Where once life was directly lived, now even the most intimate experiences are filtered through the mediation of pixels, commodified, and packaged for flitting consumption. The stream of content and notifications crowds out direct engagement with the world, replacing reality with representation. Every cuisine, landscape, and culture become mere fodder for the insatiable mirror of liquid crystal displays.
The surge of algorithmically boosted viral media merges perspectives into a single overwhelming flood travelling at fiber-optic speeds. All nuance and context washes away before the torrent of surface-level takes and manipulative misinformation proliferating through networks. Fragmentary hot takes regroup into polarised echo chambers that merely reflect and amplify pre-existing biases between terminals that are no longer mutually recognisable.
The online world becomes hyperreal, more real than reality itself—its simulation hijacks even lived experience. Physical encounters are crowded out by virtual pseudo-communities, digital pseudo-events, and trending pseudo-crises. Eyes remain locked on screens, guiding bodies absently through streets and spaces long rendered unfamiliar by the dissolution of common symbolic meaning.
Behind the feed’s façade of convenience and connectivity, new forms of disorientation, dependency, and control solidify. Users grow fractured and deskilled, colonised by compulsions engineered to benefit unseen actors and interests. Daily experience becomes filled with anxieties urgently communicated about catastrophes unfolding in unknown realms mysteriously excluded from lived perceptions.
Between outbursts of spectacular violence and manufactured conflict, endless total information about everything gives way to endless total confusion about anything. Paralysed spectators reduced to detachment oscillate from screen to screen, their attention scarcer and more valuable than ever, desperately sought by platforms competing ruthlessly to dominate behavioural futures markets through data extraction, predictive analytics, and algorithmic control.
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