Social media is, indeed, the self-consciousness and self-esteem of man who has either not yet won through to himself, or has already lost himself again. But man is no abstract being squatting outside the world. Man is the world of man – state, society. This state and this society produce social media, which is an inverted consciousness of the world, because they are an inverted world.

Social media is the general theory of this world, its encyclopaedic compendium, its logic in popular form, its spiritual point d’honneur, its enthusiasm, its moral sanction, its solemn complement, and its universal basis of consolation and justification.

It is the fantastic realization of the human essence since the human essence has not acquired any true reality. The struggle against social media is, therefore, indirectly the struggle against that world whose spiritual aroma is social media.

The suffering displayed via social media is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. It is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. Social media is the opium of the people.

The abolition of social media as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of social media is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which social media is the halo.

Andrew M. Haines is the editor and founder of Ethika Politika, and co-founder and chief operating officer at Fiat Insight.