Grave New World

Sorry, but today we’re going to discuss Death and Social Media. Look, I wish we weren’t, but these repulsive concepts are finally colliding and I can’t help but rubberneck. 

THREE KEY EVENTS over the past few months made me uncomfortably aware that a lot of us humans will now die as we lived — online. And seeing as how life is seemingly quite short, or as scientists say, “slipping away every second,” it’s best we just jump right in, hand-in-hand, and see where the rabbit holes take us.

1. Funeral Selfies.

As many angry people know, “selfie” was deemed Word of the Year in 2013 by the Oxford Dictionary. Apparently, the sacred crown that is ‘Oxford Word of the Year’ was soiled irreversibly by this decision, even if it was just the cold result of online usage analytics. But a selfie is a selfie — it’s not nothing.  I learned this tautology from a riveting BuzzFeed list titled ‘The 23 Most Important Selfies of 2013.’ I really recommend it, especially #15, which is a dude taking a selfie in front of his teacher while she’s in labor.

The future is in good hands

When it comes to selfies, no category was more maligned than The Funeral Selfie, and with good reason—the pictures show an ugly new stage of the Internet’s growth. But not everything evolution throws our way is aesthetically pleasing. New forms of media and viral communication are constantly invented and adopted, we just never consider what will happen when Death gets his frozen, greedy hands on that shit. Continue reading

Hipster’s Advocate

I’ll start with the bad news.

If you were born in the 1980s, then congratulations — you are known currently, and for the rest of history, as a ‘Millenial.’  I apologize, but you are trapped, my friend.  We do not get to choose which generation we belong to nor what hideous name describes it.  If it is any consolation, I am sure that very few of our parents liked the term ‘Baby Boomer’ when they first heard it, or better yet, imagine how the 70s babies felt about being hamstrung by the label ‘Generation X,’ which still sounds so desperately anarchistic that you cannot help but pity its members. At least we didn’t end up being ‘Generation Y’ as originally suggested.

Now it’s time for the really bad news.

Generations, for whatever reason, are remembered for their counterculture.  So, for example, when I said Baby Boomers, you thought Hippie (thanks Woodstock!). When I said Generation X, you thought Grunge (thanks Nirvana!).  When they (i.e. our kids, historians, me … right now) speak of the Millenials, or rather, what characterized American culture in the early stages of the 21st century, they will have no choice but to imagine the Hipster (thanks Portlandia!).

And like I said, you are trapped, my friend.
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