Click Me! You Won’t Believe What Happens Next!

A note from our editors on the launch of Click Me!

Lately, it seems like everything in our lives can be measured in clicks, taps or swipes. Students of 2019’s Australia communicate their internal pain and existential crises through memes and Twitter threads, bring their love (or lack thereof) lives to the sometimes successful, sometimes crushing outcomes of Tinder, make their political and social views known through lengthy Facebook posts, and exploit the horrendously anonymous function of university rants Facebook pages.  We might not all be C-List Instagram influencers, but it’s undeniable that the ‘clickability’ of what we consume, learn and put out into the world is a defining factor of our generation.

In order to get herself on the other side of a tiny door to Wonderland, a vial labelled “Drink Me” appears before Alice. If she wants to get anywhere, she has no choice but to drink. Like Alice, we’re frequently instructed both subtly and overtly to “Click Me!” if we want to look through the window to the world that everyone else seems to be looking through. Or else, we risk being stuck on the outside.

But, much like Alice experiences, this window into the limitless virtual world comes with its consequences. And, despite being continuously painted under the broad brush of lazy ‘internet addicts’ by baby boomers, being online is a source of anxiety for many of us. We stress over our screen usage times and how dependent we are on social media, (as we ironically click through listicles on how to detox from your toxic technology usage) well aware of the fact that it’s a paradoxical situation from which we will likely never escape. 

This edition seeks to remove the veil of the reductive philosophy that we are simply ‘too dependent’ on the internet, but to examine the hows and the whys. Is LinkedIn really just ‘corporate tinder’ as Ella Robinson writes? How does the increasing importance of ‘virality’ affect safe spaces for queer culture online, as reflected on by Rudy Rigg?

It’s certainly not an easy question to answer in one edition. It’s undeniable that students have a complicated relationship with the ‘world wide web’ – a reliance that is, at this stage, profitable for its young users in the form of social platforms, networks, content and education. But, this edition isn’t about condemning this relationship – instead, it’s about looking to the future of ‘Click Me!’ culture and realising how inseparable it is from our own. 

There are a million headlines out there telling us that we are a generation of addicts living in the virtual age of unmeasured possibilities and unrelenting dilemmas, a type of Wonderland so to speak. In this edition we ask: What are the possibilities, what are the dilemmas, how far gone down the rabbit hole are we and where does it end?

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