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  • Ebony Williams

The Desperation for Verification

Updated: Oct 24, 2023

While I pay little attention to social media news, my efforts have fallen flat over the past few months. Usually, I log on to social media for a sense of release - to check out news from around the world and the latest celebrity gossip. Lately, it's filled with questions about AI and its ability to take over jobs; my LinkedIn feed is filled with #OpentoWork profile picture frames, and Twitter has a whole different battle surrounding its verification subscriptions. It has become overwhelming in the past few days, but as I have had time to think, here's what I've concluded.

I, like many creators, am okay with AI and its ability to help us do our jobs better and become more creative. Using AI correctly as a content producer, you can develop a 30-day content plan based on just one sentence. For others, who work in tech, AI hasn't been their best friend- more like a bulldozer of disrespect. The world of technology is up in the air while many wonder what will happen to their privacy settings and what's genuinely exposed to the interwebs. Does this mean I sleep easily? Absolutely not! I'm not dumb; I'm aware that AI can take over any job I can do - but it can't replace the need for human interaction. So because of that thought alone, I have a good 70-73 on my sleep score.

As I scroll through LikedIn, my heart is heavy for my network, which shares news about being affected by a recent round of layoffs. While the popular platform claims to have millions of jobs, many are applying, few are getting feedback, and others are ghosted. It's a tricky time in the job market as many companies are cutting corners, cutting people, and cutting salary ranges. We've now positioned ourselves in a fight or flight mode. Do we take a job just because it was offered? Or do we wait for what we're worth? While many recruiters try to be honest, caring, and encouraging, most of their messages fall on deaf ears. Words of encouragement are nice, but if a job offer does not back them, many don't want to hear them.

In news that grinds my gears, Twitter. Elon has been on a rampage after acquiring his latest venture. From laying off workers and revoking well-known publications of their verification badges because they've "upset him." And my favorite (not) verification subscription. The purchase of a blue verification via subscription has caused a frenzy that feels like January 6th but digital. At first, there was a separation between Legacy (accounts verified by Twitter) and Subscription (accounts purchased for verification); now, there is no difference which makes the platform more complex to navigate regarding authenticity.

The desperation for verification not only hits pockets; so far, Elon has made over $1 million from people wanting to be something they are not. Is this his fault? No, in all honesty, it isn't. Vanity and, over the past decade, the need to have free speech is on the rise. Everyone wants to be heard in the wake of the Me Too Movement, Black Lives Matter, Blue Lives Matter, LGBTQ+ rights, and more. Everyone has something to say, and their opinions are important to them; therefore - they need to be shared. Should it be restricted? Unfortunately, it shouldn't - because my friends - that would put a giant middle finger to free speech, which, if you haven't noticed, we are fighting to keep.

While the world is up in arms about verification badges, plastic surgery, filters, Tik Tok trends, and the latest get-rich-quick scheme - Twitter verification badges aren't the only thing people are desperate about when it comes to a deep, dangerous, deadly desire for verification. When is enough...enough? When will the filters fall, and the anxiety around how we look dissipates? The yearning to be looked at and made famous be a thing of the past? When will we no longer need validation for our feelings, thoughts, emotions, and who we are?

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