Social Media’s Sleep of Reason Brings forth Phantoms

These regrettable truths should remind us, though, that we do not have sole ownership of ourselves. Our identity is communally owned, because we are who we are recognised to be and how we respond to that recognition, so that the self is negotiated with our communities, and is all the better for it. Our identities are so much more weighty, more complex, more rounded, flawed, troubled, interesting, rewarding than the flimsy list of boastful inanities, childish make-believe and desperate self-justifications we lay claim to online. 

There is much that can be altered, changed, bettered about ourselves. But to claim that your self is wholly under your own conscious control, that you exist solely by an act of self will  is to become an unreliable, mutable phantom self, the unprovable self, the self of whims and fashions, of language, of changing thought yet also half-recognised, misunderstood wordless feeling; the self that needs constant monitoring, curating, defending, restating.

Online solipsistic heroes of the solitary self are increasingly ungrounded and unanchored to facts and truth and the body, prey to their own lies, to being consumed by their own untruths, their own unreality, capable at any point of blowing away, like shreds of mist. 

And this has become the primary medium for human attention and aspiration. 

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