Manage episode 288026925 series 2793566
By KVM MAG PLAYGROUND. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Created by Fidel Channer
Laura Alexandra explores the heart of London in this mini documentary to find out if people could live without social media, also the positive and negative impact it has on them.
One lady said, "I used to be the woman who worked a room. If invited, I would’ve gone to the opening of an envelope. Social media didn’t exist in my twenties, so you had to occupy physical spaces. A breathing body was proof of life. Emails wouldn’t suffice since we were suspicious of the kind of communication that could disappear into a black hole. There was no did you get my email when someone’s breathing two feet in front of your face.

Back when I was playing with my abacus and learning how to start fires in my cave, I worked in book publishing. Friends used to introduce me as someone who was good to know. The concept of FOMO was non-existent, but I had a severe case of it. I thought the more I was seen, the more I put myself out there, the more people I accumulated in my contact list, something would happen. Although I wasn’t entirely certain what that something was.

I suppose it worked because when I published my first book in 2008, it was everywhere. Blogs covered it. Podcast hosts and website editors interviewed me. My book was featured in USA Today, Vanity Fair, Elle, and Entertainment Weekly. While the world was smaller back then — we didn’t have the tweet swarm, Pavlovian status updates, fingers habituated to doomsday scrolling and swiping— technology would soon make me feel claustrophobic and alone.

Although my book wasn’t a bestseller, it earned out its advance and was well-received. All that hustling, networking, and work paid off — but at what cost? I was the clown living in a hurt circus, unable to strip the mask from my face. I swallowed all the best parts of me so I could make adults sporting ironic eyewear laugh at my expense. Drinking softened the edges until the room fell too quiet and I could forget I was there.

I knew some people laughed at me behind my back. There was a now-disgraced Paris Review editor who sized me up at a book party and walked away. There was the guy who wrote self-absorbed stories in my Columbia workshop who pretended to not know me. When he published a novel about a self-absorbed guy suffering the tortures of the damned, he experienced some minor celebrity. Every time we were introduced, he would act as if it was the first time we’d met. And then there those who issued barbs that weren’t so thinly-veiled.

Still, I’d smile and show up. Still, I’d ride the subway home in tears.

The internet exploded. Everyone was on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. Instagram would launch the following year. All the physical spaces morphed into digital ones. We hid behind our shiny devices. Everyone preened for the screen where we became the architects of our personal brands. The new world order dictated if you were nobody if you weren’t online.

While I signed up for all the accounts, I didn’t know how to be on social media when I realized digital masks had replaced physical ones. Nobody wanted your present-tense sadness. They preferred you not to kick up a fuss or make a scene. Your pain was awkward and uncomfortable and no one wanted to bear the weight of it. You were expected to deliver a life in sepia where everything was beautiful and nothing hurt."

Laura Alexandra in conversation with BECKY HILL.
Hill talks about working in the studio with 'LITTLE MIX' and more.
LISTEN to 'Forever Young' in ALIEN BOOTH at the end of this amazing interview.

23 episodes