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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

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…


City Living Politics

Facebook Lexicon and “Cincinnati”

The Facebook Lexicon is a searhable application tracks the usage of terms used in Facebook on group, profile and wall pages. It’s an endlessly fascinating way to take a bird’s eye view of what people are talking about – and, frankly, what they are not.

Because of Facebook’s global scope, I think it’s hard to be able to get a true measure of what local people think. But, with our overall obsession with what the world thinks of Cincinnati, it’s a interesting way to see when exactly people talk about Cincinnati.

Here’s the chart for Facebook and the word “Cincinnati” for 2008.

Using the Facebook Lexicon, the word Cincinnati, Jan to Dec 2008
Using the Facebook Lexicon, the word "Cincinnati," Jan to Dec 2008

What exactly gets people talking about Cincinnati? I’m not sure. My memory is not that good. But maybe a look back at news coverage will give us an idea why there is a spike, for example, in early- to mid-March? Or big drops in mid-December? Or how can we better take advantage of the interest in Cincinnati during the warmer months of the year?

There has also been much said about Obama’s superior utilization of the Internet, but more specially new media, during the campaign. And that’s obvious with another feature of the Lexicon, comparative searches (up to five terms possible). I searched for “Obama” and “McCain” and zoomed into 2008.

If, presumably, McCain did not about this and he did, would he or his campaign staff worked harder to embrace new media?

There is not enough data to do the search I would really like to do: “Driehaus” and “Chabot.” No surprise, I am a big proponent of social media and politics. But surprisingly, there is still quite a bit of resistance to it.

There are loads of other possible searches. I have done a few others like “election” and “Cincinnati”; “boring” and “Cincinnati”; “fun” and “Cincinnati”; “streetcar,” “useful route” and “Cincinnati” – with not enough data present to render results. But I bet in the future there will be and this will be a great and very useful feature. What other searches would you do?