An Instagram-Obsessed Anthropologist Riffs on the Meaning of ‘Maleness’

Excerpt from this article:

MEN AND APPARITIONS
By Lynne Tillman
Illustrated. 397 pp. Soft Skull Press. Paper, $16.95.

“You could say, This is a funny time. You could, but then you wouldn’t be me.”

This remark from the narrator of Lynne Tillman’s intricate new novel, “Men and Apparitions,” exemplifies the book’s swirl of humor and horror, evasion and candor. Ezekiel, or Zeke, Stark is a cultural anthropologist in his late 30s, obsessed with images, both the concrete kind (photographs) and the metaphorical kind (“self-image”), a “privileged, educated” screw-up, as he says of himself, steeped in theorists like Clifford Geertz and Walter Benjamin, but also in pop culture — Pee-wee Herman, Steve Jobs, JonBenet Ramsey, etc. — that pantheon of people all of us know but none of us has met. In other words, Zeke is an American consumer, though what he consumes is not material goods but media, endlessly cataloging and referencing the contents of his own mind, often in lieu of visceral experience. The New Man, Zeke calls this type — his type — and Tillman’s novel is a patient, insistent exploration of what it means to live inside such a mind.

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Male Selfies Are Bad. I’m Here to Help

Excerpt from this article:

Sit with a straight female friend as she browses Tinder, and you’ll start to see some patterns very quickly.

Group pics where you can’t tell which guy the profile belongs to? Check.

Ab shots? Double Check.

Poorly lit, glowering selfies? Triple check.

To solve a problem, we must first understand its cause. So, why are men bad at taking selfies?

I’ve got one simple explanation: Men don’t grow up in a culture that forces them to objectify themselves.

Men, You Don’t Have To Write “Haha” At The End Of Statements

Following up on this post last week, here’s an excerpt from this article:

Here is an example of what I’m talking about:

Person 1: What’s up?
Man: Just at home haha

Hm? Excuse me? Hm, what? That you are at home is not funny. That you are at home is just a fact that is normal and fine. I understand you want to appear chill and don’t have the tools to appear chill in text so you have resorted to punctuating your statement with the onomatopoeia used for when something is funny but I’m going to have to give you this advice as a friend and confidant: don’t. 🙂

Here is another example:

Person 1: Did you have a good weekend?
Man: Yeah I went to the beach haha

Those Lips! Those Eyes! That Stubble! The Transformative Power of Men in Makeup

Excerpt from this article:

My favorite person on Instagram these days is a guy who matches his makeup to his snacks.

…Watching Skelotim at work is mesmerizing. He slickly sets his makeup routine to pounding pop music, transforming from a regular dude into a sparkling vision of the fabulously strange. It’s just like Cinderella twirling around and around until she finds herself wearing a poufy blue ball gown, except Skelotim is changing into a Flamin’ Hot Cheeto. In the age of the selfie, what more appropriate canvas is there for an internet artist than his own face?

Skelotim is one of a handful of young men who have primped and preened their way into the female-centric world of Instagram and YouTube makeup artistry.

 

Video Games Are Key Elements in Friendships for Many Boys

Gaming Boys Play Games in Person or Online With Friends More Frequently Than Gaming Girls

Excerpt from this article:

In our focus groups, the responses to questions about who teens play with ran the gamut. One high schooler told us, “I play with everyone,” while another explained, “I play with friends and then I meet new people through those friends.”

…Other teens told us they liked playing games because they could be a different person. A high school boy explained how “you use an alter ego” when playing. And still others benefit from the opportunity to take out their frustrations on people they would never interact with again. As a high school boy told us, “If you, like, have a bad game, instead of throwing your controller, you can just take it out on them.”

…One middle school boy in our focus groups explained that he and a gaming friend talked about a mix of things pertaining to the game and their lives: “Like, we were talking about the game and then I’d be like, so, what do you like to do? And we would just share thoughts. Stuff.” Other teens told us that this type of interaction was “very rare.” And that usually it’s, “No hi’s. No bye’s. No hellos.”

Focus group data suggests that trash talking is pervasive in online gaming and that it can create a challenging conversational climate. As one high school boy told us, “If you’ve ever been on any form of group chat for a game, yeah. It’s harsh. … It’s funny, though. Unless you take it seriously. Cause some people take certain things personally.”

 

 

This Is How Men and Women Handle Email Differently

Excerpt from this article:

  •    Women tended to be a tad more verbose: Women had a median length of 30 words and a median response of 24 minutes.
  •    Men sent slightly quicker and shorter replies than women: Men had a median length of 28 words and a median response of 28 minutes.
  •    People replied faster to emails during weekdays and working hours; replies were shorter later in the day, as well as on weekends.
  •    Younger demographics sent quicker: Teens responded within a median of 13 minutes, young adults took 16, and mature adults, aged 51 and over, sometimes took upward of 47 minutes to reply.
  •    Older demographics sent longer replies: Teens had a median reply length of 17 words, young adults had 31, and mature adults had 40.
  • Younger demographics handled email overload better: Older users replied to a smaller fraction of incoming emails, while younger users replied quicker and to a higher fraction.