Imagine a group of people gathered for no purpose… which would sound unusual because when you have a look at human history it is apparent that every gathering had a common purpose among the participants. People who gathered in army units, family dinners, worship places came together for the purpose of specific common goals and intentions.
Such a definition of a gathering no longer fits its context in the age of the internet. By the emergence of social media platforms in the century we live in, we find ourselves in an imaginary gathering in imaginary venues in which people are not connected with a purpose. For the sake of the argument, let us take Twitter into account. Twitter provides a 280 character limit in which each user, be it anonymous or not, is able to transform his/her thoughts into a ‘tweet’ which is visible to any person, at anytime, from anywhere (unless Twitter’s servers are down). Although the case; although the freedom provided to fit any combination of characters in a 280 number limit, there seems to be a vicious circle of thoughts and reactions which constantly result in gaining more applaud from a wider audience. Why is that so? What is the other users’ expectation of your potential tweet which will urge them into liking or mentioning the tweet? Or, why is there even such a tendency when the social media itself is a platform in which no individual is expected to act for a communal purpose?
Another thing to note is that, every human behavior is kindled with an intention. Therefore both the act of using social media and the act of ‘tweeting’ cannot be acts that are utterly purposeless. In that case, what purpose is there in gathering in an imaginary venue where there is no common goal among the agents? The fact that such meetings are based on no purpose is precisely the motivation that leads to encounters among users because each encounter and each action itself is an act of finding a purpose. So, each ‘tweet’ creates a potential purpose for the other user; a purpose to react to it. And this location-less and universal digital culture, when worded as the purposeless circulation of looking for a purpose, is rather an absurd point humanity finds itself in.
This is an incredibly thought-provoking reflection. Thank you so much for sharing it!
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