Posts Tagged ‘ ritual ’

I always knew the day would come

I always knew the day would come. I just didn’t know what the exact circumstances would be. More and more I could see how it might become a necessity for my career aspirations, particularly since those aspirations concern critical observations of networked culture. Yet the pull towards abstaining from this social network remained stronger than any desire to join.

Once I made the final decision to join (rather I should say final, final, final decision since I had progressed to this point a few times in the past), I began to anticipate ground rules for myself. I have a severe procrastination problem that I have been receiving treatment for over the past several years. This condition, combined with double-digit hours spent daily in front of the screen, can lead to behaviors that ultimately conflict with any personal sense of accomplishment.

I also found myself spending a great deal of time working on my profile before making it public. Was this merely a form of procrastination that stemmed from my inner resistance to physically hit the ‘join’ button? Was I wanting to be ‘cool’ with the specific interests I listed? Honestly speaking, if it were not for the Manifesto of this project, I would do as others have and not list any of my personal information…but, I have said I would reveal everything. Well, let’s be clear, I will only publish my virtual addresses and will not tell readers how they can physically locate me within the city of Vancouver (yes, I am aware that anyone can piece things together about my routine from my profile and that anything is possible using the internet so if you want to go to all that work, be my guest).

I actually felt anxious when I clicked the button. Maybe it was that ‘cold feet’ feeling people describe before they get married. I think I was also mentally preparing for all the ‘I told you sos’ that would come my way. To repeat, I never said never….it just had to be done under the right circumstances. Eventually it hit me...if I feel there is a lack of self-awareness about our personal interactions with social networks, then I must not only write or make artwork about it, I must reflect on the actual individual experience. I must clarify that  I am not merely referring to the act of using Facebook to document one’s reflections of everyday life, rather I am talking about a deeper understanding of how we are participating and contributing to those reflections within Facebook. Not only an acknowledgment of how we use the tools set up for us in this network and the content we post, but an ontological investigation into this act that has become a ritual of contemporary digital culture. Ontological, meaning how we know and experience ourselves and our being, within this expansive virtual network.
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