Saturday, November 23, 2013

Social Death And/Or Dismemberment



Laura likes to make little comics, and this one made me laugh. This is another one of those social discomforts--there seem to be so many these days--that would of course be very difficult to explain to our ancestors. But it cracked me up that Laura recognized the potential for such a precise brand of angst in a particular intersection of technology and social life. But now I risk doing that thing where you explain the joke.

Just lately, a widely-read blogger, the Uppercase Woman, apparently accidentally followed a certain twitter account, and then unfollowed it. The account she followed/unfollowed is a so-called parody account that exists only to imitate and make fun of Uppercase Woman's tweets. So whoever runs that account got an email notification that the very object of her parody had followed her, however briefly, which showed that she is aware of the parody account and may even read it. That must have been very gratifying to the parodist, because she wasted no time in crowing about it to the community that has assembled for the purpose of dissecting and criticizing this blogger's posts.

This was all kind of gross to me. Yes, "gross," that's a advanced critical term. Look for my forthcoming book on media, affect, and the technological deformations of empathy in our modern age.

Further, in discussing some other situation on the interwebs, Elle remarked that, just as Michael Pollan in his Food Rules instructs us to avoid any "food" that your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize, we should eschew social kerfuffles that would be nonsense to that dear old soul. So anytime someone is attempting to score points and their demonstration involves the panoptical following/unfollowing/liking/poking of someone/something on a social media platform, let us gracefully sidestep if we can. Perhaps a good time to visit the punch bowl.

We were out late seeing the Hunger Games movie tonight, so I wanted to post briefly. I thought the movie was fine. I don't know what I would have made of it if I hadn't read the book. Anyone in that category?

Here's another one from Laura:
Basically.
Sorry to ramble, but I swear there is a method in it somewhere. Chime in if you feel moved.

night!

13 comments:

Erika W said...

I remember when I first got on Facebook and you had to teach me about not posting a comment for someone else on my own wall. And remember when we used to send each other those buttons. Good times. . . . We are seeing Hunger Games Monday. Haven't read the book and saw the first one on a plane and liked it, which is why we want to see this one. But maybe we should wait for the plane version. I will report back.

Amy said...

I love Laura's comics! The second one is the first piece or artwork I've ever commissioned. Amy de Medici! But yes, as silly as those social media faux pas are, it can feel real!

I saw that uppercase woman thing, and I confess to finding it funny. Not the parody thing, but the follow-frantically unfollow thing. but it's too laaaate! Can LJ do a comic of that scenario? It reminds me of the scene in Friends when one of them breaks into the guy's apartment to steal his answering machine tape. See? We don't need FB to make asses of ourselves! :)

Becky said...

The plane version! Yes that will be good. I had forgotten about those buttons! Bless it.

Amy, I think the follow/unfollow is hilarious. I am not above laughing like hell at that. I guess it's the whole context that's gross. Or I don't know.

Becky said...

And yes, that ep of Friends, that's the "breezy!" one. So important!

KrisT said...

Your daughter's expression, in the 4th panel of the Instagram comic, is about as genius a bit of comedy as I have ever seen. She really nails it, that sick emotion.

As for the (S)Uppercase debacle, I assumed that the follow was because the parody account is so spot-on perfect that the original tweet-er thought she was choosing to follow herself. I wouldn't defend some of the crowd discussions of this blogger on the forum in question or take part in them (true story: too lazy), but I take the academic view that those that do partake are merely working to enforce social and cultural norms both in and out of the blogosphere that this blogger habitually breaks. It is all Anthropology, all the time, online :)

Camp Papa said...

Three cheers for Laura!

Elle said...

Ack.

Marsha said...

I am living at the punch bowl anymore. Seeing these threads of action/reaction going on across social media platforms I realize how many people I know who are, by turns, making fun of each other. It's pretty sobering so I hope the punch is spiked.

My son saw the movie last night and suggested to me that, since I haven't read the books, it would be pointless for me to go. Said he, "If I directed, I would have made different choices. Good ones, for example."

Cassi Renee said...

I'm going to have to share those with my daughter --I like to encourage that self-reflection.

I haven't read the Hunger Games books --a few MS and HS teachers in my life have indicated that the social commentary is better suited for HS students, so I'll encourage Emma to read them with me when she's a couple years older. I have trouble with the whole kids-killing-kids concept, but I have heard from many people that they are excellent books.

Keely said...

Love those comics. There's a girl that doesn't take herself too seriously.

Common Household Mom said...

The comics are excellent. The facial expressions in that second one are especially genius.

Kate said...

ummm, can I ask to follow her on IG? She is a riot.

Becky said...

Kate, totally. You follow me, look for her name under one of my pics. Warning, she and her friends are some of the silliest girls in the kingdom.