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#13: Simulation In The Simulation

3 min read

In the age of Facebook and Instagram you can observe this myth-making process more clearly than ever before, because some of it has been outsourced from the mind to the computer. It is fascinating and terrifying to behold people who spend countless hours constructing and embellishing a perfect self online, becoming attached to their own creation, and mistaking it for the truth about themselves. That’s how a family holiday fraught with traffic jams, petty squabbles and tence silences becomes a collection of beautiful panoramas, perfect dinners and smiling faces; 99 percent of what we experience never becomes part of the story of the self. It is particularly noteworthy that our fantasy self tends to be very visual, wheras our actual experiences are corporeal. In the fantasy, you observe a scene in your mind’s eye or on the computer on a tropical beach, the blue sea behind you, a big smile on your face, one hand holding a cocktail, the other arm around your lover’s waist. Paradise. What the picture does not show is the annoying fly that bites your leg, the cramped feeling in your stomach from eating that rotten fish soup, the tension in your jaw as you fake a big smile, and the ugly fight the happy couple had five minutes ago. - 21 Lessons for the 21st Century

Do you have a social media account and post regularly pictures? Or even if you don’t post pictures, do you spend time scrolling the never ending feeds? Do you feel that everybody on these platforms have a happier and better life than you?

Like mentioned in the quote above the point is …99 percent of what we experience never becomes part of the story of the self…, so don’t expect that people have a happier or a better life than you. (My travel pictures are a good example of that 1 percent I have experienced)

One of the issues with social media that’s been pointed out by many people is that, I think maybe particularly Instagram people look like they have a much better life than they really do … people are posting pictures of when they’re really happy, they’re modifying those pictures to be better looking even if they’re not modifying the pictures there at least selecting the pictures for the best lighting the best angle, so people basically seem they’re way better looking than they basically really are and they way happier seeming than they really are. So if you look at everyone on Instagram you might think “man they’re all these happy beautiful people and I’m not that good looking and I’m not happy so I must suck” and that’s gonna make you feel sad, so when in fact those people you think are super happy actually not that happy, some of them are really depressed they’re very sad. So the happiest seeming people actually are some of the saddest people in reality. Nobody looks good all the time, it doesn’t matter who you are… - Elon Musk

In a podcast episode of Joe Rogan with Elon Musk they also talked about some next level thing. Some Ready Player One thing where you are not living in this real world, where you interface with this world you’ve created through your social media page.

Live the simulation in the simulation.

Listen to the part here:

Social Media is Destroying Us - Joe Rogan & Elon Musk

A first step you can take is just to delete these apps from your smartphone.

A book recommendation about this topic is Digital Minimalism: On Living Better with Less Technology