social media

Humblebrag: Faking Your Vacation

Curated by CLAI

Projecting an enhanced reality is nothing new. Paintings flatter their subjects like Napoleon Crossing the Alps did, presenting a better and rosier version of reality. Now, we just can do it faster and better on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. While I don’t like to admit it, I, myself, am guilty of humblebragging. “Finished my master’s application on Waikiki!” Woohoo, look at how efficient I am when tanning on the beach! I crave that pat on the back that I did a good job – external support and approval. Nonetheless, it’s what makes us human.

Projecting a believable alternate is something new. The ability to use technology to manipulate what you see, so that everyone believes you are in one place while you are not. Check out the “Faking Your Vacation” story below.

HUMBLEBRAG:  Outright bragging expects to be met with awe, but humblebragging wants to meet with awe and sympathy. It asks for two reactions from its audience, and in so doing makes fools of its beholders twice over. There’s nothing new about false modesty, nor its designation as a form of bad manners. But the prevalence of social media has given us many more canvases on which to paint our faux humility — making us, in turn, increasingly sophisticated braggers.

  • “My emails send so slowly over here in Cannes! So frustrated!”
  • “Why do men hit on me more when I’m in sweat pants?”
  • “Mother of God. Tornado coming. Hide in my wine cellar or my theatre? Or my gym.”
  • “Totally walked down the wrong escalator at the airport from the flashes of the cameras… Go me.”
Faking your vacation to Phuket using your local pool and Photoshop

Faking your vacation to Phuket using your local pool and Photoshop (Zilla van der Born, NYTIMES)

 FAKING YOUR VACATION: We create an online world which reality can no longer meet. We filter and manipulate what we show on social media to distort reality.

  • She spent 5 weeks traveling through Southeast Asia and documented the trip in photos on Facebook. She posed for pictures while dining on dumplings, snorkeling among colorful fish in azure waters and visiting ornately decorated Buddhist temples.
  • In reality, she never left her home city, Amsterdam. Each photograph was expertly contrived through photoshopping local temples, restaurants, and a pool.
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Languages of the Past and Future

Curated by CLAI

SPEAKING IN A DEAD DIALECT: Growing up, I could feel the language of my parents wither and die like autumn leaves. They had immigrated to the United States from Calabria in the late 1950s and continued to speak the dialect of their poor southern Italian region, but it was a tongue frozen in time by exile and filled with words that no longer existed in their homeland.

  • He had only Calabrian words for the plants, procedures and tools. Each of his children had attained some form of higher education and, with it, freedom from the strife and poverty that had chased him from Italy. We now found his background primitive and remote.
  • I had so much to tell him but no way to say it, a reflection of our relationship during his lifetime. Without his words, I was losing a way to describe the world. Memories suddenly mattered more than ever before, and I didn’t know if I could find the language to keep them alive. Perhaps this Calabrian I now speak with my father is the truly dead dialect, the language that neither changes nor translates.
Social Media Dating

Social Media Dating (Lou Beach)

SOCIAL MEDIA DATING: 15% had used social media to ask someone out on a date. “Getting to know someone through social media could be much more appealing than using traditional dating sites because it was possible to get a more realistic impression of a person. While profiles on dating sites are often carefully contrived, people tend to let more of their individuality and personalities come through casual interactions on Twitter and Instagram.”

Who’s More Famous than Jesus + What Would Plato Tweet?

Curated by CLAI

NETWORK OF FAME: Who’s more famous than Jesus Christ? There are many varieties of fame. Jesus Christ was the first person to achieve it globally. Pantheon, a new project from the Macro Connections group in M.I.T.’s Media Lab, is giving that a stab. It has collected and analyzed data on cultural production from 4,000 B.C. to 2010.

Most Famous People of the Last 6,000 Years

  1. Aristotle
  2. Plato
  3. Jesus Christ
  4. Socrates
  5. Alexander the Great
  6. Leonardo Da Vinci
  7. Confucius
  8. Julius Caesar
  9. Homer
  10. Pythagoras
Fame Network

A network of fame according to Pantheon, a new project from M.I.T.’s Media Lab.

WHAT WOULD PLATO TWEET: Your Klout score (calculated per your online influence through social media) is markedly similar to what the Greeks had called kleos. The word comes from the old Homeric word for “I hear,” and it meant a kind of auditory renown. Vulgarly speaking, it was fame.

  • What they wanted was the attention of other mortals. All that we can do to enlarge our lives, they concluded, is to strive to make of them things worth the telling, the stuff of stories that will make an impact on other mortal minds, so that, being replicated there, our lives will take on moreness. The more outstanding you were, the more mental replication of you there would be, and the more replication, the more you mattered.
  • How satisfying, in the end, is a culture of social-media obsession? The multireplication so readily available is as short-lived and insubstantial as the many instances of our lives they replicate. If the inadequacies of kleos were what initially precipitated the emergence of philosophy, then maybe it’s time for philosophy to take on Klout.

HAPPY LUNAR NEW YEAR! Chinatowns, Confucian Apologetics and Chinese Facebook

Curated by CLAI

CHINATOWN TRADITIONAL, SUBURBAN, and FABRICATED: The Chinatown brand has come to mean something more than just Chinese. Later this year, “North Carolina Chinatown” is to open near the Raleigh-Durham airport. Even though developers are calling it a Chinatown, their design deliberately encompasses all Asian cultures.

CONFUCIAN APOLOGETICS: I would often start and end my conversations with the word “sorry” — sorry for bothering you, sorry for the bad news, sorry this issue came up, sorry for asking questions.

Apologies

Sorry (Credits: Julia Yellow)

CHINESE FACEBOOK: Weixin is China’s killer app, a highly addictive social networking tool that allows smartphone users to send messages and share news, photos, videos and web links, much like America’s WhatsApp. Just 3 years after being introduced in China, Weixin has nearly 300 million users — a faster adoption rate than either Facebook or Twitter — giving the app a dominant position in what is now the world’s biggest smartphone market.

KOREAN ELDERS: Over the past 15 years, the percentage of children who think they should look after their parents has shrunk from 90% to 37%, according to government polls.