Sunday, 4 December 2016

On Freedom

I think if someone has a large online following there must be a certain degree of self-censorship involved in order to be responsible as you potentially have a virtual army at your disposal, especially if you are a pop star with fanatical fans.
Unless you're someone like Kanye West, who either doesn't care what people think about him, because he's a sociopath, or he knows that his fans see him as an agent demonstrating the 'no fucks given' attitude they perhaps wished they possessed and so vicariously live through him.
I feel like I have more freedom to say what I feel when I know less people are listening. A little bit like the adage 'Dance like nobody's watching', because there's no obligation to factor into my thinking the consequences of how others will see me.

So the most free I could ever be would be to have no audience at all.

This isn't realistic and even if I disappeared and went off to live in a cave, I'd still at the very least have an audience of one. Myself. I watch and judge my own actions constantly. I might even have an audience of two if I believed in God and God had nothing else better to do.

The only way a person could have no audience whatsoever would be if they didn't have the ability to be conscious and aware of themselves as well others, and I'm not sure that such a person would be a person at all.

I think the audience is more of a sense than a fact. A mental construct. There have been times when I've gone to the supermarket looking like a right reprobate, feeling smelly and unclean, thinking that while I'm checking the avocados to find a good one there is a congregation of shoppers behind me pointing and gasping in horror at my disheveled appearance. But then I look around and notice that everyone is just do their shopping and so I feel fine and normal again.

In the future I can see this understanding of things being used to deal with social pests like internet trolls. I remember an incident on Reddit a few years back where a guy had been posting for two years on the site, but because one of the moderators didn't like one of his posts, his posts were made invisible to the rest of Reddit and the internet, but he could still see them on the site, so he just thought that no one was interested in what he was saying. He finally realised, set up another account and that post went straight to the top. A massive shitstorm then ensued.

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