UFO Conjectures

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Social Media is Killing UFOs

A piece by Andrew Marantz [Unreality Star]in the September 16th , 2013 issue of the New Yorker [Page 32 ff.] deals with paranoid persons who think they are being filmed or taped (by external agents?) for worldwide distribution; that is, their lives are reality show fodder, just like Jim Carrey’s was in the movie, The Truman Show.

The paranoiac exigencies are sad, and the episodes are more common than one might expect.

And we all know persons (us included) who think life (and consciousness) might be part of a (internet) matrix – we all are part of an omnipresent computer game or program.

This brings me to a suggestion that UFO sightings and import have diminished significantly because of the onslaught of internet outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, et cetera.
 
Narcissism has always been an intrinsic element in human behavior, some persons using art, science, or religion to augment their feeling of personal uniqueness and importance.

In order to get the attention of their fellow man, persons painted, sculpted, proclaimed prophecies, started wars, or went exploring in far off, dangerous places.

But such activity always needed a hook, a peg upon which to hang one’s narcissism.

Contactees of the 1950s used flying saucers and alien contacts for their hooks or pegs.

The Hills, Travis Walton, Betty Andreasson all used UFOs or UFO events to employ their paranoidal need to seem special.

But, now, with instant access to self-attention via the social media sites noted above, persosn don’t need a hook or peg to get attention; they just employ self-referential materials: photos, activities, locales, which give them instant attention, or so they think.

A good example of a person who has been able to ditch UFOs as an attention-getting device using social media (Facebook mostly) to garner attention is Paul Kimball.

Paul has maximized his Facebook page in such a way that he is able to garner all the attention he needs, and then some.

This isn’t an indictment of Paul or an accusation of narcissism. It’s just a good example of how people have been able to get attention without having to resort to hooks or pegs, such as UFOs.

External items are no longer necessary to grab the public’s attention. One’s persona or personal devices do the attention-getting all by themselves.

The 1950s contactees would have had a field day with a Facebook or Twitter account.

Adamski could have spewed his theosophical swill without the need to drag flying saucers or Venusians into the mix.

Betty and Barney Hill could have exploited their mixed-marriage,

And Travis Walton might have utilized his forlorn logging job as the vehicle to get the attention that he needed – no need to be abducted by UFO critters.

Nowadays, people can point to themselves, via “selfies,” to show off; nothing more needed but a photo of them with a new hat or in a new location.

Paul Kimball has got it down to an art, and I’m not chastising here. I’m noting how the matter is used by an exemplar of social media par excellence.

People don’t need to grab a photo of an odd thing in the sky any longer. They only need to catch a shot of a cute cat or a child spitting up food. That always gets the public’s attention.

So, UFOs will give way to “selfies” and fast-food visits.

And the phenomenon used to grant narcissists a unique attention will die off, is dying off.

RR