“Social Media, does it imitate life or art?”
Social media has become a main part of society today, where people can express their ideas and feelings in many forms. While one side argues that social media imitates life, another side believes that it imitates art. Those who support the former view argue that social media is a mirror of our lives, where we share our personal experiences, emotions, and opinions with others. On the other hand, those who support the latter view believe that social media is a platform where people create and share their own artistic expressions through pictures, videos, and written posts.
A question that has plagued many for centuries.
The once upon a not so distant time, art imitated life as we knew it. However, today it appears that life imitates social media more than the other way around, social media imitates life.
What is social media today?
Social media is a conglomerate of applications and websites focused on communication for community-based input/output with interaction, content-sharing, and collaborative capabilities.
History states the Eurocentric idea, “art imitates life,” was first observed and analyzed by Oscar Wilde. A notable proponent to Aristotelian mimesis; which is a philosophical position that is in direct opposition to the idea that “life imitates art.” Oscar Wilde, a flamboyant Irish poet and playwright unpacked his observation through a quote from the essay, “The Decay of Lying,” highlighting the way we look at the world around us. Perspective is important but what plagues us are the influences of our views. Perhaps there is a correlation between how we developed AI (artificial intelligence), yet today AI influences us as some would say, “it has the potential to destroy civilization,” said of Elon Musk.
Artificial Intelligence does the heavy lifting for us today by powering technology systems, predictive constructs for natural language processing, audio, and image recognition, computer vision, and the way we interact with media.
Social media, America’s new pastime
Has social media become America’s new pastime? First, what is considered a pastime? A pastime is an activity done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure. With that said, how often do we look at our favorite social media platform to view what’s trending, comment on an article of interest, or view the number of likes from a picture recently posted? Social media entertainment by far consumes most of our free time in the United States. According to various sources it is estimated that the average person spends 147 minutes on social media each day, an increase of two minutes from 2021. Furthermore, Tiktok having the most downloads in 2022 with an average time spent of 45.8 minutes (other states: Time spent on other platforms: Youtube 45.6, Twitter 43.6, Snapchat 30.4, Facebook 30.1, Instagram 30.1, and with Reddit 30.1).
Experts say this amount of time spent on social media has grave outcomes for social development in society today. Nevertheless, whether social media imitates life or art, it is beyond doubt that it has a significant impact on our society. Social media has enabled people to connect with others from all over the world, share information, and even mobilize for social causes. However, it has also been criticized for its negative effects, such as depression, isolation, fear of missing out (FOMO), addiction, and the spread of misinformation. As such, it is important for us to use social media responsibly and be aware of its potential consequences.