And I began to think about how inundated our modern social culture is with all things tech. Technology, devices and computers have finally infiltrated the sophisticated, fashionable, soulful, organic elements of human art. They amplify the basic elements of human capacity- the rational and the expressive. These elements I speak of are those that set us apart from all other beings. With computers and the internet, we have set ourselves so far apart from other species that it is truly inadequate to classify man as simply animal. Our social material- our art, technologies and expression, create a whole that is so much greater than the sum of its parts. To quote the iGod article I was reading today,
"With the rise of the Web, the computer revolution was, for the first time, becoming genuinely personal. No longer were people using their machines just for serious stuff—documents, spreadsheets. They were using them for purposes that were purely recreational. E-mailing. IM-ing. Downloading purloined music. Devouring online porn. And once the PC entered the realm of fun, it became a province of fashion."
And then I think about my own place in this world- as I should. The great democratizer of the Web 2.0 world is that each person is their own channel, choosing to extend themselves via the video, blog, or flickr portal if they may choose- lending to the hyper-narcissism that defines this generation. Those who do not blog, myspace or youtube are really no longer going to be excused as those who simply wish for greater privacy than others. Those people are not just not interested in creative writing, photography or videomaking. If they were, and considered themselves artists, I would certainly critcize them for lacking an essential characteristic of all living artists- to evolve, remain contemporary and relevant. The delineation is more a reflection of occupation than any pretentious internet modesty. Ironically, web presence lives among the down-to-earth and real- naturally due to its lubrication of accessibility between people (networking, wikis of information).
Relevancy is just the thing then, isn't it? The social darwinism of modern expression has materialized in the need to remain culturally relevant.
Anyhow, I thought of myself. I thought of my jobs and what I do. I've a blogger, flickrer, gmail/google application slave, ipod user, myspacer, youtuber, sitemeterer, haloscanner and perhaps a little more. I'm a comedian who writes for the web, promotes her shows on the web, networks via the web, and creates original video content for the web. I currently work for a media company that is positioning itself in the forefront of mobile entertainment - as more tech savvy CEOs predict a future where the vast majority of web use will be conducted via cellphone rather than computer. And in the past I worked in PR/Media for a porn company- an industry famous for its ability to fully exploit new technologies before all other areas of the entertainment industry have caught on.
When I was a little girl I loved my time on my Commodore. Later I used to play games on floppy discs, and I was one of the few kids who had a PC with Word Perfect and Pagemaker. I could program in DOS and was an early adopter of the mouse and windows. My dad worked in computers and always brought home the latest and greatest.
In 1998, my senior year of high school, I took an unpopular semester elective called "The internet and you." In that class I learned HTML and built my first webpage.
During my freshman year of college in 1999, my friends and I started using AOL IM for the first time, and I got my very first email address. I was a PC user, hating MACs when I would edit video projects on them because their compatability with the applications I know and love was shit. Office for Macs sucked butts at the time. They seemed culturally irrelvant- only necessary for practical needs like editing. It was in the time before youtube.
In the fall of 1999, I purchased heatherfink.com, and began creating it in 2001 on a free hosting site, where I used the site to tell some stories, post funny pictures, and link to things I liked. I even had a page for a short biography of myself. It was lame and I rarely updated. I used the site to host pictures there as well, but there was a storage limit and I could not link photos from my page elsewhere.
In the fall of 2003, I went to law school where everything was done via internet- from legal research to homework assignments to exam taking. My law school boyfriend in 2003 was the first person I had ever met with a blog. He used it to post videos he made which were popular in his home town, and write something funny just about every day. His friends from home would interact with him by leaving comments. Some of his friends would even post there from time to time.
In 2004 I started my own blog to post funny things as well, a needed outlet during lawschool. A month later I became a lawschool dropout/failure and my boyfriend dumped me. All of the sudden I used the blog as a tool for expressing the difficult crap I was going through and as a way to have a loud screaming voice in reaction to the whole thing. I allowed my most painful emotions to be witnessed like a trainwreck and I'm sure my readers appreciated the spectacle. At the very least it helped normalize the otherwise traumatic experience of being dumped by your first crazy love during your quarterlife.
In 2005 I began my current career as a comedian, and the blog served as a tool for comedy writing. At that point I was able to exhibit my comic voice without even performing. When I returned to the stage, the two fed into each other.
Somewhere around the time I became a blogger, flickerer and all of that, I became a full fledged Mac enthusiast, embracing the style, fluidity and grace of its abilities.
And all that I and many others seem to think of is what has happened to us? What will happen next? What does Edward Tufte think? What does the pervasive social language of the Lolcats mean for us and will it ever go away?
For many of you this blog entry is the most boring fucking thing you have ever laid eyes on. But the scary thing is that for many of you- it's not. It's interesting. You can relate. You feel the very same things.
And PS- I just built one of my own: