These days all the world is truly a stage and we are most definitely players.

July 10, 2009

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You were so right, Andy…

Do you often feel like you are an actor in a film about yourself or a supporting actor in a film about someone else? Not surprisingly, life becomes art during times of high drama, good and bad. “The Job Interview,” starring you. “The Date from Hell” co-starring you. “Naughty Night Nurses” starring not you… We become heroes or villains. Pursuers or the pursued. Beautiful or ugly. Objects.

With the proliferation of social media, digital music and reality TV, the idea that each of us is starring in our own movie has, in my opinion, become pervasive. Let’s jump around. We are constantly listening to handpicked music on our Ipods, yes? Are not these play-lists the soundtrack to our lives? It’s so easy filming ourselves (via handhelds, personal computers, cameras) it seems we are constantly “on” or auditioning. Even before the self-indulgence of Twitter and Facebook, reality TV showed us so many versions of us (richer, poorer, fatter, faker, etc), that many of us subconsciously began acting “as if” we were being filmed.

Think about it. When you’re having a tough conversation with your partner don’t you sometimes imagine you’re on a TV show? It’s like your words become dialogue. Try saying, “I love you” without sounding melodramatic. Try having a temper tantrum without suddenly feeling like cameras are rolling. ‘Say it like you mean it’ has become a stage direction!

The explosion of pornography into the mainstream has even changed the way people make love. Whether you watch porn or not (or admit to it), sex and performance are hopelessly intertwined. No surprise Viagra and the Internet took off together. Whoring on Craigslist. Sportfucking. YouPorn.com. Is anyone really surprised about “sexting” among teenagers?

Forget for a moment the psychological and sociological ramifications (they are massive) and revisit my opening question: Do you often feel like you are an actor in a film about yourself or a supporting actor in a film about someone else?

If so, let’s hope you like the movie!

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4 Responses to “These days all the world is truly a stage and we are most definitely players.”

  1. justin said

    or as Kurt Vonnegut would say, “we are who we pretend to be, so we must be very careful who we pretend to be.”

    SP, you have here the beginning to an excellent semester of comm theory lectures. Should you ever want to take a drastic pay cut, move into a depressingly small office, and suffer the indignity of parking in an uncovered spot, you could probably get a job teaching.

    Just don’t forget that advertising also plays a huge role in the socialization of individuals in this society, so there’s plenty of blame to be spread.

  2. SRP said

    Justin-
    Those that can’t teach, do.

  3. Andy Webb said

    Good one, SRP! Mind if I use it?

  4. SRP said

    Use away, Andy!

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