Social media

Above: A person on their smartphone looking at a social media account. Credit: Erik Lucatero.


For both Baudrillard and Virilio the present human context of global instantaneous communications is designated real-time communication. For both of these theorists, real-time creates an intolerable/hazardous situation. In the epoch of the rise to prominence of real-time, the present moment is grossly fetishized at the expense of all else. In real-time, all that matters is the last few minutes, or seconds. Anything beyond this intoxicating bubble of immediacy is stripped of credibility and swiftly fades out into insignificance. We--those caught up in real-time--live in an oppressive tyranny of the reign of the present moment. It is a scene of polarization: everything in the bubble of immediacy is vital, maybe even profound, while everything outside the present moment is suspicious, questionable, irrelevant.

(12 February 2019)