I’ve come to think of software applications as a form of digital architecture: some are places of concentration, others of collaboration, others clearly just for fun. Software’s emotional dimension is crucial: how it feels dictates how it’s used. (Architects hire environmental psychologists; tech companies hire user-experience researchers.) Microsoft Word is the quiet room at the university library; personal Gmail is a dirty kitchen, yesterday’s plates stacked next to the sink; Twitter is an overcrowded bar. Throughout the day, I’ll move from room to room, alternating between solitude and socializing, work and play.
If we are constantly performing the self to the ubiquitous and persistent audiences that social media platforms provide, then interiority is no longer central to selfhood and no longer assumed in the same way. Instead, our performances establish ourselves for others, and how those performances are received conveys a sense of selfhood back to us.
A website can be anything. It doesn’t (and probably shouldn’t) be an archive of your complete works. That’s going to be dead the moment you publish. A website, or anything interactive, is inherently unfinished. It’s imperfect—maybe sometimes it even has a few bugs. But that’s the beauty of it. Websites are living, temporal spaces.
"The explosion of the personality into multiple internet selves has opened up many people, including myself, to a lot of heartache. Self-dissipation becomes self-dissatisfaction. I spent years scattering myself into personality fragments on many different websites until I couldn't locate my whole self anywhere. These personality fragments became deeply embedded into distant servers. I felt that my persona had expanded out beyond my reach or control. The internet can contain that expanded personality, but that personality belongs to the internet and is not a part of your own body. You cannot possibly be ready to back up who you are on the internet with your own body because that internet self is not your body - its the internet's body. It takes work to accept that your personality is actually your own body. It takes language, all your senses, the repeated use of conceptual tools, teachers, rituals, failures, and some serious discipline to grow the self that is limited to your body. With any growth comes the possibility of dysfunction through dissipation. Our challenge today is to gather up those internet fragments and align them into a whole individual."
~ Kev Bewersdorf (http://extinct.ly/participants/#kev-bewersdorf)
-narrowly conveyed self, thoughts, ideas, concepts. warped and compacted into easily-digestible form. over-simplification, loss of nuance. dimensionality inherently flattened.
-informs our sense of identity as something to be consumable.
-even when ppl refute the surface-level/mainstream use of instagram with radical “authenticity” “honesty” “transparency”/ an instagram ~anti- aesthetic~, it will always be a façade. distillation and curation.
-a simplified channel in which to pour our energy, attention, time, creativity, and sense of self. what would it look like to let that channel dry up and reroute into other mediums? what previously unimaginable things could emerge, evolve?
-giving others immediate access to (a version of) ourselves. what is the cost of being so easily digitally perceived, accessible, explored, influenced?
-actions become social-media oriented; curated to be ~shown~, palatable. rather than existing and growing organically, in reality.
-AKA deriving more pleasure from SHOWING OURSELVES DOING than ACTUALLY DOING. digital exhibitionism.
-our dislikes are amplified (/unfairly created). easier to project upon others when we experience a distant, distorted, contrived version of them. we see what we want to see.
-remain tethered to people from our past. it’s alluring to keep open the possibility of deeper connection. but sometimes connection remains merely because of etiquette to mutually “follow”; insulting and invalidating if rejected in that assumption.
-affirmation to ourselves that we exist, via being seen and interacted with by others. who am i if i am not constantly proclaiming that i exist? (ego-driven). methodically thrusting ourselves into the minds of others whenever we want. indulging in the validations, comforts, thrills, implications of that proclamation. while simultaneously feeling indefinitely anxious/anticipatory of certain peoples' acceptance or validation (quality), or "enough" of it (quantity). paradoxically fills and drains us.
-may foster connectivity but simultaneously breeds comparison, jealousy
-the most beautiful things that have happened in my life have not remotely occurred on or via social media. why play into creating and winning these crumbs of dopamine and validation? it’s such a weak, artificial thread of “happiness”/satisfaction. it isn’t real.
-allows access into people's lives (???)
if open tabs are cognitive spaces, the save tab is a jump, a glitch in thinking. it is shelving things "for later," it is a promise.
instagram's saved tab is like walking through those lines at the airport where the belt barriers take up extra space. it is tedious and its use of the horizontal scroll frustrating.
but why must it be a source of annoyance? taking the time to scroll through is the one moment you can be mindful of where you're saving it to—but also this is incredibly manipulative. how do we relate to these big corps
“Each time we say “IRL,” “face-to-face,” or “in person” to mean connection without screens, we frame what is “real” or who is a person in terms of their geographic proximity rather than other aspects of closeness — variables like attention, empathy, affect, erotics, all of which can be experienced at a distance. We should not conceptually preclude or discount all the ways intimacy, passion, love, joy, pleasure, closeness, pain, suffering, evil and all the visceral actualities of existence pass through the screen. “Face to face” should mean more than breathing the same air”