armchair cultural observation since 1995

A weirdly neutral intermediary

“One day—one day soon—all of this will become too mundane to be worth mentioning, but for now, while all this access still feels at least a little bit surreal, there are stages to move through as you test the limits of connectivity and your own willingness to connect. Sign on, and suddenly everyone is right there, posting exclamation-point-ridden messages to your wall about how “It would be so great to see you! We should get together!!!” that you quickly come to understand are mostly symbolic, a kind of conventional shorthand similar to the uncaptioned sonograms that passive-aggressively announce new pregnancies and changes to the clinical-sounding “relationship status” that don’t need to be conveyed personally because Facebook delivers the news itself, as a weirdly neutral intermediary. All this blatant good cheer butts up against a steady stream of updates from people saying they hate their jobs, are exhausted, feel sick, feel fat, feel nostalgic for the days when they used to look forward to the life they now have.”

Eryn Loeb

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