(un)common ground

a commonplace book

Hypochondria and Messages

Here we have the basis for a character profile of technical civilization: if hypochondria is an obsession with the circulation of substances and the functioning of the primary organs, we might well describe modern man, the cybernetician, as a mental hypochondriac, as someone obsessed with the perfect circulation of messages.

Jean Baudrillard, The System of Objects (1968)

I can’t help but think of social media as an outgrowth of this mental hypochondriac dynamic. Isn’t social media practice–the rhetoric of identity–some pure form of obsession with the perfect circulation of messages? I guess this begs the question of subject/object–is “cyber” hypochondria an objectification of the self in some sense? Maybe this reflects ignorance on my part, but what is the subject/object concept a zero-sum game? Is social media practice an acknowledgement of the subject-as-object?


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This entry was posted on September 21, 2015 by and tagged , , .
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