Before Hollywood

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.


2 thoughts on “Before Hollywood

  1. I refuse to believe that all the people that you like nowadays live far away – one of the greatest benefits of social networking sites is opening up your likes and dislikes for your pool of real life friends to opt in or out.

    Many people (probably most of the livejournal/IRC/blog rejects) were a bit wary at the beginning about Facebook as it meant telling your school mates who didn’t really “get” you in the first place how much you loved 1950’s Russian Polka songs, but we’re all slowly coming out of our closets and BE DAMNED what others think (they never comment or like your posts anyway!)

  2. Yeah, it’s as much about personally growing up as it is about the internet “maturing”. I’m sure kids who want to talk about Tracy Beaker away from their school peer groups still can. I think the point remains that, I am generalising mind, what was once a slightly niche activity is now a monetised part of the mainstream.

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