[Article] Soliloquy of Self-Acceptance Sustained through Fantasy

Amytha Kresna Dewi

I am a generation fed by Warkop DKI humor and Suzanna’s terror. They served me Japanese animations for breakfast, local celebrity gossips during lunch break, and Sinemart soap operas in dinner time. There’s a variation of dinner introduced later on in the form of imported dramas. They all offered the same thing: fantasy.

I am a generation wading through ever-changing trends and technologies. I’ve been on the peak of Friendster, Pet Society craze where the non-gamers were even willing to buy cheats, Twitter word limits bragging (it made me chuckle a little to think that we actually boasted this fact around back then), the evolution of Snake game in Nokia from 2D graphic into 3D, Power Balance bracelets, Silly Bandz, and Disney stars parade making way to idols phase followed with a series of international male solos, boy groups and girl groups. We are like fishes in the sea shoved side by side and swimming through the currents which change however the sea pleases. We keep paddling on, happily being flung from one way to another. Technology’s rapid improvement is our compass; it leads us and gives us a path.

Technology fastens the pace of our lives and we are taught to run. No, we have no choice but to run along. I just didn’t realize we could run away from our own flaws. Disappointments, insecurities, loneliness, frustrations, pressures, expectations. We just wanted to be good enough; even though it is not ourselves. We wanted validation of existence; despite making up something we don’t have.

My generation distorts so many things at once: our dreams, our connections, and our hearts. We are raised to play dumb, we are brought up not to strive and be proud of ourselves because being associated with laziness is better than vanity, we live through the downfall of postal office being thrown over by cellphones texting (before the wave of social media blew up) which makes our words clipped and jagged, added with how we store pent-up feelings in the deepest closet for fear of rejection, betrayal, and ignorance, while simultaneously hiding behind the mask of irony represented by memes and quotes…,

so we would never take the blame.

The walls we built are made to display dream, fantasy, hidden emotions; a version of us we might not have, or don’t have the courage to display, in reality. Internet is practically technology’s best invented gift as it is a curse, at the same time. Internet creates a chance for us to expose ourselves however we want it to be, it almost feels like we’re given a second life. This is where the story will start: are you going to bring your reality and share them in the hope that somebody out there relates to you better than the people in your life or are you going to live a lie to feel alive?

Is making your dream a reality so unappealing these days that you have to create virtual reality to do so?

Everywhere you look for, there are dreams being sold. Beauty, power, wealth are best-selling categories. They are foolproof commodities majority will eat up. Be careful, however; if you choose one of these, you won’t be given bragging rights of moral dignity. After all, no humanity is saved by your personal, “shallow” desire (or is it?). I would like to input that please know yourself well enough before choosing, because dream can be both your salvation and poison. There are people crushed by dreams which never came true and people whose last hanging rope is made of their dreams. (As for me, the only social movement I would probably be interested in joining is if its goal includes destroying the power human gave to money. If there’s no such thing, I’d still like to be rich, thanks.)

I was raised looking over a sky full of lights with both feet rooted on hard, cold cement ground. The forest I had known and grew to love is made of skyscrapers, the void I had in my consciousness is filled by internet, and the fastest happiness I felt is granted through material stuff. Every single day, I am teetering on distant aloofness and lukewarm moments of vulnerability; of pushing people away for defense mechanism and wanting company with no actual effort. I am both a self-centered maybe-liberal who somehow thinks too much of other people and their opinions to the point it affects my personal feeling.

I am the product of a generation who’s afraid of putting their hearts on their sleeves, who hid behind somebody else’ thoughts for expression, and who can’t make up their own minds they have to find another seemingly better (media-exposed) life as goals.

This concealed misery is being parodied in light-hearted, jabbing quotes. This inexplicable emotion is being limited by choice of stickers and emoticon. This unfortunate tragedy is being used as trending memes. Does it feel better for us to live by taking things lightly? Or, should I say, too lightly.

We are a generation fed by fantasy and dream of something extraordinary. If you wake up and find out that you are nothing but a living lump covered by skin to thousands of people out there, just like they are all to you, will it crush you?

Have you accepted yourself, yet?

Have you accepted us?

References:

-Warkop DKI, a famous comedy trio consisted of Dono, Kasino, and Indro. Their comedy films were legendary during the 80s to 90s. Their legacy and popularity lives up until now even though two members already passed away.

-Suzanna, can be dubbed as “the Horror Queen of Indonesia”, had been around since the 50s. All her films portraying Indonesian local ghosts were televised on national broadcast frequently. Sadly, she also passed away.

-Sinemart is one of the biggest production houses in Indonesia, which mainly produces soap operas and distributes it to one national broadcast channel.

-Friendster is a social media platform.

-Pet Society is a popular virtual avatar game which used to be exclusive in Facebook (another social media platform).

-Snake, is a game commonly found in Nokia cellphones, which has a basic rule: letting the snake eats as many foods as possible without hitting the wall and tangles over his own body.

-Power Balance, is a brand of bracelets believed to be for athletes with benefits including the increase of body stamina and better concentration. It was found to be marketing scam sometime later.

-Silly Bandz, are colorful rubber bands sold in a pack which form various shapes, such as: animals, numbers, letters, etc.

Word Count: 888 words

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