Digital Age and the Fake Person.
The 14th October marks the world standards day the world over. This year’s Kenyan celebrations were held at the Radisson Blu hotel at upper hill, Nairobi. This years’ World Standards Day 2019 was themed, “video standards create a global stage.”
The theme stamps the idea that we are in the digital age for those living in denial. As a matter of fact, the number of videos uploaded to the internet every single day is very astonishing. They number in their millions and keep increasing by day.
On the other hand there is a lot of content being uploaded on other digital platforms with each passing second. Part of the stuff uploaded in staggering numbers is photos. It is estimated that more than 300 million photos get uploaded every day to Facebook.
Let me break it further. There are over 600 million Instagrammers of which about 400 million are active daily. These active users share roughly 95 million photos and videos daily. Remember the fact that Instagram is owned by Facebook.
WhatsApp has over 1.5 billion users with over a billion active users per day. Interestingly there are over 450 million statuses uploaded on WhatsApp daily with an additional over 65 billion messages sent daily. These numbers could have likely increased substantially as we are talking at the moment since new users keep tickling in with every second.
And these three social media sites are my basis of writing today. In this year’s World Standards Day celebrations, the question of what we need to do to secure the future generations from the harmful effects of social media took precedence.
A video of a young girl recovering from social media addiction and later depression made me take a deeper look at the social media and the fake person. The young girl in the video was talking of living a fake life to please an online audience she had across multiple social media sites and of which more than 90% she had never seen or met personally.
This young lady was competing with other young girls to gain traction from men who kept leaving good comments on their photos and videos uploads. To get more likes and comments, some of these youngsters go an extra mile of buying expensive things beyond their reach.
Besides, they go to expensive outlets and take photos and videos so that they can give the world a peek into their world of opulence which is often ‘borrowed.’ To maintain this lifestyles, these young women engage in prostitution of all sorts. From street ones to entertaining sugar daddies.
At the end of the day, other young girls get psychological trauma when they see their friends living ‘good lives’ than them. To young women and girls, they begin losing it at this point by the comparison they engage in with their peers who seem to have “made it.”
A few years ago I watched a South African movie titled Mr. Bones (2). I remember the main actor Mr. Bones and the young King of Kuvuki land on a journey to take back a stone stolen by some Indian cook from a fishing village in India.
In the process, the two ‘alien’ guys find themselves in a civilized Indian party and Mr. Bones decodes that most of the things in this land are fake. He then concludes that even the women here are fake.
To prove his point, he removes a wig from the head of one of them and tries some other funny stuff. This kind of play is back on in the social media world and platforms. We are living fake lives all over with the hope that by faking it we will make it. Simply to mean that it is very hard to trust people in this advanced digital age.
Why should someone see you posting things to suggest that you are a person of means and put their hopes that perhaps you can deliver on something and when finally you meet one realizes that it was all made up and that perhaps you are a quack or crook.
What remains of this age is an aspect of people living with contentment and at the same time remain truthful. We don’t have to fake our lives for the sake of people out there who we don’t even know and even won’t meet in all our lives. We will be on our deathbeds when we realize that we wasted our best years trying to live other people’s lives’.
It could be possible that a lot of us have lost precious opportunities due to the fake lives we live. I am yet to be convinced that there is somebody who really values fake over truth. People love the real person and not the fake one. In the process of faking it, someone gets wasted or used and none of the two adds value in any way.
As we move towards the prime age of the digital era, we don’t have to be fake. Let us be us and we will soon appreciate there are people willing to take us for who we are irrespective of our circumstances or natures.