It’s been nearly three years since I last wrote here. A lot has changed. Some things have changed. Nothing has changed. Pick a couple from each column. I could now put “Social Media Professional” as part of my job description on my Monster profile if I felt so inclined. I am not sure if this is a sign of maturity or desperation.
It makes me feel sort of sad. Not in a hysterical sobbing way just in a Tuesday afternoon melancholy kinda way. In a self-indulgent “this were all fields when I were a lad” kinda way. I remember when I used to use livejournal there was this avatar I saw, it read something like; “Livejournal: because all the people I like live faraway”. It sounds kinda funny, it sounds kinda pathetic, from this distance it sounds kinda utopian. As if, maybe, all the lonely kids in the world would find each other online and create some new text based society.
Back when I was writing this blog everything changed. Well it changed on the internet. It changed so much they made a film about it, well the film wasn’t really about the internet, but that’s not the point. The point, if there is one, is that the internet got bigger but by getting bigger, it felt to me, people went into retreat. Centralised around Facebook the kind of people you might have used livejournal to avoid were now your friends again. Of course, you didn’t have to be friends but it would be rude not to be, wouldn’t it? Probably ruder to friend them then despairingly analyse it online.
Anyway, you put a lot of people in one place – even if that place is online – and it’s never too long till someone tries to sell them something. The big social networks are obviously the perfect tool for “delivering” “bespoke” “content” to “users” [scare quotes via hipster runoff]. Maybe that’s a good thing. I once played an online football games because it was advertised on Facebook. I then ended up buying a Playstation3 because I liked playing said online football game so much. Is that sinister or is this useful? I’m not sure.
There was a sense once that the internet was a space which people could make their own. That people could film themselves, but now Hollywood is here and it sometimes hard not to feel we aren’t all just extras in the latest corporate blockbusters.