“The simulacrum* is never what hides the truth – it is truth that hides the fact that there is none. The simulacrum is true” Ecclesiastes.
Have you noticed on your fb timeline, twitter, blogs, tumblr, pinterest … platforms, how many times have you seen the same things, quotes, pictures, ideas and even moods to go around again and again by sharing, reblogging and copying? Sometimes by attempting to paraphrase the initial message the meaning of the original has already been changed totally. This game of sharing, copying, reblogging that we all play on social media reminds me the children’s game ‘Broken Telephone’ or ‘Chinese Whisper’.
On social media it’s not only the repetition of quotes, pictures or ideas but as well as moods. It is quite surprising that there are days where a high percentage of my virtual friends share the same mood! Something about the therapists have a lot to say. I’m totally convinced that we live in the age of simulacra and simulation. As the philosopher Jean Baudrillard argues in his book with the same title “Simulacra and Simulation” : We live in a world of which there are simulations upon simulations, copies of copies of copies. This concept stems from the idea that when something is simulated, it is inevitable that the original will become extinct. As the word simulacra by itself explains the whole concept “simulacra are copies that depict things that either had no reality to begin with, or that no longer have an original”*.
Nevertheless, the most interesting argument is that humans are thriving when they are imitating each other. Karen Joy Fowler writes, in her short listed Booker Prize book ‘We are all completely beside ourselves’ : “Humans are much more imitative that the other apes. If chimpa watch a demonstration on how to get food out of a puzzle box, they, in their turn, skip any unnecessary steps, go straight to the treat. Humans overimitate, reproducing each step regardless of its necessity”.
The same idea/argument has been reinforced in the film “Giver”, the Giver (Jeff Bridges) says to the Receiver “there is a plan of sameness in this society”.
Perhaps, the Golden Age has taken off for humans and they have the time of their lives! At last, their behaviour is mirrored in every way possible and the simulacrum is the truth!
P.S. : Sharing is carrying and copying is flattery! Somehow my quote can be justified.