Insta-Gratification

Nov 10 2012 @ 9:44pm

Up-in-smoke

Ted Nyman imagines the invasiveness of social media while using the site sex.ly:

Check-in to sexual encounters. You'll now never forget a night. Describe positions, durations, sounds.

— If (and only if) your partner(s) agrees, you can rate and review them. If they don't, you still can review them as anonymous partners. …

— Earn sex-cred for number of check-ins, which can be used at sex stores and other selected merchants.

The site is imaginary, but his fears aren't:

We have begun to pollute and desecrate and cheapen all of our experiences. We are creating neat little life-boxes for everything, all tied up with a geo-tag, a photo, a check-in; our daily existence transformed into database entries in some NoSQL database on some spinning disk in some rack in suburban Virginia.

The end-game is this. Slowly, gradually, without realizing: we stop participating in our own lives. We become spectators, checking off life achievements for reasons we do not know. At some point, everything we do is done soley to broadcast these things to casual friends, stalkers, and sycophants.

On a related note, photojournalist Kenneth Jarecke thinks people will regret using Instagram:

Instead of having a body of work to look back on, you’ll have a sad little collection of noisy digital files that were disposable when you made them, instantly forgotten by your followers (after they gave you a thumbs up), and now totally worthless. You’ll wish you’d have made those images on a Pentax K1000 and Tri-X (at the very least or most depending on your age and perspective), but the times you failed to record properly will be long gone. But don’t listen to me, listen to all your Insta-friends. They love you.

(Photo by Mathieu Grac, from a collection of "Amusing and Poignant Photos of Social Media Self-Portraits in Progress.")