Big Brother for Millennials?
Over the last week, I have been watching a new tv show, being aired on Channel 4, involving a group of contestants, who move into an apartment building, but can only communicate with each other through an internal social network.
The objective? To be the most liked; the most popular. To avoid being ‘blocked’ and eliminated.
The prize? £50,000. And while this is a hefty chunk of change, as a viewer, this prize money seems to take a complete back seat to the action unfolding on screen.
It started with eight contestants. They entered their respective apartments, and set up their profile pages. The interesting thing is that while some of them set up their profiles, and were completely honest, several of them were not.
One woman, held back the fact that she is mother to a six month old baby, and that she actually has the baby with her in the apartment. Another contestant, loud, Essex based man-child, Freddie, decided to claim to be heterosexual, in spite of the fact that he is actually gay, and another of them, arguably playing the biggest gamble at the start, is ‘Anna’, who is actually Alex. Alex set up his profile using his girlfriend’s photo, and has since, been posing as ‘one of the girls’.
We’re only five episodes in, and there have been arguments, tantrums (mainly from Freddie), and even a possible romance.
The interesting thing, is that everyone there seems to have accepted the other contestants’ profiles as truth, without question. This got me thinking. The very nature of social media allows us to project the persona that we want to the world. Let’s face it, we never post those “less than perfect” selfies that we take, and a lot of us will spend hours trying to get that perfect photo.
The thing is, that this isn’t real. I don’t know of many people that will actually post the darker, not so nice parts of their lives, and yet, on this show, no one seems to be questioning anything that the others are saying.
It makes me wonder how many of us feel like we know the people on our friends lists, inside and out, when really, we don’t know them at all. How many of us have a persona that we project on social media, that is actually nothing like who we really are.
I guess what I’m really saying is, in a world where life seems to be lived more online, than out in the world, perhaps we need to adjust the way that we perceive people online, and try to look beyond the facade, which is all too easy to create.
Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.