And so begins my first inevitable step into narcissism. Many lament the proliferation of blogs not only as sign of our generational narcissism but as the means towards our eventual solipsism. Maybe, who knows, right? I guess researchers, but even then interpretation of research lends itself to so much ambiguity. Many thinkers of our age tell us blogs send the message, as does twitter, Facebook etc. that every thought we think contains importance. Yet, maturation demands the opposite. So much of the work of development involves choosing what to think about and what not to think about, what thoughts contain value and what should be sent to the recycle bin in our brains. Blogs, in essence, allow us to take out the filter for our speech/thoughts. But part of this experiment is to test out this theory, to see what it feels like to blog, how that affects a personal sense of identity, relationships etc.
But writing these words make me cringe a little bit because I do feel the pang of self-indulgence. I see my friends, in my head, laughing at me, but I cannot tell if this points to the need for a blog. When we laugh at those who attempt to genuinely express themselves do we use “self indulgence” or “white people stuff” to hide our discomfort with genuine feelings? Either way, I hope to use this blog not to air dirty laundry, or win friends and influence people, not to feel less lonely, or gossip, not even to discuss, only, that which I love, but to discuss, openly that which I don’t understand. I cannot escape a gnawing feeling that with each passing day certain questions become less and less acceptable to ask. Not less relevant, but less acceptable. I hope to resuscitate, if even in the slightest form, these questions, these questions we feel cynically towards, the questions best left for high school seminars, or late night pillow talk. I remember a time when certain questions shut down my brain. Some even literally stopped me in my tracks. My friends make fun of me for this need to discuss these issues and refer to these discussions as JoeTalk. So here it is, JoeTalk.
I don’t pretend to know answers to any questions. I don’t even think I want answers in the sense of definite answers, but hope to start a conversation amongst friends about issues that stay stubborn. Too often, it seems, we leave this larger questions to those who know, and with good reason. I will not opine regarding the latest breakthrough in medical technology, but I do believe that part of the problem stems from our problematic belief in the esotericism of certain topics. In that vein, this blogger will hope not to engage in self-revelation past the point of opinions.
Keeping with this theme of ambivalence about this newish form of self expression, here are a sampling of articles by much smarter people than myself about this exact question.
First, here is an article that summarizes the range of opinions out there on this question of technology and the dwindling self - http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/atlarge/2011/02/14/110214crat_atlarge_gopnik
And here are some articles, and speeches from writers about a similar question.
and this - http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2010/nov/25/generation-why/
Let the JoeTalk begin.