Why The Pics?


Recognition, Authenticity, Partial Attention, Photography


In this article Silverman talks about how social media has become the normal. How every detail of someones life needs to be shared and the methods of peoples thinking while sharing. He also brings up how people need to react to social media and notifications to be recognized, to be heard.


“The writer and former tech executive Linda Stone calls this phenomenon “continuous partial attention”. She differentiates it from multitasking, though there is some similarity. Continuous partial attention, she says, “is motivated by a desire to be a live node on the network. Another way of saying this is that we want to connect and be connected. We want to effectively scan for opportunity and optimise for the best opportunities, activities, and contacts, in any given moment. To be busy, to be connected, is to be alive, to be recognised, and to matter.”(Silverman)

“The social media theorist Nathan Jurgenson describes users as developing “a‘Facebook Eye’: our brains always looking for moments where the ephemeral blur of lived experience might best be translated into a Facebook post; one that will draw the most comments and ‘likes’.” We might feel this phenomenon in different ways, depending on which networks you use and which activities constitute your day. I feel it acutely when reading articles on my smartphone or my computer — this sense that I am not just reading for my own enjoyment or edification but also so that I can pull out some pithy sentence (allowing enough space for the 23 or so characters needed for a link) to share on Twitter.”(Silverman)


So I see this article as a way of Silverman showing how people are flexing on social media, struggling to be recognized or followed or reposted and how it changes their behaviors and thinking to rotate around social media platforms. Silverman sites Linda Stone on a phenomenon called continuous partial attention. This is a phenomenon were people are constantly having some part of them selves pulled away by the thought of social media and connecting. I found this very interesting because, as I see it everyone wants to be someone and to matter to other people. I find that social media is the platform that is used for people to shout out that they are important and alive. A place where they are hoping to be heard. People constantly have to be doing something productive or talking to someone or updating something partially so they don’t feel alone but also to give value or purpose to life.

Later in the article Silverman mentions the “Facebook Eye”. This is a condition Nathan Jurgenson describes as our brains looking for events that are facebook worth and will get the most likes or comments. I think that this is a very real thing. Just this weekend I was at a corn maze, the farm that had it also had baby goats and a group of girls just started running over to them for the sole purpose of posting on Facebook. Alright I know that sounds judgmental of me but i saw them post it right after the picture. Maybe they didn't go just because they thought they would get likes, but it is a possibility and it relates. They could have just gone to post pictures to show that they are doing things with their lives. This brings us back to the idea of if you didn't post pictures did it really happen. I am more curious as to why people post pictures in the first place. I think a large amount of people post pictures to validate them selves to show other people how great their lives are. I would like to coin the term social media flexing, or something like that, where people flaunt their lives on social media. Now I’m not saying all people do that but I feel like society is getting close to forgetting things invalidation of things if they were never shared on social media.


Why do you post pictures on social media, do you do it to social media flex?

Do you feel like you have to respond to all comments or repost or retweet things people say, do you feel like you have to have your connection on social medias?

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