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A Comparative Analysis of the World of Social Media and Technology in Contemporary Society and ‘Moxyland’

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We live in a world where people are constantly and increasingly checking their phones and social media profiles. In our society, there seems to always be an incessant hum coming from a constant in-flow of notifications and an ever-present glow of smartphone, laptop, and tablet screens. People in our society are tied to their phones and other technological devices, scrolling for hours on social media, and interacting with other online presences. Our society has seen an increase in the use of social media and technology over the years, and social media and technology have developed and seen major advancements in the past few decades.


Although these developing advancements have some negative implications, it is clear that this digital revolution has come with benefits which include but are not limited to fast and easy access to information, connections with people, and increased entertainment and business development. 

Whilst this revolution has come with benefits, there are some consequences, and the dystopian narrative painted by Lauren Beukes in ‘Moxyland’ serves as a haunting mirror reflecting the potential risks of a futuristic technological trajectory that many may even compare to our current society and its relationship with staying connected technologically and via social media platforms.


‘Moxyland’ by Lauren Beukes is a futuristic novel set in dystopian South Africa. In the ‘Moxyland’ society, the characters are seamlessly integrated into a digital realm, where social media and technology govern every aspect of their lives, access and power lie in their phones and online presences.


In this dystopian novel, four main characters narrate the story, these characters are all different from each other and each represents a different place in society with different levels of freedom in the corporate world and different levels of access and power. The characters are Kendra, Lerato, Tendeka, and Toby. Kendra is a young woman who is an art school drop, she represents corporate control as she voluntarily gets sponsorship from a corporation that brands her with nano-technology. Lerato is a young woman who works in corporate and she represents a sense of freedom as she has a handle on her life in Moxyland and wants to move away from the corporate employers. Tendeka is a young male activist who is passionate and firm in his beliefs as he is against corporations and plots against them. Toby is a young man with narcissistic characteristics and he plays an important role in the lives of the other characters. ‘Moxyland’ makes a connection between the oppressive apartheid era and corporate, where the prejudice doesn't lie in race but rather in technological access and corporate freedom or power.


Through the analysis of this dystopian novel, it becomes important for our society to question the parallels between the fictional world of ‘Moxyland’ and our reality. Social media and technological advancements have worked their way into many different aspects of society such as business and personal entertainment, and career development. Along with this, everyday activities such as access to money and banking, information, or interacting with other people.


Contemporary social media and technology can be juxtaposed to the SIMs and smartphones in Beukes' novel, as these technologies have become an omnipresent force shaping human interactions and access to an array of personal information. The presence of social media has created a continuous need for individuals to be validated personally through likes, shares, and comments. This mirrors the characters of ‘Moxyland’, who are knotted in a web of online and corporate control and surveillance. The line between public and private information is blurred as through the use of social media and technologies individuals willingly offer parts of their lives to the digital realm, creating a society where personal boundaries are negotiable currency.


The addictive nature of technology, exemplified by the characters in ‘Moxyland’, finds resonance in our incessant scrolling and swiping. Smartphones have become extensions of us, offering a gateway to a world where reality and the digital realm intertwine. The constant connectivity, while seemingly bringing us closer, also fosters isolation and detachment from the tangible world around us.


We each make use of and engage with various social media platforms and technologies daily. This has become an important part of our daily lives as these technologies have proven to be useful in many different aspects of our lives both professionally and personally, contributing significantly to job searching, fostering my professional online presence, and offering avenues for personal entertainment. When it comes to professional development, social media serves as a dynamic tool for networking and exploring job opportunities. 


Platforms like LinkedIn enable us to connect with industry professionals, join relevant groups, and stay on top of the latest trends in our field. Furthermore, the use of social media and technology extends beyond the professional realm, permeating into our personal lives. These technologies and platforms allow for instant communication and information access, allowing us to effortlessly stay connected with family and friends, without being limited by geographical boundaries.


Admittedly, many of us dedicate several hours each day to making use of platforms such as LinkedIn, TikTok, Instagram, and other platforms. While this engagement offers great benefits and entertainment, it is also important to evaluate the balance between the digital and tangible realities. Enforcing equilibrium between the two ensures that technology enhances rather than hinders our overall well-being. Essentially, the relationship between social media and technology and our daily routine needs to be managed well, to enforce balance and healthy boundaries.


It is important to reflect on societies like the one in ‘Moxyland’ and not become so consumed by social media and technology but appreciate what it can do for us and also appreciate real life and in-person interactions and communication. The responsibility lies with us to ensure that the impact of social media and technology on society is one of empowerment and connection rather than control and manipulation.


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