Tuesday, February 16, 2010

In the World of Facebook

In the World of Facebook - The New York Review of Books


I thought this article was interesting because it touches on the concept of "digital homes," which I feel like we spent some time exploring today with Second Life and other forms of digital space. He makes comparisons between the "working class aesthetic" of MySpace and the more elitist Facebook, comparing Facebook profiles to "suburban front lawns." I especially liked the part where he was talking about how we use it and how it reflects this obsession with irony -- adding Celine Dion to your favorite music or being in open relationships with your friends or using fake pictures to promote this attitude of nonchalance. Here's a good part on social networking:

"What is "social networking"? For all the vagueness of the term, which now seems to encompass everything we do with other people online, it is usually associated with three basic activities: the creation of a personal Web page, or "profile," that will serve as a surrogate home for the self; a trip to a kind of virtual agora, where, along with amusedly studying passersby, you can take a stroll through the ghost town of acquaintanceships past, looking up every person who's crossed your path and whose name you can remember; and finally, a chance to remove the digital barrier and reveal yourself to the unsuspecting subjects of your gaze by, as we have learned to put it with the Internet's peculiar eagerness for deforming our language, "friending" them, i.e., requesting that you be connected online in some way."

1 comment:

  1. oh god i never thought that i was classist for trash talking myspace but now i feel like a jerk