Who knew that status updates were such an ancient concept? Although I doubt that Huck Finn, Simba, or even the kids from the Breakfast Club were writing their passage, as it were, to such a hyper degree.
Although rites of passage are traditionally held in a public arena, within a community or a family, my generation has exposed the world to every emotion, activity, landmark, and collaborator associated with a status update on a minute-by-minute basis.
What is our obsession with microblogging?
The psychology of a status update, much like a rite of passage, adheres to the following three steps.
- An individual sets herself apart from the rest due to an exclusive set of circumstances, for example, a new dress, a delicious lunch, or a new t.v. episode.
- The circumstance is ritualized and recorded by means of a selfie, a tweet, or a post for the online world to judge.
- And, finally, depending on the outcome of judgment (#like or #dislike), the individual is either reincorporated into the virtual, social net with acceptance, or deemed an outsider, and essentially left separated from the rest in cyber-limbo.
It seems a bit barbaric, really, when a thumbs down, #dislike, is virtual condemnation of the blogger by a faceless, cybernautic mass.
Aren’t we more advanced than this?
Quick, think of excuses!
I’ll express myself however I want: it’s my right. Besides, I’m responsible: I’m prepared for the world. It’s nothing personal: I only post my alter-ego.
Oh, that feeling of ecstasy (not to mention elation) when 1, 4, 15 new notifications justify my virtual, social existence! I’m not worried that only 2 of the 15 speak to me in person. They #like me! My faithful followers.
I should post that new bikini pic of myself.
Such is our culture of blogging… and our addiction to it.