Event Friday discusses the narcissism of social media users

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Recently, I asked to be subscribed to a local list of interesting things to do called “Tri-State Treasures,” curated by Jim Kesner. It was after a friend shared a copy of her copy of the weekly email.

It’s chock-full of great little events and happenings in town that seem to be all together missing from others places – plus notices about the usual or more widely-publicized ones. It’s only been about a month since I started receiving it and have been very pleased with what I have found, including this little gem I got today about discussion around social media. I, of course, was interested and laughed out loud when I read the description:

Social Networking – Discussion [Friday 17 June @ 6:30pm]: The Association for Psychoanalytic Thought presents this discussion featuring William Wetly & Matt McBride. Mr. Welty will focus on how online social networking & interaction is characterized by narcissism, leading to both antagonistic & self-punishing superego relationships which, within that framework is the possibility of obscene jouissance. Mr. McBride will examine how Facebook, as a medium, is constituted & how it uniquely serves to facilitate a kind of hysteria. Drawing on cultural theories, Matt will explain why Facebook is a departure from previous media & how those differences rob users of their subjectivity in ways heretofore unseen in earlier media. Free admission. Wine & cheese reception @ 6:30pm; discussion @ 7pm. At Cincinnati Psychoanalytic Institute, 3001 Highland Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45219. More info at 513.531.0415 & AssnPsaThought at aol.com.

I can’t wait! I’m going to be there and very much look forward to hearing what they have to say. What about you? It’s free! I just created a Facebook Event, too…


I just touched an iPad

I just touched my first Apple iPad – and I feel fine.

A fellow student in the e-media class I am taking at the University of Cincinnati has a cousin who works at Apple in California. He got himself a 64GB iPad for $300 and brought it to class today. And let me play with it.

I had it my hands for less than five minutes, but my initial reaction is very positive. Quick, light, bright and a perfect size. Also, easy to type on. I can’t wait to get one.

The Wessels Family Tree

My Uncle Steve Wessels
My Uncle Steve Wessels

My Uncle Steve Wessels – who I alternately blame and thank for my obsession with technology – several years ago (15 or so, it appears) worked extensively to compile a comprehensive listing of the Wessels family tree, including birth dates and dates of death, for just about everyone going all the back to Germany for several generations.

It took a lot of work, is still ongoing and will forever be a gift to the whole family. Thanks, Steve. Pretty darn cool.

Side note: Steve is the original tech guy in our family. He makes his living doing it, introduced me to my first computer (an Apple Macintosh in 1984) and has since fascinated me with his wide breadth of knowledge on all sorts of sciences. Follow him on Twitter for all sorts of interesting tidbits about all sorts of things, but mostly tech and other sciences.

Where are Joe and his Dad now?

Today, along with my Dad, Hermann, I am traveling west to just south of St. Louis (in Illinois) to pick up a car. Right now Pops is in the driver’s seat and I am in the front passenger seat, all teched out, with my mobile broadband card keeping me fully tethered to the online world, power inverter keeping my laptop charged, GPS unit suctioned to the window and my iPhone sitting on the dashboard. Listening to the iPod over the car radio.  I love gadgets.

If you want to see where we are and the progress we are making, the map below will make that easy. No guarantee it will be constantly updated. But it is right now.

GPS tracking powered by InstaMapper.com

You can also track me through my Facebook page, www.facebook.com/joewessels

Watch out: Facebook chat scam

I was a camp counselor for eight summers (five at a YMCA of Greater Cincinnati day camp and three summers at Kennolyn Camps in Soquel, California – near Santa Cruz).

Don’t hear too much from former campers these days. My last summer as a counselor was 1999. But, as any former counselor can tell you, those relationships you make often become lifetime friendships. Even the folks you don’t hear from that often, if they called and were in trouble, dropping everything to help them would not be unusual. It’s just that kind of experience.

So, this morning when supposedly one of my former campers, Kathleen, had an emergency in London – she had been mugged with a gun and nearly raped in the Old Kent part of London – I was a very concerned.  Here’s the chat:


hey Joe

how are you doing?

are you there?

are you there?


how are you doing?

are you there Joe?

I’m good. You?

not too good right now

what is wrong?

i am stranded in London

geez. how did that happen?

i was mugged

cash,credit card and phone were stolen

oh crap. that’s horrible. I’m sorry.

contacted the embassy, I assume?

i have reported to the police

the embassy is far away from where i am so getting there will be a bit difficult for me

and i thank god that i still have my life


yeah, that is true.

a gun was pointed at me

it was scary

but don’t you have to contact the embassy to get a temporary passprt or whatever?

i almost fainted

I had that happen to me last year in downtown Cincinnati

they slapped me and even tried raping me

oh my god, kathleen

that’s is awful. I’m so sorry.

when did this happen

i still have my passport because i left it in the hotel i stay


that is good

i am leaving here today

my staying here is already due

wow. well, i’m glad you got out with your life and still have your passport

what part of london were you in when you were mugged?

Old Kent

i thanks go for everything

This is where I started to realize things might not be what I thought they were:

but i have a little problem right now

i need your assistant right now

what do you need?

are you there?


i need some money from you and i promise to pay you back as soon as i return back to the state

how much?


tell me how we know each other

hun hun

could`nt remember exactly


very creative of you

how do you mean?

where did you go to summer camp as a child?



Where did you go to summer camp as a child?



Just tell me one thing about that camp where you went as a kid and the money is yours…

four wind Westward

and what was that?

can`t remember

Can you help me out please

Sure. What in thee hell is “Four Wind Westward?” I have never heard of that.

i was the once

for summer camp with friends

What city was it in?

why all this question?

Why not answer them? Seems fair for a mere $720

question before you can help a daughter out?

a daughter?


what do youmean?

how do you mean incorrect?

Answer any of the questions I have asked, sweets

what is this you are putting in your heading?

Fascinating, eh?

you`ve gone too far

You aren’t English, are you?


ha ha!

gotcha gotcha gotcha!

Fuck you

gotcha gotcha gotcha!

Good luck in your scam! Re-tweet! RE-tweet!

So, I stayed on and had a little fun with the sucker… I post this in hopes that it won’t go too far with someone else and someone actually sends money to a crook – on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, through e-mail. Anything. It doesn’t matter.

Be careful online – especially if anyone starts chatting you and then immediately asks for money. Be careful if anyone asks for passwords, usernames or personal information. Likely a scam.

Then, do that person whose account was hacked a favor (and everyone else who may fall victim to the scam) – and use a different means to contact that person and let them know what happened. And do it immediately. Then, file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center, or IC3.