Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Ferris Bueller Would've Been Too Cool for Facebook

Flights booked for DC. Had a poem accepted by Threepenny Review. Working on interviews for two excellent literary blogs (uno and due). Got the new Kweli album (better than Eardrum and Beautiful Struggle, not quite Quality or Train of Thought...). Life moves pretty fast...

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The human habit of overestimating other people's happiness is nothing new, of course. Jordan points to a quote by Montesquieu: "If we only wanted to be happy it would be easy; but we want to be happier than other people, which is almost always difficult, since we think them happier than they are." But social networking may be making this tendency worse. Jordan's research doesn't look at Facebook explicitly, but if his conclusions are correct, it follows that the site would have a special power to make us sadder and lonelier. By showcasing the most witty, joyful, bullet-pointed versions of people's lives, and inviting constant comparisons in which we tend to see ourselves as the losers, Facebook appears to exploit an Achilles' heel of human nature. And women—an especially unhappy bunch of late—may be especially vulnerable to keeping up with what they imagine is the happiness of the Joneses.

via Slate

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Suddenly, what had seemed awfully productive to me now seemed like pure laziness and inefficiency. This person wrote 3 million pages of a novel yesterday. That person stayed up all night long writing six essays for various prestigious publications. This friend was somehow interviewed by three publications while managing to read and review four books simultaneously and dash off a few dozen short stories and her sixth novella to boot. They’re giving readings! They’re planning readings! They’re selling books! They’re stacking up publication credits like cord wood! The as-of-late familiar feeling came rushing back, and I found myself panicking, thinking, I’m so behind! I need to catch up! I found myself thinking about pulling a few all-nighters myself (as if my old-ass body could handle that anymore), about all the books I still need to read, about the growing list of story ideas and the novel that I have no time for and the short story collection I need to put together–and then I glanced at my giant, mutating to do list for work and I was totally overcome by the whole thing.

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Jordan boxes all over my closet...

2 comments:

Sandy Longhorn said...

Congrats on the Threepenny Review acceptance. Most excellent.

Josh said...

I'm not familiar with this song, but damn! Since 2nd or 4th grade, somewhere around there, I'd coveted a pair of IV's. My family couldn't afford them when I was a kid, so I had to wait until just a few years ago. I bought a pair of the original reissue on eBay. What's sad is that I've only worn them outside maybe three times. I love them too much.

Also, more congrats on the Threepenny pub! See you next week.