Curating Nonsense

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I’m currently four episodes deep into “America’s Next Top Model” on VH-1. Yeah, yeah, I know. But I got into the habit way before social media made Narcissists of us all.

I’m really interested in watching girly things like hair, make-up, fashion, and modeling. Shallow comes with the territory, but this season reaches a new level even for my taste.

Every generation suffers its fair share of the shallow segment. This selfie generation, however, is quite possibly the most useless of them all.

Today, I ran/walked on the treadmill with my mouth open. Not because of the exertion but because of the shallow bullshit vomited out by the panel of judges at the end of this one particular episode, where the model contestants submitted three, curated selfies to tell a story designed to generate followers.

First of all, I didn’t even know social media stars existed, other than Kim Kardashian. I mean, WTF America? With all that’s going on out there in the world, do we really need a fake career based on appearances — and manipulated at that — and zero talent?

I heard of YouTube stars, okay, that sort of makes sense. You show the world your personality, your musical ability (isn’t that how Justin Bieber was discovered?), your fashion sense.

But there are actually people who become famous based purely on how they craft their visuals on Instagram and Snapchat. They literally show up taking pictures and videos of themselves in hopes of gaining as many followers as possible. Numbers, not actual living, breathing, thinking, feeling human beings.

It’s all about manipulating numbers. Who has the most hits, the most looks? Who can craft a perfect image to provoke — Wait a minute, isn’t this a Netflix episode of “Black Mirror” entitled, “Nose Dive?”

It seems all you need is a young, hot body, and the ability to use filters to highlight the best (fake) you you you.

Like the ANTM judges said, forget the “random extras,” focus on selling “you you you.” One of them even interjected that she felt taking photos of anyone or anything else was a bit “dodgy.”

Now, if you’re talking about photos as art, I’m down. But I don’t think they’re even aware of what art really is.

I’m really worried about the state of human evolution when I’m dead and gone. Or, maybe it’s just social media.

People who aren’t on social media all the time tend to be normal. Yet, even they get sucked in now and then, and then, it’s all about whoring for attention.

Before the Internet became super-popular, I used to have these recurring dreams where I’m searching for a friend in this large warehouse full of people staring into their computer screens. They weren’t interacting with one another. They didn’t even know other people were sitting in cubicles all around them. They engaged only in what was happening on-screen, and that’s very very scary.

 

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