Death by a Thousand Hyperlinks: The Commodification of Communication and Mediated Ideologies
Political identities created long before us have been positioned to represent our daily struggles and how we are to identify with them. The mediatization of these political identities makes them inexorable as they further the processes of simulation. We become more dependent on systems of representation to communicate these ideas, instead of finding identities through encounters and establishing connections through face-to-face interactions—thereby escaping our roles as online participants. Social media and political participation are now linked. With social media, representation has taken on a new meaning—each form of technology, either productively or aesthetically, represents a facet of human life. Yet, no one is ever fully represented and conflict is created throughout society because of the contradictions found between representation and self-identification. How can critical theory effectively challenge the idea of representation? For this, perhaps we should consider theorists that typically are not associated with critical theory: Jean Baudrillard and Vilém Flusser.