I read this passage over my lunch break today and it really resonated with me:
"Max laughed. "Let me put it to you this way – I put forth to you that the age of surveillance is only a symptom of the new hyper-narcissism that has infected our collective reality tunnels. We invite the surveillance cameras into our homes because they are proof that someone is paying attention to us.
"Let me give you an example. You criticized my company for collecting users' personal data, but people are voluntarily and intentionally sharing the most intimate minutiae of their lives everyday, and they love doing. Even as we speak my phone is being bombarded by tweets, emails, blog posts, and social network status updates from personal and professional acquaintances. Privacy is passé; it simply no longer exists as a social value. No one wants to toil in obscurity. Fame has become the new social currency of the 21st century. In the 19th century the struggle was between the working class and the ruling class over the means of production. By the end of the 20th century, the paradigm was made obsolete by new classes – the leisure class, the creative class, the consumer class. Now there's a whole new emerging class bringing another sea change, the celebrity class. Suddenly we have an entire stratus of people who are famous just for being famous. It doesn't matter if you aren't the most talented, or the most virtuous, or even the most beautiful, as long as people know who you are. We've built a brave new world where every man and woman can be a star."
(from Moxie Mexcal's Concrete Underground).
It's definitely gotten me thinking about my interaction with social media. (Concrete Underground's a great book so far, as well. I'd highly recommend it if you're the type of person who likes streetwise fiction in the style of Palahniuk or Welsh)