Friday, February 13, 2009

Sorta Almost Famous

So here's how it happened. I wanted to write more so I started Blogging here regularly. I wanted people to read what I wrote and so I started promoting it. Then I started updating facebook and twitter and following other blogs and tweeters and so on....

Then I started looking into what else was out there....

Then I realized that I could spend my whole day working on getting my words out and absorbing the words of others via all this social media. It's keeping up with friends...
and friends of friends...
and co-workers....
and former collegues..
and people I don't remember meeting...
and strangers...
and everyone....

And it kinda seems like work.

It's fun to know on a surface level what all these people are doing but keeping up takes up a lot of time. What I end up with is as much of a connection as I have with celebrities. I don't know who's gonna read this so I'm not gonna be completely forthright and open. That caution might mark me as a Gen X-er rather than a Y or Z or AA or whatever. The point is I see what people are doing and thinking but that doesn't bring us closer together. At least not any closer than I feel to David Letterman or Bruce Springsteen or people I've worked for.

This is obvious and probably not worth saying. Or maybe it is. I don't know. The point is that its like all of us are following each other and updating and stuff and it's like we're all famous to each other. Connected in that way. Not as friends but as celebrity/fan. Don't get me wrong, I am a big fan of some of my close friends. I'm a huge fan of my brother Rob and my sister Kate and my wife. I'm probably a big fan of you if you're reading this.


Andy Warhol said that "In the future everyone will be famous for 15 minutes." Then he said that "In fifteen minutes everyone will be famous."

Here's my update:
Everyone is famous to fifteen people.

(Of course I hoped that I was the first person to come up with that but it turns out to be a meme that's at least 18 years old.)

But I think its more accurate to say that in 15 hours you can be famous to 1500 people.


  1. oh're so right!

    i've been doing all the same things, now i can blog from my phone and it uploads right to my website. what will they think of next?

  2. Skull implants....

    Well that won't be next but its coming.

  3. As a complete narcissist, who now checks Facebook before the news or anything else, I gotta admit, I have to know which chicks from high school are checking out my pics before I care a fig about any plane crash in Buffalo. Case in point, it's Friday night, technically Saturday, 1:31 am, officially Valentine;s Day, and I'm writing this comment and not boning.

  4. I see your point but I disagree. The iChat I had the other day with my wife's old friend whom I have never met was sublime. That started with some comments that we made on a mustual friends posting about some political article. We then continued to conversation and moved it over to video chatting. I would never be that close with William Shatner.
    The new music that I have been turned on to has made my life much richer. This is mostly due to friends' status.
    The concert ticket connections came from the groups and status updates.
    And I continue many of the conversations that start here with my friends when I see them in person.
    It's difficult to merge the ideology of the old guard with the new. But that's coming.
    And, to the point that there is less real time conversation in favor of facebooking: We live a block away and you are always welcome to stop by for coffee and conversation.

  5. Allen, I don't think social media is bad, just different. I LOVE being in touch with all these people from my past and present in a way that wasn't possible two years ago.

    I also didn't make the "point that there is less real time conversation in favor of facebooking." I don't think social media is displacing or replacing real time conversation. (Television did that 50 years ago!)

    My point was that the interactions are generally one to the semi-anonymous many and feel analogous to being famous.

  6. And thanks for the invite. I will try to stop by sometime soon.

  7. Barbara Mackay-SmithFebruary 15, 2009 at 12:15 PM

    Hey John--
    Haven't read much of your stuff (yet!)but I liked this blog... I'm fairly new to facebook and enjoy renewing "acquaintences" with people, but really don't expect (or have time) for much more! It's just enough to feed my needs for casual social interaction in a world where those have become fewer and farther between.

  8. I see your point and I think you may feel that way partly because each "friend" has total control over their information. It is not a true representation or communication, but a devised one, which is inherently a persona. And conversely, the feeling that we are "all famous to each other. Connected in that way. Not as friends but as celebrity/fan" is diminished in correlation to how much "true" or actual face to face you have with someone, when we have no control over the information, like your brother or wife. Who rock BTW. So, yes I agree with you. Seeing what people want us to think they are thinking and doing doesn't bring us closer together. But there are some sweet moments of almost connection. And I think, for me, living so far away, I'll take what I can get. Cause I miss you. But I would definately prefer the real thing.