Byung-Chul Han on social media and “distance”

“Today, more and more, dignity, decency, and propriety -matters of maintaining distance- are disappearing. That is, the ability to experience the Other in terms of his or her otherness is being lost. By means of social media, we seek to bring the Other as near as possible, to close any distance between ourselves and him or her, to create proximity. But this does not mean that we have more of the Other; instead we are making the Other disappear. Nearness is negative insofar as remoteness is inscribed within it. But now, a total abolition of remoteness is underway. This does not produce nearness so much as it abolishes it. Instead of closeness, it entails crowding.”

Byung-Chul Han

“Distance is the soul of beauty.”

Simone Weil

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