Museification of Self: Social Media and System Theories

The creation of my own museum

Museification is a way of fixing a memory about oneself, in vivo or posthumously. Any artifact left behind by a person can, in principle, be considered an attempt to preserve a memory of oneself in the form of a material object. Hence, the metaphor of justification oneself turns out to be so appropriate in the discourse on the modern way of life and media. In modern reality, any object can acquire a museum’s quality if it is provided with it. This process of transformation imitates or parodies the academic museum practice by making a ritual that repeats similar things in the everyday environment. The main characteristics of the modern era are the saturation of the media and, in general, the high technologization of the space surrounding a person. Such a cultural reality creates for a person a space of open access to new forms of media and, in particular, social media. Enterprise platforms like the Meta are currently limitless hosts, allowing the museumification of reality by anyone with access to the Web.

Information and Communication Technologies

The modern desire to give value to the surrounding life, to comprehend one’s own existence is associated with the peculiarities of technological progress that has shaped the current cultural situation. In modern reality, a person is surrounded by technologies designed for the fastest and most effective communication. The trend at the beginning of the century was globalism, the idea that humanity should strive for the community by establishing communication links around the globe. As a result, the situation turned into technological advances that significantly changed the standard ideas about self-representation. The justification of one’s life is associated with the desire to express one’s own narrative, apparently sacrificing naturalness in the process in the name of an aesthetically pleasing picture. Communication technologies at the moment are a form of media entertainment and a way of ego boosting, which serves not only to transmit the necessary information but to multiply and accumulate such data that seem random and insignificant.

Approval looking to “fit”

A person who is in an ultramodern technocratic reality is forced to use modern technologies as the principles of a comfortable existence. People, by their psychological structure, want to feel not only special but also not excluded from society. This is where the modern precedent of mass digital justification arises. Giant digital platforms provide people with the convenience of organizing their memories like a museum. A social network like Instagram really turns out to be a tool for performing an act of museumification, where a person is given the opportunity to create a narrative of their own free will, allowing or cutting off an audience from it.

The subject

The main contradiction emerging in this cultural situation is the ambiguous status of the subject. The concept of correlation is based on the assertion that the thinking subject is the key to the existence of things since it perceives and comprehends them. There is an unconditional echo in this with the Cartesian maxim about thought as a guarantee of existence, but one should apply this idea to the modern information age. The human subject turns out to exist and is able to be realized within the framework of social networks. The lack of a modern person’s ability to express oneself away from social media suggests that media corporations have their own subjectivity more significant than a human unit.

Aesthetics of the capital system

Capital system (Marx framework)

According to Marx, the capitalist system is an unbalanced system dominated by legal equality and market freedom. A person is thus guided by the principles of acquiring capital and retaining it. Accordingly, there is a need to produce a product that will be in demand depending on the state of the entire economic system. Marx’s teaching was also centered on the idea of ​​class struggle, where the lower working class was oppressed by the ruling class. However, in this situation of modernity, there is rather a feeling of the ruling class being squeezed out by the model of a multinational corporation with its own subject.


Aesthetic capitalism can be perceived as a modern offshoot of this stage in the development of the modern economic system. Aesthetic capitalism represents a reality in which basic human needs are easily met while the economic flow continues to require consumption, work, or even consumption. Thus, a person finds oneself in need to spend resources not on survival but on self-representation, in fact, on the actor’s staging of his life.

Aesthetic decision in capitalism

Considering that entertainment has become an impressive segment of the global economy, one must understand that the aestheticization of capital is becoming a natural stage in the modern development of mankind. A person makes choices of an aesthetic nature when making every decision in the standard Western culture of modernity, while their media space, from sports to news, is also endowed with an aesthetic quality. Aesthetic savings should also be considered when talking about social networks, as they offer a quick way to aestheticize reality within a global enterprise platform. In the modern information situation, everything becomes capital with certain aesthetics, so any interaction with information is similar to the acquisition or creation of an aesthetic product.

Humanism, anti-humanism


The definition of humanism is the assertion of a person as a moral compass that establishes a harmonious society. Humanism is an ethical alternative to spiritual beliefs while retaining a powerful ethical core. Reason and humanity should guide the humanist, while man is the highest value for this philosophy. The reverse theory of anti-humanism refutes this anthropocentrism, arguing that humanity overestimated itself and began to forget about its connection with nature and the planet. Traditional ethics cannot be accepted by an anti-humanist because it is based on human and not the world’s good.


Lacan, who based his concept of post-Freudian psychoanalysis on the interpretation of language models, gave rise to the ideas of anti-humanism. Having found out that a person is actually a hostage of the surrounding language system, it becomes clear that people do not control other aspects of reality around them. The articles by Slavoj Zizek, a well-known Slovak philosopher, affirm the transition of a person to a new post-state, in which the disintegration of their wholeness as a philosophical unit is realized. Questioning the idea of ​​irrelevant truth also destroys the logic of human-centeredness and the real meaning and value of human choice. Philosophers of the second half of the 20th century represent a person in a much less powerful state than the anthropocentric philosophers of previous generations. A person in an inhumane concept can be thought of as a connection of neural connections that build perception. However, in such a philosophical context, the very existence of a person turns out to be nothing more than an illusion. Zizek argues that if we consciously interact with subjects in virtual reality as if they were alive, then this virtual quality can be applied relatively to us, depriving our humanity of real subjectivity.


Thus, the philosophy of anti-humanism crosses out the idea of a person as a meaningful individual unit, making it a driven object controlled by external abstract systems. Man’s control over reality is a profound delusion because people literally do not realize to what extent they are not free. The modern discursive field of the Internet only proves how much people are obliged to use conventional methods to express their experiences and perception of others.

Human Agency

The theory of human agency, however, argues that even though there is no single truth and real task for each person, there is a way to give life meaning. The difference between man and the external forces of nature lies in the ability to perform an act of an ethical nature. Nature strives for self-defense at the level of automation, but a person turns out to be capable of an ethical act, helping the surrounding living beings, whether they are people or not people. It is impossible to record an act of such a nature as a systemic reaction in which there is no choice, which proves the role of will and ethics in human life, even if there is no real meaning in it.

Do humans even exist?

However, the very concept of a limitless system in which a person is closed can indeed cast doubt on their real ontological existence. Foucault argues that a person at the moment is a kind of footprint in the sand, which will be washed away by the sea. This image emphasizes man’s awareness of their historical finiteness in the grand perspective of the Anthropocene era. Inside the systems of modern reality, a person is blurred under the influence of abstract mechanisms and computer programs.

Systems theory – Niklas Luhmann

Luhmann’s theory of world society as a system with additional institutional subsystems seems appropriate for talking about justification in contemporary culture. Social network systems are agents of the world society as they overcome the borders of specific states due to digital dominance. The Meta platform is thus a social system on a global scale that theorizes and manifests itself and society.


The very principle of operation of corporate platforms perceived as necessary for communication has much in common with the anti-utopian ideas of posthumanism.

The role of humans (as systems)

Post-human concepts and modern types of museumification indeed have much in common. One of the main principles of posthumanism is the realization of the paradox in which a person becomes a crushing force capable of destroying nature, on the other hand, is vitally dependent on it. The man himself, however, turns out to be just as not free of his desires since he turns out to be a lower form of life compared to the global computer system.

Humans = to all beings objects

Modern Western culture is somewhat concerned about the environment and non-human animals, as it is aware of human’s less significant place in the world compared to established corporations. Posthumanism perceives a person within the framework of a broader than the usual humanistic anthropocentric model, often so strongly associated with morality and ethics.

The Sublime

Initially, the concept of the Sublime was proposed by the classical philosophers Kant and Burke, for whom this idea contained the incomprehensibility of the human mind of the forces surrounding it. In a more modern interpretation, it seems that this category expresses rather the shock of a person from the irrationality of the nature of things and is thus closely related to posthumanism and absurdism.

The Hysterical sublime

Aesthetic category

Hysterical Sublime is a new concept designed specifically to capture the current cultural situation. This type of perception implies a culture shock experienced by a person from modern technologies. It is not the futurism itself that is striking, for the shock is caused by the intensity of awareness of the hedonistic nature of technological aspirations. This experience is also aesthetic in nature since it is a shock in front of the design created by mankind for the modern world.

Impact of humans on the world. The real impact of the collapse (Natural disasters – the rise of Artificial Intelligence) is the Capital system as a whole

Through the miracle of capitalism, mankind has become capable of changing the world. However, in addition to excessive comfort, it creates a huge number of global threats to its continued existence. Hysterical Sublime means that a person notices the level of excess in which he finds himself with the development of progress. Technological digitalization of processes and their automation, along with the impending climate catastrophe, give a person an experience of their insignificance compared to the orders generated by mankind.

Image and the self


The image of a person and self-representation turn out to be associated with labeling oneself in order to create an impression about oneself. Often a person plays several social roles in order to take the most comfortable or advantageous position in society. Self-representation of a person in social networks allows trying on various image masks, but the problem remains the blurring of the unity of the individual, the ambiguity of which of the personalities is real.

Upgrade as a technological object

Merging man with a machine in modern reality allows one to consider them as a kind of improved technocratic beings of a post-human nature. Technological device objects can be perceived as having their own identity. Entering into contact with it, human identity is transformed, representing a kind of hybrid between its personality and the way it is manifested by a technological tool. In this way, people merge with their devices, which become extensions of their bodies.

The body and the image of the subject morphed into a machine

In today’s reality, we are not so much the creators of the world around us but rather the product of the system in which we were born. Despite the unlimited choice, a person finds himself in a constant situation of predestination. If we think of a person as a product of the system, it turns out that the individual is completely dependent on the surrounding society and the technical achievements of the world. This is why the concept of a supermind seems so intimidating to some philosophers. Dependent on machines, a person merges with them in order to be realized, thus ceasing to be a high form of life and becoming less significant.

Image and desire

The image in the process of justification turns out to be closely connected with desire. It means unfulfilled and hidden ambitions, the sublimated realization of which the audience finds by observing the public behavior of micro-celebrities, such as Internet freaks. However, desire should also be broadly understood in relation to the justificatory themselves, the authors of the content. The image and its recreation are for them, the embodiment of desire, an attempt to get closer to the desired state of themselves, their personality. By modifying their appearance on camera, people on the Internet tend to modify themselves.

Image and fantasy

Due to the illusion, the narrative possessed truly magical properties, forcing the imagination to activate, creating another fantastic reality. Contemporary celebrity culture on social media works a bit like fantasy storytelling. The image of a person from high society, such as a bohemian model, turns out to be an alternative fantasy reality for subscribers-observers. The image is thus able to give a transfer to another space, to allow a person to live another better life.

Fantasy and freedom

Fantasy thus becomes a way of escapism, moving into a better reality from one that suits less. Fantasy is an alternative to freedom in case of awareness of one’s own lack of freedom. A person who justifies himself creates a narrative that suits them, which in its own way is fantasy. Finally, fantasy itself is a guarantee of freedom since it offers an alternative train of thought of a creative kind.

Image and freedom

With the help of an image, one can construct a new reality that can internally free a person, giving them that fantasy that they were even afraid to dream about. The image is associated with the human agency since believing in fantasy; there is a small opportunity to realize it. In this way, people can free themselves from conventions by embodying an ideal and desired, liberated picture of themselves in the image.

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