When YOU Is A Four-Letter Word
While I am not a shrink (but often pretend to be one when assessing the faults of those around me), I think the report fails to finger ALL of the social needs that are met by "participating in social networks." To wit:
The Need to Be a Moron: Not since the evolution of T-shirts festooned with idiotic witticisms such as "Obama is My Homeboy" and "If I'm Not Wasted, The Day Is" has the world produced a more perfect medium in which to exercise man's apparently fathomless need to prove he can be an ass. From Facebook walls to "Provide Your Comment" boxes now de rigueur on most blogs and news sites, one can feast on a smorgasbord of ill-considered, ill-conceived, nominally literate comments that remove any doubt that the author--however anonymous--is a complete moron. Sites should erect a firewall of, say, five SAT questions that must be answered correctly before a comment is accepted for publication.
The Need to Pile On: Perhaps it is our predominant national legacy of growing up as the last kid picked, having sand kicked in our faces, getting bitch-slapped militarily by third-world countries and our subsequent metamorphosis into self-loathing couch potatoes, but online seems to be the emotional outlet to get back at those perceived as stronger, more powerful, better looking, more affluent--or anyone connected to the management of an incorporated company. If aliens from another solar system were to land and start reading online attacks on the rich and famous, they might conclude this is a planet of whiners and set off the Q-Bomb, rather than hide under an ice cap for 200 years waiting to be discovered by Michael Crichton.
The Need for Narcissism: There is little in life that gives me less pleasure than looking at photos of you and yours standing on the Great Wall of China, waving from the construction rising from Ground Zero, or playing beer pong when you told your parents you were going to see "The Golden Compass." I do, however, appreciate postings to amateur sites where the girl next door appears prepped and ready for a gynecological exam. But then I stop to ponder what kind of allegedly human being puts his or her private bits on a Web site (then calls the police when a guy stands at the fence aiming binoculars at the bathroom windows)? Nor do I want to see video of your kid nearly castrating himself on a skateboard, your pets doing anything cute or surprising, anything having to do with amateur performing arts or the articulation of inner thoughts.
The Need to Opine:
There is a dysfunctional part of the ego that whispers to the self, "What I think is important, and others need to hear me." Generally, these urges can be quieted by psychotropic drugs taken at the maximum allowable dosage, but for those off their meds, the keyboard becomes a dangerous weapon. Unless you have been engaged as a professional reviewer by a major metropolitan newspaper or magazine with a circulation in excess of 500,000, I do not give two shits what you think about movies, music, concerts, TV shows, or, most especially, books. Nor do I care if you liked the food at some "undiscovered" little Parisian bistro, think your Mac is da bomb, or want to articulate reasons why you like this Presidential candidate over that one. You are but a grain of sand on an endless beach. If you had something truly intelligent to say, you would be on the last page of Newsweek instead of George Will. Each day, stand in front of the mirror and repeat this important new-media-age mantra: "I am Nobody. No one cares what I have to say."
Then, have a happy new year.
The story you have just read is an attempt to blend fact and fiction in a manner that provokes thought, and on a good day, merriment. It would be ill-advised to take any of it literally. Take it, rather, with the same humor with which it is intended. Cut and paste or link to it at your own peril.