Life in the Big Tribe

The intersection of the Internet with socializing and entertainment is the democratization of representation. Previously, only the famous, rich, important political, and somehow notorious had an image that is meaningful to project. Now, anyone can present themselves via their myspace page, facebook, or other Internet creation to anonymous others anywhere.

This net culture has only ginned up a few minor “celebrities.” True notoriety isn’t the point. The net allows anyone to have what I call “Big Tribe” moments. The Big Tribe is the greater collection of humanity that recognizes you, but does not know you personally. Big Tribe actions are things that you do that these recognizable strangers will know you for. Myspace pictures of drunken reveling, perfect ski turns, and other experiential exclamation points are efforts to show the Big Tribe how fun and able one is.

In the future, more of life for most people will consist of grokking to the Big Tribe: selecting clothes and bumper stickers, blaring music with the car window down, posting film shorts, blog entries, clever nicknames….

Of course, the paramount Big Tribe moments are dating and sex. These are the things that people always talk about amongst their true friends. Going out with someone or saying something memorable at the bar is to be a player in another’s Big Tribe moment.

Look for the Big Tribe. You’ll see it everywhere. Hidden in plain panorama. You are participating.