Social media has changed the way people communicate with each other. Lately I have been thinking a lot about the white rabbit, a character and symbol that appears in numerous books, music and films.
When Neo follows the white rabbit tattoo down the hallway he enters a modern version of the rabbit hole inside a digital universe. Since the film was released in 1999, society has also entered through an unknown portal. Anything we want to know about is available instantly via a quick Google search, and everyone we ever met sees our Facebook status.
There are least five different ways that social media is like going down the rabbit hole. How many can you think up?
1. Old Rules Don’t Apply
We may not be able to fly at people when we get mad — yet — but the rules of social interaction have shifted dramatically thanks to social media. In some cases, we’re more likely to meet new people online than in the street. Communicate instantly with someone across the world in less than one second via direct messaging.
2. Looking Through a Keyhole
Social media is nice because it gives us the impression of closeness with some of our favorite public figures. But in reality a Twitter or Instagram feed gives us an extremely limited perspective into another persons life. Mathematically anyone with thousands or millions of followers is not likely to ever see your replies or comments.
3. Follow the White Rabbit
In the 19th century Alice chases the white rabbit down the rabbit hole. If it were the 21st century perhaps she would have just followed him on Twitter. You can take the red pill and follow me on Twitter and Instagram, or you could take the blue pill and return to your simple life. Social media gives a whole new meaning to the word hyper reality.
4. A Mad Tea Party
“We’re all mad here,” proclaims the Cheshire Cat as he explains Wonderland to Alice. These days people are more likely to say something in a direct message than they are face to face. This is especially true in situations that entail a lot of drama. Drunken Facebook messages are being sent and angry trolls are commenting.
Alice: But I don’t want to go among mad people.
The Cat: Oh, you can’t help that. We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.
Alice: How do you know I’m mad?
The Cat: You must be. Or you wouldn’t have come here.
Alice: And how do you know that you’re mad?
The Cat: To begin with, a dog’s not mad. You grant that?
Alice: I suppose so,
The Cat: Well, then, you see, a dog growls when it’s angry, and wags its tail when it’s pleased. Now I growl when I’m pleased, and wag my tail when I’m angry. Therefore I’m mad.
5. Painting the Roses Red
Very few individuals portray an accurate representation of their lives on Facebook and other social media feeds. Since they know that people are looking at them, most people stick to how they want to be seen by other people. Some choose to post naked photographs, others brag about muscle training, or want to be regarded as saints.
The imagery of the rabbit hole has pervaded in society for some time now. As technology continues to reshape our lives and the world around us we enter unknown territory. When using social media take the whole matrix into consideration and don’t make a jackass out of yourself. Be sure to like us on Facebook below, and also share and comment!