Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Porn Dethroned

From Reuters:

Social networking sites are the hottest attraction on the Internet, dethroning pornography and highlighting a major change in how people communicate . . . .

Question: Doom or not?

20 comments:

That's right said...

Hard to say.

Social networking sites also have porn, via personal photos and such. And some social networking sites, might even revolve around porn.

Yet, nothing regarding Tickling....that is DOOM.

729 said...

Does this mean we can say that social networking sites are the "New Porn"?

Perhaps, people en masse, exhausted from webporn-based onanism and longing for social, human connection, have substituted virtual social-onanism instead of turning off their computers and spending time with their friends. Seems kind of Doomish to me.

Then again, maybe all that spam and constant proliferation of porn-sites was its own undoing, and porn receded into being just part of the background noise that no one pays all that much attention to anymore. Seems less Doomish or, at least, no more or less Doomish than the webporn had been.

Spiros said...

Yes. We definitely need more mainstreaming of tickling and pony-play. But no littles. 'Cause that's just sick.

Spiros said...

729:

I see you wield the concept "webporn." Care to explain? Is it distinct from, say, "magporn" or videoporn? I'm intrigued.

double shot of justice said...

people who are into age play, ala *littles* and *big's*, are just fucked up.

what the hell is wrong with people?!?!

English Jerk said...

Keeping up a presence on one of those social networking sites is enormously time-consuming, so it’s not surprising that people don’t have time left to indulge secret vices. Of course they also don’t have time left to do anything of value. So they’re not rejecting porn for some principled reason, nor are they replacing it with something morally improving. My vote, then, would be for doom. They aren’t even principled enough to be systematically depraved.

But then again, porn is just an unsatisfying surrogate for love (that which one can give without thereby being impoverished, take without stealing), and, as 729 suggests, social networking is just an unsatisfying surrogate for friendship (a bond that frees altruism rather than restraining egoism). So there’s a seed of truth in both of these things that makes them—despite their manifest malevolence—still better than, say, TV.

Anonymous said...

"social networking" = porn for girls.

Dave Mustaine said...

I object to Anonymous 2:19's characterization of social networking sites as "porn for girls." Philosophers Anonymous is a social networking site for cranky jerks and kooks, only some of whom are girls.

Spiros said...

Really? There are girls here?

The Dread Pirate Dave said...

Aye, matey -- pirate girls.

Anonymous said...

sorry, but if you think a "blog" is a "social networking site" you might be afflicted with a disease known as "middle age". Get with the times, oldie!

Spiros said...

Anon @ 12:38:

Nice abuse of quotation marks!

Anonymous said...

"Arrrrr"

729 said...

Spiros: I had used the notion of 'webporn' simply following the article you posted about which quantifies web searches for porn as a distinct category of websites (as compared to social networking and other sorts of websites).

So, maybe your question isn't only about clarifying my comment, but also touches on the categories used in the research reported. The researchers assume that websites and 'web-behaviors" (searches, downloads, communication) are distinct from each other, but this doesn't inform us about the differences between material on the web and any of their off-line counterparts. Exactly what these differences are is a good question. It seems clear that there is a difference between social networking online and face-to-face social networking. Porn is trickier. "Traditional" (?) offline porn already is a relatively private and individual pursuit. One could claim that webporn differs from its off-line counterparts because (trivially) it's “on the web.”

I tried to figure out what sort of non-trivial differences there are between 'webporn' and its offline counterparts--what distinguishes, for instance, a printed static pornographic image from a static pornographic image on a computer screen. It seems that while it's really difficult to say what distinguishes the images qua images, the contexts and uses can differ. I recall you had blogged about a guy at a coffee shop sitting there viewing porn on his computer. The same guy most likely wouldn't have taken out a copy of Hustler in the same context. It seems that if anything differentiates webporn from its offline counterparts, it comes down to differences in how, where, and who uses porn. Privacy of acquisition increases the amount and kinds of viewers and the pervasiveness of computers increases the contexts in which it is viewed (renders porn more public in an interesting way).

oldie said...

Hi anon! Thanks. "Very" helpful. But see, what I'm really doing is poking fun at the cranky jerks, kooks, and girls who ... (sigh). Oh, never mind.

Santa said...

Calling social networking sites such things as porn for girls is no different than calling say Modern Drummer picture spreads for the latest kits that Terry Bozzio or Neil Peart use such things as porn for people masquerading as musicians.

there is also the cheap person aspect to social networking. it is actually cheaper tp keep in touch that way rather than travel, writing letters, phone calls, etc. and you can do it in your underwear at 3 am theoretically.

porn on the other hand seems to be much more expensive than love. in the sense that you constantly need to get more porn of variety of stimulation when the old porn becomes boring, well you don't have the same scenario happen with love usually, unless you subscribe to the car leasing model for relationships of a limited time contract.

Anonymous said...

by "porn for girls" I meant the following things about social networking sites:


- surfing obsessively for hours

- watching other people interact with each other

- comparing your life to what you see on screen, often in the negative

- a temporary escape from reality

- feeling guilt afterwards



... mind you, that also sounds like watching television. Choose your vices.

729 said...

anon @ 5:07: Anyone can "enjoy" those aspects of SN sites (and TV and Porn), even numbers like me.

Santa said...

@ anon 5:07:

Not that I am a big fan of such sites, as I do not belong to either Facebook or Myspace, but I can see how the criticisms you level such as watching other people interact with each other for hours, comparing your life to others' small snap shots of presented life, temporary escape from reality, and feeling guilt afterwards cannot only be ascribed to SN or TV, but any other social activity such as attending a party, having a meal at a diner in order to people watch, going to a bar, attending a class where you do not speak up, or attending any professional conference or trade show.

In that sense, any social gathering can also be reduced to porn if one takes a passive role in life or engages in critiquing one's own life negatively as compared to the limited info that others present as their own lives.

I vote, not Doom for this development, but rather Hope that this phenomenon brings greater cross cultural exposure, dialogue, and understanding.

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