Are You Cut Out for Social Media?

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I’m a definite no. I mean, I get by, but I’m not really in sync.

1) Most things--not all--I view with a shrug of the shoulders. I see people get worked up over something, here or on Facebook, and I think “You’re really getting worked up over that?” And not getting sufficiently worked up over something can get someone else even more worked up.

2) I don’t use emoticons or internet acronyms. I think they’re stupid. So sometimes tone becomes a problem, leading to misunderstanding.

3) I’m generally happy--whether I should be, that’s another issue--and find a lot of stuff funny or silly. If you joke around too much, you end up looking glib and uncaring. I’ve had this Jeffrey Lee Pierce line from an interview lodged in my head for 35 years: “I just had a complete Bo Diddley attitude towards the whole thing,” something like that. I didn’t really know what he meant, but I liked the sound of it, and I’ve adopted it as a personal credo. I have a complete Bo Diddley attitude towards the whole thing--towards life--and that’s not meant for social media.

4) There was this poster who hasn’t been around for a while (I don’t think), a popular one--a______t--who had this kind of passive-aggressive superciliousness that drove me up the wall. If I’m honest, though, that voice does creep into my own posts, especially when talking about music, where I divide everything up into what I presently like and everything else, and some of the everything else is stuff I liked at one time that I now joke about. And I can see where that might drive someone else up the wall.

I could go on (I'm definitely overly defensive at times), but you get the idea. It’s funny--I remember writing this fanzine piece circa 1994 about why I wasn’t cut out to be a freelance writer. I need for something else to come along, some new world I can conquer.

Poll Results

OptionVotes
no 38
something between yes and no 24
yes 14


clemenza, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 00:14 (one week ago) link

AYCOFSM??

j., Tuesday, 19 May 2020 00:15 (one week ago) link

great band

I am a free. I am not man. A number. (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 19 May 2020 00:16 (one week ago) link

in all seriousness though, no I am not, and I should have realized this the first time I told someone on USEnet I wished he was dead when I was 15

I am a free. I am not man. A number. (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 19 May 2020 00:16 (one week ago) link

I'm a no too. ilx is as close as it gets for me

Dan S, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 00:17 (one week ago) link

What’s our working definition of ‘social media’?

pomenitul, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 00:18 (one week ago) link

I know I have laid myself open to nothing but acronyms and emoticons and links to Chris Cillizza think-pieces.

clemenza, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 00:18 (one week ago) link

lol

Dan S, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 00:18 (one week ago) link

For me it would be Facebook and ILX, but that would extend to the other popular platforms people use--Twitter, Instagram, etc.

clemenza, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 00:19 (one week ago) link

😎

j., Tuesday, 19 May 2020 00:19 (one week ago) link

j. is going to single-handedly kill this thread I worked very hard to conceptualize.

clemenza, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 00:22 (one week ago) link

Voting something in-between.

Spocks on the Run (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 19 May 2020 00:24 (one week ago) link

was amateurist really popular? i think not

j., Tuesday, 19 May 2020 00:30 (one week ago) link

i mean that was his charm

j., Tuesday, 19 May 2020 00:30 (one week ago) link

such as it was

j., Tuesday, 19 May 2020 00:30 (one week ago) link

I tried to cozy up to him a few times early on but he was having none of it.

Spocks on the Run (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 19 May 2020 00:32 (one week ago) link

Maybe popular is the wrong word. I always felt like he was taken to be very thoughtful, but I couldn't get past the tone. Anyway, I don't want this to be about him--my point was that I sometimes share the thing that drove me up the wall.

clemenza, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 00:33 (one week ago) link

I already know I will not join commercialized social media unless under compulsion of force majeure. No Facebook, no Twitter, no Instagram, no Snapchat, no Tumblr, no TikTok, no Next Big Thing Everyone Uses, even if it turns my snoot into unicorns. It's bad enough being shadowed by Amazon & other retailers, and having an Android phone.

Thank you for existing, ILX and ilxors. This is a scene I can happily join without selling myself bit by bit. (see what I did there?)

A is for (Aimless), Tuesday, 19 May 2020 00:36 (one week ago) link

I dont count ILX as "social media", nor most other forums, even Reddit. SM is more things like FB/Insta/Snapchat/Twitter.

So insofar as Ive always loved fora and blogging (Usenet, mailing lists, blogs/livejournal/ILX), I have always sat somewhere between bored despair and outright revulsion for the rest. I'm too old (SC/Insta), or I just Dont get it (Twitter).

Stoop Crone (Trayce), Tuesday, 19 May 2020 00:36 (one week ago) link

I log on to twitter the most because I can refrain from posting and can be anonymous and it really feels like something I can make my own very easily, also it feels like a social leveler

then instagram where I can look at my friends' posts.

I can't bear to go into my facebook account these days, I’ve been thinking about why that happened, there was nothing particularly egregious about it in my experience, I guess I’m just embarrassed to share my experiences with people I barely know

it’s much better on ilx with people I don’t at all know tbh

I love some of tiktok

Dan S, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 00:37 (one week ago) link

I can’t sh0t any of them successfully but I try now and then. I’ve been on a discord kick for a few weeks now, it’s ok I guess.

calstars, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 00:41 (one week ago) link

(xposts) Age is definitely part of it (I'm 58). I think back to arguments in fanzines...You had a month to temper your response. I remember one in particular, having to do, of all things, with Celine Dion (between two other people), and I thought, wow, that's a pretty nasty exchange. It would be a shadow of an echo of a blip today.

clemenza, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 00:41 (one week ago) link

i'm basically just wishing happy birthdays on facebook. If I posted a photo more often I'd be more in line with the majority of major social media platform users. OP describing power users/vocal minority i think

maffew12, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 00:47 (one week ago) link

i was pretty sure this thread was going to be about the 1975

maffew12, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 00:49 (one week ago) link

OK, I guess I'll be the pro-social media guy.

I'm reasonably active on Twitter; I use it to post links to shit I've written, or when I have a new episode of my podcast going up, and then I engage with the people I follow. (I have many more followers than people I follow - basically, I'm on there to have conversations with people I think are interesting, and anyone who follows me is the audience for those conversations, is how I think about it.) I post a lot of jokes, making fun of bands and politicians and stupid news stories and whatnot.

On Instagram, I mostly post pictures of whatever I'm reading or listening to.

On Facebook, I post some of the same shit I post on Twitter, and I comment on a few friends' posts, but that's about it. I'm also part of a FB group which has occasionally yielded professional opportunities.

For about the last decade, I have also been the social media person for my employer or for clients. I actually find "speaking" in a professional (or academic) "voice" on Twitter, FB, Instagram and even LinkedIn to be interesting, and it can be a creative challenge at times.

but also fuck you (unperson), Tuesday, 19 May 2020 00:51 (one week ago) link

social media was more or less fine before it was public facing. the combination of 1. real name/identity linked to account and 2. assumption that random people you've never met will (and should be) exposed to your content turned me away from it probably forever

twitter becoming a personal brand machine for people who don't need personal brands + a supposed networking tool for many has ruined a lot of the social world for me. i can't force my brain to adjust to it and if i had it my way i would live on an island where it doesn't exist. jobs requiring people to have a professional twitter presence is obviously very bad. i don't hesitate to say it's a general evil and i don't trust people who claim it's a social good.

facebook is sort of the same. i loved it when it felt like the posts i made were for my friends. then it blew up, suddenly you're adding everyone in your family and people you barely know and even though you aren't expected to open it up to complete strangers, it still becomes a performance where you must create a version of yourself for everyone you know. i stopped posting on it when that shift happened, it lost its intimacy.

℺ ☽ ⋠ ⏎ (✖), Tuesday, 19 May 2020 00:53 (one week ago) link

uperson you have a much more neutral approach to this than I've been able to manage

I took my birth date off my facebook profile, felt really uncomfortable with the happy birthday posts. it's ridiculous i know but I didn't want to be in the spotlight like that

I think that encapsulates my aversion to facebook

Dan S, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 00:54 (one week ago) link

i listed where I actually worked for a year and posted once innocently about a raise I got. somehow, it got back to my boss as someone squealed on me for posting that.

I then changed my profile to say my job was selling drugs

I am a free. I am not man. A number. (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 19 May 2020 01:05 (one week ago) link

haven't had it happen since

I am a free. I am not man. A number. (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 19 May 2020 01:05 (one week ago) link

I miss the days (2008) when Twitter was an amazing thing that beamed the thoughts of kristin hersh and kay hanley to my phone

like, I’m eating an elephant head (katherine), Tuesday, 19 May 2020 01:13 (one week ago) link

98% of my Facebook "friends" are actually professional connections - other writers, music industry people, musicians, etc. The other 2% are a couple of my relatives, with whom I never engage, and one or two people I went to high school with. Every once in a great while, my brother will comment on something I post. But otherwise, it might as well be a LinkedIn page, with dumb jokes.

but also fuck you (unperson), Tuesday, 19 May 2020 01:14 (one week ago) link

I took my birth date off my facebook profile, felt really uncomfortable with the happy birthday posts.

Did the same three or four years ago--uncomfortable, and also, the worst, cognizant of who posted and who didn't. (Probably got that from died-just-as-Facebook-was-invented grandmother; she used to always keep an exact count of how many Christmas cards she got each year.) I continue to post birthday wishes myself with most people I've actually met, with a secret system that indicates how I actually feel about you.

clemenza, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 01:15 (one week ago) link

"from my"

clemenza, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 01:15 (one week ago) link

the creepy thing about birthdate on FB is I've had friends die and their family members didn't know how to convert their profile into a Tribute page, so casual acquaintances who didn't know they died would write "happy birthday" posts on their wall. I don't mean the "remembering you today, my angel" type posts, but like they actually thought they were saying it to a living person.

I am a free. I am not man. A number. (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 19 May 2020 01:19 (one week ago) link

it's also creepy to see FB accounts up 10+ years after the person died, and yet...someone my age that I didn't even know died of a heart attack in 2010 (she was a friend of a friend), profile is still there, still not a tribute page, page preserved in amber from 10 years ago.

I am a free. I am not man. A number. (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 19 May 2020 01:21 (one week ago) link

Twitter is basically my newspaper, I'm on it a lot to know what's going on and be entertained, but I have no drive to cultivate my own online personality or brand.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Tuesday, 19 May 2020 01:25 (one week ago) link

I understand everyone's ambivalence about social media but I also wonder whether "I don't even have a Facebook account" might become the new "I don't even own a TV."

Personally I think some of it is good dumb fun. Plus a lot of stuff you can safely ignore and scroll past.
And it is all, ultimately, a voluntary leisure activity. It's only in your head to the extent you allow it to be.

Rodent of usual size (Ye Mad Puffin), Tuesday, 19 May 2020 01:25 (one week ago) link

I understand everyone's ambivalence about social media but I also wonder whether "I don't even have a Facebook account" might become the new "I don't even own a TV."

I think it already has. See also "i have an account but i don't even use it"

maffew12, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 01:28 (one week ago) link

kristin hersh still beams thoughts at me!

i still have a facebook profile because i need it for work, but have stripped it of everything but my name. (xp lol) should probably change my photo now that neil peart has died

started using twitter because of work and have become pretty attached, but if i missed something, it's gone; i'm not a completist. the politics/trump stuff can become draining, but that's my fault for not better pruning my follows/filters

i'm on no others, which, i'm told, is where the real shit happens now. it's fine; i'm pretty old

mookieproof, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 01:29 (one week ago) link

85% of my relationships started one way or another on FB, usually because I'd start a convo online and then wouldn't feel so awkward talking to the person in public.

I am a free. I am not man. A number. (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 19 May 2020 01:30 (one week ago) link

xp -- true! if only it was just that (these were the days when tweets were sent as SMS messages to your phone)

like, I’m eating an elephant head (katherine), Tuesday, 19 May 2020 01:32 (one week ago) link

(at least in my circles, a lot of people have migrated to Discord, which feels kind of like a happy public vs. private medium)

like, I’m eating an elephant head (katherine), Tuesday, 19 May 2020 01:33 (one week ago) link

jill hennessy liked one of my tweets so can't nobody tell me nothin about social media, forever

j., Tuesday, 19 May 2020 01:36 (one week ago) link

Yah the kids in my house are all on discord. It seems to be akin to a cross between a forum and a sort of IRC?

Stoop Crone (Trayce), Tuesday, 19 May 2020 01:38 (one week ago) link

don't like the name discord, it sounds alt-right to me

Dan S, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 01:41 (one week ago) link

the highlight of my Twitter career was zinging Prodigy of Mobb Deep and having him laugh at it

I am a free. I am not man. A number. (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 19 May 2020 01:43 (one week ago) link

RIP

I am a free. I am not man. A number. (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 19 May 2020 01:43 (one week ago) link

we've probably all been retweeted by Lil B at some point?

maffew12, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 01:46 (one week ago) link

he linked back to the ILX thread ten years ago!

I am a free. I am not man. A number. (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 19 May 2020 01:47 (one week ago) link

also Ripper Owens was upset that I dismissively mentioned his blip of a career in Judas Priest in less than illustrious terms

I am a free. I am not man. A number. (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 19 May 2020 01:47 (one week ago) link

then this is just an irreconcilable argument because I believe that in virtually all cases "not giving a fuck" is a toxic viewpoint, and the majority of the problems in the world are caused by people not giving a fuck

like, I’m eating an elephant head (katherine), Tuesday, 26 May 2020 03:49 (yesterday) link

there's a difference between caring and caring in a way that is effective.

j., Tuesday, 26 May 2020 03:51 (yesterday) link

my grandfather was a whip to Diefenbaker

You definitely have to be Canadian to be smiling ear-to-ear at this.

clemenza, Tuesday, 26 May 2020 03:53 (yesterday) link

and there's a difference between both those things and not caring

like, I’m eating an elephant head (katherine), Tuesday, 26 May 2020 03:53 (yesterday) link

and as far as compassion, I'm showing exactly the amount of compassion toward myself as others generally show toward other people who have done something wrong

like, I’m eating an elephant head (katherine), Tuesday, 26 May 2020 03:54 (yesterday) link

Giving a fuck about something requires time and effort that in many cases is often better spent elsewhere – on more ethically pressing matters, for instance. It is impossible for a human being to give an equal amount of fucks about everything, unless you believe yourself to be some kind of omniscient deity.

pomenitul, Tuesday, 26 May 2020 03:54 (yesterday) link

there may be a subjective difference between not caring and caring ineffectually, but what is the value of caring ineffectually if it gives you grief and is done mainly in order to avoid the self-perception (or perception by others) of not caring at all? no one is ultimately counseling you to not care at all, just to not care where doing so can accomplish nothing. that still leaves open the wide range of possibilities involved in caring in ways that matter!

j., Tuesday, 26 May 2020 04:08 (yesterday) link

as someone who has struggled with similar issues (to a lesser degree), I offer this. Many of the types of stories that are making national news today would have been regional news only, and some regional stories wouldn't have been stories. the speed in which news travels and the state boundaries that social media removes has flooded the internet with more stories and causes than one could take in during a lifetime.

when it comes to "caring", the internal feelings you have on most issues impact nobody, unless you're in a position to take action and your internal feelings cause you to act, or not to act. For example, if I witnessed somebody striking their significant other, and I somehow was not moved by that scene and I just kept going about my business and didn't call the police...yes, that would be fucked up. But only because my lack of empathy influenced my actions, or lack thereof.

However, if I wasn't actually present at the scene, and instead I read an article indicating a man I didn't know beat his girlfriend, and for whatever reason, it didn't cause an emotional reaction in me...that person isn't going to be negatively impacted by my lack of reaction to the story. Obviously if NOBODY had an emotional reaction to the story, that would be bad, but the chances of that are low, as this person would likely have friends and family members, colleagues etc that would show up to their rescue.

Obviously, it's important to keep up with worldly events, and to care about things, including things that don't directly affect you. I read a lot about the Bolsonaro and Orban regimes because of my concerns with how the far-right is infecting Europe as well as the United States. But you're always going to have blind spots. Either because you don't have enough time in the day, you have your own life concerns to deal with, or you just don't come across something. Somebody whose father is dying in the hospital might not be as prone to keep apprised of world events, because their parent is their world at that point in time.

I think you're interpreting "not caring" as saying "this issue isn't important and nobody should care about it", when it's more like "I'm not that familiar with this thing" or "as of right now, I haven't engaged with this issue enough for it to register with me". Human trafficking IS bad, yes - and if you were aware of a human trafficking ring and did nothing to report it, yes, that would be bad. But when it's an almost 40-year old story that you weren't previously familiar with, you don't have to go from not knowing about the issue to suddenly being passionate about it and sharing your opinion internet-wide in a mere 5 minutes. In fact, nothing requires you to engage with it at all, and not engaging with it doesn't mean you don't care about the victims of human trafficking or that you're in favor of human trafficking. It just means you're a human being and you can't possibly react to every single things that happens.

Some people will argue vehemently online about the issue to where you think you're in the wrong for not having their level of passion about it. But this isn't a blind spot for them. It's a blind spot for you. And chances are, there's a cause you feel passionately about that they either don't have much of an opinion on, or know anything about.

Likewise, some Twitter folk might dial it up a notch and suggest you're a bad person if you don't share their opinion or have an opinion on the issue. Well - so what? Unless you're Catholic, nobody's going to be tallying up on a scorecard whether you're a 'good' or 'bad' person, and even 'good' people do 'bad' things now and then. and those people who are wracked with guilt over being a "bad" person generally....aren't the "bad" people, who usually don't worry about such things.

Unless you give weight to those people's judgments and believe them to have merit, they have no power over you. If you feel the need to constantly meet the approval of strangers, and argue your side with them in hopes that you win their approval, you've essentially given these people control over you. and then you can wind up gaslighting yourself (as I often do to myself), questioning your own core values. And frequently needing validation or "permission" to say and do things....from people you'll never meet.

sometimes, you'll learn things from other people and change your beliefs/behaviors, and that's great. but there's a difference between that, and wanting to feel "approved" of by your immediate environment at all times, whether we're talking the physical world or the internet. And it won't happen. Chances are, at any time, a feeling or a belief you have is going to generate negative feelings in someone you know. And many beliefs are just those, beliefs. Not universal truths.

for example, I got into a fight with a 15-year friend last week. I had gotten angry after I went to Publix and once again saw 40% of the store not wearing masks, and I went on a rant about how after more than a month, there was no excuse for it, and that it was sending a bad message to those at the store. This friend, who has often complained about my political posts (even though he could very easily just "unfollow" me which he has done many times), blew up, saying I was basically calling him out for not wearing a mask to Publix that day, and that I was acting like I was "better than everybody else".

I found myself immediately reacting to his disapproval with revulsion, like I needed to correct it, but before I could be conciliatory, I stopped myself, and said to myself that I didn't feel I was wrong. I still responded more weakly to him than I would have liked, stating that I am sorry if he felt personally attacked, but I was clearly talking about the collective inaction of non-mask wearers and not specific individuals, and that I was upset because this puts me at greater risk of transmitting it to my father after going to the grocery store. and he responded snottily saying I had anger issues (a nice bit of irony since he has gone to therapy for that himself).

my mood was temporarily ruined because someone I cared about felt disappointment/disapproval with me, and I took down the offending post, and replaced it with a new snarky one (that I hid him from seeing) stating "here is my inoffensive, content free FB post". other friends, knowing why I had done that, called me out for being too afraid to speak my mind and use my voice, simply because I was viciously challenged by a friend. and they were right. I immediately regretted taking down the post, but I thought to myself and realized I was angry at the friend for not only obtusely missing the point of what I wrote, but for his constant attempts to police what kinds of content I share (i.e. not just unfollowing me, but PMing me to condescendingly tell me things like he's "worried about me as a friend" and that I 'Need to stop posting inflammatory things like this'). So instead of responding to his shitty message, I didn't talk to him for two days. I went about my business and didn't worry myself about pleasing the fucker. it felt pretty good. I didn't feel his judgment because I took back the power from him. now, I'm still not 100% thrilled with the weak way I responded to him, and still need to address long-term some of the shit I"m not "ok" with, but it's a start.

anyway....I'm with Aimless and j on this one, as well as pomentul...and Granny.

I am a free. I am not man. A number. (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 26 May 2020 04:51 (yesterday) link

*Many of the types of stories that are making national news today would have been regional news only, and some regional stories wouldn't have been stories decades ago

I am a free. I am not man. A number. (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 26 May 2020 04:52 (yesterday) link

i thought that was a good post neanderthal.

this article is relevant to this discussion, but i didn't vet the author's parents who may or may not be involved in crimes so use your best judgement:

https://www.bookforum.com/print/2702/the-self-conscious-drama-of-morality-in-contemporary-fiction-24022

karl...arlk...rlka...lkar..., Wednesday, 27 May 2020 14:12 (two hours ago) link

uuugh lauren oyler is just a bad writer

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Wednesday, 27 May 2020 14:13 (two hours ago) link

i'm a bad person, that's why i posted it

karl...arlk...rlka...lkar..., Wednesday, 27 May 2020 14:16 (two hours ago) link

you're not! she just has bad ideas and conveys them poorly

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Wednesday, 27 May 2020 14:22 (two hours ago) link

i was joking but ty.

maybe so, i've never heard of her, but the article is mostly a series of relevant observations on contemporary lit

karl...arlk...rlka...lkar..., Wednesday, 27 May 2020 14:26 (two hours ago) link

Karl Ove Knausgaard writes in volume five of his series of autofictional novels My Struggle, in a representative passage. “I had to stop being a coward, stop being evasive and vague, I had to be honest, upright, clear, sincere.” In the next volume his best friend, Geir, jokingly calls him “a bad person . . . one of the few true narcissists” while discussing the uncle Karl Ove has angered by writing his books.

NOW WAIT A MOMENT

Guayaquil (eephus!), Wednesday, 27 May 2020 14:54 (one hour ago) link

Ottessa Moshfegh’s novels are an exception that proves the rule: Praised for their portrayal of “unlikable” women, a feminist and therefore moral project, they’re often narrated by a person who seems to be taunting the reader with her awareness of her own badness.

i'm not a huge moshfegh fan but surely there is more going on than this

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Wednesday, 27 May 2020 14:58 (one hour ago) link

The shift to socially conscious art and criticism Molly Fischer termed “the Great Awokening” has meant most books are judged on everything except aesthetic terms

citation needed

i could go on but i won't

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Wednesday, 27 May 2020 15:00 (one hour ago) link

I think both the Aeon article and the Oyler article are pretty weak btw

(xp: ye, the second sentence BradNelson quoted is the one that jumped out at me from the Oyler -- this is an assertion people reflexively emit again and again but it just.... doesn't seem to have any relation to the way I actually see books out in the world being judged, praised, sold)

Guayaquil (eephus!), Wednesday, 27 May 2020 15:02 (one hour ago) link

i just think any discussion of a topic like that of our ilx's katherine will need the distinction between morality and moralizing at some point.

j., Wednesday, 27 May 2020 15:08 (one hour ago) link

The distinction is real, and neither of these two articles do a good job of making it (only the second really tries)

Guayaquil (eephus!), Wednesday, 27 May 2020 15:11 (one hour ago) link

And though she occasionally makes mistakes—cheats on her boyfriend, offends her friends after drinking too much, doesn’t call her mom very often—she admits them.

what is a good person? someone who has the correct politics on social media even if their offline actions include infidelity, indulgence to the pt of cruelty and alienation from their family.

Mordy, Wednesday, 27 May 2020 15:21 (one hour ago) link

I mean, that's what the article wants you to think some unspecified cabal of people in charge of our culture insists, yes.

Guayaquil (eephus!), Wednesday, 27 May 2020 15:23 (one hour ago) link

But that is not a stance you will find in either of those Lerner novels, the Jenny Offill book, or How Should A Person Be?.

Guayaquil (eephus!), Wednesday, 27 May 2020 15:24 (one hour ago) link

i don't think the author wants you to think the person in the first paragraph is a secret bad person - they probably think the composite is reasonable for the social mores of the day (at least of a certain set)

Mordy, Wednesday, 27 May 2020 15:27 (one hour ago) link

it’s hard to tell one way or the other bc it’s not well-written

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Wednesday, 27 May 2020 15:29 (one hour ago) link

Yes, looking at it again, I feel like there is just something fundamentally disorganized in Oyler's writing. It's not clear to me what she means to say about e.g. Sheila Heti. I felt the same about her review of Tolentino's book -- each paragraph read like something that was saying something but I could never actually get it to cohere into something but a sensation of complaint.

Guayaquil (eephus!), Wednesday, 27 May 2020 15:31 (one hour ago) link

I do think that when a clear assertion emerges it is, like "The shift to socially conscious art and criticism Molly Fischer termed “the Great Awokening” has meant most books are judged on everything except aesthetic terms," incompatible with my experience.

Guayaquil (eephus!), Wednesday, 27 May 2020 15:32 (one hour ago) link

She's probably a good person though

Guayaquil (eephus!), Wednesday, 27 May 2020 15:32 (one hour ago) link

The fact that I'm spending my time engaging with this is presumably a sign I'm cut out for social media

Guayaquil (eephus!), Wednesday, 27 May 2020 15:33 (one hour ago) link

my stance against reading articles continues to pay dividends

silby, Wednesday, 27 May 2020 15:36 (one hour ago) link

the aeon one is almost unreadable

Mordy, Wednesday, 27 May 2020 15:37 (one hour ago) link

The fact that I'm spending my time engaging with this is presumably a sign I'm cut out for social media

― Guayaquil (eephus!), Wednesday, May 27, 2020 8:33 AM (six minutes ago) bookmarkflaglink

is it weird that i think the same fact about me means i'm not cut out for social media at all

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Wednesday, 27 May 2020 15:40 (fifty-seven minutes ago) link

my stance against reading articles continues to pay dividends

― silby, Wednesday, May 27, 2020 11:36 AM (three minutes ago) bookmarkflaglink

was waiting for this post

karl...arlk...rlka...lkar..., Wednesday, 27 May 2020 15:41 (fifty-six minutes ago) link

you're both right! that's the paradox of being cut out for social media xp

Mordy, Wednesday, 27 May 2020 15:41 (fifty-six minutes ago) link

what if... social media is cut out for us

Guayaquil (eephus!), Wednesday, 27 May 2020 15:44 (fifty-three minutes ago) link

I think the Aeon one is trying to say that 'virtue signalling is bad not good' (if anyone needed a tl;dr, there it is).

pomenitul, Wednesday, 27 May 2020 15:46 (fifty-one minutes ago) link

my stance against reading articles continues to pay dividends

― silby, Wednesday, May 27, 2020 11:36 AM (three minutes ago) bookmarkflaglink

was waiting for this post

― karl...arlk...rlka...lkar..., Wednesday, May 27, 2020 8:41 AM (five minutes ago)

:*

silby, Wednesday, 27 May 2020 15:46 (fifty minutes ago) link

what i got out of the laura oyster article is here are some examples of how authors' novels were shaped in various ways by the depiction of anxiety about being a "good person" which is triangulated according to an acute self-awareness that their morality will be judged widely and visibly by their audience on social media

karl...arlk...rlka...lkar..., Wednesday, 27 May 2020 15:55 (forty-two minutes ago) link

this is actually a perfect example but not for the reasons claimed it is; after reading the article my basic stance was "this was a decent article, I'm glad I read it, I should look up some of those other books," but now I am questioning that stance because it does not seem to be aligned with the correct one, nor do I trust that I'm right

like, I’m eating an elephant head (katherine), Wednesday, 27 May 2020 15:56 (forty-one minutes ago) link

What do you think?

pomenitul, Wednesday, 27 May 2020 15:57 (forty minutes ago) link

I don't fucking know because what I think is apparently the wrong thing

like, I’m eating an elephant head (katherine), Wednesday, 27 May 2020 15:57 (thirty-nine minutes ago) link

yr ego balloon needs inflating!

Mordy, Wednesday, 27 May 2020 15:59 (thirty-eight minutes ago) link

I don't think "how should a person be" (apparently discussed in the article I won't read) is written in the context of social media scrutiny at all!

silby, Wednesday, 27 May 2020 16:01 (thirty-six minutes ago) link

katherine I definitely recommend all the Ben Lerner novels and both Jenny Offill novels and How Should A Person Be? because they are all funny and good. Probably Motherhood is good too, it's on my shelf and I just haven't gotten to it yet. I think the things this article is concerned about are most present in The Topeka School, which, perhaps not by coincidence, is the least successful of Lerner's books, I would start with 10:04 (or, better, How Should A Person Be?, which is just wonderfully and radically its own thing, and when you are trapped in a social-media-mediated self-consciousness spiral the best prescription is a radically alternate perspective)

Guayaquil (eephus!), Wednesday, 27 May 2020 16:05 (thirty-two minutes ago) link

Motherhood is really good too! It's sort of secretly about the Holocaust though.

silby, Wednesday, 27 May 2020 16:07 (thirty minutes ago) link

Leaving the Atocha Station is no less apposite to this discussion and very much worth everyone's time as well.

pomenitul, Wednesday, 27 May 2020 16:08 (twenty-eight minutes ago) link

I've read most of those except the ben lerner

like, I’m eating an elephant head (katherine), Wednesday, 27 May 2020 16:09 (twenty-eight minutes ago) link

Oh sorry for wrongly imagining otherwise!

Guayaquil (eephus!), Wednesday, 27 May 2020 16:32 (five minutes ago) link

If you've read all those books and thought the Oyler was on point maybe it's me who's missing it!

Guayaquil (eephus!), Wednesday, 27 May 2020 16:32 (five minutes ago) link


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