[iDC] How does social media educate?

Brian Holmes brian.holmes at wanadoo.fr
Sun Feb 11 19:44:27 EST 2007

Sorry, I can't resist occasionally interjecting a few things here:

Ulises wrote:
>  For instance, here's a bit of hard data: the latest US census
> shows that 25% of the nation's households (27.2 million) consist of
> just one person, compared to 10% in 1950. Clearly, there are trends
> which suggest that a section of society is choosing to do some things
> more by themselves (bowling? forming a household?) and others through
> emerging social practices (attending mega churches? joining online
> networks?).

The notion that people choose to live their lives alone is generous, 
insofar as it respects each person's singular and impassioned belief in 
who they are, why there are and where they are. Yet at the same time, 
this notion is tremendously naive in that it ignores everything about 
contemporary capitalist society that encourages fundamental loneliness 
and sells in return the compensatory functions of communications gadgets 
like the internet.

Now this, I think, is a real paradox.

In other words, I am not trying to say that the "generous" reading is 
wrong, or that the more "critical" one is right. Really, each is the 
vital outside of the other. The question is, what do I do with this 
state of alienation in which I paradoxically feel free? To ask that 
question, and to follow it up on the tip of one's tongue into a thousand 
expansive and constrictive corners where we look at ourselves in the 
mirrors of each other, would maybe put some sociability back into this 
dull and intriguing world of "sociable" media.

Just an idea.

best, Brian

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