Reality Distortion

posted on 12 Apr 2024

There used to be a clear separation between the internet and non-digital-reality. It’s difficult to tell exactly when the convergence took place, but real life and the internet have been fused together in people’s consciousness.

There was a time when what was on the screen was “out there” and had nothing to do with you. Toxicity and opinions have always existed, but there was once more of a separation between this compartmentalized aspect of existence and one’s own life. There was a time when the masses as a whole seemed to shrug off the insanity they would see on a screen as a byproduct of the medium. But now, it’s a direct extension of people’s worlds and they are so tightly enmeshed in it they can’t escape. It has become their community and a replacement for social instinct. They’ve become fused.

Reading some of the ways that people react in forums and social media, I can’t help but feel that it’s an extension of their own physical space. It’s as if someone has barged into their house and is threatening them with violence when someone else states an opinion that differs from the imaginary boundaries of normality people are attaching to. I imagine them sitting there at their computer screen, adrenaline pumping through their veins as they stare at pixels. The pixels are stimulating chemicals in their brain; the brain cannot tell it’s fake. It’s a simulated catastrophe. It explains why people’s first reaction to anything out of the ordinary is to begin recording it with an item that’s now an extension of their own body as they dissociate from what’s really in front of them. They hide in a more familiar and comfortable medium.

People are asleep when they aren’t inhabiting their digital space. I see this as I drive by people eveyday who seem to be completely disconnected from reality, staring into the distance, almost drooling as they passively drive a multi-ton death machine.

Categories:  #essays