The Post-Postmodernism Issue

Bleak, Shallow and Repetitive

Virtual life seems increasingly less worth living.
Virtual Suicide

Now that the thrill of our hyper-connected existence is gone, virtual life has become a depressing daily grind. We toil late into the night, unleashing an endless stream of status updates and tweets in a desperate attempt to keep ourselves relevant, desirable and in. There’s an ominous irony in FarmVille, a Facebook application that enables users to build and maintain a virtual farm. It’s more than a game: It’s an allegory. Virtual existence is feudalism for the modern age. Those who hold the information are kings and those of us toiling in the virtual fields are the servile peasantry: selling our souls for the mind-numbing comfort of an online existence.

Social Networking Sites (SNSs) promise limitless, boundless friendship – a phenomenon that should make us happier than ever. But our optimism over connectivity has gradually morphed into cynicism and resentment. It turns out virtual life is less about connectivity than self-branding. SNSs entice us to divulge and update, stroking our fragile egos with filtered ads that utilize our personal information to reap huge profits, as our hundreds of “friends” perpetually rate our online popularity. Paranoid about how we’ll be perceived, we spend hour after hour trying to avoid the virtual consequences of being deemed uncool. We have more to worry about than our online acquaintances deleting us after we’re tagged in an unflattering photo. Sites like Lamebook, devoted to reposting cliché status updates and socially awkward wall exchanges, humiliate those virtual personas who are unfamiliar with the web's mores and codes.

Bleak, shallow and repetitive, virtual life seems increasingly less worth living. Users are beginning to realize that it’s not leisure, it’s work that borders on servitude. But there’s a resistance growing among those tired of their virtual subjugation. In response to the electronic world’s rising indignation, virtual suicide sites like seppukoo.com and suicidemachine.org have started a countermovement, provoking users to kill their online selves and reclaim their real lives. These programs assist our virtual deaths by hacking into our profiles, completely annihilating our online personas and leaving no trace of our former selves behind. It’s social revolt for the online age: a mass uprising that will shatter the virtual hierarchy and restore order to our actual lives.

46 comments on the article “Bleak, Shallow and Repetitive”

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Anonymous

Doesn't adbusters have a facebook page? That they want people to add, and read it's updates, and buy the magazine? I wouldn't be surprised if adbusters has a twitter also, and a myspace..I don't understand how anyone could bash facebook or social networking websites, when they use them themselves. I am not a fan of social networking, I think it is creating a generation of socially awkward individuals that can't give eye contact. However, I find it to be incredibly hypocritical for anyone to write against it, when they probably use it themselves. I will bet ten dollars that the person who wrote this article has a facebook page. Ego stroke indeed...
I am a fan of adbusters, and agree with most of what is said within it's pages, just for the record.

Anonymous

Doesn't adbusters have a facebook page? That they want people to add, and read it's updates, and buy the magazine? I wouldn't be surprised if adbusters has a twitter also, and a myspace..I don't understand how anyone could bash facebook or social networking websites, when they use them themselves. I am not a fan of social networking, I think it is creating a generation of socially awkward individuals that can't give eye contact. However, I find it to be incredibly hypocritical for anyone to write against it, when they probably use it themselves. I will bet ten dollars that the person who wrote this article has a facebook page. Ego stroke indeed...
I am a fan of adbusters, and agree with most of what is said within it's pages, just for the record.

Anonymous

Will Adbusters ever stop lamenting and complaining and actually do something? Your pessimistic TALK is uninspiring, misplaced and becoming more irrelevant by the day. You know what would be really revolutionary? Actually inspiring people, rather than reinforcing negative perceptions of reality - which are just that: perceptions. You're smart people and have the potential to be leaders, but you continue to follow boomer-style cynicism which results in a paralyzing sense of powerlessness. People stop reading Adbusters for this reason and you fail to utilize the immense power you hold as a publication speaking to sharp young minds.

Anonymous

Will Adbusters ever stop lamenting and complaining and actually do something? Your pessimistic TALK is uninspiring, misplaced and becoming more irrelevant by the day. You know what would be really revolutionary? Actually inspiring people, rather than reinforcing negative perceptions of reality - which are just that: perceptions. You're smart people and have the potential to be leaders, but you continue to follow boomer-style cynicism which results in a paralyzing sense of powerlessness. People stop reading Adbusters for this reason and you fail to utilize the immense power you hold as a publication speaking to sharp young minds.

OnlineFreedom

I believe it is possible for people to have a facebook and not have to justify their lives to each other through it. If, in your circle, people are slaves to an online community, perhaps you should share this on their wall or tag them in this "note". I think people come to this site to be informed and motivated. All this does is rag on a social lifestyle that I don't believe is relevant to what I think your audience is.
Maybe we do have facebooks, but maybe we've also moved around a lot? Maybe for some of us, it is a good way to keep in contact with friends and relatives all over the country or world? I'm rambling. My point, however, is that not everyone is a slave to their online life, and I think that this article was written and proposed to a completely wrong audience. Try motivating people through your articles instead of just complaining about their lifestyles.

OnlineFreedom

I believe it is possible for people to have a facebook and not have to justify their lives to each other through it. If, in your circle, people are slaves to an online community, perhaps you should share this on their wall or tag them in this "note". I think people come to this site to be informed and motivated. All this does is rag on a social lifestyle that I don't believe is relevant to what I think your audience is.
Maybe we do have facebooks, but maybe we've also moved around a lot? Maybe for some of us, it is a good way to keep in contact with friends and relatives all over the country or world? I'm rambling. My point, however, is that not everyone is a slave to their online life, and I think that this article was written and proposed to a completely wrong audience. Try motivating people through your articles instead of just complaining about their lifestyles.

Dr. Strangeloop

I love AdBusters, but this is funny. AdBusters has a Facebook page ... and this is a very black and white kind of analysis of social networking. Don't assault the tool, just use it better. thats my thoughts ...

Dr. Strangeloop

I love AdBusters, but this is funny. AdBusters has a Facebook page ... and this is a very black and white kind of analysis of social networking. Don't assault the tool, just use it better. thats my thoughts ...

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