Please press play:
Hey everyone – Jeff wrote a little sumthin’ I wanted to share with you because he’s summed up this social media takeover quite eloquently. Get your morning/afternoon/evening hot bevvy, sit back and let me know what you think.
We live in a world of apps, texts, blogs, profiles of every possible layout and every kind of social interaction – sans the messy going out and meeting someone face to face – possible and in this sordid game of give and take, there are two basic roles that humans have been filling since the beginning of civilization. As if a shadow of simpler times, we get our fix in secret but publically for all eyes to see. We click, link and share with each other like loose teens at an unchaperoned birthday party. Online, we service one another with jokes, stories, tips, and quips, but never seem to understand our true roles in the diverse and open world of the interweb. Out here, in the open air and shady chat rooms, we are either “Attention Whores” or “Attention Johns”. And as such, it’s very important to know which one you are and what your responsibility is. It can be a very dangerous game to defile the sacred lines of the Whore/John interaction. I jest, but even so, I will try and give you a little insight into the world we find ourselves in.
The 1960s brought us many things. For one, blacks were fighting for their rights and freedoms in the good old U.S. of A., the British Invasion was being led by 4 young men with style to kill and women were introduced to a little friend known as “The Pill.” Even with those things, there were a few smarty-pants brainers who were working on something that would change the future and they knew it. By the 90s, their little invention would be introduced to offices, schools and homes and would allow everyone to send information faster than ever! Also, they used it to pass pictures of naked ladies to their friends, but that’s beyond the point. What was introduced in the Internet was a way that we could get closer to the people in and out of our lives in a way that had never before been seen in any period of human civilization. For the first time (by the 2000s) you could know what the guy or girl across the street was doing for breakfast without even calling them for a “how do you do.” But with that came a way for us to create new personas. We could be anyone, and we liked that. The power we possessed, it was…..sexy. We could say ANYTHING and people would listen simply because it was there for all to see. We were the creators of our own media, whores to our audience. And as any good whore knows, you need a customer ‘cuz solo work isn’t putting food on the table. And with that we turned our friends and families and anyone who would hear our monologues strummed from the strings of our brain harps into our Johns. Because if they were buying, well baby, we were selling. And so began our transaction.
Now it’s important to be aware of who we are in this game of loved and lovers. We play very important parts in making our egocentric lifestyles function. You see “we” (the attention whores) really are nothing if “you” (the attention Johns) don’t want to read/hear what we have to say/do. We have no reason for being. And don’t believe the crack about “I only do this for me, but if you want to read it you can but I don’t give a crap, it’s just for me”. My fellow Att-Whores, I ask you, really??? Let’s not lie to ourselves. Somewhere in our past we lost our voice. It was taken, oppressed, suppressed, violated or simply not smart enough to articulate our overactive imaginations or express our need for the use of pretentious dialogue like an episode of Dawson’s Creek. But we have reclaimed our power and are grabbing this brave new world by its perked nips and simply not letting go. And for that reason, we love it. The satisfaction of speaking at (because let’s be honest, we aren’t speaking “to” anyone but ourselves) our audience and knowing that they are eating up every word we say is, well……arousing, is it not? Verbal masturbation has us waking up with words in our mouths ready to spit at the world every day with the hopes that someone will want to be the receiving end of our pre-prepared drivel. But like bad food in a sick stomach, it’s so damn satisfying when we finally get it out. We love the experience of knowing that everyone in our world can speak, but we’ve been self-appointed with the task of being much more than a voice. We are the new scribes of our generation and in 100 years; the internet will be littered with the faint echoes of our voices as we express our views on our culture and time. We are writing the books of the bible on the 90s and 2000s in a way that Jesus himself would have ordained his followers to do about their accounts with him had they the ability. I can see it now “OOOOOH SHIT, MY BOY JUST TURNED THIS MUTHAF***IN PARTY UP WITH THAT WATER INTO WINE SHIT. WORLD STAR BABY!!!”
Lest we forget about the other end of this equation, our beloved Johns aka You, the reader. You spend your day busy, working, living your lives and usually not as reflective as the Att-whores you seek out once you’re in the comfort of your laptop and favourite sitting space. You wait, day by day for us to drop our knowledge, like a student waits for a good teacher’s word. We hold you at desperate attention for as long as it takes, patient, knowing that the next thing we post could be the one to change your life. And we don’t fail to tickle your fancy, do w? You love us. We rub you in just the right way. The conversation you share with your more simple-minded family and friends during your average urban/suburban day just doesn’t equate to the lusty dialogue of a great bloggers comedic ranting about how sad it is that “Justin Bieber and Selina Gomez just had their first fight” or how “Dating in the dark can be an interesting way to meet the man of your dreams.” We teach you about life because we live it, experience it and weight it out for you. We are the first line, the researcher, and the hunters. And after we’ve learned it all, we give you the ol’ “wax on, wax off” styled rundown of the way we see things. You admire our boldness and our ability to say out loud what you’ve been thinking for so long. We represent your secret passion to be heard, to have an opinion worth sharing, or simply being able to captivate someone with a story about burning a pot of jasmine rice. We give you the latest fashion, the coolest trends and link you to music you otherwise wouldn’t hear over your top 40 radio stations. But don’t get it twisted; we are not kings or queens. We were once Johns ourselves at a point. We just took the transaction to the next step. Instead of buying, we decided to sell. As any good Att-whore knows, pimpin ain’t easy. We lose parts of ourselves that we can’t get back. We let you in, put on our blinders and hope that you still like us when it’s all over and we do take tips, “leave them on the night table, please and thank you.”
All we want to do is share and all you want to do is shop. It’s not easy, but we love it and you love us. We make a pretty nice team, you and us. But know this; we do this, this whole thing, not just for ourselves and our unresolved need for being wanted and accepted, but for you, the reader. So that you may be able to take something away for it. Something we’ve learned. Something you can take into your own life. Like how socks and sandals STILL don’t work together no matter how you want to approach the topic. That love is a crazy game and only the best can win. That even on the darkest days, when all seems lost, we can never give up because the news can be autotuned. Kim Kardash still really loves rich, dumb brothas and this summer colour-blocking is the only way to survive our judging eyes. You see, we need you just as much as you need us. We love your Johnning ways, just like you will sneak online under your boss’s nose just to get a little taste of what we have posted for you today.
Oh, and that’ll be 50 bucks. What…you thought this was free? Why do you think we never kiss you? It’s just business, guys. Sheesh.
Jeff is a character designer, graphic designer and illustrator. Check out his portfolio here.