October 26, 2009
A STUDY IN SOCIAL NETWORKING AND CYBER-NARCISSISM
The folks at MTV.COM have generously invited me to be guest editor of their blog this week . . . with my upcoming film “The Box” (opening in theaters November 6th!), I took them up on their offer.
Given this is a way for me to communicate directly with all of you, it made sense to start with the topic – or should I say the business – of social networking.
I used to frown upon social networking sites. I used to think they were tacky and shameless and narcissistic.
But then I realized that I had no choice. As George Bush (should have) said: You are either with the internet, or you are against it.
As a means of survival in this day and age you must have a presence on the internet. Without an online presence – you don’t exist. You are doomed like Meursault, the hero of the 1942 novel The Stranger by Albert Camus. Doomed to execution inside some public library in Detroit, where you shall die laughing – bitter and alone. Not even @MMFlint will be able to save you.
You have to understand. I am not merely Richard Kelly any longer, I am @JRichardKelly – my TWITTER username. If I decide to have children one day, I will assign my infant a Twitter username before we leave the hospital, just to confirm that the child does indeed exist.
When I die (hopefully not anytime soon), it occurs to me that I might need to demand in my last will and testament that @MyFutureChild publish my entire Twitter feed then read excerpts from it aloud at my memorial service. Of course, my memorial service will be held at a venue with free Wifi so guests can feel free to then Twitter during the event.
Welcome to Twitterwood, where the Twitterati define themselves by 140-character public text messages carefully carved from the most enlightened channels of the human heart.
Crappy TWITPIC taken from my bedroom window. I literally sleep and tweet in the ominous shadow of the Hollywood sign.
As of this blog posting, I have around 5,700 followers, which finds me clinging to the very bottom rung of the Royal Twitterati Kingdom — a wonderful and glamorous kingdom, ruled by King @aplusk and Queen @mrskutcher.
My Twitterverse is filled with many friends and colleagues – I adore the witty observations of @diablocody. I marvel at the stamina of @ThatKevinSmith – whose legendary 24-hour Twitterthon has left its permanent stamp on the internet for future generations to study.
And then there is the man who single-handedly made Twitter cool for an entire nation of hipster artists blogging from Silverlake to Chelsea – the legendary @DAVID_LYNCH. This man has earned his ALL CAPS username. Bow the f–k down.
I love reading the film-festival exploits of journalists like @slashfilm, @firstshowing, @DrewAtHitFix, @colliderfrosty, @mrbeaks and @EricVespe – all competing under the watchful eye of the one and only @headgeek666.
I love reading about @ariannahuff getting her hair done before a Jay Leno appearance. I love hearing that @maddow can’t cook (you mean she’s not the perfect woman after all?). I love reading the ridiculous anecdotes of @BrianLynch, @louisvirtel and @marklisanti. I love feeling like I’m on tour with @thelitteidiot – and behind the scenes at SNL with @sethmeyers21.
Most of all, I just love the idea of Twitter – it provides a platform where I can say whatever I want to anyone willing to follow. It let’s me feel like I’m friends with people who wouldn’t have lunch with me if I paid them. I love Twitter because in just a few short years it has become its own prefix in the English language.
So, I’ve learned to appreciate that a little narcissism goes a long way. And I appreciate any technology with the balls to tell me that when I’m past 140 characters — it’s time to shut the hell up and get back to work.