The Magical Merging of the Internet and the Real
The realm of the internet is a realm of magic. A place thousands seek refuge daily: escaping into their favorite youtuber’s latest content, hopping on their favorite forum, and creating a work of art to share on social media. This last example is the one I want to investigate for the sake of this article. We typically think of the average post or profile online as something less than “art.” Maybe social media profiles are more mundane, less expressive, more imitative of one’s “real” person. However, I think it is pretty apparent that these online platforms are spaces in which people create a greater version of themselves. A version which they always have wanted to be. We take selfies at the best angles, share the most interesting and captivating photos of our everyday lives, and cheer on others who express themselves in ways which resonate with us.
We spend parts of our days thinking about what we’d like to share on the internet, what we’d like to consume on the internet; and then, we actually get absorbed in this world by watching, viewing, liking, loving, crying, laughing, and saving. This act of internet engagement is a daily occurrence for me. Thinking about the boundaries of “real life” and the “internet” have led to me realizing that this relationship is mired in instances of magic.
According to the merriam-webster dictionary, magic is “an extraordinary power or influence seemingly from a supernatural source.” When I come across an instagram post of a recently made artwork from my favorite artist:
Artist Below: @illumi999 on Instagram
Artist Below: @sibylline_m on Instagram
Or I go on youtube and see a new music video from my favorite singer-songwriter:
Or I come across a webpage that overwhelms me with its radiance:
All of these instances feel supernatural, they fill me with a sense of wonder, confusion, and excitement. I wonder “how did this even come into existence?” They defy my rational understanding of the world. As time goes on, sure I can rationalize what I am seeing before me (this website is a combination of a lot of hard work on html/css, this song took many months of hard work from animators and songwriting, this drawing took years of sketching and musing). However, in that moment of viewing and exploring these expressions on the internet I am under a magical spell. I am in a space being teleported between anime storylines, emotional outcrys from otherworldly characters, and the heartfelt longings of another person.
These moments of magic send ripples through the waters of our “real lives.” We daydream of these things in a boring college lecture and ruminate on the ways in which we can come closer to the happenings of these alternative worlds.
This summarizes a lot of people's relationship to social media. We want to become (or come closer to being) our greatest idols. We make ourselves look hotter or more like an idealized self, make websites which insert us among our favorite anime characters, and write creative works which change the entire universe of our favorite show. These creations are magic, and these spells hit their target when another person likes the post, emails another person saying they love their website, or comments how much this instance of magic changed their life.
The internet and our real lives are vibrantly merging with each other as the magic of personal expression ripples through the artificial confines of the “internet” and the “real:” we soar high over the planes of internet creations in a daydream, only to hop on the colorful pixels of our devices and manifest a realm of rubies. I hope this little thought expirement encouraged you to entertain the delightful magic of our everyday wanderings and experiences on the internet. <3This article was created by Aidia