Social Networking and the quantification of emotions…
For a long time, I’ve wondered at this mind-less push to social networking. Of course I understand that even this blog is a form of social networking, but I’m referring to the usual suspects…. Facehook, Twitmaker, ohmyspace etc.
And then, a couple of nights ago, it struck me.
One of the primary goals of Social Networking is the quantification of that most decidedly unquantifiable….. thing? Element? Sense?….. emotion.
Emotion has always been expressed qualitatively.
So much. That much. This much. A lot. Not too much. A little. As much as the sky. As big as…. you get the point. In this bi-polar world, quality was always the yard-stick for the un-manifest and quantity for the manifest.
Like. I like this. I like this a lot. I really, really like this.
I got 15 likes. 28 likes.
Like is a key-word in the English languages. We are driven by likes and our dis-likes. Like/Life/Love…. all keys to our existence as linguistic humans.
In the world of social networking Like is now a quantity and a commodity.
Same with friendship. Friendship is a moving target. It has moods, phases, qualities…
Now it is a binary thing. Friend and De-friend.
This is a medium with a binary base. 1 and 0. Binary things exist most comfortably in it.
I 13 like you.
Actually this is hardly a laughing matter. It is subtle social engineering at it’s finest.
How do you compare 100 likes by relative strangers to your latest scratch/twit/brick to the slightly unsure smile of your friend sitting right next to you? Who only kind of likes your scratch/twit/brick?
It started a long (in these times) time ago with a web-site called hot or not.
In it, photographs would be uploaded and the audience would come and vote if the person was hotornot.
Hotornot. From faces on hotornot (what a binary name eh?) to Facebook.
Can anyone carry this thesis further with examples in their own lives?
To my mind though, this binary based quantification of emotion is yet another step in the trans-humanism direction….. where we are becoming more machine-like (hah!) while artificial intelligence tries to make machines become more and more human.
Just for today, I’m going to put the like button on this post! 😉
Please like it?
oh, and while you are at it, think of the word NUMBer.