Two years ago I joined Twitter. Then my account was compromised so I closed it. I recently rejoined, primarily because of a class I'm teaching (and secondarily because I write about this stuff). Twitter has changed quite a bit in two years. More of the tweets aren't from people--they are from automated feeds. They are remediations rather than little updates from people I know. It's another site for info-war, or for the battle for our attention.
The same is starting to be true for me on Facebook. At this point, I don't know more than half my friends. Most of the updates (my own included) are link shares, again, not comments from real people about their lives (I sound so old school). So I'm participating in a link exchange with people (I assume they are all people, but the recent post from the Daily Kos I remediated now makes me wonder) I don't know, who seem to share my political and intellectual convictions, but who may be professional or hired mood changers. And, then the next twist: maybe the doubt is the problem, maybe the suspicion is what we should suspect, maybe the calling into doubt is what derails legitimate enthusiasm.
As the Egyptian revolution, this remediation was exciting. It was exciting as the Wisconsin protests were unfolding. The political updates we "aware" each other of (I still recall my shock when a student used aware as a verb and thought it was the most political thing a person could do) are not trivial. But this link forwarding doesn't seem like a particularly worthwhile activity. It's a vehicle for inducing and circulating affective responses.
And, after hearing a great paper from Jack Bratich and learning about Movements.org and their corporate and State-Department media strategies, I'm starting to wonder, maybe the exposure I've opened myself to, maybe my welcoming of opportunities to push phrases and bits and images into my head, has been a mistake. Maybe withdrawal and retreat, tactical regrouping is in order.
What is net methadone?