy and the leveling up system is scaled to medium while the character creation screen is stuck on hard with all its visible options and sliders behind a paywall...
...So you purchase the season pass; you roll the loot boxes. You find that the in-game currency is unattainable because we're all broke as f***. We're walking brain stems, neurons firing. Spent dollars and tasteless prejudices; customers whose conversations consist of trading preferences for cortisol.
Take a moment to recall your favorite historical figure; what kind of stupid, messy, all too human stuff did they spew on a daily basis? Think, if they were as online as we are today, the amplified noise of their lesser contemporaries would drown out their place in history. How extraordinary would they be if they had internet? Now apply that notion to yourself. How do you view your historical footprint, your public record? Anonymous or not, it's still autographed by you. Is your contribution to the conversation a series of trivialities? another granule of noise? Is your voice more or less inconsequential?