The age of the Attention Seeker

All bow down to the internet, that which allows us all to publicise ourselves to the world.

I blogged a while ago about the guy made famous for the phrase \”Don\’t Tase Me Bro\” when he heckled a political address, which appeared to be a choreographed attempt for attention.

The power of the internet now provides the platform for anyone to have their say and be heard. Even Ashton Kutcher is talking about social media democratising the internet.

Which brings me to the subject of this blog. You may have read about the blogger who wrote about a fictitious pregnancy and who chose to carry her terminally ill child to term rather than have an abortion because of her deep Christian faith.

This is another example of the behaviour that the internet can drive. The lady in question, Rebeccah Beushausen, has apologised for her actions:

In her apology, Beushausen said she began writing the story as therapy but became addicted to the attention it generated. She said she lied \”to a community of people whose only intention was to support me through this time and that is wrong, and for that I am sorrier than you could know.\”

It is the addiction to the attention that fascinates me. I know when I have a blog post that generates plenty on visitors and comments, I get a bit of a thrill knowing that people think I have something interesting to say. (I hope that is why they read it 😉

Addictions can be powerful things and the internet is an ideal vehicle for addictions to be fed. Online gambling is hugely popular (a post I did on online poker is my most popular!), and adult content is easily accessible to those who want it.

We just need to be able to tell the difference, this hoax went on for two months before being found out. While not overly damaging, it was interesting to see some of the comments about any repercusssions:

Police Sgt. Randal Stumpf said his department was not investigating.

Don Blumenthal, an adjunct professor at the University of Michigan and Michigan State University who specializes in Internet security and cybercrime, said it\’s difficult to prosecute such cases.

It\’s hard to establish jurisdiction and even that a crime has occurred, and few people have the legal skills to prosecute such cases, said Blumenthal, who previously led the internet investigations center at the Federal Trade Commission.

\”It\’s an area of law that needs a lot of development,\” Blumenthal said.

All hail the attention seekers!