One trait of someone verging on psychosis or who has a form of borderline personality disorder, or indeed anyone inebriated or who has not had much sleep, is that their boundaries shift. What is considered appropriate behaviour is not adhered to. They lose the ability to self-edit, functioning in their own dream world. We need to move away from fixed binary thinking about technology and social media – it’s a utopia or the cause of hell on earth – to consider some of the wider social impacts. One obvious one is the inability of many to switch off. Even when jogging, or doing any activity, earplugs are obligatory, as if the ‘real world’ is too much to handle. Every second must be utilised, each moment squeezed for all its worth, or ‘shared’. The virtual = the real. But is this missing the moment?
Work emails are sent over the weekend and late into the evening every day, conversations and texts blurring beyond normal working hours. People have to remain switched on 25/8, scared of slowing down, of missing something crucial, FOMO, as if to do so they will be outside the loop. Nothing can wait. And if nothing can wait so can something. All must be observed, monitored, commented upon, to prove you exist. This means the so-called work ethic controls all elements of life, and there is nothing outside of this framework. This is nothing entirely new, but might be considered to be pathologically abnormal if it means personal physical relationships are neglected. The semblance of relationship takes on reality, eroding core values.
One could say, well this is clearly a choice, we select what we prioritise and put first, surely we are adults. But is this smugly over optimistic? The expectations of others may control us, the hunger for affirmation, despite the personal delusion it was our own original choice. This means all of life is paying tribute to the central goal of production and judgement, where little, if no, trickle down impact is felt. In this sense, a new form of control has been established, under the guise of so-called healthy competition and engagement. Real play – and the free imagination – is deleted. The obsession seems to roll on, despite some deleting their Facebook accounts. Perhaps a more drastic step needs to be taken. Having tech free days seems to be one solution, otherwise the human is totally eroded, 25/8, as well as the humane.