September 9, 2007

Are you the “no-nonsense kinda guy” who is “good in a crisis” and “doesn’t suffer fools gladly” but “doesn’t hold a grudge” either? Or maybe you are “sort of wacky” and people “never know what you’ll say next,” but you are “always there” for your friends, and you “really listen” and “give good advice” too? Whatever the particulars, to the extent that you are mediated, your personality becomes an extensive and adaptable tool kit of posture of this kind. As you immerse yourself in routines in adulthood, they ramify in all directions, in various combinations, depending on the settings and likely consequences — which you assess automatically at all sorts of levels, from the moment-to-moment flicker of expression on the faces of people you are with, to the long-term likelihood of professional advancement. You become an elaborate apparatus of evolving shtick that you deploy improvisationally as circumstances warrant. Because it is all so habitual and because you are so busy, you can almost forget the underlying reflexivity.

But it’s obvious in other people. I mean, you see it in others, don’t you? Why should you be different?

~ From Mediated: How the Media Shapes Your World and the Way You Live in It by Thomas De Zengotita


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