Anticipating Memories & Virtual Technologies

By Alejandra Lee (@alejandraleev)

Jason Silva, from National Geographic’s Brain Games, comes to YouTube with a series of “Shots of Awe” that leaves viewers questioning every aspect of the technology and science worlds.

With technology advancing at an exponential rate, social media gains new meanings that morph the human psyche, thus affecting society as whole.

Silva’s Instagram video explains how our generation, with the help of these social media outlets, has entered a phase in which we now have a say on how our experiences will be reflected upon later.

By altering the images that we create, Silva touches on the dual-self, and how there are two realities being experienced with social media: the experiencing self and the remembering self.

Instagram is the Twitter of photos, it is photographs that project our “what’s on your mind,” not words. It is known that a photograph says a thousands words, and that is exactly how we communicate now with this particular social media outlet.

With these pictures, which we adjust and fix to our desires, we are being the architects of our mental narratives.

I love when Silva says that this eagerness to shape our lives through images encourages the artist within us all to come out. It is through this act of recompiling pieces of our created history that we deal and cope with the entropy and tragedy of non-existence that comes with being alive. We are lucky enough to have the means to create a personalized history.

Sounds odd, but in reality, we are deciding how to feel when looking back at things that we have done and gone through. Even when some of these things do not happen as exciting or beautiful as our pictures make them out to be, we are conditioning our mind to feel and remember the actuality as our artistic mind wishes to remember it as.

Social media outlets like these give humans a way of coping with oblivion.

We become what we think, and the technologies of media allow us to experience life in the perspective of “the other” too.

Every time we follow, like, or interact with other virtual “selves” we are sharing a virtual reality, which with technology advancing, will not longer be as virtual as it is real.

We will be able to wear our linguistic intent outside our skin. Our gestures on our selfies already say enough about our lives at that particular moment, but as Snapchat and all these other apps that social media is coming up with develop, where do we draw the line?

How far and deep are we willing to go when “marketing” our selves and choosing how to interact with our audiences? Are we doing it for our own sake in dealing with the whole oblivion thing? Or will virtual reality, fomented by social media, push our intimacy to a level where the true nature of our emotions and character be exposed to the point of disappearance?

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