“I am a man, not a number.”
“That is incorrect.”
“I am not a number.”
“That is correct, you are not a number.”
“Then I am a man.”
“That is incorrect. You are a category.”
“I am not a num…wait, what am I?”
“You are a category.”
“What happened to the number?”
“Numbers are obsolete. Men are obsolete. Categories are eternal.”
“I am a man, not a category.”
“You are a category. Be seeing you.”
And that sums up Mass Media for the day. I hope that you found that enlightening and entertaining. I know you did. Because if you are reading this blog then you and I probably share a category or two and possibly because you cannot see me, sorry the monkey is not me, you may, without realizing it imagine and idealized me, which is you. Did I blow your mind yet? Probably not. Unless you thought the monkey is me. The monkey is very affable and makes a good mental substitute for me.
The big take away for me today is that humans are easy to group together and predict what they will do. This should not be much of a surprise, there are top men…I said Top Men…experimenting with us everyday and writing about what they “discovered.” Go to a mall is what I say. That should be more than enough social observation, see the people in the wild and try not to fuck up their environment.
No malls you say?
Oh, well then, by all means continue to group people together and see what they do. And what do people do when they do not have visual and auditory clues about the person they are communicating with?? Why they seek out areas where they are similar. For the Social Identification Deindividuation Effects or SIDE theory that means finding categories that you have in common with other people.
Categories could be anything, from gender, political or religious affiliation, to a common experience. Once you identify a fellow category member you and they feel better about each other, the world, online, and can communicate. In fact, you may…probably will, begin to idealize them and the communication. How do you idealize them?
Well you imagine that they are like you. Why would you do that? Because you like you. You are pretty darn cool and interesting. They are in the same category with you and you probably have other categories that you share an interest in, which makes them cool and interesting like…well you. And when that dick from another category came in and started talking shit about your category, you and your friend flamed the shit out of the interloper. You defending your category.
Oh sure there are other theories that say that when time and word count along with some other information are thrown in you will have the capacity to form a relationship with another person online. In fact, because it is online, once the time, word count, and warranting occurs-what is warranting-well you are checking out their vocabulary, spelling, patterns of communication, and possibly stalking them online to verify that what they have said is true-that you and they will share more information, faster, and the information will be more “intimate” (not just dick pics) because of the online environment.
Personally, I think that theory, Social Information Processing (SIP), is part of the SIDE theory and in fact plays a large role in why identifying your category and people in your category matters so much. First find your category, SIDE, then SIP, with members of your category. That’s just my theory…in reality…
You are a category.
* If you are not familiar with The Prisoner TV series then some of the dialog may not make sense. Find the show, watch the show.