28 May 2010

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

'He quotes Carmen Hermosillo, a West Coast geek and early adopter of online chatrooms who in 1994 argued that, although the internet is a wonderful thing, your emotions become commodified. "It is fashionable to suggest that cyberspace is some island of the blessed where people are free to indulge and express their individuality," she wrote. "This is not true. I have seen many people spill out their emotions – their guts – online and I did so myself until I began to see that I had commodified myself." Says Curtis, "On Facebook and Twitter, you are performing to attract people – you are dancing emotionally, on a platform created by a large corporation. People's feelings bounce back and forth – happy Stakhanovites, ignoring and denying the system of power. It's like Stalin's socialist realism. Both Twitter and socialist realism are innocent expressions of the ideology of the time, which don't pull back and show the wider thing they are part of. We look back on socialist realism not as innocent but as a dramatic expression of power; it expresses the superiority of the state, which was the guiding belief at the time. I think sometime in the future people will look back at the millions and millions of descriptions of personal feelings on the internet and see them in similar ways. This is the driving belief of our time: that 'me' and what I feel minute by minute is the natural centre of the world. Far from revealing that this is an ideology – and that there are other ways of looking at human society – what Twitter and Facebook do is reinforce the feeling that this is the natural way to be." '

I use Facebook every single day. Because of its disgust and distaste for borders and stratum, I’ve gotten back in touch with some very important folks in my past, and used Facebook to get information about a variety of people and figures that are relevant to my work in history and research. I can do this because Facebook lets you rip through millions of profiles to spearfish just the knowledge you need, out of a blazing torrent of intrusion and exposure, and grab the tailcoat of a person’s life and yank hard, real hard. I use Facebook, in other words, like a search tool on human beings. For that, it is really great.