The prevalence of social media amongst the youth is nothing new. As of last year, almost 80% of young British people have a YouTube, WhatsApp, Instagram, or Facebook account. As we enter the second year of a pandemic that has all but killed off in-person socialising, the influence of networking apps is more staggering than ever.
After the global train wreck that was 2020, the promise of being able to manifest anything and everything seems to be alluring today’s young people more than ever before. While thousands preach its benefits, the recent explosion of the ‘Law of Attraction’ online often ignores the growing problems the practice seems to endorse – ranging from simple time-wasting to exploitative sales schemes.
As we enter yet another phase of lockdown after what, for many young people, has been a particularly insular, small-town Christmas period, Elena Ferrante’s newest novel offers a reflection on adolescence, family and familiarity more poignant than ever.