Social Media’s Destruction of Mystery
October 12, 2021
In a world where everything is digital and can be saved in an instant, mystery itself is at risk of extinction. With so many people engaging and sharing on social media, we could lose our sense of wonder if we are not careful.
The idea of wonder is often overlooked, but it is the driving force behind human innovation. Wonder is found in the great unknown. Without it, we wouldn’t want to do or be anything because we would have nothing to explore — no trails left to blaze. It would all be in the known. Most of the great creators and explorers were all people that, to various degrees, were encapsulated by wonder in their respective fields.
To be encapsulated by wonder, the individual must not have enough knowledge of the subject at hand. Generally speaking, I think people know too much about each other, largely because of the role of social media in our society.
Almost everyone is affected by social media in the modern context, and this is shown by how much you can learn about a person by simply clicking on one’s social media profiles. You can get his likes, dislikes, commentaries, pictures, and affiliations all in one space. How does this affect us? Well consider this situation. You follow someone on social media. You look through his feed to get to know him a little before you actually talk to the individual; however, in doing this, the person is no longer truly unknown to you. This robs some of the person’s mystery and your chance to get to know him organically. It can lead to prejudice and assumptions based on tone-deaf comments and contextless posts and pictures.
Social media can be of great use and a great connector, but at what cost? We need to be aware of what social media can do to ourselves as individuals and as a society. We need mystery to move forward. Without it, our inquisitiveness will surely diminish. If we are to kindle the fire of wonder, we must start by feeding it the fuel of mystery.