Everyone who has spent hours engaged in social networking services may recognise themselves in Irene Angelopoulos’s vitriolic attack on the “depressing daily grind” of virtual life (in Adbusters yesterday):
We toil late into the night, unleashing an endless stream of status updates and tweets in a desperate attempt to keep ourselves relevant, desirable and in […] Social Networking Sites (SNSs) promise limitless, boundless friendship – a phenomenon that should make us happier than ever. But our optimism over connectivity has gradually morphed into cynicism and resentment. It turns out virtual life is less about connectivity than self-branding […] Paranoid about how we’ll be perceived, we spend hour after hour trying to avoid the virtual consequences of being deemed uncool. We have more to worry about than our online acquaintances deleting us after we’re tagged in an unflattering photo […] Bleak, shallow and repetitive, virtual life seems increasingly less worth living. Users are beginning to realize that it’s not leisure, it’s work that borders on servitude.
But there’s a resistance movement on its way “among those tired of their virtual subjugation”:
In response to the electronic world’s rising indignation, virtual suicide sites like seppukoo.com and suicidemachine.org have started a countermovement, provoking users to kill their online selves and reclaim their real lives. These programs assist our virtual deaths by hacking into our profiles, completely annihilating our online personas and leaving no trace of our former selves behind. It’s social revolt for the online age: a mass uprising that will shatter the virtual hierarchy and restore order to our actual lives.
A desire for off-line reality! Is this what’s behind Jessica’s (Bioephemera) current blogcation?