The cute, defaced.
Some of you may have noticed I’m haven’t been posting much. There are reasons for that. Here’s one reason:
I am experiencing a great ambivalence about using the Internet, and putting “content” on the Internet, not just on the Tent Show, but in particular on Facebook and Twitter, because every word, image, click is a donation, an abdication of self and others to the great hydraulic engines of surveillance capital.
“Great hydraulic engines of surveillance capital” is a high-falutin’ way to put it, but here’s the spot where it rubs: I take many, many pictures of my grandchildren, and I used to post these pictures on Facebook for friends and relatives to view. Now I have trouble persuading myself to share these images via Facebook, even though Facebook is the primary conduit between me and most people I know, particularly my family. But the thought that thousands of images and posts of and about my grandchildren will belong to Facebook, and be the dominating narrative of their childhood, as “curated” by Facebook, is deeply disturbing. All done without their adult consent. And people all “around me” continue to post such things to Facebook with apparent thoughtless abandon.
I want to share all the pretty pictures of my grandkids too, but this is where I feel most the acute sense of apprehension about posting anything online. Particularly anything personal, but even a meme or viddy posted is a data point collected. I don’t feel the personal danger, but that the whole enterprise has gone wrong, or been wrong from the start, and that contributing my mite to monetized parasocial media like Facebook is giving to the wrongness, not subverting it. Rather, the medium absorbs and converts any subversive intent into commerce.
So, Pilgrims, I’m asking what you think (crowd-sourcing, in today’s parlance). I should disregard the apprehension I feel, and post rants on the Tent Show and pics of grandkids on Facebook, with rueful ruthlessness? Resign myself to/embrace the role of me and mine as spare change in the algorithmic cloud banks of Mark Zuckerberg’s back pocket? Is there a middle way? Or no way?
My grandkids are really impossibly cute.