Sunday, September 13, 2009

Public Deletion

Facebook is an introductory course in public relations. Members constantly think about their online image, experimenting with branding and spin.

Facebook, my great great grand, is a website that encourages members to put pictures, videos and text online. They share your media with members that you have selected, granting them the power to view and make comments ("friends" in the jargon of the site). In return for this space, Facebook shares a rudimentary level of your information with advertising firms who hope to target you with more relevant and persuasive advertising.

I have added many young friends on facebook. They are part of a generation that had been more woven into expressing themselves online. I have noticed some long term relationships come and go. A few times, I have noticed that when they break up they systemically delete all of the profile pics with their former partner. Many of the photos of cute kissing and mutual silliness disappear. What must it feel like to remove someone from your digital identity? Like burning a shoebox of love letters and gifts only in a more public forum. I think this is why I like tattoos. More permanent reminders of the past.

I feel they are specially suited to understand modern propaganda and that history is an active, daily process of selecting the past.

Photos. Stalin and Yezhov no longer in love.

No comments: