The events of 2016 incited a great exodus, an exodus which has continued to expand, strengthen and perpetuate the following year with little to no sign of stopping. What erupted from the shattered remains of the twenty-first century’s passions, hopes and progression was a spiralling pandemic which has shaken the world economically, socially and politically. Scientifically speaking this epidemic is documented as a ‘social de-evolution’, but by everyone else it is merely referred to as digital apathy. Over the past year social media usage has been in rapid decline. Millions of people across the world began to leave their beloved social media sites: Twitter usage fell by 23.4%, Facebook by 8% (this percentage alone, seemingly small, equates to 132 million people). Instagram also took a 23.7% plummet, and Snapchat 15.7%.
Why? Many theories have been forwarded including boredom, ageing and frustration, but none of these take into account the overwhelming exhaustion users have undergone the past twelve months. Social media for many became a bombardment of tragedy upon tragedy, from gun crimes to terrorist attacks, hate speech, racism, homophobia, snap general elections, US Presidency campaign, and Brexit. People have been leaving social media to escape the tragedy of it all, or rather, what we as society have construed to signify the tragic. Tragedy, you see, shouldn’t belong in the realm of reality, and yet it does. For you see as Oscar Wilde argued: Life imitates art, a hypothesis which has never been demonstrated more poignantly than in the concept of “tragedy”.