Social media and its endless scrolls have created a life that is ever-optional.*
Most notions, ideas, and beliefs – feel optional.
I don’t have ENOUGH clothes! Is my reply smart enough? Is this rash ‘normal’? Do I really like mangoes or not? Do I believe in God or kindness? do I feel happiness (‘Is this what I am SUPPOSED to feel?’)? Pastel colors are in or not? The market is going up or down? This ice cream is divine. (not).
In this ever-optional world, all we ever want and need is ‘something else’. What we gain access to, immediately loses its appeal. Its the Midas touch of optionality. When everything you touch is gold, nothing is.
And hence to convince yourself of your happiness/ contentment, to calm the inner confusion, one must resort to hyperbole.
No. This IS happiness. I don’t just like mangoes, I ADORE, LOVE them. I will KILL for that gown. the cosplay IS my identity. Its not my confusion, its you who is not getting it.
The dance on the edge
The edge. It’s a beautiful thing. It’s the far reaches of what we think and feel is possible, permissible, is feelable. For an ever-optional life, the horizon, the edge is where contentment appears to reside.
The cat eating an anaconda. The jackass for president. The chatGPT. The purposeful brands. water sold in tin can as brand. extreme emotions as the only valid reactions for those driven by the algorithmic super-ego.
World of advertising.
Effective advertising IS a dance on the edge. There is no Option!
If it doesn’t push some emotional edge, it will sink in the vast ocean of culture. a gulp without sound, without a trace. the blob absorbs ferociously.
The edge is where one must be. And to be not devoured by the expanding blob of culture, one must push to the edge. Fight to remain at the edge.
So exagerration works.
This is not a moisturiser. This is your self-worth.
This is not a sugary unhealthy drink. It is magic. really. REALLY!
Perhaps. But also true and useful.
To remain sane yet productive, one must be able to hold contradictions in one’s head and be ok with it. One must not drink one’s own supply.
* [In a modern DINK household, I would contend, only the birth of the first child, truly orient people towards reality. The needs and calls of a baby are not optional at all. Parenting is not optional. And hence it is the realest of all things! (among others…more on it later.)]
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