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Status Conscience

July 9, 2010

Let’s harken back to a simpler time… pre-Facebook; a time when your “status” referred to the label in your clothes, the friends you chose, and the car you drove.

Nowadays, “status” more likely refers whatever is typed into that little blank box at the top of one’s Facebook page ever-so-innocently asking,

“What’s on your mind?”

Thanks to social networking, reading someone’s thoughts no longer requires a spirit guide or parlor tricks. Some call it a revolution, which it may well be. I’m inclined to recognize it as the fruition of the old Chinese curse knock-off,

May you live in interesting times.”
The subtext being that “interesting” is marked by chaos, insecurity, and strife.

This backhanded proverb is reported to be the first of three curses of increasing severity, all of which eerily speak to the conundrum we find ourselves involved in all too often in the too-much-information age.

“May you come to the attention of those in authority.”
An increase of influence may come with showing up on the radar of those in power, though the inherent trap of that increased exposure may lead to a higher level of scrutiny… and accountability.

“May you find what you are looking for.” This one reminds me of the tricky genie using etymological loopholes to manifest their master’s greatest wishes into extreme disasters.

Having access to the stream of consciousness musings of acquaintances, friends, and lovers ads an “interesting” new dimension to these connections just as the redefined notion of privacy takes a bit of the intimacy away. Just last week, I experienced this drawback in my “real” life.

No longer able to ignore the digital breadcrumbs mounting against a new boyfriend, a conversation was forced. As a result of what was begrudgingly disclosed, I lowered the boom and a nifty timestamp indicates that moments after I left his abode, his Facebook status was updated.

“another beautiful day! Almost wish I owned a motorcycle. Biking it is!”

I suppose I should have been careful what I wished for… especially regarding being clued in on what my man was really thinking.

So, uh… wow, dude. “Interesting.”

Biking it is.

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