February 9, 2010

Geist in the machine

id·i·o·zeit·geist n. an individual’s perception of the defining spirit of the ideas and beliefs in one’s society. (idio- Greek, “private, personal” + Zeitgeist German, “spirit of the times”)

i.e: What you think everyone thinks.

Youth social networking researcher danah boyd has observed that many people presume the way they use social networks is the way everyone uses them. “I interviewed gay men who thought Friendster was a gay dating site because all they saw were other gay men,” she says. “I interviewed teens who believed that everyone on MySpace was Christian because all of the profiles they saw contained biblical quotes. We all live in our own worlds with people who share our values and, with networked media, it’s often hard to see beyond that.”

(Marshall Kirkpatrick at ReadWriteWeb: “The Man Who Looked Into Facebook’s Soul“)

All “zeitgeist” is idiozeitgeist.

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