Camus Essays Online

Camus Essays Online-23
He would accept these innovations, particularly social media, as nothing but another verification of the absurd. In the universe suddenly restored to its silence, the myriad wondering little voices of the earth rise up.The absurd individual, you see, can only understand its place in the universe through the silencing of all that clouds thought. Unconscious, secret calls, invitations from all the faces, they are the necessary reverse and price of victory.” Perhaps the connectivity of being online provides a temporary solution.

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No matter how exhaustively we post, tweet, comment, and curate our feeds, it isn’t until we reach a plateau, a full-stop, that we realize how bound we are to the routine maintenance of our online identities.

If Albert Camus were alive today, he’d write “The Myth of Sisyphus” about our massive, shared, ubiquitous digital brain—social media rendered as yet another component of the absurd.

But again, as Sisyphus does, we keep going anyway: posting, tweeting, “connecting” via our digital routines, maintaining a presence, a “brand” of some value to others.

“If this myth is tragic, that is because its hero is conscious.

It is likely he would explore and exploit social media as a leading example of the duality of the human condition: on its surface, the pursuit of happiness and meaningful connection; underneath, a void without meaning, lurking behind the mirror of self-perception.

Like anything else, it’s harmless until it isn’t, until we wake and realize we can no longer live without its conditions, its effects, its functionalities.

It blurs the lines, numbs the senses, shelters us from loneliness. As made quite clear in “The Myth of Sisyphus,” it depends on the individual.

Camus believes that in rejecting hope, rather than despair, the individual becomes that much closer to being free.

One could even argue that the anxiety of loneliness has been augmented by 21 century innovations.

I’m inclined to agree and yet, Camus would likely not, would posit no new problems of being. Likewise, the absurd man, when he contemplates his torment, silences all the idols.

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