Online Is a Fantasy | Lillee Jean | Project: Bullyish (2023)
A vast universe exists on the internet. There is no limit to the connections you can make, and the kinship you can grow with people from all over the world who have like-minded interests as you!
What's important to remember, however, is the difference between real life, and artificial reality. Having people in front of you who keep you grounded is more valuable than having people online who can only react to what you share with them. You choose the reality you wish to share. So do they really know you? Are they really your friends?
As a society, we have adapted to this antisocial behavior, and have fallen deeper into artifice. You might be able to use an avatar, or a quirky username, and catfish someone into befriending them. Avatars are not the same as people. It's an idealistic look you wish to portray. So already, an imitation of a digital friendship.
The internet can make someone feel bliss even if they lack those certain feelings in real life. Kinship is a powerful feeling.
On the flip side, anger can also be induced by the internet, whereas one might react differently in real life. Maybe in real life, someone's family might step in.
"Just as the Romans did thousands of years ago, people today can get their fix of “seeing blood spill” by hopping on Twitter and spreading destructive lies or slander about someone." (Source)
People will always find ways to make things easier for themselves. It's human nature. It's unassuming. The internet just seems more "effortless". It's great to meet new people, but it's also vital to recognize your true reality. Digital and in-person are two very different things. Digital communities always have the capability of breaking up and creating mob-like movements.
Related piece: Content Farming
(Many digital communities are tied to content farms that hire unassuming people to plant stories. These stories generate huge profits from platforms such as YouTube with low moderation and quality control.)
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