Karl Marx As A Social Media User

So we all know who Karl Marx is, at least some of us know that he is a socialist who made a change in the world we’re living in right?

But can we relate to his theories now in this modern technical world? Can we simplify his theories to make younger generations who grew up playing video games, sharing their pictures and thoughts with the whole entire universe with only a touch of their fingers on social media understand?

The answer is YES, we definitely can.

Let’s start with one of his amusing theories that Charlie Chaplin in (Modern Times) movie represented. If you haven’t seen the movie it’s basically about a hardworking employee in a factory who is facing alienation and reification towards the machines, the product, his colleagues, and himself. 

One might ask, what is the deep meaning of alienation?

Alienation is the disconnection we face in a capitalist society as machines are dominating our lives and we are being alienated from our species-being.

Surely, Marx’s theory was about labor in the industrial revolution time who used to work as slaves for capitalists and factory owners and were destroyed by their work, who had nothing to sell thus they lost themselves in this process.

What about the time that we are currently living in? How can we relate to alienation in the dominating social media world?

First, we have to understand that there are four types of alienation which are;

1. Alienation from the act of producing.

How work conditions and organization is all determined by the factory owners (the capitalists).

2. Alienation from the product.

When the worker is alienated from the products that he manufactures because he does not and cannot own it. He makes it but he can’t have it because the returns of his labor are significantly low.

3. Alienation from other workers.

Because their system of production pits them against each other in a competition to sell their labor for the lowest possible value without them realizing that they all have the same problems and experiences that they should unite for.

4. Alienation from ourselves as producers.

When the workers are being alienated from their true inner selves, desires, and happiness while capitalism is taking away their essence of being human.

The worker basically becomes a moving machine who only wants to work, eat and sleep. While losing his senses in the dream of being rich which turns into “reification”. Becoming living machines.

Reification literally means “objectification” and it’s when human relations, and one’s point of views towards life or towards oneself become all objectified and based on benefiting from trading objects so our only need of living would be for money, and our relationship with others would be only for money and we would look at ourselves as we were money producing machines.

WHAT DOES SOCIAL MEDIA HAS TO DO WITH ALL THIS?

Let’s repeat all of the types of alienation as it was for social media instead of labor and machines.

1. Alienation from the act of producing.

What do most people know about social media more than sharing their pictures and “what’s on their minds”? Do all of them know how to design a similar app? Do they know how the act of sharing pictures really work within the app itself? No. The majority of people don’t know the mechanisms behind these apps that are taking most of our time.

2. Alienation from the product.

If you look at the truth behind sweatshops I’m sure you won’t want to use your smartphone ever again. The workers in those sweatshops face bullying, starvation, abuse and 60-hour weeks working in the sweatshop. They are being harmed by toxic cancerous chemicals that are essential in smartphone production and when they get injured, there is no medical assurance for them! So while they produce these smartphones for us, besides going through hell, they can’t even buy one for themselves with their low returns.

3. Alienation from other workers.

Aside from sweatshop life and how workers never get the chance to talk to each other, What do Insta-famous people or people with many Facebook strange-friends know about them? Pretty much nothing except their names and pictures that don’t resemble their lives.

4. Alienation from ourselves as producers.

When I first started my French Course, I realized that I have met the weirdest person ever. He’s a guy who can’t take his eyes off of his phone when he goes through an embarrassing situation. He looks at his phone. When the teacher asks him a question he looks at his phone. When someone looks at him? He looks at his phone.

We are avoiding real life, we are forgetting ourselves, we are having less time with ourselves by being busy with our phones.

Nowadays we are respecting people who have more followers and look at them as if they were high-class people, we lose our self-confidence when we have less or when we don’t get many likes on our ”selfies”.

That’s when we turn into moving machines which are only dependent on smartphones and that is reification, objectifying our whole existence and some people are actually benefiting from it making money from blogs and vlogs.

Thank you for reading. Please let me know what you think about this subject and how can we fix what we are becoming.

2 thoughts on “Karl Marx As A Social Media User

Add yours

  1. Interesting thoughts. As someone who works in the world of distance education and technology, this type of topic comes up a lot. My thinking is that the basic core challenges of humanity remain pretty constant, which manifest themselves with the dawn of “new” forms of media. I agree that alienation has found new tracks within social technology, and it’s important for deep thinkers like yourself to help the next generation avoid cheapening the human experience by perpetuating fears, uncertainty avoidance, and “hiding” behind the screen.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comment, I strongly agree with you, I believe that people should be more aware of this as we cannot go through one day without our phones and it is affecting our psychological side as well, people who experience phone losses are often diagnosed with anxiety for a while until they regain their “normal back to life habits “ (if they did).

      I really appreciate your comment and I hope that someday I’d be able to help young generations to value humanity and to appreciate life with no cellphones and avoidance towards themselves and their surroundings.

      Liked by 1 person

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