Echo and The Narcissists
In my iGoogle Twitter window there's a lady in Perth live-blogging a stalker at her home while the police arrive. That's mildly interesting and slightly disturbing. Someone tweeted "Good morning, Tweet Peeps!" which made me click the "Unfollow" button. The usual runners and workout grunts are explaining how good they feel having completed a "great run." (I keep them around because they remind me I should do that too.) Others are linking everyone to what song they're listening to and hoping we'll join them in a global singalong. We are the World. Hands Across America.
I get a notice that someone is following me. I see he is also following another 10,000 and has 400 followers. I will not be one of them. He's a specialist in Customer Relationship Management and tweets nothing but. Someone else is following me. She has 25,324 followers and is following about the same number. I don't understand that and don't want to be a part of it. If you're following that many, you can't possibly be paying much attention to many of them. Just to be sure I'm not missing anything worthwhile, I check on what she might be tweeting. I look in at her feed to see nothing but a bunch of retweets, the Twitter way of saying, "I saw this somewhere and wanted you to know that I thought it was worth sharing with all of you."
I said something about real estate in a tweet and five real estate agents instantly started following me. I said something about hating when marathoners talk incessantly about their training and a bunch of marathon-types and runner's magazines started following me. Someone who tweets nothing but positive New Age tripe cloaked as "Inspiration" is about to get deleted from my "Following" list. I guess he thinks he's the world's "Life Coach." Not mine, buddy. Bye.
I say we all just get mini-camera implants in our eyes, and then we can all have our whole lives broadcast on a unique channel. The most interesting lives will have lots of viewers and people will do crazy-dumb stuff to get more viewers, which will mean they can start wooing sponsors to their lives. A guy's eyes will glance down in the morning to pick up a tube of toothpaste. In order to get compensated for the product placement shot, he will need to linger on the tube for about five seconds. The whores can charge a viewer fee so you can watch them do their thing. The self-professed gurus and knowledge-slingers can wax on and on as they drive their kids to soccer practice. ("Daddy, I got an A on my math test!" "Son, I'm talking to my followers right now.") You can keep your Facebook twisted-face pose on all the time, or that goofy trademark tongue-sticking-out thing you do. Think of the world as your bathroom mirror, admiring you as much as you do. Let's all be Balloon Boy's dad, or the desperate dolts who send staged clips to America's Funniest Home Videos.
Everyone's life on constant display. Everything you see, touch, experience, eat, drink and do, you can show the world. We see what you see. We see what you do. We're in your head, sharing your wisdom, your fears, your life. We're at your meals, your job, on your dates, in your dreams.
Sounds like a creepy, far-off Dystopian nightmare. But we're halfway there.