My latest song, “Social Machine,” is my favorite and the most poetic song I have written. Being a Social Media connoisseur, I’m aware of the imprint this Machine constructs in the mind (and inner self). I believe Social Media is more than just shared “media”; rather, taken together across all platforms, it behaves like a Machine with spinning gears and turning wheels, grinding forward as our culture churns its path into the future. This Machine inhales onlookers while spewing out electronic sludge and social mayhem in its wake. This song parallels the chaos in the fourth episode of my graphic novel, Frankie Ravens.
I sing this song to YOU—the onlooker. In the beginning of the song story, you consider joining the Social Machine, with a metaphoric mirror representing your untouched social media presence. Your complexion seems perfect in the mirror, and you have no fear of interacting. Upon joining the Machine, however, you are smudged and corrupted by a “reflection smear” that represents the effects of interacting in the Machine. The smear evokes a certain kind of fear, which now burdens you.
These elements—corruption, smears, and fear—are associated with our modern day Social Machine. Add in the shadow cast by the modern day pandemic, and the emotion that emerges is hopefully expressed by the art of this song.
You enter the Machine untouched and pristine, desiring all that the Machine seems to promise—wealth, prosperity, youth, perfection, power. Influencers and content producers in particular flood Social Media desiring to attain a big time return, along with some newer brand of fame. They admire “perfect” influencers, who—by becoming part of the Machine—have garnered millions of followers. These onlookers imagine their life will improve if only they can attain millions of followers. This new world “enchantment” exists for all users of the Machine, but for creators and influencers the allure can be intoxicating to an excessive degree. Less active users are enchanted by this same effect but on a smaller scale.
What everyone seems to miss are the dark depths of the Social Machine and its effects on the culture, or maybe some do understand, but they just don’t care.
Listen to “Social Machine” and see if it evokes similar feelings, and even some truth about our current world.