Maybe Playboy is Right.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

So I have been thinking recently, why does it seem wrong to "friend" people on Myspace that I do not know in real life but it does not feel wrong to "follow" people ion twitter that I do not know at all. What is the difference?
Then I read Peep Culture an article in the February issue of Playboy by Hal Niedzviecki. Basically, we are separating ourselves from one another and by doing so we get the feeling that it is ok to get virtually closer to one another. Even though you really want to know what is going on inside that weird house down the street you would never walk up to the window and look inside but you would "follow" the people who live in that house on Twitter. And though that would would get a glimpse through the curtains into that person's life. Hal is exploring the question, why does that seem ok? And what does that mean for society.
After I moved to New Orleans I used Myspace to stay in touch with my friends back home. It was great because I could check in on them whenever I wanted without bugging them with a phone call just to say I was homesick again, but I never added a person to my friends list that I did not know personally because I thought I did not want to look into their lives and I did not want a stranger looking into mine but now that I am on Twitter it feels different. I think the reason for this is two fold, one is that it happens so fast it is more interactive I'm updating and they are updating and we are virtually communicating even though I don't know some of these people we can have a more instant conversation rather than just picking through the life of someone I don't know they are "talking" to me and two the things they are saying to me are short they are fast snippets of what is happening in their lives right now not whole life stories such as can be found on a blog. When I read a blog I feel like I am invading someones life more than when reading tweets because they are so short.
Is it invading if people put the information out there for the taking? No, but it is still the way I feel. With each generation we feel less and less that way as a people it becomes more and more acceptable to "friend" and "follow" anyone without ever laying eyes on them, I think this is because we actually "know" fewer people these days. The Internet is slowly but surely cutting out the middle man in life. Now the computer is becoming the middle man we never actually see the people we talk to online so I talk to my computer and my computer talks to you it is as simple as that and one day when I am older I will think of you and realize I never actually knew you.




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