The Ultimate Refuge of Intimacy

Mat Guillan
Oct 30, 2017 · 4 min read
Picture of Trainspotting (1996), directed by Danny Boyle based on the homonymous novel by Irvine Welsh.

We need to show off. The Internet dares us and if we do not show ourselves, we do not exist. There are people resisting because they prefer another type of communication still, they shake a prehistoric cell shouting that the battery lasts 3 days, but the young people check this behavior more and more in networks like Tinder and Happn. The world is a display window.

A study conducted by the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) claims that the Likes activate the nucleus accumbes, which is the reward system of the brain, the part that takes care of our pleasure. It does not matter if they are known or unknown people, we feel a stimulus. We need it. We like it.

No one should access our personal toilet. The Romans transformed a physiological need into a social space, they defecated together while chatting. Today what most embarrasses us marks the limit of our exhibition.

To fulfill this need, spaces of intimacy are increasingly limited: photos of birthdays, the birth of a child, a pic going to the gym, a declaration of love, just awake, a separation, an engagement, some photos of pesto spaghetti. When we go one step further into that mental space that is our privacy, even though we are ashamed, our private world has rating. The intimate gets Likes, it attracts attention.

Public toilets of the Roman Empire.

We open the door to almost everything except the unpleasant, which we know we may not like. No one should access our personal toilet. The Romans transformed a physiological need into a social space, they defecated together while chatting. Today what most embarrasses us marks the limit. But what happens when that type of content has more and better reception than the rest? The answer is that we already exhibit what embarrasses or harms the other and it has repercussions, for now, going viral and in seconds, as is the case with the amateur videos that circulate daily via WhatsApp. How many Likes would have today the picture of Elvis dead at age 42 from an overdose in the bathroom of his Graceland mansion?

A fan of the Indio Solari, the most massive Argentine rocker, was found at 4 am stuck in a chemical bath, covered with fecal matter, drunk and with a beginning of hypothermia, after the recital to which attended about 120 thousand people in Mendoza, Argentina. Finally, nothing serious happened to him, but within hours his photo began to spread through social networks and reached the news instantly.

No one has access to our toilet and it’s up to us to open that door. But Bill Gates, one of the richest men in the world, is dealing with the shit of everyone, literally. A few years ago, Microsoft co-founded the new toilet because a family of five contaminates more than 150,000 liters of water in a year. In 2012, Microsoft awarded 100 thousand dollars to a new model of solar energy that generates fertilizer, hydrogen and electricity. And it goes for more: in 2015 in Senegal they began the tests for the creation of a toilet that transforms the excrement into drinking water. It is very likely that Bill Gates prevents the shit from covering us, and, even more, he may conducts our shit to save us.

Your defect names you.
Charly García, Argentinian rockstar

Meanwhile, in that small retreat that hid during the adolescence the secret and the forbidden: smoking in secret, having casual sex, escaping to mourn, throwing up or to knowing drugs. In that space where voices of rock demos were recorded and where masturbation is not a taboo, Miley Cyrus is photographed naked for her millions of followers who give her hearts. That’s why the last refuge of privacy is our personal toilet. What is not shown or told is what is unpleasant about us. We do not know for how long.//

There are more texts in English and Spanish on how social networks and technology changed our life forever in my profile: Mat Guillan

Translation: Alejandra Blanes.

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