- Nov 11, 2017
- 12d 17h 3m
Humans are notoriously bad at distinguishing between what is real and what is fake. It's not our fault; for hundreds of thousands of years, if you're a hunter-gatherer, the ability to distinguish between an image and the real thing was meaningless. You had to inspect and treat every image you saw as real and respond appropriately, otherwise you will miss an opportunity to feed yourself.
We have been making art and paintings for thousands of years, but it is only during the digital age that we were able to create images that were so real that our brain confuses them for real, and reacts to them the same way it would react to the real thing.
Take a look at this image of a burger. Is it real? Your conscious, rational brain knows it isn't, but your subconscious does not. It doesn't know the difference, all it sees is a big juicy burger that is full of calories that you must eat. So even if you know it's not real, this image has affected you. It has made you hungrier, and your subconscious might later today encourage you to go to a fast food chain and get a burger.
The danger of the Digital World is that humans have not evolved in a World where there is such a thing as a real image and a fake image, so they will interpret fake images as real. If you guys read any philosophy, Jean Beaudrillard refers to this as the "hyperreal", a condition in which the real and fake are seamlessly blended together so that there is no clear distinction between where one ends and one begins. This succinctly describes the human condition very well when concerning social media.
Our brain already has problems distinguishing between real and fake images, can you imagine trying to distinguish between real and fake social stimulation? It's not a thing. Our psyche is completely unprepared for a Digital World, and you see this quite blatantly in many areas.
First, porn. This is something that even a lot of feminists/inceltears will admit, that porn does affect the way young men view women and affects how they have sex with them. In no other time in history were you able to open a computer and look at catalogues of women, behaving and acting sexually and getting fucked. Your rational mind knows it's not real, but your subconscious actually believes its taking part in an orgy with many women when watching porn.
Same with social media. Many people are unable to separate their real selves from the fake selves that they have built for themselves. To many, their real self is the person that they are portraying in their Instagram profile. Even if they do not go hiking all the time and spend most of their living moment at home or at work, their self is the persona that goes on hikes, goes to music festivals, even if they only went there just to take a picture of themselves doing it. They also look through Instagram reels and, even though they know that they are curated, their subconscious still believes it is looking at pictures of beautiful men and women, doing things that you have never done, and comparing itself to others. It's not a coincidence that there has been a correlation between social media use and depression, and this is because our subconscious is unfit to understand the digital world presented to it.
So if we are able to accept that the fake world does affect how we feel and behave in the real World, why are our behaviours on online dating websites magically excluded from this? How can you genuinely tell me that a woman's standards are not as high in real life as they are online, and that other things matter more online? When a woman uses a dating app and gets attention from hundreds of men and sees discrete numbers showing the number of men who like her and want to get to know her, even if her rational mind sees it as fake, her subconscious sees it as real, and it DOES affect the way she views men in real life.
Your digital self gets likes from dozens of tall, good-looking white guys who work as a firefighter or something, you are subconsciously going to change the way you view other men. Your subconscious is overstimulated with the attention, and suddenly considers this as the new normal, even if your rational self knows that all you're seeing lights move around on a square box.
You are going to wonder why that average-looking guy with a receding hairline is trying to buy you a drink from the bar when your subconscious knows it can do better. In fact, you are going to find it creepy. Doesn't this creep know how many matches you get and how much better the other guys are? Why is he unable to pick up on this?
And herein lies the problem. Unless you can convince me that the human body is able to clearly distinguish between, and not react to fake images and interactions, you cannot in good faith tell me that the World as a woman experiences it in online dating is not going to affect her perception of the real World that is around her.