Why Social Media can Never Fill the Void in our Depressing Lives


From VICE: According to Marcus Gilroy-Ware, author of Filling the Void: Emotion, Capitalism & Social Media, society’s widespread use of social media stems from and is exploited by late capitalism.

“…Gilroy-Ware argues that the impoverished life of the contemporary worker – precarious, alienated, bored – is exploited by social media, which promises emotional fulfillment in its endlessly regenerating timelines.

But in trying to ‘fill the void’ with Facebook and Instagram’s stimuli, we trigger an infinite regression, flittering between our misery’s cause and effect: ‘We are seeking that “something” to make us feel better in a place we will never find it,’ trapped in ‘a circularity that is essential to the workings of consumerism.'”

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  1. Interesting article. With parents who were sysadmins on local BBS’s from the early 1980’s on, I’ve been interacting with others in cyberspace from a very young age, far earlier than most of my peers were exposed to this concept. It’s been a long strange trip from what was mainly a space for academics and geeks – essentially only those smart enough to, first of all even have knowledge that such spaces exist, and then have the financial and technical abilities to access them, to now, thirty-odd years later when literally anyone can get online. My greatest impression is that I hate the internet and what it has done to society in general. Being able to Google for information is great. And the conveniences of digital spaces are undeniable. Otherwise, I have witnessed a massive breakdown in true communication and friendships. The level of hatred and vitriol expressed online make it feel unsafe to me. What was once an escape has become something I escape from. It’s not just social media, it’s damn near all of the internet. Call me an old fogey but I’ve reached the point where I think there should be age restrictions to protect children from accessing most online spaces because they are so damaging to one’s wellbeing. Comments sections are the worst, and we all know the saying about what opinions are like — just one early user’s perspective so take it with a grain of salt…

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