Is the age of hyper-narcissism and social media addiction turning us all into self-obsessed, attention-challenged zombies?
Can we really call it social media if we’re ignoring our friends, partners and everyone around us to swap gossip, videos and memes with virtual strangers we’ve never met?
If an actual vampire (or zombie) invaded our homes and attempted to separate us from our blood or brains, we’d probably have one or two objections (the first probably being they don’t actually exist). But when the parasitic monsters are invisible and we welcome them in, what chance do we have to keep ourselves safe? Like a tick or a vampire bat, they numb us while they go about their dirty work. Maybe it’s us who are the real suckers?
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The vampire-zombies – including massive corporations like Google and Facebook – are using knowledge gleaned from psychology and the world of gambling to hook us on this digital crack. And they combine it with clever technology to steal huge amounts of our time, attention and data and sell it for obscene profits. They are like friendly uncles who keep you amused, while secretly emptying your safe, picking your pockets and stealing all your private info.
Horror has become big business these days and you can hardly have failed to notice the waves of the undead shuffling, flying or bounding across screens big and small. With a plethora of assorted suckers, rippers and biters, horror fans are spoiled for choice when it comes to grisly supernatural thrills.
There are a ton of psychological theories about why we love to scare ourselves silly with these films. But whatever the truth, many of us just can’t help but subject ourselves to what one might call a safe scare. All the adrenalin and terror without any real danger (despite what some cunning marketing people would have us believe).
We make up horrors to help us cope with the real ones.” – Stephen King
What would the creators of Nosferatu or Dracula make of all this ghoulish entertainment? Would Mary Shelly find our modern day monsters a little OTT? Could George Romero have ever imagined we’d become so addicted to the brain-munchers?
The dystopian world of the undead is a truly terrifying vision. They shuffle along mindlessly, all grotesque faces and guttural grunts, falling upon any flesh they find and devouring it in an horrific display of terrible table etiquette.
But even if you choose to avoid the big city-centres on any given Friday evening, you cannot help but see where George Romero or the writers and producers of TV’s excellent The Walking Dead series found their inspiration.
We now have a whole new category of accidents becoming commonplace in the modern era: a category that one could well label zombie-related injuries. People roam the streets distracted, their eyes glued to mobile devices, and frequently fall under cartoon-style steam rollers, over cliffs or into piranha-infested rivers. Well, they definitely bump into lamp-posts and trees anyway.