An identity can be monetized, demonized, victimized, adored, glorified. Join a group with an identity and you will need to accept a set of rules. Live with that set of rules for some time and you will forget that they exist at all. For sure I have an identity, but I’m still figuring out the details of it. The more you find out, the more you find out that you don’t know anything at all. That’s not my quote, by the way. If your identity is under constant pressure or scrutiny, the logic result is that you will draw a line between you and the other. Very closed groups built walls.
When I sent out the tweet of which Damian thought it pushed him into silence I received one reaction from the president of the cassette scene. “Maybe it is slowly time to retire” he suggested. He added that the cassette scene did not need my rubbish.
Internet can be a vile medium. I don’t know about you, but I am completely defenseless to attacks or harsh emails. I feel a psychological punch and it affects my well-being. I will try to explain this reaction, but please don’t consider it as some universal truth.
Social media and the internet-as-it-is are addictive. It makes you enter in a flow of self-reflection and self-affirmation. It makes you feel that you exist. It taps energy, and you get an affirmation of your existence, your intelligence, your taste, your wit etc in return. In a way you are dancing in front of the mirror, and sometimes you are dancing with your eyes closed and follow the moves of your perfect self. And even if you are involved in a creative process on your computer, you are still defenseless, captured in a flow, helped by deep concentration. Disturbance of this process can have nasty effects.
Together with Adrian Shephard I run Radio On. We have a lot of great contributors, and we find a lot of great contributions. One of those was by Nishant Shan, who spoke at a conference organised by disruption network lab in Berlin. I have scheduled the lecture again on our radio. Among other things, you will hear him talk about Amanda Todd. What happened to her is one extreme of public shaming. But where there is an extreme, there is also an origin with different damaging effects.
When I noticed the tweets arrive one after the other, all with the intention of publicly shaming someone, I felt that this was not a good thing.
I didn’t retweet. I offered my help.
Last words in part 6