What Snapchat unlocked was a desperate desire for users to not have their digital actions follow them around. Whether it was shitposts or thirst traps, the idea was that it didn’t need to live in your, or anyone’s, feed forever. That ephemerality, combined with the lack of gratification that typically comes with a main feed post, gave users the opportunity to have more fun and enjoy the internet without any of its traditional consequences. Why should we have to cling on to the minutiae of what we were posting? It treated the internet like a tool, not a catalogue. And through this it unlocked a new era: the Snapchat-cum-Stories framework of disappearing content that now exists on most mainstream platforms.
He makes this point again and again. These modern atheists’ view of the world is “inherited” from Christianity. Their belief in progress is “a secular avatar of a religious idea of redemption”. Jacobinism and Bolshevism were “channels” for the millenarian myths of Christianity. Bolshevism was in a “lineage” going back to medieval millenarianism. The apocalyptic myths of radical Christian movements “renewed themselves” in secular, political forms.
I have just finished reading “Sapiens”. It is interesting to see how fast human society is changing. Today’s generation is much more mobile compared to the past generation. There are many who would have stayed in 3-4 countries before they turned 30. How are these ever moving expats contributing to creation of a common culture in global cities like Dubai?
But what about third-culture attitudes to nationality and “home”? Do the children of Dubai think of it as home?
“I come from a really small rural area in Scotland,” Williamson says. “When I speak about home, I know exactly what home is. But I don’t think third-culture children recognize home like I do.”
He describes how some of his pupils say they come from “England,” but when pressed to specify where in England, they have no response.
“Their parents probably left home when they were two or three, and that child, in a fascinating way, doesn’t feel overly attached to any country. For them, home is wherever they are. You have to make the moment you are in real, and strong, and stable. Home is Dubai now, but home might be Singapore next.”