I Share Therefore I Am

Every single tweet we send, no matter what its overt topic, is part of an ongoing story we are telling about ourselves. Part of the addictive nature of social networks is the compulsion to stay alive in the minds of our audience.

We’ve transformed ourselves psychologically from private citizens to public figures on the stage of the social network. Pervasive self-disclosure via social networks leads us to experience less the life we live and more the story we tell.

The net-privacy we seek is the power to manage the story we tell the world about ourselves. Of course, the story we try to tell may be different than the story that’s received.

A beautiful thought experiment.

3 thoughts on “I Share Therefore I Am

  1. Thanks. I agree with you that social sharing isn’t inherently bad, stupid, pathetic or shallow. The challenge is to be conscious when we’re posting (or feeling the urge to post) about the underlying thoughts and feeling fueling the desire. It’s been more than three years since I created that graphic and I still have only a limited idea of what drives me to post so relentlessly.

    I resonate with your connection between modern life and an MMORPG. I’d go even farther that humans have lived within culturally defined roles since the start.

    I agree that this kind of philosophical and artistic contemplation can seem fanciful when death, serious illness, etc. spring up. Not because the ideas were frivolous, but because we fall come crashing back down to the bottom of Maslow’s triangle where survival is all that matters.

    1. Yes, haha, I was totally thinking of Maslow. And the idea that though we start at the bottom, and perhaps are destined to end there as well, that our few moments fluttering near the top are not foolish, but perhaps they are the definition of what it means to be human, to be a Homo sapien, a thinking human.

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