Facebook's power, and its curse, is this holistic treatment of personhood. All the careful tailoring we do to ourselves (and to our selves) -- to be, say, professional in one context and whimsical in the other -- dissolves in the simmering singularity of the Facebook timeline. The circumstantially mediated relationships typical of IRL interactions -- you see your boss at work, your friend after work, your mother-in-law at Thanksgiving -- are mediated instead by one overarching, and overpowering, circumstance: Facebook. Suddenly, Work You is the same as Family You is the same as Friend You (is the same as Gym You is the same as Cooking Class You is the same as Trip to Thailand You is the same as Road Trip You is the same as Words With Friends You is the same as Happy Hour You). The You itself -- which is to say, you yourself -- gets flattened, condensed, homogenized. Contextual personhood gives way to comprehensive personhood. You become, for better or for worse, universal.*Michael Zimmer - Facebook's Zuckerberg: "Having two identities for yourself is an example of a lack of integrity"
Which: stressful! Because, as liberating as it is to erase the divides that separate formerly fractured identities -- as nice in theory and in practice as it is to live an all-purpose, one-size-fits-all existence -- the mingling comes with costs.
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