When do we stop being people and become commodities? In times when individualism is supposed to be paramount, we do everything possible to create followers and sell ourselves. From Ramesses II to William Gates III, celebrities were, to some extent, concerned about their image. In time of social networks and individual journalism every man is a celebrity.
Fifteen years ago I have built my first personal website. It featured some pictures, a list of favourite movies and some basic contact details. For some bizarre reason, I thought getting what would now be called my personal profile right to be very important. After all, Billie Armstrong could stumble upon it and drop me a line.
Having spent a few weeks and a pint of blood I came to senses, realising that no one cares whether I deem The Godfather worthy to be the prominent #3 or the sad #8 on my personal top 10. A decade and a half later, however, I regret having stopped posting film reviews- in the über-social 21st century, popular blogs can become a serious source of income. Shakespeare would be biting the elbows and Wilde- turn in his grave if they were told that Perez Hilton’s blog was worth $32m. By the time my children go to college, they will probably be reading news written by a team of microbes.
I have got to admit, I am a little conservative when it comes to personal communications. I miss times when people had 5 real friends who would remember their date of birth by heart and call on the day, instead of 500 virtual ones who would leave a note on The Wall after receiving an automatic reminder. How could anyone burn with desire to post pictures from private parties and tweet their every move- I will never understand. Equally, my children will probably not get the concept of writing letters or, God forbid, writing at all.
It is great that we have means to communicate with two billion people at any time from almost any spot in the world. Sadly, the possession of this remarkable power has cost us self-sufficiency. Suddenly it is not about being ABLE to share but HAVING to tell the world about us and being quite concerned about the verdict. We share most intimate details with a large number of people and want them to love us for it.
We are lonely when no-one pays attention to what we do. We feel to be boring if no-one screams we are amazing. We behave like celebrities; we have finally become special. Unfortunately, when everyone is special, no-one is.