In response to:

Generation Why? from the November 25, 2010 issue

To the Editors:

I’m old enough that any thoughts I have on social networking are of limited value [Zadie Smith, “The Social Network,” NYR, November 25], but I’m surprised not to hear it said more often that one attraction of Facebook must be that it enables anyone to pretend to be a celebrity. There you are—your image on a lighted screen—your fan base presumably enthralled with every little tidbit of gossip about you (you serve as your own press agent, as well as star), your photos as numerous as if you were pursued by the paparazzi. The “connection” it calls forth seems to be that of a singular performer to the crowd. For example, when I look for my adult daughter there, I find her latest message, posted only moments ago, but am unclear to whom it is addressed, if anyone in particular, or just an adoring world.

Belle Randall
Poetry Editor
Common Knowledge
Seattle, Washington

This Issue

December 23, 2010