6.08.2013

The Secret Life of B!

I'm not sure if this is a new psychiatric diagnosis, but my friend B. seems to be suffering from some kind of phobia stemming from the growth of social media. When I explained Twitter to him as no more a privacy intrusion than a custom billboard system along your own personalized highway, he confessed he's also developed a fear of driving. And billboards. And systems and customizing. "There's too much information out there!" he said. "They're bombarding us with it!"!"
Imagine his reaction when I asked him to log onto an online filmmaking competition to help keep my project trending. "I don't know," he waffled. "They'll want to know my name and where I live."

"Sam Clemens," I told him. "You're a caustic young cub reporter from the greater Hannibal area."

"But I'll have to give them my e-mail address," he said. I wondered how a guy who hooked up his own Blueray player -- in his car -- had suddenly become such a boob. "Use a shadow account," I told him. "That's what I did." I have at least ten of these that I couldn't access at gunpoint.

"I can't keep track of another shadow account," he said, mysteriously retaining ownership of a set of random key strokes his fingers once let fly. While this makes as much sense as keeping track of his own farts, I had to agree either pursuit would be daunting.

Privacy issues aside, it dawned on me that we content creators put forth the blatant falsehood that your full and accurate input actually matters. In soliciting your assorted likes, shares and follows, we've led you to believe you're constructing the story rather than just reacting to it. In truth, we never needed either -- though you are fun to play kickball with on a notoriously lonely street.

A high level studio production accountant, B. is unlikely ever to rely on the internet to cultivate his own brand. Though he eventually signed in to endorse my trending indie film project -- using his full legal name of all things -- he's asked me to add an exclamation point going forward when referring to him in these pages.

Maybe "B!" isn't as clever a pseudonym as "Mark Twain," but I suppose even a numbers guy needs something to hide behind while offering up all those opinions, solicited or otherwise, along this long, hazard-filled highway of my own mysterious creation.

Now, please be so kind as to register here and show me some stars. Like I said, people, I'm trending.

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