Technological Tristesse
January 17, 2019 6:10 PM   Subscribe

Sad by design. "While classical melancholy was defined by isolation and introspection, today’s tristesse plays out amidst busy social media interactions. Geert Lovink on ‘technological sadness’ – the default mental state of the online billions."
posted by homunculus (11 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Jaron Lanier asks, ‘why do so many famous tweets end with the word “sad”?

All it takes to mess up the curve is failing to correct for a mass of tweets from 1 Individual...

More seriously, it would be interesting to see a breakdown of how the word "sad" is being used - to indicate personal unhappiness, or as more of a put-down, i.e. to indicate a person's judgement of an unfortunate or foolish external thing/event/circumstance.

(I got a few paragraphs further than that, but I have to admit I quit reading due to frustration with what I perceived as 'muddy logic'. Maybe my relationship with All Things Internet is just different from others', and this article isn't for me, I don't know.)
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:23 PM on January 17, 2019 [2 favorites]

We’re all sad in our very own way. As there are no lulls or quiet moments anymore, the result is fatigue, depletion and loss of energy. We’re becoming obsessed with waiting. How long have you been forgotten by your loved ones? Time, meticulously measured on every app, tells us right to our face. Chronos hurts. Should I post something to attract attention and show I’m still here? Nobody likes me anymore.

It's terrifying how social media has the power to make us feel this way even in the relationships we trust the most. I still value and enjoy the comfort of silences, even extended ones, but I feel like I have to manufacture them now; or reassure myself that when they do occur, it's not because my social relationships are weakening.
posted by nightrecordings at 7:28 PM on January 17, 2019 [2 favorites]

All it takes to mess up the curve is failing to correct for a mass of tweets from 1 Individual...

Spiders Georg, who lives in cave & eats over 10,000 each day, is an outlier adn his tweets should not have been counted
posted by praemunire at 8:29 PM on January 17, 2019 [12 favorites]

Jaron Lanier has been eating way too many VR spiders for way too long, adn his articles should not be counted as having value
posted by Windopaene at 10:50 PM on January 17, 2019 [2 favorites]

Hey, I got a topical joke out of it, so there's that...
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:05 PM on January 17, 2019

(so did praemunire, for that matter)
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:06 PM on January 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

I'm a simple person. I see "Jaron Lanier" in an article and I stop reading.
posted by dominik at 3:36 AM on January 18, 2019 [3 favorites]

He mentions Deleuze in a footnote, but I’m surprised he doesn’t go further into him and Guattari’s concepts of “desire-machines” and “desire-production”. This entire essay could probably be built upon those concepts. I want to write more but I’ll have to come back in a couple of hours.
posted by gucci mane at 6:55 AM on January 18, 2019 [2 favorites]

Also, damn y’all, Jaron Lanier’s tiny little quote is a minuscule part of the essay. There are a lot of other people mentioned.
posted by gucci mane at 7:14 AM on January 18, 2019 [1 favorite]

We sit alone in front of an electronic invention which passes on human conversation. There is no touch, no energy exchange, no eye contact, all the human things that follow or even begin the communication. It is a set up for lonliness and frustration posing as a solution.
posted by Oyéah at 8:51 AM on January 18, 2019 [6 favorites]


SMALL BRAIN: I want to marry the love of my life

BIG BRAIN: I just want a positive, stable relationship

GALAXY BRAIN: I can't find happiness with another person because it would be bad for my online brand
posted by homunculus at 10:16 AM on January 18, 2019 [3 favorites]

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