I bet I think this post is about me

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danah boyd has a fantastic entry today, on "fame, narcissism and MySpace." There's nothing there that she doesn't already say much better than I could, so I cite her entry more out of appreciation than with an eye towards adding anything.

Long story short: claims about MySpace producing a generation of narcissists misses the broader social point, which is that MySpace is only a small symptom of a much deeper cultural tendency towards unwarranted esteem (from "you can do anything" to "you deserve everything").

Particularly interesting to me is the vicious cycle that boyd describes with respect to so-called "reality" programming (even the name itself is symptomatic of the economy at play). This kind of programming helps contribute to the spread of narcissism (Why should you be the next American Idle?), and then harvests that attitude by providing outlets for it. reality programming appeals to network execs because they can pay talentless amateurs a fraction of what they pay actors, without any corresponding drop in advertising revenue.

Anyhow, boyd has some good thoughts on fame, esteem, attention, and narcissism, and there are some really nice followups in the comments. Check it out.

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This page contains a single entry by cgbrooke published on March 19, 2007 9:38 PM.

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