“POV” videos – social media escapism

If you have read the title, and the speed up version of “money, money, money” by ABBA started to play in your mind then you are in the right place. If not, let me just give you the context really quick. I believe that if you have spent a certain amount of time on TikTok following trends and “cringe” sides of social media, there is no way you have not encountered one of those videos where it gives you a “POV” and you swipe to make certain decisions to see your faith. There are a variety of different POVs. Sometimes you are the princess and you try to choose your dress and sometimes you are just a girl trying to find yourself a rich husband. You first see your assigned story of that day; you swipe and the game begins. Then according to the plot, you were given you start making simple decisions such as dressing up for the day. Sometimes there is a clear plot, exciting storylines and accurate reasons for the consequences of your decisions and there are even ones inspired by tv shows and movies. On the other hand, and in majority, you are faced with highly misogynistic consequences.

Even though, if I was faced with that type of a situation my reactions and decisions would end up being different, each time that music starts to play I find myself playing the games. Each time I look into those people’s accounts to see if there is a part two to that povs. Why? Why do I stop my day to see what my fate would be in a world that I do not and will not have? I connect this with social media escapism. It plays with the question of “what if?” What if I did have millions and I was trying to decide whether I wanted to shop in Prada or Dior? What if I was a character in mean girls, could I defeat Regina George? And why shouldn’t I prefer to find the answer to that out instead of washing my very real stack of dishes or do the insane number of assignments I have that would have very real consequences if not fulfilled?

This may be an exaggeration, as we obviously do not just stop our days to consume that type of content constantly, but at least some time is gone while doing that motion of swiping. Then comes the regret of spending that time there and losing focus of whatever you were doing. While the time loss is not that big part of this argument, I wonder if there can be a negative effect on playing these games? I believe that there might be. Seeing and having the taste of being able to own all those beautiful designer clothes and then turning back to reality is definitely not fun. There is a parallel between playing these games and seeing the posts of the Jenners-Kardashians that we have discussed several times. It evokes a certain envy that is one of the not-so-nicest parts of social media. Again, it makes you wonder how different your life would have been if you did have all the money?

Just like every argument there is a duality here as well. While some versions of those games might evoke those feelings on the other hand there are some that definitely make you feel more relaxed. There are some where there are no consequences, no shiny things. Ones where you go to a simple cabin for the weekend and you make simple decision like choosing which mug you want for your hot chocolate. Sometimes that kind of escapism is all you need after a long study session. At the end of the day, we are humans. We live for and in stories and these games are open windows for us to emerge in various stories and escape the reality of the days.

So, what do you think? Are there more negative or positive aspects to these games?