Safe in the Algorithmic Bubble
The world is bound with secret knots.
Have you seen the Pinegrove shuffle? You either already know what I mean or you don’t, and it doesn’t really matter either way other than as an example of the lazy columnist’s favorite cliché: “We All Live In An Echo Chamber These Days.” And sure, our algorithmic bubbles of tailored context can leave us feeling alienated and alone, but they can also make us feel cozy and swaddled—perhaps even understood?
The other day I made a TikTok about this feeling inspired by how none of my IRL friends were getting a particular Pinegrove-soundtracked dance trend on their feeds, and I used the phrase “solipsistic gratitude”—a joking reference to indie rock band Pinegrove’s use of the word in one of their most popular songs. Of course I got people on my ass in the comments sections about how I was using the word “solipsistic” wrong (please learn from my mistakes, and don’t make TikToks), and it may be unusual to use the word in a positive light, but I meant “solipsistic gratitude” in the sense of feeling selfishly lucky to encounter some meme or bit of content which feels perfectly meant just for you.