On Being Socially Correct

Why people choose to visit online social sites:

  • Who likes me?
  • Is everything okay?
  • How can I become more popular?
  • What’s new?
  • I’m bored, let’s make some noise

None of these are new, but in the digital world, they’re still magnetic.

If you want to understand why Twitter is so hot, look at those five attributes. They deliver all five, instantly.




~ by eaesthete on 03/24/09.

8 Responses to “On Being Socially Correct”

  1. Do you tweet? I can’t even commit to Facebook. There’s just too much incredible information on other’s sites (like yours) that leave me reeling for another hour at the screen.

    • E (I always feel inclined to say ‘E squared’ with your double E’s)
      and Arti:

      I don’t tweet although I do have a very neglected facebook account. I haven’t brought myself to asking readers here to go there and vice versa so it’s apparent I’m not at all socially correct.

      If you look at Arti’s comment on this same post, I’m troubled by the end of solitude as well and frankly, not too terribly inclined to share my every waking moment with the world at large even if I do, on occasion, generate a brilliant insight every now and again. There’s a very interesting article on Intelligent Life entitled ‘The Age of Commodified Intelligence.’


      An excerpt:
      Facebook is devoted to cataloguing this cultural rebirth. Here people curate their personas and project them at the world. Characteristic of the younger generations, the mood strains for the eclectic while feigning nonchalance. The alchemist arranges lists in search of gold: Shostakovich, Dresden Dolls, Justin Timberlake, Miles. “Mrs Dalloway” is popular, perched between “Harry Potter” and, simply, “The Russians”. Status updates remind you that a friend has just returned from an “HD Mozart Opera” while another is “getting into Herzog films”. This is an achievement panopticon; the participants are its prisoners.

      It is tempting to confine these observations to a narrow class of posing dilettantes. But a belief that intelligence is gained through acquisition has reoriented all of society.

      Sorry to rhapsodize on your simple comment, but I have some definite opinions on the topic.

  2. This is exactly why Wm Deresiewicz wrote the article “The End of Solitude”, which has become a rare commodity, and one which is utterly incompatible with the young (or not so young?). NR’s death has affected me a great deal, so I haven’t churned out any more new posts since then. But you’re most welcome to read my March 9 post on the end of solitude among our Twitter generation.

  3. EAe, please, continue to rhapsodize. Your opinions are most welcome. The idea that intelligence is gained through acquisition is interesting to me. I would say, rather, that intelligence is native (and may be improved upon), knowledge is attained. through knowledge, we may seek to improve ourselves in that particular area which we find interesting. But I am “a bear of very little brain” with these things. Which is why I enjoy stretching it with comments like yours.

    I’ll leave with this highly unoriginal thought: without solitude there is very little reflection. Without reflection there is very little growth. It’s the “unexamined life,” isn’t it?

  4. It’s a paradox too. Plenty of people escape to the web to avoid the real social world, only to crave and chase after its electronic simulacrum.

    I join some of these sites. Generally I don’t friendjoinconnect to others (fb does has some permanent address and variable connectedness utility so it’s a bit different). I don’t hate twitter but I can’t spend much time there. But then I like to turn down talking heads on radio.

    I just like to watch.

    • Peacay,

      I completely agree about substituting one social network for another. I guess we’re all just looking for a place to belong, some of us more anonymously than others. I tend to like the back of the room myself.

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