Justin Jacoby Smith is an organizer, web geek, Buddhist, and poet.

baudrillard & facebook

At every turn, Facebook seems to have subverted the intimacy of social experiences by turning them into public performances. Not only has the intimacy of what was once private slowly eroded into the public, but more and more of Facebook users’ online activity is being drawn into the performative identity. What I find jarring about this formulation is the same thing that bothers me about the alarming trend of weddings in which the photographers and videographers have free reign, even during the ceremony, in order to get the best, most cinematic record of the event, at the expense of the event itself and everyone participating. It’s a conflation of the record of the event with the event itself, or even a privileging of the record over what gives the record its meaning and power.

Ultimately, it just means less intimacy. Less signal. Less of exactly what this kind of technology is supposed to enable.

Really (really) do go read the whole thing, because I think Joe Moon is absolutely thinking about this in the right way--everything is performative--but I think he's wrong about this being a step in the direction of less intimacy.

I'm not sure what the reasoning under my instinct is quite yet, but I'll put it here when I've worked it out.

PS--I think "Everything is Performative" is turning into my "Markets in Everything."