The book aptly explains the experiential anxieties of modern social media. Dostoevsky, writing in 1846, was dealing with a more urbanized society, which increased the numbers of social encounters, just like the Internet today. Yet he saw people lonely, paranoid & vain, isolated by their imaginary selves.
The main character, Golyadkin, meets his double, who looks like him but is better than him in all social interactions. What starts with a form of cheating, turns into paranoia as the double makes Golyadkin feel both as an impostor while also making him left out. Impostor syndrome&FOMO.
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Is the mixed desires & fears of being watched by unknown others defines virtual society, gives rise to anxieties such as the sense of exposed insignificance & the fear of missing out:
You wish to erase your tracks, but feel strangely nonexistent when undocumented; your mistakes remain glaringly public, but your good qualities refuse to go viral.
The economy follows a cyclic path, with a different set of dynamics for getting rich, and for staying rich.
Nothing stays the same, and change is the only constant, with the very forces that cause things to go in a certain direction also planting the seeds to push them in the opposite direction.
In economic terms, the cycle goes like this: Recessions cause sentiments to go down, causing underproduction, which leads to scarcity, sowing the seeds for growth.
The pandemic has forced people to stay away from each other, cramped in their rooms, with no get-togethers or nights out. This is giving rise to loneliness, and also in the inability in making new friends.
Before the pandemic, people used to join Yoga classes, jogging clubs or do volunteer work to meet new people. Now they use Tinder for the same, but even meeting new people does not solve their core problem of loneliness.
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