Love in a time of social media | Sunday Observer

Love in a time of social media

L’amour est comme l’oiseau de Twitter

On est bleu de lui, seulement pour 48h

D’abord on s’affilie, ensuite on se follow

On en devientfêlé, et on

finitsoloPrendsgarde à toi

Et à tousceux qui vous like

Lessourires en plastiquesontsouventdes coups d’hashtag

Prendsgarde à toi

Ahlesamis, lespotesoules followers

Vousfaiteserreurs, vousavezjuste la côte


Love is like the Twitter bird

You’re blue for him, only for 48 hours

First we meet, then we follow each other

We fall apart, and we end up solo

(You’d best beware!)

And to all those who like your posts

Plastic smiles are often blows of the hashtag

(You’d best beware!)

Oh Twitter friends and followers

You’ve got it wrong, you’re just popular


A bird flies to a man’s window. It’s blue, small and nice. The man takes it to his room and posts a picture on twitter; the man and the bird.

Stromae is a Belgium singer with a lagguage of original and authentic art. Many of his songs talk about his own life experiences and some others denuounce the dehumanization of the society. In his songs, he mixes electronic music, smart pop with dance influences, smart and exciting lyrics and original performances. The music, words and performances he uses, make the listener feel uncomfortable and leave bitterness.

Not a marketing face, a singer who puts effort to come to the place where he is now. In his videos, the performances play with clumsiness, grance and contemporary dance.

Carmen, is one of his greatest successes. With the base of the well known Bizet’s opera Carmen’s Habanera, Stromae resumes the melody and some of the verses of the original piece by decontextualizing the narrative and quoting the character of Carmen only in the title.

In the original song Carmen speaks for the first time and, while singing a hymn to the beauty and unpredictability of love, at the same time she warns against the danger of those who may fall in love with her. She’s the rebel bird that the song is talking about.

Stromae instead transforms the rebel bird into the blue bird which is the symbol of Twitter (but symbolizes also the other social platforms), a networking service in which exchanges are particularly rapid. In his words, he synthesizes the fact that on social network everything, including love, is fated to end fast.

A denounce to the plasticization of feelings, emotions and identities. Packed people who are controlled by the string-puller network.

It is nothing new, it’s riding the wave of criticism to social media, but he’s doing that with an authentic artistic vein. Even through the video, he shows the increasingly loosing ability to love which the alieniation from smartphone can bring. In the video clip the cartoon of the singer is being oppressed by the intrusive presence of a blue bird that during the video becomes more and more big and aggressive, and way more lumbering in the relationships of the main character.

L’amour est enfant de la consommation

Il voudratoujourstoujourstoujours plus de choix

Voulezvoulez-vousdes sentiments tombésdu camion

L’offre et la demande pour unique et seuleloi

Prendsgarde à toi

“Mais j’enconnaisdéjàlesdangersmoi

J’aigardémon ticket et s’il le fautj’vais l’échangermoi

Prendsgarde à toi

Et s’il le fautj’irais m’vengermoi

Cetoiseau d’malheurj’lemets en cage



Love is the child of consumerism

Always, always, always, hungry for choice

Do you want feelings fallen off the back

of a truck?

Supply and demand is the one, single law

(You’d best beware!)

“But I already know the dangers

I’ve kept my receipt and if need be,

I’ll return it”

(You’d best beware!)

“And if need be, I would get my revenge

I would put this bird of misfortune in a cage

And make it sing for me”

Child of consumerism, the social world is destroying our gazes and points of view about the world. Social issues such as climate change, war and fights are now trends with no meaning, which feeds the need to be good citizens and gives the feeling of doing something tangible.

Social networks are aggressive birds rooted in our lives. They are sneaky and make us believe we have the control and the power to cage them whenever we want, while a black mirror is controlling us, our decisions and our gazes. They confuse you and blow your mind bringing you to an end with no meaning, to an end that kills you. They took the control of governament structures and economy.

A blue bird that symbolizes the Twitter platform but stand also for the other ones.

A video that makes us feel uncomfortable and a disturbing music that gives life to words that hit the listener, reminding that people aren’t so free as they think.

We are puppets of consumerism, that is actually consuming us, eating our humanity.

Today birds are not caged, but men are.

Un jour t’achètes, un jour tu aimes

Un jour tu jettes, mais un jour tu payes

Un jour tu verras, on s’aimera

Mais avant on crèveratous, commedes rats


 One day you buy, one day you love

One day you throw it away, one day you pay

One day you will see, we will love each other

But before that, we will all perish like rats.