The Shadow Generation
We’re all familiar with lo-fi girl. She’s up all night at her desk in her bedroom filling her journal with notes. A cat sits on her windowsill staring out at the city lights. The whole experience is dreamy and most of us wish we could be there — or be her.
It’s a total vibe. YouTube channels like this one are meant to provide our ennui-filled lives with a pleasant, aesthetic experience. I call this kind of entertainment a modern-day, anti-stress zoetrope.
In our fast-paced lives, we yearn to slow down. In our ever changing lives, we crave consistency. Above all, we desire distraction.
Repetition and simplicity have become panaceas for our modern situation. We want mindless, escapist entertainment in an era that is all too cerebral and overstimulating. Lo-fi media is an example of the kind of entertainment that provides us such comfort.
Some argue that our reality is getting exceedingly complicated and worrying. True. However, entertainment has also become ubiquitous and dangerously addictive. It consumes our every waking moments in the form of TikTok, YouTube, video games, the news… It isn’t the kind of entertainment that our grandparents’ had. Gone are the days of card games and singing folk songs by the campfire. Significant developments in mobile technology have us hooked to our devices — the heroin of entertainment.
We’ve become excellent ostriches, hiding our heads in the sand. We’re accustomed to staring at shadows in Plato’s cave and actively avoiding the grim facts of reality. We’re obsessively concerned with finding what makes us feel good — as are companies that sell to us. Just like Neil Postman warned us in his groundbreaking book Amusing Ourselves To Death (1985), we’re a civilization that’s addicted to entertainment at the cost of political and social decay.
Yet, we still yearn for true experiences. Only, instead, we’re voyeurs. We get representations and simulations instead of truth and reality. Sadly, that’s all most of us have the time or the capacity for.