I don’t know who the director is, but 2020 looks like a thriller. If you’ve already ditched your 2020 planner because of COVID-19, don’t think this mess is over yet. This year will go down in history, and you can’t hide. In the digital era, no one can.
Today is June 2020, and so far we’ve witnessed Kobe’s tragedy, a worldwide pandemic, and violent riots in the US. Of course, there’s a lot more important events that I didn’t mention, but you get me, right? In the eye of the beholder, the situation is… strange.
Not so long ago I read an article comparing the COVID-19 epidemic to 9/11. If you can’t be bothered with skimming through it (though it’s worth it), here’s a quick recap:
The author makes an argument, in which he compares the invigilation strategies used by governments after the World Trade Center attacks to the current situation with quarantine. Titular trade-off is the one between privacy and security. Do you want to check into an app every half an hour to prove that you’re at home for the sake of… of what? Greater good, the society, your parents?
Then, another tragedy. After George Floyd‘s murder, we’ve all seen what happened.
We see the news, and we’re terrified. One step too far, and the power went to the people. A couple of days passed, and going through my Instastories, I came across this:
My jaw dropped. Out of curiosity and confusion, I sat down to researching. Online articles, YouTube videos, tweets…
All this is… disturbing. Whatever I see on the internet, I try not to believe it without getting educated on a particular topic first. I’m not going to speculate on what’s the difficult truth and what’s libel. I’ll leave it to those who know the ropes way better than I do.
However, there is one conclusion (or at least a shadow of it) I’ve drawn out of this kerfuffle. There’s but one force behind it all, one mystical power we fail to notice. It accompanies us every day, we use it all the time. We’re blind and we’ve overlooked it. You use it to DM your friends about the news from Minneapolis. Recklessly, you put your sensitive data in there. Reading it right now, you’re connected.
It changed everything, invigilated each area of our lives, and we have let it in.
There won’t be a second sexual revolution like in the sixties, because #MeToo campaigners will make you think twice (maybe for the better, maybe not). Dirty business like in the eighties can’t exist in the 21st century, the Anonymous hacktivists will tear you apart.
The hate that’s within you (racism, misogyny, greed) will be your own curse.
The hate that’s within you (Twitter comments, Facebook groups, memes) will be your blessing.
Not a day passed, and the world knew what happened in Minneapolis. Not an hour will pass, and the police will know that you violated your quarantine. Not a second will pass, and somebody will call your art (whatever it is that you’re creating) “shit.”
What kind of world is this? How does the internet influence our society? Can I show love through the internet with my partner, or would that by definition be pornography?
There’s questions. A whole bunch of them. Questions we never asked, we just moved on, like it was something normal.
Thirty years ago, when my dad and his father left the then-communist Poland for vacation, he cried because he saw ice cream coming out of a machine. Last week, I had a video chat with people from Pennsylvania, South Africa, and Great Britain, without leaving my room. Like it was something normal.
On The Red Frame, I’m trying to find answers. The deeper I dig, the more questions arise.
Can we hide from the internet, or is there no escape?
Is it okay not to wear a mask in public because I decided so?
Should I take the responsibility for my life, or break under the nihilsitic pressure?
Will TikTok wash my little sister’s brain, or is it rather a creativity-booster?
Is it okay to post my work online, or should I keep it to myself, not bother anyone?
What the hell am I even searching for?
I would like to say: “The truth.”