Identity’s Gray Area: Part 1

The modern day social internet, built on the back of the camera, has pushed us into a gray zone where we want to be everyone and no one at the same time. Most of us are stuck in a near frozen state of constant consumption; listening, watching, analyzing, observing. This isn’t inherently bad. There’s nothing wrong with consuming – that’s what humans do. But, a huge part of what we consume today is “identity content.” We’re watching what OTHER people are wearing, what OTHER people are doing, how OTHER people are living their life, what OTHER people think, what OTHER people believe, where OTHER people go, what OTHER people eat and so on. We’re feasting on everyone else’s identity, feeling how it meshes with ours in a constant state of subconscious comparison, and identifying as gray in the process. 

Every single day we watch how thousands of other people live their lives, influencing how we think we should live ours.

Then tomorrow we watch thousands more, and then the following day thousands more, and more and more. Imagine trying to create your own movie, but there are 100 movies playing in the background at the same time. How can one even possibly think? 

And even worse! We run to the comments and see what 50,000 other people think across every perspective and every opinion offered. So now not only do we see a hot person wearing a cool shirt, but we see what everyone thinks of that hot person wearing that cool shit. How can we not be influenced to the utmost degree that a single human has ever experienced? We’re all melting into each other. 

Combine that with the fact that humanity is enduring a loneliness epidemic like none other, how can one not be aggressively influenced by the information they are consuming? 

The cake keeps stacking though because simultaneously we’re all wildly desperate for individuality and finding our true authentic selves. Chasing originality and uniqueness like hungry lil raccoon dogs. 

How can we be unique when we’re lonely, how can we be an individual when we want friends, and how can we look at what thousands of people think and do intimately every single day and develop our own unique thought and identity? Do we need to sit in a dark cave for 10 days? Toss back some DMT? Have a near death experience? Have our hearts broken?

And what about the dying trend cycle? Is it actually dying or is it just operating at hyperspeed? Trends last 7 days now and you don’t know whether you should follow the trend or not, because not following the trend is still following a trend. You can’t escape it. In other words, are we all following identity trends whether we like it or not? And is that human nature or a symptom of the internet? 

All good questions with likely no right answer, but if anything they show us that most of us exist floating in this gray space and it seems like the only way out (or rather, the only way “in”)  is through a self induced shock therapy of sorts.

Unless? Maybe the internet will begin to offer us tools that will have the same impact the camera has had but in the opposite direction. The camera is a conformity machine. How about a tool that induces introspection through experimentation, rather than self expression through comparison. 

A tool that can let users be part of a community while giving them a comfortable space to experiment and change identity rapidly. That’s why we believe avatars are not only a vital tool for the future, but a tool people crave right now whether they realize it or not. Your avatar will influence you, just like how your peers influence you right now. It will be your strongest peer. Your avatar will give you a playground to experiment with aspects of yourself and decide what feels authentic or not. It will influence you as much as the camera, just in a different way. Avatars will become intuition training tools for one’s journey towards individuality.

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