Pender and Richards

Wesley has just started a communication degree so we’ve been spending time talking. They seem to have changed the curriculum up a little so while there’s a lot of information that’s the same, there’s some new stuff mixed in to keep it fresh. Some of the stuff is material I haven’t touched in six years and I’m approaching it with new eyes, with much more of a framework for analyzing it. It’s like I’m doing my degree all over again. It’s fun.

We’ve been talking about foreground/background and middleground behaviours lately. The theory goes that people exhibit foreground and background behaviours in a given context. The classic example is a waiter at a restaurant who acts one way in front of guests and another way in the kitchen with the other staff.

But, when in the presence of both groups, most people will act in a way that is a hybrid of the two behaviours. This didn’t necessarily happen very much before but the advent of television brought this background/foreground behaviour into focus for politicians and celebrities, forcing them to inhabit the middle more. Now with sites like facebook, everyone does this.

That’s one thing that’s always made me uncomfortable about facebook. Aside from people I know from high school, my group of friends and acquaintances is very loosely connected and random. I have a lot of different interests so most of my friends don’t know each other at all. It feels really weird to me that they would all see the same information.

I hate inhabiting that middle ground. It just doesn’t feel like me. The middle is what I was trying to escape when I first started blogging around 2000. I needed a place where I could live a little without my guard up.

I don’t like to put a lot of things on facebook. I post photos and really random status updates sometimes, but ironically enough, I’m more open and post far more information about myself here, where there are zero privacy settings. I know that most of the people I have as friends on facebook don’t read, though there is a link on my profile. If people actually care then they’ll seek it out.

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