The Epidemic of Facelessness

There are over a billion Twitter users sending 500 million tweets a day. Over a billion active monthly mobile Facebook users consuming content on more than 50 million Facebook pages. Over 20 billion photos have been shared on Instagram and counting. Not to mention the billions of posts on Pinterest, Snapchat and LinkedIn every day.

The days of wondering if social media is a trend are over. Rash judgments, vulgar insults and unrelenting outrage hurled every second of every day is changing our humanity. Writer, Stephen Marche observes that “the faceless communication social media creates, the linked distances between people, both provokes and mitigates the inherent capacity for monstrosity.”

“The digital space is, at one point or another, exposed to online monstrosity, one of the consequences of the uniquely contemporary condition of facelessness, writes Marche. “And the world without faces is coming to dominate.”

In his thought-provoking NYT’s article, Marche warns, “Without a face, the self can form only with the rejection of all otherness, with a generalized, all-purpose contempt — a contempt that is so vacuous because it is so vague, and so ferocious because it is so vacuous. A world stripped of faces is a world stripped, not merely of ethics, but of the biological and cultural foundations of ethics.”

Now more than ever we must reclaim spaces that invite us to sit face to face to tell and to listen to the stories we are living. To reach out and connect in our stories of joy, despair and hope and in the face of our shared humanity.

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