Much of the most delightfully silly online humor follows
a particular formula: a
single good idea that alters or plays on a pop-cultural artifact; execution
that relies on computer technology, but not too much (some simple Photoshop
work, a couple lines of code); loads of nostalgia.
On my neglected Facebook page sits an even more neglected
"Like" button. Although I read what others post and occasionally add a comment,
I grumpily avoid this particular feature. Technology based on personal
preferences-a rapidly expanding group that includes Hunch, Pandora, various
Google products and others-is a source of anxiety for me.
"There is no There there,” said Gertrude Stein about Oakland, California. “There is a different there there,” say I, an Oaklandite by birth, about virtuality. “Virtual” presence differs from “real” presence in propinquity—time, place and relationship—as well as vividness and interactivity.