The persona illusion Your existence on social media?

The persona illusion Your existence on social media?

The Illusion of Existence in the World of Social Media

Social Media

“I gave Mr. Johnson the privilege of choosing me a name, but told him he must not take from me the name of ‘Frederick.’ I must hold on to that, to preserve a sense of my identity.”
–Frederick Douglass, The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

Do you ever wonder about your existence in the vast realm of social media? You write, attach a picture, and it becomes a part of a database entry somewhere out there on a server farm. People respond to your posts, confirming your existence. You seem to exist in cyberspace. But do you really?

The illusion of existence through social media is the belief that a database entry constitutes one’s entire being. However, true existence is confirmed by autonomy – the ability to make choices and experience life without restrictions. On platforms like Facebook, Snap, Twitter, and LinkedIn, autonomy is non-existent. Instead, you are limited to a predetermined set of functions defined by the platform owner. Your name and likeness are controlled by the database, which is owned and operated by these platform giants.

Let’s delve deeper into the lack of autonomy in the digital world. Your data, which defines your identity, does not belong to you; it belongs to the database. The promises made by social media platforms to protect personal information are merely vendor product pledges, offering no real legal protection for your identity. Furthermore, you have no right to avoid exile from these platforms, despite it being considered a human rights violation by the United Nations.

Consider the consequences of being banned from a social media site – not only do you lose access to the platform, but also all the information associated with it, erasing a significant part of your digital existence. Exile, in this context, is essentially a landlord removing a tenant from their property. Your lack of autonomy leads to a loss of control over your personal data, infringing on fundamental human rights.

Additionally, the concept of free speech is warped in the social media realm. While free speech is upheld as a right in many countries, platforms like Meta (previously known as Facebook) decide what speech is admissible based on their content guidelines. The transformation of speech into content allows platform owners to have exclusive control over what is said on their platforms. Your ability to express yourself is at the mercy of social media owners, violating your autonomy.

Moreover, the rise of the creator economy further perpetuates a tiered society, where certain identities are ranked and privileged by platform owners. Paradoxically, social media platforms deprive individuals of the right to property, despite the United Nations recognizing it as a fundamental human right. Everything on social media belongs to the platform owner – you are merely a creator, not an owner. As a creator, you may have more privileges than others, but you are ultimately exploited by the system.

As you immerse yourself in the persona illusion of social media, you inadvertently surrender your rights, your autonomy, and ultimately, your existence. The more you engage in this false reality, the more you become entangled in a world devoid of any rights or autonomy. What remains is a facade designed to disguise the limited user capabilities offered under the constraints of a restrictive commercial license.

In the end, it’s crucial to recognize the true meaning of existence, separate from the illusions created in the digital realm. Autonomy, the freedom to make choices and have control over your data and speech, is essential for a genuine sense of self and identity. The illusory nature of social media should remind us to cherish our autonomy and fight for our digital rights, ensuring that our existence is not diminished in the pursuit of virtual connections.