Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Malaise and Noughtness of Social Media

I am finally just posting on this. That probably makes me a bad student, but then again there has always been something about Social Media that creates such malaise that it is unbearable. I read through statuses, glance at posts, and I am utterly filling and emptying my mind with noughtness. We are self-conscious and unable to define ourselves, resorting to a numerous amount of outlets as sources of identity. We can name an apple, know it's properties, taste, feel--but when it comes to our own selves, even our own words make chameleons of our nature. We cannot define ourselves. We spend hours trying to make some sort of significance out of our quotidian tasks, thinking maybe it will kill the malaise.
I have become quite consumed with malaise. It happens. I go in and out of it. I think there is a cure for it. The times I'm truly happy, when I have eschewed malaise, I am not so self conscious and I and more conscious of God and his purpose. Perhaps this isn't the answer Percy wanted. Maybe it's too easy, too Sunday Schooled and Baptist-y, but it is not at all an easy posture to maintain. There are thousand things pointing back to the self, drawing us inward, attempting for us to solve our own question when there is no answer. I think there has to be that struggle. There is community in that struggle, i.e. the arts: poetry, visual art, music. There comes a time though, as Percy outlines, that man has to re-enter.
Chapter 14 about reentry really resonated with me. I clicked with a lot of what Percy said, however the predicament of how the self after transcending has such a problem living in the ordinary world. Whether its after a good book, a movie, toiling over writing a poem or a paper--seeing into the world and almost being posited out above the world, the reentry comes with a crash. Semiotics won't do. There are no words to relate or to fix things... other methods may temporarily help, but they are ultimately snares. He and Kierkegaard are right: "the self can only become itself if it does so transparently before God." Getting there, though, is the hard part. It is the search. And Social Media postpones it. 

1 comment:

  1. Don't have to wonder what Percy would have thought of social media, eh? It would have given him a more 'target-rich environment' and he would have had a field day, but he's already there.