Never before has media and the internet played such strong roles in defining one’s identity. We tweet, we blog, we e-mail, we google (ourselves) and constantly change our Facebook profile photos. Newscasts have become interactive, and any John or Jane Doe can get their 15 minutes fame by signing on to reality shows.
Politicians tweet their campaigns and have Facebook profiles. Business- and career oriented people go to LinkedIn. Going to college? The curriculum , the schedule and even the faculty is only a mouse click away. Professors launch podcasts for their students to download. Bands and musicians have fan pages with videos and mp3 files. Celebrities and wannabes create “LIKE” pages on Facebook. And who doesn’t have a blog? If you have a question, a problem or a topic.. google it! Up comes video tutorials, instructions and definitions for almost ANYTHING.
Following the Baby Boomers there was Generation X, then along came Generation dot com. And what do we have now? Generation Me.
We are probably living in the most narcissistic decade of all times. With Twitter and Blogger, anyone can be a journalist. News spread fast, but what or who can we trust? If you want to know what your friend has been up to, nevermind a phone call. Facebook tells you who broke up with who, who’s pregnant, sick, and who’s eating what for dinner with whom and where. It’s getting to be information overflow at times. Seriously, do you really need to know who’s suffering from constipation? Do you need to see your friend flashing her boobs at some frat party? Do you really need to pinpoint every location you’re at via iPhone? Thankfully we have to option to block, unfriend or hide what we don’t need cluttering our feeds on Facebook. And yes, there’s an app for that.
But I am wondering… what is behind this constant need for attention? Because, that’s after all what this is, right? Or is it the need to share? Educate? Engage in conversations? Are we online narcissists or spies?