Thursday, December 09, 2010

Generation Why? by Zadie Smith | The New York Review of Books

I feel the the internet is withering and dying. I don't want to tweet. I barely want to blog. I ignore my wall. I've lost my desire to move from blogger to tumblr.

And so it is thrilling to read Zadie Smith's take on Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook:
Shouldn’t we struggle against Facebook? Everything in it is reduced to the size of its founder. Blue, because it turns out Zuckerberg is red-green color-blind. “Blue is the richest color for me—I can see all of blue.” Poking, because that’s what shy boys do to girls they are scared to talk to. Preoccupied with personal trivia, because Mark Zuckerberg thinks the exchange of personal trivia is what “friendship” is. A Mark Zuckerberg Production indeed! We were going to live online. It was going to be extraordinary. Yet what kind of living is this? Step back from your Facebook Wall for a moment: Doesn’t it, suddenly, look a little ridiculous? Your life in this format?

All human (humane, humanist, humanizing, human sized) thought is existential in nature. What is this life I live, and what is good and just about it? Facebook evades these question by insisting on the importance of the most trivial and least meaningful interactions. Death by a hundred fanciful associations.