Tag Archives: facebook

Getting to the truth of the matter

I create in the digital workplace and so I use a lot of social platforms, yada yada, and I’ve noticed there seems to be this race to get the newest, the most viral, the most influential tool possible so ‘I can have a lot of friends and have a great Klout score and show all of this off to everyone in the whole wide world!’ Indeed, there has crept into everyday conversation a sort of sick measurement stick that I am not at all down with.

In fact, I’m writing a Transmedia Code of Ethics for myself and those I collaborate with because as I begin to work on larger Transmedia projects, I am realizing how idealist I really am. I keep wanting my experience with people to be like it was when I worked in the theatre, where we all sat around a table, read a script, and began to craft and shape the vision of the playwright. We would move from the table to the stage, incessantly talking to one another, from lighting to props, sound designer to actor, director to stage manager, and then, finally,  all of us collectively to the audience. Then people clapped and gave us money.


What I love best about the theatre was our absolute dependency on each other. If I did not put a certain prop at the right time in the right actor’s hand, and the lighting cue was missed, the show would fall apart. At every moment, the show depended upon, was entirely reliant upon, all of us as a moving entity, working seamlessly in the dark with watchful eyes.

What came after opening night was an euphoria that only this kind of intense collaboration can bring. The pranks offstage to mess with the actors (I was never guilty of this of course), shenanigans’ of the actors purposely missing lines, booze smuggled backstage, last-minute frenzy of costume changes, and then the moment when the lights come on and you realize you made it through! Followed by the stern reality of the Director’s ‘notes’. But woven into the experience was always this sense of family, because we needed one another in order to get to the vision of the storyworld we’d created.

This is what I’m trying to create and this is what I’m up against: people talking about themselves versus the art, people preening about their ‘followers’, people eyeing your client list like hyenas, people wanting to use you to line their own back pockets. It’s disheartening. Actually, its total bullshit.

I think this is the ugly side of digital. This incessant desire to blow up personal brands like great ego-driven helium balloons that hover and vie for attention, crowding out the notion of creativity and collaboration and shared vision. I wonder, is it possible to get back to that table of theatre, where I can sit around with a group of talented people, and feel like family? Trusting implicitly that it is the art, not the commerce, not our personal brands, not our number of followers or likes, not our goddamn personal agendas, but rather, the exhilaration and devotion to the craft that is at stake? That together we are only able to create this art and must depend on trust to reach that place.

Is it too utopian? Too naive? Perhaps. Perhaps.

But I believe, as John Keats famously wrote that ‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty’. I won’t settle for less.


Filed under Non-fiction


(A little excerpt from a fiction piece I’m working on…:)

She looked over at him in the dark. He slept soundly, his head rolled sideways, sunk into the feather pillow, the tops of his eyebrows poking up and throwing tiny shadows across his eyes. The wooden slatted blinds allowed enough light in to keep her up. So did her own mind. She reached over, fingers crawling around on the night table searching for the stem of her wine glass. Warm, flat champagne. Even expensive champagne eventually tastes like shit at 4 am. Checking again to makes sure he was asleep, she slowly eased her body out from under the comforter. She shivered before her feet hit the cold wood floor and crouching Grinch-like she tip-toed out of the bedroom.

Her skin protested in goosebumps as she made her way in the dark down the long hall to the bathroom. She knew she’d find a robe there, because it was like a goddamn hotel wasn’t it? Bowling alley hallways, austere gray furniture, bad art, crisp white textiles and a sort of forced hospitality that made her feel like she should be able to call a front desk. But all she had was her iPhone, sitting in the dark, on the toilet, the soothing heat in her palm as she clicked open Facebook. She smiled at her brother’s video of Sammy Hagar, who in hell even remembers that guy? Somehow it comforted her, in this place where she could never feel she fit her own skin, even as his hands were constantly touching it, from her toes, to her knees, her neck…Fahget about it she told herself in a Tony Soprano voice and stood up to walk towards the kitchen. She noticed a little ‘1’ on her Twitter and clicked to view her mentions. She absently thought how vain she was but then, if that was true, so was the rest of the world now.

The hollow fridge was bachelor bare.She cut a hunk of dried Brie and poured a cold glass of Pinot Grigio. Sitting down on the kitchen stool too high for any normal limbed person, she read through his DM’s. Her tongue savoured the cold wine and she pulled the soft velour around her shoulders. Could he not afford heat? God it was cold. She suddenly heard the floor creak and wanted to sprint, where? What was her problem? Her nerves were like guitar strings strung and twisted, all jangly and frayed and splintered, but it didn’t show on her face as she smiled and kissed him, the smell of sleep and cologne on his neck as he held her and cupped her breast.

“What are you doing out here babe?” he asked.

“Couldn’t sleep” she said flatly and got up, resigned, padding back to the bedroom. She was too tired for anything. Too tired to talk, think, love. Least of all love.


Filed under Fiction

Is Facebook creepy?

we_have_band Flickr photostream

While I was reading a brilliant article today in Wired magazine by Ryan Singel, I felt myself getting increasingly uncomfortable, kind of like when you catch an adult leering at you for the first time when you just hit puberty. Creepy. You’re not yet old enough to be sexual yet somehow you’re made to be and it’s not okay.

Crazy analogy? Is it? Read Ryan’s article and then come back here and tell me it’s not similar behaviour. Nobody signed up to Facebook with anything other than a need to check out pictures of their friends, make witty comments, dump about their day, or brag about their new job. It was so great because for once, here was a world sharing the day-to-day meandering (and intimate) paths of their lives and it was awesome.

But unfortunately, Mark Zuckergerg became the leering uncle of us all and decided to pop the cherry and abuse this arena of trust, social expression, and community creation to launder IP addresses to marketers and big business as fast as he could connect your ‘likes’ to a hungry buyer.

Facebook is now an illusion of community. Be very clear: You are in an advertisement. And every single thing you say, do, and leave behind will be used. Like turkey vultures scavenging for bits of usable cartilege, Facebook is combing through your data to find feed for its advertising machine.

Don’t be naive you say? This was bound to happen. Maybe so. Maybe so. But I’d like to hope that there’s a kid out there in university fooling around with open source and coming up with a democratic opt in or out program we can feel safe using, without an eye over our backs at a virtual Peeping Tom.

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Filed under Writing for Social Media