For our continuing "Boing Boing on GOOD" series, I wrote a brief essay about the possible psychological dark sides of Twitter, Flickr, and lifecasting that may go beyond amplified narcissism. Are the Truman Syndrome and Abraham Biggs's live suicide on Justin.tv canaries in the coalmine? From my article, titled "All the Web's A Stage" (above artwork by Imaginary Foundation):
In 1968, Andy Warhol famously forecasted, "In the future, everyone will be… famous for 15 minutes." Of course, he was right. Personal computers and the Web have democratized the tools of media so that most anyone can create and distribute their own content without the need for deep-pocketed middlemen. Can't get on TV? Start your own network. Create your own reality TV show starring you. Flickr already abounds with users who unabashedly post steady streams of self-portraits shot with phonecams held at arm's length, and fans who praise them. And at microblogging hub Twitter, there are thousands of people delighted to share what they're eating for dinner or that they're stuck in traffic, and many thousands more who seem to care.
At Institute for the Future, where I'm a researcher, we've been exploring the idea that "everyone will be a channel," and how that experience might inform and change the way we relate to each other, and ourselves…
"All the Web's A Stage" (GOOD)