Mark Ulyseas – Living other People’s Lives

Profile Mark Ulyseas Feb column Living other People’s Lives by Mark Ulyseas

Social media or should one say anti-social media has reached levels of sublime surrealism. Any and everyone has an opinion about almost everything that occurs on the planet. And often they air their views with mindless comments that display a stunning ignorance of the subject. Others respond with their own versions and usually the comments merge into an argument which gets abusive. The most awful words are used. And then there are those who keep posting photographs of themselves in different positions, a habit that some social scientists term as a ‘mental’ disorder.

What is the need to upload photographs on a social media site of a septic sore on one’s foot or of a dying relative in a hospital bed accompanied by a running commentary? Has social media become sadomasochism in cyberspace? A click of the mouse that tingles the extremities and excites the baser instincts…

Could it be that living has now become an endless struggle of making ends meet… and that we have turned ourselves into spectators of the glitzy life of the rich and famous…thus prompting us to use whatever means at our disposal to create a twisted portrait of our life for the world to view favourably? And what better platform to use than social media, which is free and inhabited with like-minded sadomasochists?

Many among us hope that by projecting our opinions and mug shots on social media that we can attract attention to the point where we can cross over into the rarefied atmosphere of great wealth and/or fame. However, in this desperate attempt we begin to lose ourselves in others’ lives and unwittingly begin to live other people’s lives. We have become mouthpieces for many a flippant slogan uttered by those we follow mindlessly online. Lots of sound and fury signifying nothing.

So how do we stop living other people’s lives and begin to earnestly live our own with dignity and self-respect?

Perhaps these words from Woody Allen may be of interest.

“My one regret in life is that I am not someone else.”

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om

© Mark Ulyseas

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