The Age of Post-Authenticity and the Ironic Truths of Meme Culture

From fake news to our overly curated Instagram feeds, “authenticity” seems to be over. What are our new vectors for talking truth?

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

1. Media isn’t really real

Source: Google Trends
Sources: Google Trends and Pulsar Trends

2. Technology is warping reality in new ways

Source: Matthias Niessner, YouTube
Fake fairies. Image credit: Kristian Nordestgaard via flickr/CC BY 2.0

3. In the fashion industry, authenticity imploded around 2015.

L-R: Instagram users @MaryHoagland, @UpTheWoodenHills, @NuanceAndBubbles
Photo coordination credit: Summer Allen.
All hipster coffee shops have the same stools (source: Google image search)

4. Generation Z are pioneering post-authentic social media

Instagram @HanHoop, via Mic.com
Source: Google Trends

5. The Meme Generation

NUMTOTs’ mapping of their intersecting obsessions, from peak transit to Elon Musk. Design credit Mitchell Sheldrick
Source: Facebook Group Robust Memes for LSE Teens
Source: Facebook Group Nihilist Memes

6. What does authenticity mean, anyway?

Source: Truthfeed.com (lol), November 2016

I'm interested in complex systems: media, environment, technology. Freelance researcher & writer in London. @hautepop on Twitter

I'm interested in complex systems: media, environment, technology. Freelance researcher & writer in London. @hautepop on Twitter