Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Blogging and Porn - Addictive Behaviours 101

from http://roflrazzi.com/2008/10/29/celebrity-pictures-hugh-laurie-robert-sean-leonard-trapeze-nice-touch/

I'm starting to prepare for my late spring teaching gig, and I'm beginning to wonder if I'm doing the right thing.

I'll be leading a course entitled Share Your Brilliance: Blogwriting for Beginners, and I'm worried it will create a classroom of addicts.

Last night, I tuned into House, MD with great interest; previews had revealed that the POTW (patient of the week) was a woman blogger. There were another subplot that intrigued me even more: House and Wilson were going speed dating. I couldn't wait for the funny to begin. Ultimately, I was a little disappointed because the speed dating bit was pretty short and most of the best parts were in the preview. Of course, when it comes to any opportunity to watch Hugh Laurie being clever, I am totally insatiable, so perhaps my expectations are unrealistic.

There was also SPOILER ALERT! a fabulous subplot about House discovering that Wilson had been in a porno movie when he was younger. House, being House, tormented poor Wilson mercilessly about this. It started when House rented three films from a local shop, Wilson returned them before House watched them, providing a flimsy excuse for doing so, piquing House's curiosity. House then re-rented and viewed them and spotted his colleague wearing a most fetching bear skin. There are more twists and turns, but you get the idea.

It was only later, after watching the addictive behavior of the blogger patient who felt she had to constantly post about every aspect of her life that I began to think about House and his actions related to porn. Sure, he jokes about it a lot, but renting the films shows he follows through. And three films? I mean, aren't they all basically the same thing? As Ronald Reagan observed about trees, you've seen one, you've seen 'em all. Aren't there better things to do with one's time? Better films to watch? Maybe even spend time with actual women?

My class has nothing to do with that type of addiction - unless my students intend to create racier content than I think they will. But it raises the same sorts of questions if students wind up falling down the rabbit hole of blogging addiction. The blogger character in last night's program talked about the sense of community and interaction with people through her blog. She was constantly grabbing her laptop to share new developments in her life, even as doctors struggled to figure out what was wrong with her. Her loving husband stood by, trying to talk with her and make decisions about the future as she turned away to communicate with Bloggyland. It was annoying. And I recognized some of the behaviors as my own.

This Sunday marked my second totally awesome Oscar Party at Bad Mom's house. A gang of super fun women gathered to watch the festivities, eat scrumptious food and drink amazing cocktails concocted by Bad Mom's wonderful husband. We dressed in our best red carpet finery (I chose black velvet, red lipstick and sparkling rhinestones) or incognito celebrity airport outfit. We laughed and gabbed in the classic tradition of what Professor X lovingly dubs a hen party. Except two of us were high tech hens. We hunted and pecked our keyboards, live blogging (on Facebook, don't look for it here) the Oscar action. We also multi-tasked, chatting to each other from our laptops although we sat a mere foot apart.

We had ginormous fun. But are we losing that personal connection? Are we becoming so dependent on our little silver devices that we're not able to interact properly? Am I going to spread this type of aberrant behavior by teaching the class? Is this the downfall of society?

Stay tuned for more thoughts on this troubling topic.



Some brilliant youtube producer combined clips from House with the stirring song "The Internet is For Porn" from Avenue Q - Enjoy!

12 comments:

Lisa said...

Okay, now that I'm done laughing at that video, I have a question. Who rents porn these days?

As for the other, larger questions? I can't say because I have to got post and then download a couple of 4 minute "movies."

Stu said...

I did not know my wife was on House? :)

I kept her iPhone away from a few times when we went out dancing this weekend.

Her world comes to a halt if there is no internet connection...

-Stu

lisleman said...

VCR's DVD's are for porn. I don't think so but those inventions were certainly used for that. Oh go back a little further - 900 numbers - porn.
It's crazy to say that but of course the internet tool (bad word choice?) gets used for many things.

I enjoyed the clip - funny song thanks for finding that.

Fantastic Forrest said...

Lisa - I was thinking the same thing myself, dearest. But I am glad you aren't so addicted that you and MathMan were willing to drive the long way to meet up with us in person sans laptops this summer. <3

Stu - Indeed; your beloved could have been the inspiration for the episode. :)

lisleman - you know, when we were in Pompeii, we saw ancient wall murals of people in various sexual positions, so I don't think 900 numbers were remotely the beginning of porn!

phd in yogurtry said...

You're just spreading the love (of blogging). You can never question that.

The Oscar party sounded like a lot of fun. Was there a Worst and Best Dressed list?

Fantastic Forrest said...

PhD - it was a blast. And Stu's chocolate martinis were the best evah. No formal list, but we did plenty of oohing, ahhing and ughing at the fashions.

Becky said...

Sounds like you guys had fun in a group with your tech hobbies.

I didn't see that episode, but it's interesting. Twitter seems much more prone to that kind of "addictive" behavior than blogging in our sense. Maybe this is why I have stayed off twitter.

I do not blog compulsively or anything, but I will say that having a blog has changed the way I think. Like, in many situations now, I am automatically thinking about blogging it while it's happening.

bushtool said...

Nice post. I see the social media and blogging phenomena as an attention issue. Buddhism teaches that if you are mindful when you eat, you will eat slower and less. The experience of eating will be more pleasant and healthier. If you eat while you watch TV for instance, both the experience of eating and the experience of watching TV will suffer.

The same applies to interacting over the internet. If I am preparing a spreadsheet for a client while my tweetdeck pops up a message about Craig Pridemore voting for a WA Senate bill that I am following as the phone is ringing while I am posting on FB and my co-worker is asking me a question, my ability to perform each of these activities competently will suffer and my enjoyment derived from each of them will diminish.

I went to a two day seminar last fall for computer geeks like me and most everyone in the room had laptops, iphones, netbooks, etc and were communicating with each other on twitter amond doing many other things I am sure during the presentations. It occurred to me that the experience would have been much better if all electronic devices were banned. The level of attention to the content of the event would have been much greater and the interaction between presenters and attendees much more in depth and interesting.

Blogging and social media are great activities. But trying to combine these activities with an in person social event or seminar, not so good.

Addictive behaviors can be a very positive things if they are managed properly.

Barry said...

"Be Not Afraid" Forrest!

House is still wrestling with than addictive personality of his.

And fortunately for us, he does it in a hilariously entertaining way.

mommapolitico said...

Addiction? TO blogging? Maybe that explains why I commandeered Tweenie and Little Man's computer when my own went down (uh, no porn reference intended...)! I definitely feel the pull to add new content, esp. when the politics of the day are so outrageous and begging for commentary. Thank goodness I have a day job, or I might go over the bloggy deep end! ;)

Great post, Girl, and what lucky students! Would love to audit that class!

Jason, as himself said...

OH, this worries me. I'm sure I have some of these behaviors, too. And not just with blogging.

Kidding!!! Well, sort of. No, I'm really kidding! Mostly. No, no, no. I'm totally joking. Almost.

Bee said...

It is DEFINITELY addictive.
I was just telling my friend Kristen (a blogging friend, natch) that almost everyone I communicate with on FB is actually a blogging friend . . . and I manage to FORGET that. My blog life has become my real life.

A bit no-fair to talk about the new House season, though, when we lag so far behind. On the other hand, I got to hear Matthew Macfadyn being interviewed on Radio 4 yesterday. My goodness, he has the sexiest voice.

I would have loved to be at your Academy Awards party. I miss all that. I am now filled with vicarious angst for Sandra Bullock. That story just broke big-time in the UK.