Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Feedback's Absence

By virtue of a new phone and, let's face it, many years on Facebook and now Twitter, I have grown rather accustomed to pretty immediate feedback. And not just any feedback--I mean the unambiguous feedback of the thumbs up and the retweet. The hermeneutically sealed "Like".

Of course, I am not describing feedback generally but instead a specific kind of feedback called reinforcement. The quick response that publicly says "I liked that." Like a parrot pecking away at the lever, I demand my treat.

I don't know so much where I am going with this, except to say I am noticing this in myself: a strange discomfort in not knowing what others think. As psychoanalysis reminds us, Che vuoi? can be a ruthless question--and no more so than in online social networks.

Location:De Giverville Ave,St Louis,United States


  1. My gut response (and I have to keep this quick, Blakesley's Elements of Dramatism is calling me for my Rhetorical Theory class), is that we are discussing different things. You are discussing the immediacy of feedback from a closed circle of friends. I am discussing how our immersion into those closed worlds (closed because my friends are just a return of the same, in Levinas's language, they are my friends precisely because they do not interrupt my joyous possession of the world, that is, myself) obliviates the other, external, outside world--the world beyond the (being) world I have constructed for myself. What we subconsciously/unconsciously/consciously (there are times in elevators that I bury my head in a book to avoid having to strike up a conversation)/materially obfuscate: the external.

  2. I think you are on to something here. I would add only what I think I was getting at (which you have here unconcealed): that the immediacy of a close(d) group of friends has shaped (perhaps) what I expect from strangers (I think)--in as much as my social network is not simply a close(d) group of friends but also colleagues and acquaintances. But yes: reconciliation by means of the inside/outside tension, which is, I think, what we are both working on.