I guess we all know dogs pee everywhere to ‘mark their territory’ and that there are those amongst us human beings who do the same with so-called ‘tags’. It’s a way of saying ‘this is my turf’ (Does anybody still use the word ‘turf’? It’s such a pretty word), in my hood you best behave according to my rules. Unless you’re Chuck Norris.
Tagging for society’s sake
There’s also a different type of ‘tagger’. The tagger who does not want to mark his/her own territory, but instead feels the whole world belongs te everybody. The tagger that tags everywhere as an act of defiance against the powers that be. “Your hood? You’re kidding” I warn thee, o society, for I will leave my tagging on thou public transport, for such is my vision of true freedom. This is, of course, bollocks. The person who leaves tags everywhere does not really have such a higher goal, he or she is more like the ten year old kid who scribbles down ‘I was here’ on the bench in te park. That’s okay if you’re a kid, but if you’re an adult… you could do with a bit of counselling.
Social media: Hey mom, I’m cool
Social Media are also justified as tools for improving society since they can spread information, liberty, democracy and empower the masses (Iran and Twitter, Egypt and Facebook, you know the examples). In reality, the mainly a new way for people to tell the world how cool they really are. Usually the world doesn’t really care, but we try anyway. Like taggers polluting our real-world landscape, uninteresting people (like myself) are clogging up the web with blogs, tweets and updates which are all about shameless self-promotion. The worst of these, in my humble opinion, are the ‘I am here’ notices (usually when I see them they are ‘I was here’ notices which are even more useless). It’s no use to go to some place where you’d like to be seen if no one sees you. services like Foursquare and Gowalla are here to help you out. Now you can let the world know you are the most frequent visitor of that trendy bar or exclusive club. And what’s better: your visits don’t go to waste, the add up. You can even become ‘the mayor’ of such an establishment which would make you even more cool (and an even likelier target for marketers and other evildoers)! There are many ways to try to rationalise these services, but in the end… it’s merely a silly way to radiate hipness.
“I was here?” Lame… “I came here!”
First thought when I read about this was: “Dear lord, let this be sarcastic.” And I still hope it is. The general idea behind I just made love.com is that it’s not interesting enough to let people know where you were. You should let people know where you came. Using the same geotagging/location-based apps/plugins/software as the other ones you can add some extra information. What sort of sex did you have and how was it? Is that information anyone actually cares about? I don’t think so, but that’s not the point. Services like this are not developed for the -dreamed- audience. They are their for the people uploading the information, like men who masturbate in front of their chatrouletting webcam do not have altruistic motives. It might add a little extra excitement to the erotic rendezvous of a digital exhibitionist but that’s about it.
So Ijustmadelove.com is nothing new. Not really. All social media are built to satisfy exhibitionism, not to found democracies. Now there’s just a place to upload the stuff most of your friends would consider ‘too much information’.