When I was in Paris last summer my host mom told me that Stromae is a genius, and this song and video are only further proof of this fact!
Whether we saw it coming or not, whether we like it or not, social media has become part of everyone's lives. This goes even for people who aren't on any social media sites, because many still spend time ridiculing people who are, and many find themselves having to explain or defend their choice not to get involved in this dizzying non-stop world of online vices and distraction.
And because this is now a part of everyone's lives, Stromae confronts us with his vision of possible consequences.
Now of course, we won't literally die from social media use. Our bodies won't shut down from, say, tweeting too much. But what does often happen is that people spend so much of their time scrolling, viewing, sharing, and amassing likes, friends, and followers that they no longer go out and have real experiences or form in-person relationships apart from all that. They let social media monopolize their attention and consume their every being. (Hence, the humongous man-eating Twitter bird and its minions delivering unsuspecting social media addicts as sacrifices.) In that sense, such people do stop living.
But what's Stromae without a little genius AND irony? Even with his criticism of consumerism and social media use, this video is reaching millions of eyes through what? YouTube. And he's also been promoting the single through illustrations posted on what? His new Instagram page, where his character in the music video continues to craft his make-believe life before our very eyes (meta, anyone?). And talk of this song, this video, and Stromae's message is going to blow up where? All over the Internet. I mean, just look at what I'm doing right now! I'm writing about this on my blog, and then I'll share this post on Facebook when I'm done... so along with all the other netizens around the world, I'm also proving his point! And this doesn't get past Stromae either. He's well aware that this is the world we live in today; we can no longer escape technology, neither its good nor its bad. But to what extent do we allow it to alter how we live our lives? I've written about this question before, and it's almost frightening to be reminded that we don't know where this virtual reverie is taking us.
Having said all that, I encourage you to enjoy this work of art! But don't let the message go over your head (I don't see how it could, but still). This is a grand opportunity for all of us to reflect on our habits. Thank you and well done, Stromae!