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Social Burnout, Words of Wisdom from Britney Spears?

As I blow the dust of this blog and furiously update the WP engine and plugins, I came to a realization that I am burnt out. Not a mid-life crisis mind you, but rather updating the world with the need to help indulge in the narcissistic drivel that is my life. It is not that I do not have entertaining thoughts to share, it has more to do with the volume of noise from everyone else. The online social world is so interconnected, your thoughts are often completed by others. Is this the current generation of brain rotting activity?

This is where I shall quote from the ever popular scholarly works of Britney Spears. In the first verse of her song, “Circus”, Britney makes a compelling statement:

[quote]There’s only two types of people in the world
The ones that entertain, and the ones that observe[/quote]

I do not think it could be stated any better than that. Regardless if you share thoughts that could alter human existence or share a video of your kitten falling into a toilet, each are entertaining someone else. I noticed that I have shifted from an former to the latter and I am as shocked as you are to see this transformation in a strange Darwinistic shift of my online activity. I began to wonder if this is something that will be a new reality or rather a reflection the lack of contribution needed to extend a point that, in internet space, could be ancient in matter of days.  Maybe it has to do with how many people I can interact with?

There is a concept called Dunbar’s number which suggest a theoretical cognitive limit to the number of social relationships one person can maintain.  Typically that number floats around 150, however with the advent of online social frameworks like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and others may push that number well beyond that.  Maybe that is my problem.  With the progression of age, the lack of social grooming (active memorization of people’s name), and the high dependence of friend’s online profiles, I personally think my Dunbar’s number is well below 150 (reflection of cognitive degradation maybe).  Unfortunately there is a paper that validates the Dunbar’s number for online social interactions so that puts a damper on finding a logical cause for my current funk as a performer.  Maybe I am too connected?

When a new tool is launched, I sign up for the beta.  MyBlogLog [dead], Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Bambuser, countless photo sharing networks that I forgot because my creative juices for photos of the those kind are in the same state as everything else, and many others were fun to discover how I could become interconnected.  But over time the enthusiasm has faded as it seems like I have to constantly re-invent myself and trying not to rubber stamp one profile to another social site (fail).  It seems that I am not the only one struggling with the gluttony of social expansion.  Though I am on a multitude of social frameworks and have as many, if not more, apps to keep me up to date with the ongoings in those worlds, my daily activity is akin to drinking from the fire hose.  Though the conversations does not include me, makes my ego shrinks a little, I am intrigued by the thoughts of others I inevitably follow, like some virtual starstruck fan hiding in the shadows (whoa, makes me sound like a creep, I’m not really like that).  And like that lost soul following blindly, I too contribute very little in return.  The interconnectedness of these virtual worlds and the ubiquitous nature of access and update precludes that it is just a failure on my part and not the social world that is preventing my voice to be shared.  It is really no different than having a large table of people at the food court in some random mall.  If you sit there and just listen, then eventually people stop talking to you.  The opposite is true as well, if you get on your proverbial soapbox in said food court, most will walk past.  The expectation that whatever you share online or the simple fact that you have an account on these networks does not ensure instant popularity and expectation for such gratification will be disappointing.  Have I become that shallow?

Thankfully my ego is not that fragile and I am not crushed when I do share my thoughts that go into the virtual netherworld without a response.  The problem is the lack of constant update.  Since writing this post, I came to the only conclusion that is true now as it was before today, and before the internet.  I am lazy.  I have reduce to myself to the lowest rung of society whose battle cry is, “Let someone else do it!”  No more I tell you! I will shout pointless babbles from the top of this blog and let those writings sprinkle down to other networks so people can feel the cool level-headiness of my fierce yet deep musings… Oh hell, I just be happy to remember to click the “submit” button on my next thought.  Whew, I need some ice tea.

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