Watching from the Shadows

I often feel like the world is passing me by. I get up each day, go to work, bash my head against the desk for a few hours, return home, do chores and go to bed. At the weekend I do more chores, very rarely go out anywhere, and watch the social internet from afar as friends and acquaintances post updates from days out, bars, music festivals, and endless other exciting destinations.

Living vicariously through the adventures of others on the internet is kind of like being a low-grade Batman, perched high atop a virtual skyscraper watching the drama unfold around you. The trolls, the attention seekers, the poor-me brigade, the content recyclers, and the authors of such bad poetry it caused the Hitchhikers Guide to make special mention.

While perched on your imaginary tower, you portray a carefully invented version of yourself to the world – a public resume of sorts – constructed from forgettable single sentence observations, heavily filtered square photos, and vast introverted navel gazing journal entries that few will ever read.

You realise that an awful lot of the more “popular” personalities in your social circles are engaged in a vast pissing competition – engaging just enough with the crowd to attract just enough interest to register likes and follows. Modern day pied pipers.

You also realise that a huge proportion of the people you once knew are not present at all in the swirling social morass – they have real lives that never became entangled in this pretend world of advertised emotion.

Maybe we are seeing the beginnings of the Morlock and the Eloi.

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