Thought-Shitting About A Whole Lot of NothingPosted: June 12, 2008
I found myself in the doctor’s office today reading N’Gai Croal’s column in Newsweek – the one where he baptized the term “thoughtcasting.” Now I’m not completely sure how well-known this term is and if my giddy excitement over a newfound addition to my vernacular is justified, but it’s a fucking brilliant term. It pretty much encapsulates that rabid state of desire that propels people to “update status” on Facebook and Tumblr and Twitter their way through the webOsphere notifying every goddamn person on earth what you’re doing at any given point in the day. In short, it’s about sharing your thoughts (momentary feelings, etc) and broadcasting and airing your laundry with the world.
Having online identities and profiles allows each individual to carve their own identity and hide behind a persona of their choosing. In effect, people no longer need to create pseudo profiles (like they used to do in the Web 1.0 days) because they can easily become the figure of their liking and with tools like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr and perpetuate their fantasy image.
Take Something Changed, a Tumblr b-log,v-log-p-log, scribed by a 26-year-old woman from Melbourne, Australia. Without even looking at the content on her web page, I know this woman. Now I hate stereotypes and generalizations as much as the next person, but when i look at the photo she chooses to prominently display on her b-v-p log, I can’t but think that her red finger nails, jet black hair, and pale face hidden behind her nude fingers are suggesting a certain Williamsburg vibe that would make even Emily Gould squirm in all her vapid hipster, proud tat-carrying glory.
I starting blogging long before it was considered cool and at a time when people just didn’t get why you might opt to post something online when you had the option of print. I won’t deny that my internet persona back in those days wasn’t entirely a manifestation of my most sarcastic “real” self. In fact, I often found when I met people in person that they expected that same brassy, sassy biatch to emerge and were somewhat disheartened to learn that I was a much milder, even kinda nice version of that girl. That’s why they coined the term “artistic license,” no?
As Croal suggests in his coining of “thoughtcasting,” there is that alluring factor of a loud speaker to a mass audience (everyone’s a star, etc), but there’s more to it. It’s the intent behind the desire to broadcast your every movement and report your every finding with the world that leaves a pervasive stench in the air. The byproduct is oversharing. Afterall, when you have so much going on inside your head, releasing all your thoughts from mental constipation can be liberating and therapeutic.
But before you start to scribe, take a moment and think about what you’re about to share. Consider it a public service. Quite honestly we could do without the trivial daily unearthings of Lip Dubs and half a dozen other guilty sinful pleasures.
Singer Outkast said it best:
I know you’d like to think your shit don’t stank
But lean a little bit closer
See that roses really smell like poo-poo-poo
Admittedly, some shit smells more rancid than others. Unfortunately some of this stuff disguised as roses stinks too.