Viral videos have turned our lives into reality shows

21 June 2019 - 10:50
By AND Thango Ntwasa
DA national spokesperson  Phumzile van Damme./Conrad Bornman / Gallo Images
DA national spokesperson Phumzile van Damme./Conrad Bornman / Gallo Images

When Mxit, Myspace and Facebook entered our lives, I don't think many suspected they would birth other platforms of deplorable narcissism.

People spend hours and days fussing over the perception of one's happy life, how rich we seem or how desirable we want others to believe we are.

In our fussing over this documentation of our fantasy lives we ignore a pervasive problem.

On a weekly basis we are faced with a new viral video. When we are not laughing at another "Mabena" or "Smanga" we get the likes of Phumzile van Damme, on any other platform, seeking justice after a discriminatory experience.

Our pursuit and enjoyment of materialism, á la reality television, seems to have been uploaded into our cellphones.

We are now living in a reality show-like space on a daily basis. The shows could be anything from: Living the Dream with Sadism, America's Next Cop Victim and Keeping up with the Racists.

Our lives have shifted into a scary breaking news broadcast, where our violence has moved from under Big Brother's omnipresent eye to our quick wrists that must and need to document our own abuse.

While this has been extremely helpful in cases such as Vicky Momberg's racist rant, it is slowly breeding a culture whereby reality is not real anymore unless it has been recorded.

This innovation behind documentation of our lives exists on our streets with cameras in corners watching our every move.

We have given up our privacy for the sake of knowing that someone can put a face to the people who threaten our lives. The fear that governments would try to control us through their invasive use of technology has turned and now puts us in the driver's seat.

We are watching each other, recording as much as we can and perhaps most shockingly, we are trying hard to prove that we are victims.

The latest twisting, flipping technology has become a conduit that allows our lives need to be evident in high definition.

It will not be long before we become gadgets ourselves, lining up for the latest updates to our software.