Performance, Utopias, Punk and Social Media

In class today we were talking about how performance is Utopian.  What we mean by Utopia is some sort of almost inachievable, perfect society. The reason performance relates to a Utopia, is because a performance is rehearsed, and is meant to show off the best version of something.  Whether it be a band performing a song, a comedian on stage doing stand up, or even a human being performing gender by adhering to certain roles.  These performances aren’t always synonymous with normal every day life because at times we make mistakes, and at times we aren’t able to represent ourselves and convey what we are trying to convey with 100% success and consistency.  This also relates to what we were talking about with the idea of punk, and how that whole scene is about showing that you don’t fully respect authority, and you rebel against social norms.

I relate this to the idea of social media in our current day and age.  It seems that a lot of the time, social media is all about some sort of Utopian performance.  Rarely will you see people sharing the vulnerable, possibly negative sides of their life.  For the most part, social media is about trying to convey how happy you are, or to capture all the best moments of your life, so they are permenantly etched into the internet, and are a spark notes version of all the best parts of your life.  To me, this means that using someone’ Facebook or Instagram to learn about them can be a misleading way to analyze people.  People are aware that everyone has access to their social media accounts, and are usually cautious to reveal any compromising information about themselves, or suggestive content for that matter. In the world of performance, we aren’t going to have a completely transparent representation of ourselves on the GIANT stage that is social media. Aside from the reasons I listed, why do you all think that is?  Do you all think that your social media accounts are Utopian?  I quickly skimmed through mine and found that they were very Utopian, with mainly photos of nature, or videos of myself playing the guitar, almost subconsciously conveying that I’m a tree hugging, guitar strumming barefoot hippie.


One thought on “Performance, Utopias, Punk and Social Media

  1. I like how you say that someone’s social media is like a Spark Notes of their life. I think that social media is evolving rapidly, like with the recent trend of creating a private Instagram where you post your PG13 content about your life called a Finsta. I think its interesting that in a world where everyone is pressured to be perfect and beautiful and funny and smart and so many other things, that something like a Finsta is so popular. A place where you show your lowest of lows and make fun of yourself in those moments. I think that with all of the pressures that society puts on us has led to a generation of people who are notably thick skinned and know how to laugh at themselves. As fierce glamazon warrior princess, RuPaul almost says, “If you can’t laugh at yourself, how in the hell are you going to laugh at somebody else?”


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