1 And it came to pass that on the tenth day of the second month, Danny rose from his bed in the early morning. 2 Having completed his morning routines, he opened Instagram, and unfollowed 20 people, as was his custom. 3 For Danny’s following to followers ratio was abhorrent in his sight, yet he feared the Instagram bots that had been known to shadow ban his account from time to time.
4 After unfollowing the allotted number of accounts, Danny returned to his home page. 5 And behold, there before his eyes, Danny witnessed his posts from the previous weeks. 6 But lo! As Danny looked upon the images he had shared, his wrath burned against that which he had created. 7 And he said to himself, “Never before have I created something so lacking in originality and meaning. Come, let us destroy this account I have created lest it inflict another citizen.” 8 For while the pictures Danny had posted had been meant for an interesting project, as before in previous years, the meaninglessness of Instagram weighed too heavily on his soul, and he sought to only to destroy his account.
9 Danny turned his countenance upon the Account Settings page within the app, and behold, he scrolled from the top of the page to the bottom. 10 And not finding the option to delete his account, Danny began searching through all Settings pages, hoping to find that which he sought. But even as he searched, his every attempt was thwarted as the Account Delete option was hidden from his sight. 11 In his frustration, Danny turned his countenance to the sky and wondered: “Why can I not delete this thing that I have created? For this account is a blight unto the land and must be hastily destroyed.”
12 But it had come time for Danny to climb the hill to enter into Berkeley Lab, and so he closed the app, and began the walk to the bus stop. 13 And Danny was given temporary relief as his research distracted him from the horrors of his Instagram account. 14 But when the time had come for Danny to leave the lab, Danny was reminded of his struggles earlier in the day. And behold, Danny opened his laptop, intent on enacting destruction upon Instagram.
15 And Danny was filled with joy, for after a Google search, the Account Deletion page which had previously been hidden from his sight was revealed unto him. 16 And from where he sat, Danny finally brought destruction upon the account that had been plaguing him. 17 And that is why, even to this day, the link upon XFA to Danny’s Instagram redirects to a page stating: “Sorry, this account isn’t available.”
This title is entirely false advertising. I have no experience with actual Instagram domination, so I can only regurgitate that which I have found on the internet on that front. This post is, however, meant to introduce my Insta Dominus project, which is the newest and coolest project on the block. Actually, I take that back. Orchid is cooler than all of them. Eh, is that even true? In an attempt to subvert the wrath of the divine on my household, I should probably assert that Project Supernatural is the most important. If we’re being honest though, Orchid is the illest, baddest project this side of the Styx.
Anyhoo, back to Insta Dominus. Some of you insightful readers may have noticed that there’s a perpetual link on the side of XFA to my Instagram. Others of you may have actually found XFA by means of my Instagram. Either way, these two subsets of readers are at least subconsciously aware of the presence of my Instagram. I certainly imagine this didn’t strike you as odd. Any blog worth half a bag of tree sap has a link to its corresponding Instagram. “Networking,” I believe the mortals call it. So then, I ought to have such a Insta as well, right?
Wrong. My views of Instagram are simple and direct. Insta is a drug that saps away time, personality, energy, motivation, and most of whatever makes human beings human beings. While it superficially masquerades as a magnificent way for people to connect and remain connected with one another (which is, of course, a noble effort) it secretly fills the voids of our biological needs with a temporary antidote to our deepest, intrinsic desires. At one point, I had a true Insta. Upon realizing the effect it was having on my life and my personal motivations, I deleted that bad boy with a certain swiftness.
While I do hold these somewhat forceful views, I do want to make it known that if used properly, any form of social media can be an incredibly useful and lifegiving force that allows people to share experiences. My simple assertion is that it is rarely, rarely used properly and can very easily take over one’s life.
It just so happens that when people don’t think they’re on a drug, before anyone can blink, the masses have already formed an addiction. To put this in simpler terms, literally everyone and their mother and their cat and their goat and their beta fish has an Instagram. Many such users are frequently on Insta. And this, my friends, introduces an interesting prospect. After observing the world (like, idk, a regular person?) I have noticed that people who are able to utilize a large following are able to effect some of the greatest changes on the world. As of right now, I don’t really have such a following. I think this is likely because math and physics really aren’t that cool to the outside world, and it’s what I’ve been doing for the past 6 years. It also hasn’t helped that I barely touch social media.
I feel inclined to mention that many people want to build a following because the prospect of fame is appealing. While there is a part of my being that subscribes to this desire, I have spent the better part of the last two years in a state of introspection trying to sort out my principal motivations for working on various projects or relationships, and I have found that whenever the principal motivation for one of my actions is to garner some else’s attention or respect, I typically end up in some state of existential depression and anxiety. So then, I have made and am currently making a concerted effort to do what I do not to impress those around me, but because what I’m doing is personally or globally beneficial.
So then, is the prospect of having a large Instagram following appealing to some deep dark part of me that desires attention? Absolutely. However, that part of me has been subdued and is currently quite dormant, I am happy to say.
Why else then should I attempt to build a following? Honestly, I mostly just want to see if I can. If I were to have such a following, I’m sure I could find a good use for it, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
So then, the central action of Insta Dominus will be thus: build up a following on Instagram by whatever means necessary (short of that which morally compromises). We’re talking bots, rigorous following/unfollowing techniques, liking a bunch of crap, all that meaningless nonsense that people have developed over the last couple of years. I actually made the ex_fizz_assist account specifically for the purpose of developing my own Instagram bot (using Python and Selenium, for those of you CS nerds), however I basically ended up following 1,200 randos, and I was eventually shadow-banned from the site. At this point, my account has been dormant for several months, so I’m certain the ban is lifted, and Insta Dominus is a go.
Several things about the account. The pictures I post probably appear incredibly vain. My current profile picture is in fact a mostly shirtless picture of myself holding a machete and Shankar’s Quantum Mechanics while shamelessly flexing for the camera. To address this, because I’m not blind, I have noticed that the average layman is very compelled by people with good bodies. I have been working out for 1.5 years now, and so I think I can assert that my body isn’t bad. Do I think I’m fit to be model? Certainly not. Do or will I take any pictures I post of my body seriously? Absolutely not. They are all ridiculous. However, perhaps they will help me generate a following. We shall see. For those few of you who were friends with me before college and have also happened to see my insta, I can assure you college hasn’t turned me into a vain, egotistical, narcissistic swine. Actually maybe it has. Well, I kinda doubt it because being vain is such a tremendous waste of time, and I really don’t have time to waste.
Regardless of whether I’m not a swine, I’m excited for this project. I’m starting with like 100 followers, which is nothing, and I guess we’ll have to see where it goes. Worst case scenario, nothing happens. Ok, I move on with my life and I have more time for other projects. Best case scenario I have more followers than Kylie Jenner and I can rule the world with a tap on the screen. We shall see. Until next time, sisthren.
What is poppin’ my bois? (Using, of course, the gender-neutral b-o-i spelling). I’m currently sitting in DIA, which, as I have been recently informed, is a haven of conspiracy and dark secrets. As I’m sure many of you cultured readers are aware, there’s a statue of an angry looking blue horse outside the airport that has actually killed someone. Spooky stuff, my friends.
Now then, allow me to jump right in. I was watching YouTube the other day when an ad came up featuring a musical artist who was talking about her work. She presumably has some level of fame, but I had certainly never heard of her before. The last thing she said before I swiftly and mercilessly skipped the ad is that her work is incredibly important to her because it gives her a platform to talk about her anxiety and depression. To be perfectly frank, blessed reader, when I heard that, I didn’t find myself to be sympathetic towards this artist. I was honestly super bored with everything she was saying.
A case can always be made that I’m just an emotionless unsympathetic wench. Perhaps I am. I think the better case to be made is that I’m a machine who’s more interested in code than some people’s lives. I think I could probably build a strong case against that, but that’s for another time.
Regardless of my potential sociopathisms, I found it quite interesting that my first response to this artist’s video was boredom. I’m of the opinion that mental health issues/depression/anxiety are incredibly important issues plaguing our society, and I don’t want anyone to get the idea that I’m trying to minimize their importance. For those of you thorough readers who have read the “About” page, you will know that I myself am prone to depressive thought patterns if I am not careful. So then, why was I bored by the artist?
To answer this question, I retreated deep within myself to have a quick conversation with my emotions. These conversations tend to be quite violent, overly anthropomorphized, and altogether unstructured, so I will leave out the details of this particular interaction. The general consensus among my emotions, however, was that I found the artist to be boring because it seems like every artist and their mother are all talking/singing/writing/dreaming about anxiety and depression. It just so happens that one of my favorite albums is about depression. Incidentally, that is also my favorite album within which to engulf myself when I (even I, rumored to be sociopathic, asexual, machine-like) am depressed.
Upon having this (incredibly straightforward) revelation, I began thinking in my brainicles about why it seems depression and anxiety are all the rage in pop culture. After doing some light thinking on the subject, I have formulated a hypothesis. For those of you nerdy or aggressively legalistic readers, no, I haven’t formalized any of these claims, and as previously stated, this is only a hypothesis. If you disagree with me or have a different opinion, please feel free to drop a hot comment down below. You are then urged to ring the bell, like this video, and subscribe to my channel.
My hypothesis is built upon four of my personal observations. My first observation is that the average human is hardwired to seek out and be fulfilled by interaction with other humans. As a sub-observation, I have found that I’m prone to my greatest fits of anxiety and depression when I am isolated (either by accident, or by my own doing) from other people. My second observation is that human interaction is difficult. Not only does it take planning and time, but I personally tend to feel some level of discomfort during most of my conversations. My third observation is that literally everyone around me is constantly on their phone. I realize this implies that I live in an area where everyone has the economic means to possess a smartphone, but regardless of wealth, I have found any exceptions to this to be the statistical outlier. My fourth observation is that social media is a frackin’ drug. Throughout my life, I have rarely posted on social media, but whenever I have, I get an unreasonable amount of satisfaction and pleasure when people like something I’ve posted. And if someone comments on one of my posts? Goodness me, the feeling is ecstasy! During my time on social media, I have found that I am frequently overtaken by the desire to open my insta, regardless of whether I would visually intake some dank, dank memes or photoshopped pictures of attractive human beings or videos of Fabio Wibmer being the most epic human to walk the Earth.
Now then, I will take these observations as temporary axioms, and I’m going to paint you the word picture that is my hypothesis. Basically, before phones, people felt the compulsion to interact with each other, and so they would overcome the discomfort associated with human interaction, and just talked to each other. Once my boi Zuckerberg came around, people suddenly realized, “OMG I can, like, talk to all my friends and post about my life on the internet! Now I don’t need to constantly be with people to interact with them! Yaaaaas!” This seemingly innocent desire almost immediately gave way to a deeper subconscious realization: “Wait hold on. Now I can spend time making everything I put on the internet perfect. Also, I can say whatever I want because the people I’m interacting with can’t actually hurt me, right?” And so, through digital media, humanity found a way to temporarily fill its desire for human interaction, and my oh my did it feel good. What an amazing feeling it is to know both the people you know and don’t know like something you’ve created. Amazing how that can quench your fundamental anxieties and give you a feeling of superhuman pleasure. And better yet, you can achieve this without putting a toxic chemical into your body! What a wonderful creation.
And so the world fell prey to this digital drug. This wouldn’t really have been a problem if social media was a perfect substitution for regular human interaction. Unfortunately, it isn’t. I can’t give you a definite reason why it isn’t, but I doubt many of you would disagree. And so, the fundamental issue with social media is the following: it gives the temporary impression of filling our fundamental desire for human interaction, but it doesn’t actually. What is it called when you want human interaction, and you don’t have it? Loneliness. So basically, social media creates a population of people who think they aren’t lonely but actually, fundamentally are.
This really isn’t groundbreaking stuff. I’m simply attempting to formalize the loose thoughts cascading around my psyche. Now then, what are the fruits of loneliness? You guessed it! Depression and anxiety. Given that the average modern artist relies on social media to market themselves, it really is no wonder they all are writing about how depressed they are. However, there is even a better explanation for this phenomenon. Talking about depression and anxiety is a remarkably effective way to garner sympathy from the masses. Anyone who doesn’t take mental health seriously and makes their views public is at high risk of large-scale public shunning, so there are incentives for even the people who don’t give a snort about mental health to pretend like they do. And what does sympathy do? It promotes the sharing of deep emotions which furthermore promotes more natural human interaction.
So then, this hypothesis is centered around the notion that your average population of humans are desperately striving for meaningful interaction, but through a twisted play on the human being’s natural fears and desires, people have been diverted from natural interaction by social media.
It appears as though I’m about to hit 5 pages (I’m of course typing in Word, with standard margins and font), so I feel as though I ought to wrap this pupper up. One last tidbit, if you will. At the end of the day, social media really ought to be thought of as the tool. I, for instance, am shamelessly using it to try to increase the number of people exposed to my incalculably vast stores of wisdom that have come through my many long decades of life. However, best to not let the hammer be the one calling the shots, don’t ya think?