Meta-Meta

Isn't it lucky that we have the Greek language as this pseudo-parent language that can give us mysterious words that somehow happen to lend an aura of cool, awesome, or just pragmatic to the world?

Like, you know, meta?

(The phone just rang.  It was this rather odious doctor office manager who seems to speak as if on seven second delay, and somehow I found myself being extra chipper and acid-tongued just for her.  I don't quite know what's wrong with me, but that woman's demeanor over the phone –her decided lack of caring for her job coupled with a resolute lack of caring for whatever I may say– make me want to crawl through the cord and strangle her.  I'm going to blame that last statement on the hormones).

________

As humans, we have this fascination with sharing ourselves and our stories and our thought processes.  And as humans, we also have the compulsion to want to absorb those details with and from other people.  We blog, we overshare, we Tweet and we Facebook-status-update throughout the day and make people privy to our day-to-day movings, shakings and machinations.

Sometimes it's amusing.  Most of the time, as a matter of fact, it's kind of fun.  We revel in it and we overshare with gusto.

But sometimes that oversharing becomes …. meta.

Meta-banal.  Meta-meta.

________

I am not sure just how much is too much.  We want to know about other people's lives, but just how much?  I remember not too long ago, when Facebook was having trouble with some of its partners because stories that people didn't want published, such as the purchase of an engagement ring or other more personal things made it into the Friend Feed without the knowledge of the person.  Next thing you knew, ninety-nine of your closest and dearest knew that you were, say, buying something for $10,000 and planning on going to see "27 Dresses" by yourself.

Bad, nosey Facebook, right?  No cookie (ha).

But things have not changed much, thanks to the fact that people want to overshare.

Going to the doctor?  Grabbing some milk?  Making dinner?  Doing actual boring work stuff while Facebooking? Justifying your life's choices unprompted?

Check, check, check, check, and check.  Facebook and/or Twitter leave no room for introspection or hyperbole if you don't want them to do so.  And if you need to explain WHY you're going to the doctor or what you're making for dinner, there is always your blog, ever ready to disclose in essay form the banality of your banal thoughts.

Sometimes it's gold– especially if you're funny.  Sometimes, it's just creepy– especially if it's not funny.  A little mystery and a little withholding never hurt anyone, but an overly liberal policy on disclosing who you are and what you do or don't do could be a recipe for true disaster.  Or at least a very good substitute for Valium (especially if you're not funny).

_________

And I wonder where this entry ranks in the way-too-much-information-of-the-boring-kind scale, if I'm being fully honest (disclosing the inner workings of MY mind).

Maybe this is just not funny.

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This entry was published on December 17, 2008 at 10:16 am and is filed under Soapboxing. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “Meta-Meta

  1. Interesting perspective. I think we get more and more isolated and we counteract that with these attempts at connections. I posted about a different slant on this this morning. But perhaps that’s TMI. 🙂

  2. I try to save my sharing for funnies-only… but it’s hard to know what makes the cut? I definitely find myself shaking my head later- “oh, that so wasn’t good enough.” I don’t want to clog up the interwebs!

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