The internet is made of tubes. Through those tubes runs everything, including the spaces where we try to express our deepest selves. But the things we once called souls are not legible to algorithms.[…]
The network quantifies eyeballs. It can’t see what’s behind the eyes.
But the line between interior and exterior is never clear.[…]
The network alters you in ways that make you more legible to the network. But maybe there are some things it still can’t get.
As we become more legible to the network, we may become more aware of what isn’t translatable to the formats it uses. In that way, deeper engagement with the network provides us with a more thorough awareness of our “soul.” What we can mediatize is eliminated from the “true self,” conjuring a negative ghostly outline of what defies mediatization.
The network, in this sense, alters us to have a soul; it prepares a negative ground where we can posit its existence.
But a corollary to this is that our “deepest self” is defined as that which is inexpressible. So it becomes nonsensical to make “expressing my true self” to be a life goal. We accept that personal or artistic expression can not be about “sincerity.”