True Life : I’m addicted to Likes

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Black Mirror is a series on Netflix that is all about the future and our inevitably doomed relationship with a militantly controlled future and technology. Individual freedom is not a general theme that runs through these fantastic but grim mini-films. I recently decided I was going to take a 30 day break from social media (not including this blog, deh) and stumbled on an episode so relevant it can’t have just been coincidence.

Girl 1 — Naomi

Nosedive is set in a bright pastel rainbow world where everyone is Stepford Wives nice, has tech-lenses and what looks suspiciously like the iphone 13 that together constantly post and rate everything and everyone out of 5, frankly, not too different from our current social media frenzy. However, woe betide you should your rating fall below a certain number in that world! You are a social leper who doesn’t deserve eye contact or smiles! You are gum on the bottom of shoes and shall be shunned and ignored! You are a maggot who shall be thrown out of sight, far away from the clean and orderly decent folk lest they become infected with your bad ratings!

Lacie is obsessed with bettering her mid-range ratings and popularity to match her very beautiful, blonde, thin, rich, fun loving and popular school friend Naomi (see above — Girl 1. hint: she’s not as nice as she looks). Lacie’s actions and general demeanor come across as disingenuous but I couldn’t help but feel an affinity with her. She quite honestly just wants people to like her and that simple desire is at the root of all her desperate behavior. Although I am definitely way less inclined to fake behavior, mainly because I am a little ball of uncontrollable emotion and hyperactivity, I did understand her dismay at not living up to her peers. I also hold far too much sway by Facebook and Instagram likes as well. It can quite literally make me feel like a doe eyed Disney princess leaping down a country lane, arms spread wide in the sunshine singing at the top of my lungs to all who gaze upon me with admiration or like a malformed, slimy gremlin who resides under a bridge, alone and awash with shame any time it catches a reflection of it’s pot belly jutting out over it’s jeans. I am one of those unfortunate souls who believes if people aren’t liking your pictures and posts it is directly indicative of how liked you are. I am aware of how ridiculous this is — there are all sorts of reasons that pictures don’t get liked, mainly people are too busy worrying about themselves — but I can’t help it. It shouldn’t upset me so much so why do I feel ugly and fat because of a lack of likes? Why do I care so much about validation? In short — probably because that’s right where society wants me — constantly striving for out of reach Insta-perfection. Let’s be honest though, if the two girls posted these pictures on their own feed and there was no sad backstory just pictures of what their weekends had been like, Lacie (see below — Girl 2) looks like she had more fun.

Girl 2- Lacie /Me monday morning at work after a heavy weekend when someone tries to make small talk

“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring”- Marilyn Monroe

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