We the Paparazzi

In some venues, the freedom to tweet, tag, or snap is being denied.  Clubs are denying entry to anyone who takes pictures of other groups at the club and then posts them to Facebook.  A storytelling venue prohibits tweeting during the show.  An article in this Sunday’s NY Times talks about a new social media phenomenon, the idea that “some [people] are tired of living their lives on the Web,” and that others  are finding that “there’s something magical about a life less posted.”  In Party On, But No Tweets, Allen Salkin chronicles the disenchantment some folks are having with the chronicling of daily life, in particular, the minutae of daily life.  Not too mention the embarrassment of suddenly finding yourself tagged in unbecoming photo scapes of parties gone wild.

I was wondering when, if ever, the mind-numbing ubiquity of social media would catch up with us.  Are we really “products just to be harvested.”  Is that all social media has to offer:  a commodification of ourselves?  We are valued by the number of followers we have on Twitter, by the number of friends we have on Facebook, by the number of social media where our blogs are listed, by the number of pictures in which we are tagged.  We become the merchandise that we sell.  So what happens with that other product–our writing–that was the point of all this social media?  At least for someone like myself, who came to the game rather late, the writing suffers the most.

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