You know those moments when seemingly random parts of your life come together in a way you can’t believe is a coincidence? Maybe it’s the nerd in me, but I’ve always been excited by them. I can remember in high school when my history teacher was lecturing on the implications of some obscure cultural movement, which we happened to have covered the day before in art class, and I so desperately needed to tell someone so they could say, “That’s crazy.” Well, they usually never cared, but that is beside the point. I love those stupidly small crossovers because they remind me that everything we learn and know is connected and more importantly, that I can learn and connect it all if I really want to. And sometimes, those silly crossovers are just enough to motivate me and pull me out a rough patch for a reason I honestly can not pinpoint.
The past few weeks have been interesting to say the least. I could’ve never imagined how busy I would be given our primarily virtual world. I have always been the girl with an overflowing calendar and somehow I have managed to do it once again. The only difference now is that life is practically asynchronous, and since I have no physical location to move to, I am unmotivated and quite honestly, lazy. Beyond that, I am tired of the internet. Like everyone, I am tired of watching a professor on a screen and receiving 1000 Canvas notifications a day and constantly feeling like my life is somehow morphing into a digital matrix. It is draining to say the least, and I know millions of people are struggling with the same thing. As no one probably noticed, I haven’t posted a blog in a hot minute. Besides not making time for it, I have simply had no ideas or motivation to do anything that doesn’t have a deadline. But the other night, I finally sat down to watch The Social Dilemma and BOOM – one of those silly little crossovers. For those of you who haven’t seen it, The Social Dilemma is a Netflix documentary that has gotten a lot of buzz recently because it punches social media and technology corporations right in the gut; it is alarmingly raw and unfiltered. As a product of the digital era myself, it made me think about where we are headed and as a Business and Design major who hopes to go into User Experience, it made me question how I could use my education for good rather than the status quo. So back to this crossover moment. I am currently in a class that talks about how media interacts with society and how computers interact with people. I will not lie, the class is confusing and sometimes irrelevant, but at its core I think it is important. For our midterm paper, I am exploring how conspiracy theories are propagated on social media, specifically how #Pizzagate was a predecessor to Qanon and the rise of alt right conspiracy and disinformation. I am extremely interested in this because it is at the core of how the current media divides and polarizes opinion. So when this topic came up in The Social Dilemma, I was excited. A small crossover made me think about how I am applying my coursework to my own life, as well as how I want my future to look both professionally and personally. It also made me think about how I spend my time (my screen time this semester is horrendous) and whether or not it makes me happy to scroll. I don’t think it does. After an hour and thirty minutes of the documentary, I was reevaluating how I interact with media and how I could change my habits to better fit my lifestyle. The first thing I did was turn off all nonessential notifications, and even that made a huge difference. Instead of looking at my email 30 times a day, I deliberately checked it twice and responded to necessary messages. It is amazing how little you care about a platform when you have to intentionally use it. It becomes a tool, remaining at a resting state until needed, rather than an invasive leech who constantly sucks attention away from actual life.
I’m not sure if these little crossovers are planned or not, but I guess statistically speaking they are bound to happen every once in a while. Regardless, they always seem to come at the right time and I wanted to share how this particular crossover excited me; I am writing a blog post about it so I must be pretty thrilled haha. If you haven’t watched The Social Dilemma yet, do it! And I sincerely hope you have a crossover soon; maybe it’ll give you an exciting spark you’ve been looking for.