Now when the phone rings on the train, everyone instinctively checks their pockets. People used to personalize their ringtones so that their incoming calls were unique. Ringtones were a badge of individuality, demonstrating your music tastes and personality. The passengers with the Ghostbusters ringtone anthem always made seatmates chuckle.
The standardization of sound is one indication that the fascination with mobile phones has petered out. Instead, it’s the apps that live on our screens that determine what type of person we are.
LinkedIn, SnapChat, Instagram, Tumblr– these ‘places‘ allude to where we like to live, work, and play. We are uniform on the outside but raging in our little worlds, filter bubbles, or echo chambers on the inside.
It’s only when we chat with a stranger or go the polls do we realize that the digital and physical realities don’t match up. The world is not as it seems.
There is no such thing as a virtual utopia, a second life. If you’re not acting as the person online and off, you’ll inevitably run into frustration and subjugation. The real world runs on tribes until the creative minority once again breaks it back into pieces to retain their originality.