“What the superior man seeks is in himself, what the small man seeks is in others” – Confucius
I have never read the book Meaning in the Age of Social Media (2014), by author/assistant professor Ganaele Langlois, but I presume her train of thought mirrors the wise words of former Chinese philosopher Confucius. Known for his paradoxical aphorisms, Confucius’ teachings provides a parameter for social interaction. Whether making reservations at Tasha’s or buying refreshments at a St Georges mall street vendor social interaction governs our daily life. Until you fall victim to the sign up button.
Let’s face it, signing up for numerous social media platforms has become easier than preparing Woolies’ ready-to-eat gourmet meals. With a click away, you are now able to share, save and spam whatever you want. Convenience is key and having OpenSignal is of paramount importance.
Ever since social media became the new pioneers of the West, society became more estranged with what was once perceived as interaction. Life, and its many ways of being, adapted to the online lifestyle of scrolling, posting and notifications.
In this digital age, what exactly are we living for?
With Facebook bridging the barrier of friend and acquaintance, expanding one’s social circle is a matter of calculating the appropriate hour for sending a friend request. Interests that was once kept sub rosa are now neatly packaged in a linked bio. The ‘5 W’s and an H’ no longer solely applies to journalist and the art of reporting. It is essential to attain likes. Although sharing is the fundamental principle of any form of interaction, the distinct difference between engaging in personal conversation and writing in 140 characters is no more.
As of late, a generation unfamiliar with the solitude of Joan Didion has emerged. Developing one’s identity and personal opinion no longer requires introspection but validation instead.