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Click it, the modern day futility

Thursday, 18 March 2021
This is an opinion article by an external contributor. The views belong to the writer.

Stare like a zombie at your TV. Scroll through your social media news feed like a junkie. It doesn’t matter what flavour of content it happens to be, just make sure you get your fix of click bait and useless information.

Let that dopamine kick in and fill your heart with a sense of purpose and meaning. If that’s not enough, don’t worry there are pills that can fix that. Become a façade of yourself. Disconnect and self-destruct one click, or pill, at a time.

Take your time surfing this wave of artificial highs. It will surely remedy the void in your heart and in the meantime, you will generate revenue, but not for yourself. Don’t worry there’s no rush to get out of your comfort zone and confront the void of nihilism that will eventually cripple you with existential angst. Enjoy the distractions and keep scrolling.

Welcome to the brave new world where ferocious keyboard warriors and pill popping brokers ensure your safety and happiness. “It’s a bullshit three ring circus sideshow (Maynard James Keenan, Ænema)” and it seems to be our epochs solution to axiological nihilism.

What is this modern-day phenomenon we are witnessing? Is the internet and, more specifically, social media our way of searching for some sort of catharsis from a tragic encounter with nihilism? These illusions of meaning and value are derived from technological activities that seem to be more futile than Sisyphus pushing his rock.

The internet, particularly social media, has swept the world off its feet and it’s time for us to take a moment to recollect and reflect on the implications of this technology. If this technological revolution is our form of Camus’ rebellion towards the absurdity and arbitrariness of life, then we should make sure it is one that does not send us deeper down the rabbit hole of absurdism.

“The modern mind is in complete disarray. Knowledge has stretched itself to the point where neither the world nor our intelligence can find any foot-hold. It is a fact that we are suffering from nihilism (Albert Camus, Notebooks 1942-1951).”

Our notions of value, meaning, and ethics have become disorderly and disingenuous. Value and meaning seem to have become synonymous with consumerism and social media engagement. Ethics, on the other hand, seems to have been replaced with a perversely absurd political correctness.

Our current epoch is like a snowball plummeting down a mountain gathering all the data it possibly can, only to slip more and more out of control. The result of this snowball effect might very well be the trampling of any meaningful ethical systems and the triumph of a destructive form of nihilism.

Nonetheless, the chaos that has been brought forth from these new technologies can be put back on a meaningful and positive track. The internet and social media platforms offer a beautiful and tremendous possibility for society to connect and create a sort of unified and harmonic ethical system. This can give us the opportunity to pave the way for a much more just and ethically sound society.

With that being said, it is societies responsibility to make sure these technologies serve a constructive purpose. Keep scrolling…but make it productive!