Listomania

“Think less but see it grow like a riot, like a riot, oh
I’m not easily offended
It’s not hard to let it go from a mess to the masses”

The article’s title being a slightly modified song title by Phoenix, and containing the chorus from the same song, this is not a tribute to the popular French band but rather an explanation on something I have seen as being a growing phenomena in mine, and others, Internet habits: the growing need to fill out lists and compete and compare with online connected friends. Internet services helping you to coordinate your cultural and geographical memory, but they could also be used to brag how culturally superior you are. How you choose to use them are your choice, but be advised, no matter how you use them: They are terrible time consuming.

The Spotify Syndrome
Highly contagious matter, spreads through the social media Facebook, and results in an endless amount of time spent listening to collaborated “indie” play-lists, party hits and seasonal variations consisting of the best and well-known classics and the worst and hidden katzenjammer from the last 5 decades. Now with the ability to send your friends songs as easy as a poke on Facebook sending them in sleepless nights of bongo drums trance and pan flute ballades.

The iCheckMovies Disorder
This disorder creates an addictiveness to watch the canonized films voted forward of fellow film lovers on the great service IMDB. Not just the famous top 500 list, but also sorted by decade, genre and how much they played in this service generates hours of work from the Great Train Robbery to Toy Story 3. In addition to the democratic elected movies, iCheckMovies also provides you with the award winning movies from the Academy, BAFTA, Cannes and other festivals and institutions. This is a time consuming activity, but from your hard and beneficial (for yourself and your own general education) you get rewarded with different prizes depending on how many percent of the films you have seen in each category.

The Foursquare Virus
Both Spotify (in its most advance version) and iCheckMovies are services which are constrained to happen in front of a computer screen on the top of a lap or a desk, the next virus on our time consuming list is mobile. This means that it is following you around, in your very own pocket. Do you have a cell phone with a API-oriented operative system – such as iOS or Android – and wireless or mobile network this service could follow you anywhere. And anywhere is also the point of this service since the goal – the point creating activity – is to check-in at different establishments. This gives you points, badges and ultimately first-life perks. The latter can be found in e.g. Pizza Hut and Starbucks that will give you free pizza and coffee if you manage to reach the rank of major, in other words if you are the most frequent customer checking-in during a 30-days timespan.

Summary
The services above are time consuming, and can create an addiction. On the other hand will they provide you with hours of fun, a systematic approach to listen or see something and a diary of what you have done. The last two is interesting since they do not produce any value except that they reefer to other products, except of course if you are a major. All services make you able to see what you friends have been doing, even though many of the users are probably more interested in how they present themselves. Another interesting observation is that the meta-actions are becoming more important. The fact that many users, me included, spends hours on updating what we have done, what we have listened to, what we have watched, where we have been, who we know, where we have worked, how far we have jogged and more, takes up time that could  be used doing more of this. I know for my own sake that I could probably watch one or two full-feature movies each month instead of find movies I have watched and check the list, but there is little I can do about it. I am a listomanic. Are you?

Links

Foursquare, Spotify, iCheckMovies

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