From Thrill to Warzone

A world of its own, where connections blossomed. Who could deny the first thrill? Talking with so many people, all at once, around the world. I never questioned the absurdity, for I found my people and latched onto brilliant ideas they shared. Reunited with long-lost relatives, a promise realised, bringing us closer. We spent hours in the comfy digital living rooms, chatting and happy with wonders of technology.

No-one dared talk about the relentless grip, addiction a strong word. That was until someone figured out how to make money hacking attention. Best twerker received rewards and praise. But at what cost? There’s no winning the competition. Deep pockets pay the bots. Civil conversations abandoned, dark shadows emerged, casting a blight on what once was a haven.

Social media today—
a dark realm, bullying rampant, children and adults alike altering ourselves to fit the mold. Deep wounds covered with sparkly smiles to outdo Mona Lisa’s, the perfect canvas to draw a self-portrait. Who wants to be left out, feeling jaded, and standing by the FOMO roadside!

An arcane world, tainted by conflict, became a war zone of opinions. Sophisticated battles in the arena of pixels, you wouldn’t know you’d enlisted in the squad cancelling the culture. A simple click speaks volumes. Scrolling endless, a sinking ship drowned by the noise, leaves us conflating attention with care.

Oh my people, beautiful and sensible people, hijacked by creatures that do not breathe! Social media today— it’s not that I’m a hater, I simply feel outside of culture.

a world of its own,
battles fought to feed the beast
bringing us closer.

Prompt 26. On social media, today for Write Right @Thotpurge.

PS. Featured Image by Piotr Cichosz at Unsplash.

Khaya Ronkainen
Khaya Ronkainen is a writer, poet and creative professional. Her blog focuses on all things poetry and creative nonfiction.


  1. the current situation is disheartening. Who’s gonna save us now? Is this the future? Your words are grounded. Thanks for writing and sharing. Bless you.

  2. You said it so well Khaya. When I think of the extent of the impact of social media, the internet and AI on our minute-to-minute lives, it’s scary, daunting and almost paralyzing sometimes 🥺🙃

  3. I think you bring out the downsides excellently, Khaya and I so agree. The bullying, the cancel culture, the trolling…are all horrific, exacerbated by anonymity and immediacy. Still, in a growingly isolationist society, people connect over social media as an alternative. Perhaps it stems from how society has become- one feeding off the other. Lots to ponder.

  4. No one’s coming to save us! It’s all down to us… let’s keep going in the right direction in the small ways we know how. Bless you. A lovely post, Khaya. Be well, my sweet.

  5. Yes, yes, yes! Well said, Khaya. “That was until someone figured out how to make money hacking attention.” And now reality, and our perception of it, has been forever altered.
    I’m enjoying the book How to Do Nothing – Resisting the Attention Economy, by Jenny Odell

  6. Many thanks, Natalie. The Attention Economy is highly taxing… 🙁 I’m grateful for the book recommendation, I’ll definitely check it out. Enjoy your Sunday!

  7. This is beautiful and poignant. I remember when the internet was fun. I remember real connections and expanding our worlds. Before the monetization, before the toxicity, before the control. I miss my first blog and all the people who found me there and helped me through the darkest times. I miss connecting with readers on zombie movies. I miss reactions that didn’t equate to dollar signs. But it’s all unrecognizable now, and I don’t know how to exist within or without it.

  8. Your words beautifully and succinctly state the problem of today’s Internet and society in general, Khaya. I was born long before the Internet, and remember when I was a child, the last days of the old telephone party line system. I remember the advent of calculators, computers, the Internet. It is mind boggling to me, all the changes in technology, and people over the course of my life. And I hope I am far from done. Like most human inventions, things can be used for good and evil. The ancient struggle never seems to end, just takes on a new facade with the times.

  9. I share the same sentiment Christina about how fun internet used to be. Connecting with like-minded people through the blogs remains the best. Like you, I miss my first blog. As a recent expat then, navigating all things that come with being new in a different country, that personal blog became my refuge. It’s all so unrecognizable now, but I think our writing or creative communities are worth clinging to, if nothing else, especially here on the blogs. I honestly feel out of culture with each new social media platform coming to scene. 🙂 Also got to a point where I’m just tired of convincing companies I work with/for that marketing is more than social media… *sigh

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