This is where the distinction between digital dualism and augmented reality become essential. The digital dualist perspective says no: there is something in the technology that enables/causes antisocial behavior and we must overcome this false consciousness by actively refusing to use our devices. The augmented reality perspective demands that we look at root causes. That might lead us to the same... ends: no texting at the dinner table, leave your smartphone at home at least once a week, but it also lets us consider other problems. Maybe your kids are on Facebook because you live in a suburb where you can’t meet another human without driving a car. It also forces us to think of the big picture- I will gladly live in a world where Cape Cod tourists are distracted by Facebook updates if it means disadvantaged groups have tools to reach out and organize across geographic boundaries. Let the rich be alone together, the rest of us will find something to talk about.
Women’s closets are often mocked as a form of self-indulgence, shop-a-holicism, or narcissism. But this isn’t fair. Instead, if a woman is class-privileged enough, they reflect an (often unarticulated) understanding of just how complicated the rules are.
If Wes Anderson was Instagram before Instagram, Miranda July Pinterest before Pinterest, Vine feels like a Darren Aronofsky montage: Dog sushi computer baby bowling guy beer concert train cooking kid cat shot-glass sports videogame eating fireplace cab-ride thinking about what comes next feels a bit addicting.
The swastika is still used in Japan as a Buddhist symbol. It's a little alarming when you see a map covered with swastikas to mark the temples ("Nazis! Nazis everywhere!") but you get used to it.
This is opposed to the notion that the Internet is like the Matrix, where there is a “real” (Zion) that you leave when you enter the virtual space (the Matrix) -an outdated perspective as Facebook is increasingly real and our physical world increasingly digital.
This may be an example of a larger trend towards a capitalism that doesn’t exist in spite of, doesn’t merely appropriate, but exists and even thrives precisely because of its anti-capitalist base. This isn’t exactly like how, say, punk so quickly got sold back to us by capitalists, or how capitalists have slapped Che’s face on t-shirts sold at Urban Outfitters, but instead a type of capitalism... that is predicated, knowingly or unknowingly, on the idea of anti-capitalism. It’s not a capitalist logic that can co-opt anti-capitalism, but capitalism where anti-capitalism is an inherent part of its logic. Said differently, Silicon Valley’s habit of acting outside or above capitalism as an essential part of their business model is the essence of anti-capitalism-capitalism.
Outside of Twitter’s interface, it would be ridiculous to walk up to someone who just lost a spouse, shake hands, and utter the words, “hashtag sympathy.” This is precisely what took place within Twitter. Who was the intended audience for #prayers4boston? What of the craven wrongness of attaching the concepts of upvoting and trending to human loss?
If it encourages parents to reward boys’ caretaking instincts, or girls’ sense of adventure, the next generation might be a little better off. And I think it could encourage us all to think of new ways to imagine children’s worlds, to challenge the simplistic binary that has governed us for so many generations, perhaps, even, to make gender nonconformity fun. That’s my Christmas wish.
When we applaud not having records of our own embarrassing past, a document of how we’ve changed over time as individuals, we are equally celebrating the cultural norm that expects perfection, normalization, and unchanging behavior. What if more people wore past identities more proudly? We could erode the norm of identity consistency, a norm no one lives up to anyways, and embrace change and... growth for its own sake. Perhaps the popularity of social media will force more people to confront the reality that identity isn’t and can’t be flawlessly consistent.
Why then, in “the information age,” did we know so little about our presidential candidates? The typical answer is made of equal parts Aldous Huxley and Evgeny Morozov: the Internet lets us say more, but what we actually end up saying is more distracting than informative. We are so over-stimulated that the important stuff either gets lost in the cat videos, or never made at all. Political parties might not make cat videos, but they will manufacture distracting stories to filibuster a news cycle.
Traditional negotiations have relied, in part, on the fact that the perpetor is dependent on police to be in touch with the outside world. This gives police leverage in the form of something to offer/deny the perpetor. Mobile access to social media short circuits this relationship, leaving the police with far less control over the situation.
If you outsource your awareness to technology, do you risk losing your intuition?
I once overheard a young inebriated woman on the subway around 2am state that “the real world is where you take pictures for Facebook.” She was, I thought, the smartest person on that train.
social media increasingly force us to view our present as always a potential documented past.
I am proposing an alternative view that states that our reality is both technological and organic, both digital and physical, all at once. We are not crossing in and out of separate digital and physical realities, ala The Matrix, but instead live in one reality, one that is augmented by atoms and bits. And our selves are not separated across these two spheres as some dualistic “first” and “second”... self, but is instead an augmented self. A Haraway-like cyborg self comprised of a physical body as well as our digital Profile, acting in constant dialogue. Our Facebook profiles reflect who we know and what we do offline, and our offline lives are impacted by what happens on Facebook (e.g., how we might change our behaviors in order to create a more ideal documentation).
Remarkably, Apple amassed $156 billion in revenue in 2012 without being the industry leader in any of its product sectors (in terms of unit sales), due to the very high profit margins on iPhones and iPads.
beneath its dork-positive surface, the Introversion Meme has roots in digital dualism. Wait, what? Introverts tend to like the Internet, and tend to be comfortable with technologically mediated interaction, so you’d think introverts (of all people!) would be less likely to denigrate or discount digital interaction. Yet the rise of the Introversion Meme isn’t actually about introversion or introverts; it’s about turning away from what is meaningless and shallow, and toward what is ‘deep, meaningful, and true.’ Sound familiar?
Present-day expectations for normative social behavior map much more closely onto extravert preferences than they do onto introvert preferences (at least in the U.S.), but the burdens of these expectations are not equally distributed. If a man of sufficient privilege is reserved, serious, does not engage in small talk, and does not mingle readily with others at parties, he stands a good chance of... being read as very important, very interesting, or very smart. A man with less privilege who doesn’t smile and engage in pleasantries, however, runs the risk of being read as menacing, hostile, or aggressive (especially if he isn’t white). Similarly, a woman who is more reserved will likely be read as cold, uptight, haughty, standoffish, self-important, or—my favorite—“bitchy,” and women in particular are expected put others at ease by filling would-be silences with small talk (because while silence is considered awkward, ‘big talk’ from a woman would be threatening). In short, the interactional styles and behaviors captured by the pop definition of “introversion” have generally been more acceptable for privileged men than for Others. By repackaging these non-normative styles and behaviors in a concept that is at least purportedly gender-, race-, and class-neutral, it seemed to me that the Introversion Meme just might put a dent in making it more acceptable for Others to forgo the social- and emotional labor of performing friendly deference in order to make members of dominant groups feel more comfortable.
Who might be eager to discuss their self-tracking experiences with other self-trackers, yet not feel welcome within the social milieu of Quantified Self? My goal was to lead the group toward a discussion of how some people might not feel comfortable in the Quantified Self community not because of any overt discrimination on the part of Quantified Self, but because their race, gender, social class,... level of (formal) education, amount of income, comfort with new technologies, or general lifestyle marked them as different from the majority of other Quantified Self community members.
Add to this the fact that the ways in which fans engage in transformative work are often radical in nature; from the earliest days of what we now recognize as fandom, fans were inserting queer content into fannish extensions of canon, exploring issues of race, class, gender, and how we define humanity itself in ways that the canon couldn’t or wouldn’t do. Radical messaging has historically not... played well with corporatization, yet from second wave feminism to Occupy there is a long history of radical messaging being co-opted by corporations. Fans who perceive their work as political – and there are many fans who have and do – are unlikely to regard Amazon’s venture favorably.