Is social media making us Basic™? I’m gonna go against the tides here and say no it most definitely isn’t. I mean, I’m guessing you think I’m crazy. “What about Lad-lads, VSCO girls and all other copy+paste internet personalities in between?” you would ask.
What if I told you that none of these internet personas truly exist?
Like, what if the VCSO girl was far more complex than she appeared. Hear me out: what if there was more to her than just being vegan and having a hydro-flask? Social media has a very sneaky way making us believe in these surface-level images of ourselves and others.
Social Media has for a long time pushed masses of people into boxes of what they should be and forced onto them a hollow, oversimplified character. The focus is on particular aspects of one’s character: their mannerisms, what they wear, or maybe their hobbies, neglecting a myriad of different things that make up a person. It’s not an innocent construction of character either – it often has some sort of agenda.
If the media can make slow fashion and veganism a thing that VSCO girls do to look edgy, or black activism is for angry black women, it can disarm political movements by making the supporters less credible and paint their political stance as intellectually flimsy.
These stereotypes favour policy makers who would have to do something about the environment, or employers who would have to answer to racial profiling if such issues became a commonly agreed priority in public opinion. Before you go I have to ask: what box does social media shove you into? Are you happy in there or is it time to cut your way out of these hollow criteria? I don’t know about you, but I’ve cut through the
FRAGILE tape and I’m on my way out.