• shellypamensky

Pick Me : " I am not a robot "

Updated: May 20, 2019

These words came into my mind and had instant appeal because they sadly reflect undesirable realities of today, but desirable qualities of yesteryear. It made me think how I wanted to depict these words because of their content, I felt I needed a departure from my current work to something more bold and simplified. An old fashioned pop art speech bubble from the good old days of Roy Lichtenstein seemed an apt delivery of a somewhat sinister reality of today.

I think the notion of “pick me” used to be a effective marketing ploy in relation to inanimate articles such as clothing. Like walking into Selfridges and seeing those humorous signs dotted about “buy me I’ll change your life”. These ploys always seemed so basic to me but it struck me that they do feed into deeply planted impulsive human behaviours, which we are all too familiar with. We cave in, buy something but invariably the gratification is short term because the euphoria doesn’t last long before we move onto the next thing we covet.

But now the joke has moved sideways to people. YES, thanks to social media and online dating. It’s like we all need to make ourselves the shiniest, most eye catching candy in the store. Hence all the sparkle, colour and pop which belies something far more sinister. From way too young to older, so many of us are caught up in this frenzy. We are just like the shiny article of clothing, we may get picked but only to be swiftly discarded as the purveyor moves onto the next thrill.

For me my main problem is how do you pick when everything is so strange to you? There is no opportunity to walk into a shop where all that is on offer can be seen, touched, smelt, understood, studied. All that is eliminated and what you are left with is press or swipe to like. That is how we choose now, with a lack of most our senses.

I just long for the way things used to be. The days when I felt less like candy and more like a real person with feelings. Everyone presents themselves in their own carefully curated social media pod, but I think we are all wise enough to know that most of this representation is artificial. With couples kissing, families jumping for joy, influencers appearing to have the most idyllic lives, when in reality some of the most unhappy people post the happiest photos. The fact that you may have 500 likes for a post, thousands of followers or many hits on a dating app bears no significance in reality.

This desperate “pick me” social media phenomenon is one I am all too happy to move away from, the sad thing is that things are just moving progressively downhill as algorithms are now being tasked with the picking as our data is being increasingly trafficked, and sold across the planet as the most coveted commodity soon replacing oil. Where is all this headed? I guess to towards the commodification of humans.

But in real life, I still think that the“pick me” moment, when it happens, bears a magnitude of significance. When someone picks you in real life, you may wonder where the hell they were your whole life before that moment and you can know you’re not just disposable like candy or a data commodity. That is the pick me moment I covet of yesteryear….

What do the words "pick me" mean to you ?

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