Existentialism in the Age of #SocialMedia

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Existentialism as street art – Graphic by Montag

It was the summer of 2014. The online community was in the middle of the twitterstorm that had been raging since the Ferguson riots. I was enjoying beautiful vacation time in the south of France — waking late, drinking far too much of the produits du terroir, and generally having lovely times in the warm Languedocien sunshine.

Despite the noise and fury that had previously emanated from my @iammontag Twitter account about the amount of time that people spend online (and my short-lived #offline campaign), one of the first items on my vacation to-pack list is always my laptop. So when Ferguson kicked off I was able to keep up with the developments on the internet.

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News – huh! – What is it Good For? (Say it again)

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Houses of Parliament from Westminster Bridge – Photo by Montag

Have you ever seen the once-familiar in a whole new light? Looked really hard at something (or someone) previously taken for granted, and regarded it/them completely differently?

It happened to me once at junior school. I remember staring at one of my then friends. It was strange. It was like I was doing so for the very first time. A train of thought alighted upon me: Who is this person? Why am I hanging around with him? Why is he my friend? I stopped being so chummy with the lad shortly after that. It wasn’t that he’d done anything wrong. It’s just that awakenings can do that to you.

I had a similar episode regarding the concept of broadcast news a while ago.

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An Alternative Interpretation

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The Frozen North (2014) – Photo by Montag

My digital SLR is at the manufacturers for repair, so while there are beautiful, snowy Christmas scenes beyond my window (such as the above, taken with my mobile phone), I’m unable to go out and fill my SD card with clichéd images of the UK under snow.

The snow added a little more festivity to Christmas 2014 – and for me personally, it was an interesting one. I spent it with my ageing parents and other members of my family, and in quiet periods read Kierkegaard and pondered life and the meaning thereof. Meanwhile the media theme for this holiday period seemed to be the centenary of what they now choose to call the great war. These labels are odd. Firstly this war was not great in either sense of the word (the second world war was bigger, and war ain’t great). Even the other moniker for this conflict the first world war also misses the mark because it was more of a European rather than a world war.

Anyway, enough of my carping. Let’s get on shall we.

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