Its so easy to create a facade around ourselves these days. There is so much techonolgy that helps us to hide from reality. We have the ability to invent whetever persona we want to project with the help of digital. Digital photography, editing programmes and the internet. As well as these being undeniably useful tools which aid us in directly influencing and controlling our own lives, it is hindering our usual social interations. Therefore in addition to our online constructed-selves, it is also affecting and instigating a new way of meeting, talking, building relationships, and formulating opinions on one another.
Pre- social networking, for example, meeting a new perSon, we would spend the initial time with an individual, processing what we could about them; first impressions, what they looked like, maybe briefly overviewing their 'look', subconsciously analysing their body language and their responce to us. After this we would have a vague but significant outline for who we determine this person to be; then it would be a back- of- the- mind ponder until we next met them.
Now im not saying that with techonology this process does not exist, but for the mass of youth [and im sure its spreading to a whole spectrum of ages], a hugely incriminating backlog of information at our finger tips. Potentially we can find out who they know, what they like doing, have access to an infinate number of otherwise private photos, which can then be exploited by the ever questionning and fantasical human. This means that we can now invent and judge enormously on the unsuspecting individual we had a 10 minute converstion with! All we needed was a first and second name and BOOM- I know who you are! Its a bit stalker! Usually this would have been the stuff of thrillers, 'who is lurking about looking at your records' 'i want to know everything about you'. its quite an eerie prospect, but its not even given a thought as its become second nature, its a part of what we use the internet for. Its so unfair but in ways its absolutly brilliant. Im certainly guilty of it. How much trouble can this get us in? How many relationships could be destroy before we have even given them a chance? For a society that is entirely judgemental anyway its a vehicle for a huge range of negative issues that i wont even get into; bullying, expolitation, intimidation and embarressment.
This need to access information, and the ease at which we can all attain it, is why i believe that its ultimately a negative happening.
For a shy and unnoticed person the internet can be the confidence, the person with all the jokes a massive proportion of friends we have never met, yet have spoken to about our lives in the minutest of details- truth or fantasy. We can take hundreds of photos til we get that one shot that is perfect. We can entirely forge our own being. For the better part however its not reached obsession or criminal stage yet! but we do have in the back of our minds the guilt of looking at other people and judging, so we in turn make sure what is on show on our own pages is acceptable to us for what we want people to see of us. Have you noticed how many people have got hundreds of photos up of different times and locations yet have the same poise? Is this spontanious or terribly contrived? Has our willingness to let go and have fun dissappeared for the fear of someone capturing the moment and plastering it all over the internet for people to witness and concoct their visions of who we are as a person?
My own personal experience of this is that you can stumble upon an image where the person looks so interesting, so full of spirit and energy and then you meet them and its entirely disappointing and frustrating. They are nothing that you had percived them to be. The problem is that we build up such an idolised creation that there is nothing that can reach the our standards. This leads onto a whole other dimension however. Its where the whole debate of media pressure, of body image, of celebrity obsession comes into play; its about putting people on a pedestal and trying to make them out to be perfect but its a losing battle!
I have realised that in this blog I have wandered into such a huge range of issues! I have started something here. Watch out.....