January 31, 2020

Is Anyone Still In There, Behind This New Face Of Addiction?

Emma L Pawley

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Inks, Watercolour, Paint PensClick It Better, A3

We fill the void. Our emptiness can be fixed by the click of the social media dispenser, or so we’ve come to believe. Could this have been evolution’s plan? A natural next step in our anthropological journey, or a more insidious desire to manipulate the masses, coaxing our anxieties into fears. We are addicted. We willingly ‘Follow’, conforming to a submissive persona. How often have you felt isolated due to a loved one’s half hourly Facebook checks? Sitting patiently beside them trying to engage but it falls on half-hearted ears. A relationship absent of verbal communication is a lonely one. This work represents that compulsion to immerse ourselves in the impalpable world behind our blue light screens. That over animated pleasure of being hooked-up to the Social Media Machine, where a manic need for bright, childlike symbols, instant love and shameless vanity hides the dark reality of its effect on our bodies and mind. The worrying bubble of faux contentment – this mindless emoji smile – grows louder, more self-important, and our true selves sink into the dark, disrupted heartbeats of a semi-conscious state. As our virtual lives flourish our emotional well being withers. Can these antithesis ever co-exist?