Social Media Influences our Organic Rhythms in the Context of Neoliberal Capitalism

An Exploration into Performative Consumption Through TikTok

  • Andrew Brasington Florida State University

Abstract

The economic influence of neoliberal capitalism is constantly increasing, resulting in misunderstandings of how the ideology impacts people's daily lives. With the increasing popularity of social media, especially among the younger generations, it is now important to analyze how neoliberal capitalism is being translated into an online medium. This paper examines how social media usage in our society impacts the organic rhythms and health of the younger generations. Through the use of a survey, it was discovered that the respondents used social media, specifically TikTok, as a way to pass the time without caring about the media that they are consuming while they performed activities that are not typically focused on entertainment consumption: eating meals, using the restroom, and attempting to sleep. This phenomenon was thus termed “performative consumption”, a phrase that means performing consumption as a way to escape consuming. Performing consumption during such activities is paradoxical in nature and potentially damaging to people's daily rhythms. While this is an initial exploration into the phenomenon, the discovery that people are consuming to escape consumption is concerning and warrants further exploration on a greater scale.

Author Biography

Andrew Brasington, Florida State University

Andrew Brasington is a second-year honors student studying biology at Florida State University. He enjoys contortion and ballet as well as volunteering in the organic garden. His research explores the cyclical effects of capitalism on social media and vice versa.

Published
2021-01-23