The Social Network Bubble

Americans– I have to put myself in that group too, of course– are easily fooled by Utopian claims. Maybe we don’t really think that an IPAD will transform our lives, not really anyway, but we’re willing to buy one anyway, just in case. In the last few decades especially, this has been the secret of that collective hallucination known as marketing. New technology is our collective self-medication. Inevitably, of course, we are disappointed.

It turns out that multitasking is neurologically impossible. YouTube is used by the military to promote war as much it is by professors to help students understand MLA. IM’ing seems to be gone; texting is a great tool for bullies. And now, it turns out that teen aged social networking, the miracle of MySpace and Facebook, has adult consequences, and according to research reported in the New York Times, kids are backing off. I wonder how long it will take for the next revolution to start.

About Ray Watkins

I was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital. I grew up in Houston, as a part of what we only half-jokingly call the Cajun Diaspora. At a certain point during the Regan administration, I had to leave, so I served in the Peace Corps, Philippines, from 1987-89. I didn't want to return to the United States just yet, so I moved to Paris, France, where I lived for three years or so. I then moved back to Austin, Texas, where I had received my Masters Degree, and (eventually) began a Ph.D., which I completed in 1999. I spent a year at Temple University and then accepted a position at Eastern Illinois University where I worked until May of 2006. I now work exclusively on line (although that may change) for Johns Hopkins, the Art Institute Online, and I can be reached most easily via email: raywatkins [that 'at' symbol]

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