Occupy the Emotional Stock Exchange, Resisting the Quantifying of Affection in Social Media
1. Intro (Rob)
Through this Project, Forest flipped the relationship between audience and media producer, pointing the way to the present moment of the producing consumer (or prosumer).For a period of five weeks, the artist turns an exhibition space in the Centre Pompidou into the nerve center of a nationwide exchange of fictitious news items that are composed by members of the public. It is equipped like the headquarters of a news wire service with a phone bank (handling up to 8000 calls a day), a computerized database, video production facilities, and a full range of office equipment. Working 24 h a day, its staff of 15 are responsible for gathering, editing, displaying, archiving, and rating the news items….
2. Who We Are as Critters: Do I Belong?
3. What Social Advertisers Are as Systems: You’re Not Where You Should Be!
Facebook is a communication experience that, instead of satisfying your need to know, constantly reinforces a subtle, haunting, desperate awareness of the other, more important communications you missed while you were away from Facebook. The longer you spend on Facebook the further you are from a sense that you know enough about your surroundings to relax and turn your attention back to your own goals and priorities.
This is where Facebook has done Coke one better. Coke created an artificial craving only they could satisfy. Facebook has created an artificial craving that nothing can satisfy. It is a beverage that makes you thirstier the more you drink it.
4. The ‘Feels’ vs. the Algorithm
- And when someone needs a makeover
- I simply have to take over
- I know, I know exactly what they need
- And even in your case
- Though it’s the toughest case I’ve yet to face
- Don’t worry - I’m determined to succeed
- Follow my lead
- And yes, indeed
- You will be
5. Netprov: An Emerging and Emergent Form
“It’s Just 1 Week.You know you should cut down—even quit—your dependence on technology, right? But it’s hard. Too hard to do by yourself!That’s why we’ve created the #1WkNoTech community to take a stand from November 10–16.We’ll support each other in 1000 ways so we can all step back from the madness, take a breath and get real!Join our active and supportive community! We’ll keep you company throughout your own personal version of #1WkNoTech.How to participate:Narrate your own version of #1WkNoTech, day-by-day: will it be heaven? will it be hell?Show us yourself enjoying a peaceful moment in the woods!Share the glories and horrors of battling tech withdrawal over Twitter!Post a pic of you throwing your phone away!
Mike & Sara @mikensara4ever · November 9.wait a minute. how are we going to favorite each other’s #1wknotech tweets?#onehandclapping.The first few days paid off the basic joke of the netprov.
(ﾉ ω )ﾉ～ @lolidkgina · November 10.roomie just asked to play words with friends... I had to suggest actual Scrabble.And now I can’t google acceptable Q words. #1wknotech.
Melissa Ng @MelissaNg11 · November 10.Bet my parents in Ohio are dying to know how my interview today went. Keep wondering, parents! #1wknotech.
Manic AF @MP89MP · November 10.But seriously think of all the fun stuff you can do without technology! The possibilities are ENDLESS. I feel lonely. #1WkNoTech.
Brittani Thompson @brittanithomp · November 11.My phone for the week #1wknotech #tumblr. (See Figure 1).
bhallamk @Bhallamek · November 11.my face was always buried in the laptop, never noticed how STRANGELY my dog stares at me al day. #1wknotech #tumblr.PICTURE AVAILABLE.Sasha M @sasha_m98 · November 11.The great thing about #1wknotech is that I don’t have to be bombarded by images of people having a lot more fun than I am.
Grace Anaclerio @Granaclerio 11 November 2014.Catching myself staring vacantly into small rectangular objects...Force of habit. #1wknotech #tumblr. (See Figure 2).
Sketchy McGinn @Sketchy_McGinn · November 12.Each hour that goes by, it feels better and better to know I’m not using Twitter.Starting to feel bad for the people who are. #1WkNoTech.
Then anxiety began to set in. The emotional markets were closed.
Lita_lota @litalota228 · November 11.Having night anxiety without my phone near by bedside #1wknotech #whatislife.
Jack Taylor @karb0020 · November 11.I changed my mind I need class to not be canceled so I have something to do rather than lay in bed crying all day. #1wknotech.
Manic AF @MP89MP · November 11.I feel so trapped in an analog world. Nothing is discrete or incremental, just continuous like eternity. #1wknotech #continuity #nondiscrete.
Manic AF @MP89MP · November 12.I wonder if my family is still alive? #1wknotech.
Grace Anaclerio @Granaclerio 14 November 2014.Can we pls talk about how Miley was at the USC game and I had to find out afterwards by word of mouth like some basic commoner? #1wknotech.
Amanda S Gould @stargould · November 12.With no tech and no friends we must like our own #1wknotech posts.#augrealities. #notechmoreproblems #tumblr.Kathi Inman Berens @kathiiberens · November 15.LIKE withdrawls. #1wknotech #digiwrimo #tumblr #FOMOM.Mark C. Marino @markcmarino 15 November 2014.Snorting a line of LIKEs off my powered down phone #1wknotech #tumblr. (See Figure 3).
0 retweets 3 likes.
Sketchy McGinn @Sketchy_McGinn · 19 h.Starting to feel bad for my food. It’s practically begging to be photographed.#1WkNoTech.
Chris Gnarley @Chris_Gnarley.@CooperV12 seriously. I’ve missed out on so much reassurance of worth via likes. never be the same #1wknotech #FOMO.
What Am I Doing? @whatamidoing_16 · 12 h.I am going to slightly miss this week of no tech though. Oh, wait. No I’m not.#1wknotech.
Lita_lota @litalota228 · 10 h.Farewell #1wknotech. You end in 15 min. Let the sleep deprivation over.Instagram/Facebook nonsense commence! #goingtomiss1wknotech.
7. #1WkNoTech Reflection: Do I Exist?
8. I Work for the Web
From this came the ad campaign of the benevolent Internet monopoly along the lines of the great vertical monopolies of America’s antitrust heritage.“For those of you asking how things have been going here at Facebook Dept. of Likes: generally everything is hunky-dory. Everywhere you look there’s someone throwing a thumbs up (or Flipping the Zuck). But I’ve started noticing different kinds of Likes. Like the not-so-nice Likes, and sometimes it seems like people feel obligated to do it, like they’re afraid if they don’t thumb up everything they might miss out, miss some opportunity, lose some social media capital (which come back to us as bonuses paid in FaceBucks to use in the company store). So while all and all things are really swell, I’m starting to suspect something beneath the surface—though I try not to notice it.So mostly things are A-Ok.”
You work for the Web!And it’s so easy, you probably don’t even know you’re doing it!Likes 59%Favorites 89%Friends 51%Favorable Comments (Ouch, you’ve got to work on that!) 12%
We gave you a stage to perform on!We let you upload your dreams and images to the clouds!
So tell us your stories on Twitter and Facebook!Now!
The Stats Don’t Lie
29%Waiting On Downloads.
66%Friends Ignoring You.
100%Time On Device.
Earning Your AttentionBe Proud of Your Contributions!
Sending Comic Selfies, Trying New Emoticons, Inventing New Passwords, Clicking Celebrity Teases, Counting Your Likes, Winning Next Level, Re-typing Captchas.
The wheels of the Web turn on your generosity!You’re welcome!
The World Wide Web, every post, every selfie, every like50 billion posts each secondThe work you do collectively could LIGHT up the entire WORLD
Andrew RockeHearst, Sr.He put the Web to Work for You...Just a twinkle in his eye...And has made it HIS life’s workTo build a cyberspace where Workfeels like Play!Say it loud, Say it proud:I Work For the Web!RockeHearst Omnipresent Bundlers says: Tell us your story #IWFW**By Tweeting your story using the #IWFW hashtag, you waive all copyrights and contribute your content to R.O.B. Marketing and Promotions.
9. IWFW Reflection: Who Am I Working for?
10. Trading Faces (2015)
- Mark, you were telling us about an experiment. I don’t know if you actually pulled off this experiment with your class, or if it was speculative. But you had perhaps said to your class, “What would happen if everybody on social media moved over one seat to the left, and hopped on somebody else’s accounts?”
- That’s an experiment I do with my freshman writing class, in order to get them to see the way their newsfeed is filtering the world for them. But, of course, the idea is that you watch it only, because it would be unthinkable to have someone else touch your account. Just think of the damage they could do to you…. And somebody said, “Well, what if we swapped accounts for a while, and saw what happened?”
- Totally appealing. At which point, I think I said something like, “Oh, I would do that with you.”
- So, because I think maybe we put that out there as something that seemed so dangerous, that it immediately seemed like the next thing that we should do.
- And before we knew it, we had our tiny notebooks out, and had exchanged our login information and passwords; and, shortly thereafter, were exchanging our habits with one another in our notebooks.
- Yeah. My notebook says “no children’s names.” “Discretion.” It says “trust description.” “You are not your Facebook.” “Be the person relaying news.” And “LIKE EVERYTHING” is written in all caps.
- Mark, I remember in this conversation that you described yourself as a very enthusiastic Facebooker. I don’t like the word positive, but you’re like an ebullient presence there, and somebody who “likes” a lot. So I have a note on that.
- Yes, I am the face of a Facebook optimist. In my notes I have: If someone received a direct message from somebody through Facebook then we would relay it to the person and consult about how to respond.
- In the first phase, we were trying to pass as the other person, although there was a lot of fiction that happened then. Phase Two was a blur — where we’re sort of merging ourselves and the other person. And then, Phase Three was when we became fully ourselves in the other person’s avatar.
- We had originally intended it to be seven days, but I think it wound up being about eight days. So I would say that perhaps the first phase was about three days, the blur was three days, and the last phase was maybe two days?
- I’ve always liked the part of netprovs before we indicate clearly that they’re neprovs, for whatever reason. I would talk to Claire about what her daily routine is. Claire said she’s working on her novel, or she might go for long walks, things like that. Those little seeds of revelation to each other became what we would post. First, I had Claire say that she was sick of Facebook. She was just tired of it. And then she got so many “likes” for that comment. Except, of course, we had decided that we were going to post between like four and seven times a day.
- So within a few moments, I had to take that back and start posting about how things were going in LA. And I think the first day, I might have been pretty mild. But then, the second day, I had her go for an audition for what was going to be a car commercial, and it ended up being a prescription drug. And then, I think, it became surfing, I think, ultimately, was what the commercial ended up being for.
- Yeah. So, for example, like on the day when Mark sent me to the beach—which I think, too, was the day I actually went to the beach—I had Mark go to the beach as well. So there was a moment in which Claire-as-Mark thought that she saw Mark-as-Claire at the beach.
- I think, for me, it was hard to pass, not so much linguistically—though I don’t know that I like wholly captured your tone, Mark—
- I think you were much more poetic that I ever am.
- I think I just tend to be like a little bit too lyrical, and maybe interior, existential in my modes of using Facebook. But I think I ventured from Mark’s actual reality maybe sooner than he ventured from Claire’s actual reality. I immediately had him take on his really intense fitness regimen. And then he ultimately goes to CrossFit and gets injured. So I think I was a bit too hyperbolic in the passing phase.
- We would e-mail each other pictures that the other person could use in subsequent posts. You know, partly as inspiration, and partly as sort of proof that this is happening.
- And then we were basically chatting every night—right, Mark?—on Facebook. So I would be in Mark’s Facebook and Mark would be in my Facebook, and we’d be chatting with each other.
- And then those little seeds grew into bigger stories. You know, I think you still passed as me in that case. It just wasn’t a realistic story that was being told. Similarly, I don’t think people necessarily believed that she was auditioning for a commercial. They believed it was Claire telling a story about auditioning. Recently, I met with (fan-fiction and transmedia guru) Flourish Klink, and she told me that she recognized the trickery right away.
- I know Flourish pretty well. Whereas I ran into somebody I don’t know particularly well at a bar. And this person was like, “Oh, I thought you moved to LA.” So, I mean, there is residue from this project.
- As we entered into the blur, it became very anxiety-producing for me, very scary. Not only was I still trying to pull off being Claire, but I was trying to get into additional layers of trying to pull off being Claire while no longer trying to pull off being Claire. And then she was doing things with my character that were more out of character—but in character with herself—that colleagues or slightly closer friends were reacting to with delight. Like they were so happy that I had taken up yoga and was perhaps becoming a yoga instructor. I don’t know if I told Claire this, but I did receive one text and subsequent call from a friend asking if something was wrong; that I didn’t sound like myself on Facebook.
- Oh, no!
- And she wanted to know what was going on.
- What’s funny is a lot of people expressed concern over Claire’s mental state, but nobody really checked in on it in person. So they thought she was suicidal or having a nervous breakdown.
- So by the end I would be logged into Mark’s account, and Mark’s photograph would be like a half-and-half Mark-Claire split. And I would be chatting as Mark to Claire. It was really disorienting—the different layers of persona and presentation. I would often forget who I was, and whose account I was logged into. Perhaps our avatars like take on these lives of their own. Mark can be logged in as Claire, but maybe Claire-the-avatar, is still Claire in some sense.
- Yeah, I think it’s interesting that you (Claire) felt freer doing things with you (Claire on Facebook) when I was inhabiting your avatar.
- Yes, I almost didn’t have to see what would happen on the other end. I could just put it into the world via you, and then whatever the repercussions of that would be, you could deal with it.
- I was relieved to be back to being me. It’s certainly easier than trying to be myself being someone else. And then there was the anxiety of how people were receiving the being who was not me. And yet, I think that project stayed with me, maybe more than some of our netprovs. Usually I’m always sad when they end.
- I got so attached to Mark’s friends while playing him that I was really sad to leave. Those emotions were very real. But I’ve learned there’s not a way to recreate the experience of someone else’s account in one’s own account. So I’m just back to my same old not-using-Facebook habits.
11. Trading Faces Reflection: Whom Am I? Whose Am I?
12. The Currency of Social Capital: False Value
Conflicts of Interest
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© 2017 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Wittig, R.; Marino, M.C. Occupy the Emotional Stock Exchange, Resisting the Quantifying of Affection in Social Media. Humanities 2017, 6, 33. https://doi.org/10.3390/h6020033
Wittig R, Marino MC. Occupy the Emotional Stock Exchange, Resisting the Quantifying of Affection in Social Media. Humanities. 2017; 6(2):33. https://doi.org/10.3390/h6020033Chicago/Turabian Style
Wittig, Rob, and Mark C. Marino. 2017. "Occupy the Emotional Stock Exchange, Resisting the Quantifying of Affection in Social Media" Humanities 6, no. 2: 33. https://doi.org/10.3390/h6020033