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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Sizzle of Social

When I watched soaps as a teenager my dad accused me of liking them for their "titillation" factor (a phrase in and of itself that sounds dirty). He was right. I was too young to have a life of drama of my own so I watched the continuous struggles of those in and out of heartbreak.

Social media has taken the place of this nonstop source of drama - for some, at least - a titillating resource. Yes, social media has an educational value of learning from industry experts and the dissemination of information that is fascinating but I can also Google what your celebrity crush is drinking at this very moment. Social media (in collusion with reality shows) has fostered a culture of voyeurs - seeing how other people live, think, sleep, get the idea. I know what life on the Bering Sea is like and I have a very negative view of society in New Jersey. Because it's available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We can "watch." We can watch to the point that it interferes with the events of our own lives. When we don't see the immediate gratification of activity in our streams we feel "disconnected" and lost. We long for the continual high we get from nonstop stimulation. 

We don't allow ourselves to be "bored" anymore; to have a moment when a feed of activity is not ticker-taping through our minds. There's something very disconcerting in that lifestyle. What do you think?