Claire Suddath is right about this “bout of visual narcissism”


Pete Cashmore of Mashable posted a Tweet yesterday with a link to a funny (and also pathetic) article.  The article, “25 Things I Didn’t Want to Know About You,” by Claire Suddath, addressed the Facebook phenomenon “25 Things About Me,” in which people write 25 facts about themselves and post the facts in a Facebook note.

Remarkably, about 5 million of this type of note has appeared on Facebook in the last WEEK…that is a whole lot of people just starving to put (usually boring) information about themselves out there for everyone to read.  I think Suddath hits the nail on the head when she calls this phenomenon a “bout of visual narcissism.”  Suddath figures that if it takes each person about 10 minutes to come up with their 25 facts, that amounts to about 800,000 hours of possible work time wasted.  Insanity.

I definitely agree with Suddath that ‘Most people aren’t funny, they aren’t insightful, and they share way too much.”  Shuman includes in her article a list of some of the useless, and sometimes awkward, facts that “friends” have shared with her on Facebook—facts like “I am addicted to the ass-slap dance move,” “I cried when Spock died in Star Trek II” and “My friends say that when they shave my back, I purr like a walrus.”

It’s ironic that in this article, which I found on Twitter, the last line is “I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’ve finally found something more stupid than Twitter.”  Just something to think about.

But I agree with Suddath that there is an inherent narcissism to posting things like “25 Facts About Me.”  And to be honest…it’s a little sickening.  And I haven’t been on Twitter for too long…but I see it there, too.  And I am a bit surprised with how comfortable people are with putting out so much personal information—and especially journalists of all people, who I thought would understand better than anyone the possible consequences of having personal information out there for everyone to read.  Thoughts?



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