Instagram, Foursquare, Facebook: Ten Nyman on Packaged Lives

Ted Nyman hypothesizes in his post “The Horrible Future of Social” that our obsession with digital services is cheapening our lives:

We have begun to pollute and desecrate and cheapen all of our experiences. We are creating neat little life-boxes for everything, all tied up with a geo-tag, a photo, a check-in; our daily existence transformed into database entries in some NoSQL database on some spinning disk in some rack in suburban Virginia.

The end-game is this. Slowly, gradually, without realizing: we stop participating in our own lives. We become spectators, checking off life achievements for reasons we do not know. At some point, everything we do is done soley to broadcast these things to casual friends, stalkers, and sycophants.

It’s a profound observation.

Today, I got my first Mayorship badge on FourSquare. But I didn’t know how to feel about it. Was it an actual accomplishment? A momentary boost of ego, sure, but what does it matter a week from now? A month? A year?

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