Book Trailer The Noble Train

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Our Tacky Age of Social Media

Social media is tacky. It is our personal billboard, the billboard of yesteryear with the lawyer telling us that bankruptcy is the way or the triple XXX truck stop with GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS. We would see these billboards from our car and wonder what type of people would respond to such garish enticements. Bankruptcy, triple XXX. Really? But now we know, we would respond to those billboards and we prove it every day on the Internet. It is the age of tacky.

Anothy Wiener is just another casualty of our twittering reality. We now advertise ourselves to others in ways we would have never dreamed of or condoned. Jump into facebook and behind the pictures of Aruba or the vacation in Switzerland is a self advertisement for the Fantasy Life. We now advertise ourselves to others and present our lives or our version of our lives to others and this brings the glow of braggadocio to our cheeks as we hide behind our screens.

We now sell ourselves. Anthony sold himself as the hip congressman to a twenty six year old and went down salacious avenue to see what he could drub up. Why not? Social media gives us the vehicle so we can all act like prostitutes and then turn off the computer and go about our everyday life. But social media has a dark side and the Andrew Brightbarts of the world are the perfect vampires. They look into the underbelly of our tweets and posts and our comments and they find the worst of us. Now our letters and furtive phone calls of yesterday are sitting in cyberspace, waiting to destroy our lives.

The only way social media works is by self promotion. We all have cellphones so the communication gig is only a small part. Social media is the high school girl or boy saying the dirty words and then taking it another step by saying the dirty act. We ride high in our reflected glory that comes back in comments and posts and tweets and pictures and videos. The humdrum life has been amped up along the lines of the cheap thrill of pornography and lasts about as long. Because the dirty secret is social media mostly plays to an audience of one and the fantasy we are playing to millions fades with the screen turning to black.

Ultimately we are left withe pathetic bits and bytes of middle aged men with their shirts off or women with their computer cams that are all the more tawdry when exposed as the hubris of politicians or celebrities. Social media is the final democratization of a culture with not enough celeb to go around and so we tackily post our own bios and our own pictures and then our obits. Mostly to no one, but ourselves
Rocket Man will be out in July

Books by William Hazelgrove