The Culture of “Likes”

Social networks as illusory sex prosthetics.

The Culture of “Likes”

When one uses the Facebook social network in one’s day-to-day life, one should not forget that all its character and legacy, from “Likes” to “Pokes,” stems from the repressed “geek” Eros. Geeks, including the kosher cyborg Zuckerberg, have always meant the triumph of brains over feelings, and every geek product can always be seen as a metaphor of a sexual act sublimated into mathematics.

Even the official Facebook portrait by Fincher emphasizes that the principal social network of the 21st century emerged as the media that simplifies hunting for white hetero females by white hetero males.

The necessity to simplify this hunting for a geek is pretty obvious. In the still patriarchal world, where the key pillars of mass Eros are the strength and the shape, a geek, as a liquid child of a computer, is but a beta male who contrasts his informed brains to the concrete genitalia of those who are simpler but alpha.

With the Facebook emergence, beta males no longer need to faint when they have to get a date, get acquainted, and get laid. Here and now, you can learn if Mary has a little lamb, and you can know where she lives, works, and has fun. Facebook makes the individual status on the sexual exchange public.

When one takes it into consideration that the network now has the 500 million-strong audience, and is basically a communications phenomenon that still has to be understood, one could still describe it as an evidence of a trans-cultural request for a universal sex crutch in the masculinity crisis era.

Any action in Facebook means one’s participation in sublimative non-venereal communications that eliminate the biology factor substituting it with data. This is an image of the sexual dystopia for digitized citizens of the future, the Eros without flesh steam, risks, dangers, and without sex per se, as poetic exchanging of blood. People click on each other, but no one fucks anyone. There is no chemical ballet.

As a system, Facebook is conservative and patriarchal without any doubt. Two doctrine-forming functions are the proof of it, “like” and “poke.”

In the case of “like” that has already become some universal form of opinion expression for the mass cyber culture, we deal with the hypocritical refusal of the necessity of evil. By eliminating a possibility to react negatively, the “male” social network mediates the false Carnegian world where there is no place for any natural blackness, and all its denizens abhorring the criticism and any negative position at all plunge deep into feigned saccharine positive reaction, the reality of angels that shit with coconut shavings.

Apart from anything else, “like” is not only a perspective to be drowned in honey, it is an infantile prayer to the Other, “Caress me.” It is immediately followed by the autodecomposition, “Do you like me?”

The culture of “like” is a reincarnation of Oedipus mother’s effigy, an embodiment need of inexhaustible and express-delivered tenderness, and a desperate rush to the hope of new sensitivity.

In the case of “poke,” we step right to the theme of sexual prosthetics. What is a “poke,” apart from a prosthesis, that is a pervasive virtual phallus, a hand with a wet index finger that symbolizes the favorite gesture of a predatory crowd?

Consciously or not, “poke” was born out of the situation when an intercourse is impossible. This interpretation is legitimate due to the rhythmic pattern of this function. I “poke,” you “poke” in return, and this goes on ad infinitum, back and forth, an exchange of dives, a metaphor, sublimation, and a parody of the coitus. It is worth noting that it happens between hermaphroditic identities. An exchange of “pokes” is, essentially, an exchange of phallic acts when a member enters a member, and only the tip of the glans is vaguely vaginal.

Millions of people “poke” daily in Facebook, instead of fucking each other for real. In this sign of the times, there is the fear of viruses inherent in the AIDS generation to which Zuckerberg belongs, and the crisis of intimate communication that emerged as a result of the new information media’s seduction of our contemporaries.

Apart from this, the exchange without exchanging is pretty significant, too. It is the situation when the mirage barter happens, with exchanging organic Eros for the digital one, and, in fact, there is no barter exchange at all. “Poke” cannot compensate for an orgasm; a snake charmer does not lure a cobra out without ejaculating a controlling shot or singing a womb aria. We only meet a curious Ouroboros when the Facebook network established as an assistant to the repressed geeks’ Eros only increases the sexual frustration when the contemporary’s run-down Eros is degraded to a crippled pseudo-masturbation in the lock-up of one’s brain.

Politically, Facebook is an obedient governmental supporter, and this is confirmed by innumerable cases of censorship of “undesirable” pages in its small universe. The state and the Eros are eternal opponents, and their relations can be described as the System’s attempt to systematize an individual by denying the Chthonics to him, and by directing Dionysius from the realm of sex into the territory of Mars, the land of patriotism and war. Thus, Facebook is like a new kind of Church because it is destructive from the sexual point of view, and it promises the same caramel paradise that does not exist.