Let me start by saying that I am also affected by the condition which I mentioned in this article. The modern world is becoming increasingly diverse but at the end of the day, most of us are connected by a single thread - technology.
In the 21st century, modern technology started running at breakneck speed, which culminated in the shape of various platforms of social media, where we see each other, talk to each other, even feel each other's emotions, when the distance between us can be thousands of miles.
I think that even amid all the diversity around us, some basic aspirations can be found in almost everyone. We laugh, get angry and feel saddened by similar occurrences. That is why most of us are also affected by the sweet allure of fame and success. This situation had been the same even before there were no social media.
It is just the human in us or the human that is shaped through the system we are in.
But the difference between those times and the present is that now it is all out in the open and we can actively participate in it. The media has infiltrated every corner of us and our surroundings.
So it is safe to say that we cannot help getting conditioned by social media as consumers of the same forms of media. Our active participation through these various social media platforms has led to impulsive displays of different situations and conditions of our lives.
Aristotle said that man is a social animal. A few thousand years have not changed that. We all feel the need to belong somewhere, to be embraced for who we are. Social media has made that easy for us.
Now, in the era of virtual reality, we have constant and instant gratification for the things we post. We all have our opinions regarding everything and now it has become easy to express them and find likeminded individuals.
So coupled with the sweet allure of fame, we can now receive instant validation for posting about the expensive cuisines we are about to eat, or the new car that we just bought because that is what consumerism is leading us to do.
We can now make fun of the same thing together because everyone else is doing the same. If we do not participate in such things, we face the fear of missing out and feel that our need to belong is not satiated. That is what drives us to pick up the phone, log in and share away.
Oftentimes we even lose track of time, because that is how we are supposed to feel when we are surrounded by our friends, talking about things that interest us.
Now all of this is not necessarily bad. This is just the next step of evolution. But the problem lies in the subject matters we are indulging in.
Take the recent TikTok phenomenon "Ofu Bai" for example. A young adult from a humble beginning, with little education, he was not wrong in being drawn to the instant validation that TikTok brought for him.
But he became a national phenomenon because we started ridiculing him by sharing his videos on Facebook. He is just the newest addition to this negativity in social media, which we have created.
Examples like these can be found elsewhere, national and international, where at the end we are the ones getting trapped in the same bubble, an echo chamber, where the algorithms of social media show us what we usually want to hear, limiting our visions.
We are often unaware of what is happening beyond our bubbles. It is like a dream induced by opium, only this time, there is no illegal substance involved. That is why we keep on feeding off and feeding to the negativity.
But we are also very intelligent. It does not take us much to see through whatever veil is surrounding us. We are now smart enough to understand how these algorithms work.
Given how active we are, we can now stop ridiculing others and start promoting the things we love.
We can let other people know of the things we are passionate about, our philosophies, our ideologies.
Why can we not use the echo chamber for our benefit for a change, instead of the consumerist media culture? I believe it is not very difficult to do that.
If we have to belong somewhere, we should belong in a place where there are only things that we love, not the things we hate.
The writer is a lecturer of law at American International University-Bangladesh (AIUB) and vocalists of the bands Arekta Rock Band and Severe Dementia.