If you haven’t watched The Circle, I’ll break it down for you it’s basically a Reality TV Show where contestants are put into an apartment block but don’t meet and just communicate over a social media platform called ‘The Circle’. When a contestant goes in they build their own profile and can choose to play as themselves or to take up another identity as a ‘Catfish’. If they play as a ‘Catfish’ they can completely change their entire identity including their name, age, gender, gender, sexuality and use different pictures, in order to deceive the other players into believing this is truly them. Some players do this as a social experiment as they think they may be ‘more popular’ playing as another identity and some players just have the £100k prize money in mind.
The show is a self confessed ‘popularity contest’ with players ranking other players each week from their favourite to least favourite, in which the most popular player becomes an ‘Influencer’ and has the power to eliminate another player.
On the surface the shows is an enjoyable watch and is something never before seen on TV. (Fun Fact: I was actually interviewed to be on Season 1 of the show, but didn’t get to the next stage).
But when you think about it the show really is a sad reflection of what our society has become, simply a popularity contest, where anyone can be anyone online.
It easy to forget that on social media platforms like Instagram, you are only seeing what people want you to see and someone could be portraying their life completely differently than what the reality is, just for popularity ie – likes.
One of the finalists in this year’s show was ‘Sammie’ a single mum with a baby called Charlie. Who was actually a 26 year old man named James.
James was ‘faking it’ the entire time, thinking people would find it harder to block a single mum with a cute baby, which led him all the way to the final.
It got me thinking that the show completely mirrors our own use of social media. We only post the sides of ourselves that we want people to see and that we think will gain us popularity.
So the message of the day from me it’s important to view social media like the Circle and realise that what you see might not always be what you get and anyone really can be anyone.