Immortality In The Social Media Vortex


Keywords: Virtual immortality, social media, digital culture, documentation

Examining the behavioral aspect of why we engage in sharing parts of who we are on social media. Also, How the dynamics of social media are shifting to be less about the content and more about the reasons behind sharing it, and how it is focused on creating temporary content as opposed to sharing it long-term/permanently.

Quotation:

“Photographs have always been a way to cheat death, or at least to declare the illusion of immortality through lasting visual evidence.” Jurgenson
“There’s always tension between experience-for-itself and experience-for-documentation, but social media have brought that strain to its breaking point.” Jurgenson
“The documentary lifestyle of social media raises concerns about how we commodities ourselves and how we put ourselves up for public display and judgment.” Silverman
“One answer is that it is a byproduct of the network effect: the more people who are part of a network, the more one’s experience can seem impoverished by being left out.” Silverman

Jurgenson said: “Photographs have always been a way to cheat death, or at least to declare the illusion of immortality through lasting visual evidence.” This applies to our online sharing habits. What we share and document becomes part of the digital realm. Whatever we share gets saved for an unknown amount of time, it could be there for hours, days, or even decades. For example: Snapchat automatically removes what we share after 24 hours, which allows the user to continue updating without having to cringe over it years later. In contrast, MySpace has become an abandoned time capsule into the teen psyche of early 00s, and these accounts might still be there for another decade. Therefore, how is the type of content generated from us shaping social media in the future? will there be an expiration date to what we are posting? and is there actually immortality in social media? On the other hand, lately young people has been drawn to limit what they share on social media to only their family and friends as opposed to broadcasting it to a wide range of audience. Did we gain a better perspective now on what should be private and what should be public? or is it the misuse of these platforms that led us to restructure our online habits?

Furthermore, Silverman raised an intriguing point about the coexistence between documentation and life authenticity: “The documentary lifestyle of social media raises concerns about how we commodities ourselves and how we put ourselves up for public display and judgment.” when projecting our content on social media is it to document or to commodities ourselves? Is our real life existence determined by our online presence?

Questions:

How is the type of content generated from us now shaping social media in the future? Is our real life existence determined by our online presence? Is there actually immortality in social media?

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