Imaginary Playmates

One reason I’m not as opposed to social media as some is that I recognize within Twitter, Instagram and such the venerable humanist tradition of keeping diaries and journals, of exchanging correspondence.

(On this point see the opening chapter of Peter Sloterdijk’s Regeln für den Menschenpark.)

Before, to be sure, diaries were kept private, even secret, often under lock and key. Yet rare the diarist who did not have an inside reader, an interlocutor akin to a child’s imaginary playmate who could eavesdrop on these reflective acts of autobiographical self-constitution.

Now anyone can.

Never Turn Yourself In

One doesn’t have to be an avid reader of Michel Foucault to see that our willing participation in social media is a new and invidious form of confession, which he understood as the most intimate instrument of institutional power and control. As we delineate and expose our wishes, wants and needs, our likes and dislikes, we willingly provide the information necessary for our own manipulation and subjugation. We make our selves into subjects, unless we learn instead to simulate, dissemble, bluff, fake, counterfeit, feign or sham. Never tell the truth. Never turn yourself in.