Denial of Reality
Working from home I occasionaly watch youtube in the background while digging through paperwork. Mostly historical channels, particulalry military history, Rome, etc and metal detecting, my hobby. I generally ignore the advertising, which for some reason is skewed towards AARP and Medicaid supplements. (Yes, I know how old I am, piss off algorythms.)
One odd commercial that keeps showing up that has caught my eye is for Snapchat. Odd enough, I'm not exactly in the demographic, but I have kids in their late teens and early twenties and nieces and nephews younger than that. So I sat and watched it instead of hitting "skip ad".
The entire premise of the ad is to deny reality by viewing everything through a snapchat filter. Have you ver imagined your coworkers with horseheads? Seen flowers bloom on your desk? Had a conversation with people who have goofy silly eyes? Basically the young woman who was subject of the ad was having a wonderful silly life by actualy denying the reality of those around her. Nothing that hasn't been sold to us through advertising for decades now, but with the technology available now such as VR headsets and social media, it's gone hyper. Eventually you will probably, if you can't already, just walk around with glasses on and actually deny the physical reality of what's in front of you.
Imagine, if you will, if you even have to, the unpleasentness of reality in a day to day basis, especialy as one ages. Going from being a kid to being an adolescent is terrifying in the best of times, and we already see this denial of reality on instagram and other programs where people filter themselves to look their best at all times. What happens when, say, you hit forty and the person you're married to isn't, when you take off the glasses, the young stud with the six pack ab? Maybe his hair is receding and that six pack has turned into a bit of a keg. Or you have a harder time picking your wife up and spinnning her around because 1.5 kids was a bit rough on her body? Do you put on your filter and spend your day looking at what was, instead of what is? You can't put a filter over the difficulties of being a parent, but you can unfortunately shove a screen in a crying childs' face. In many cultures there used to be something that is fast disappearing, the rite of passage. I can only speak for the most part towards the rituals of manhood because I come from a male dominated world. (Two sons, four brothers, non-integrated combat arms branch, father was an only child, etc). These rituals often embraced reality and the dangers associated and were focused on embracing the challenge and owning it. Walkabouts, killing a dangerous beast, spending a weekend alone in the woods as a boy scout with minimal equipment, getting your first real job doing hard labor and having a beer with your dad as a coworker instead of a son, etc. Some of those rituals were brutal and unnecessary, and many are more ritual than substance now. Confirmation for Catholics, Bar and Bat Mitvas for Jews, getting a Union card, etc, but they still meant something. You were an adult now, time to face up to that reality. This has all pretty much been thrown onto the side of the road in our rush to the vitual future. Instead we're being handed filters to deny reality...
... which sucks because reality has this annoying habit of not denying itself and punching you right in your VR glasses.
Arriving on or about November 15th!