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The New Age Soap Opera: Reality Web

Let’s see what’s going on in my world this morning. Lucy’s sick and was up all night over a toilet.  Bummer!  Violet is excited to do some shopping today.  You Go Girl!  One of my old friends is requesting to be friends.  (dramatic music.)  fight-club

I can see all of these events, masked in costumes and dramatics, as a reflection of a 20th century soap opera. Suddenly, it dawns on me.  The fall of the daytime tv soap operas is far more than just people’s choice for Reality TV.  Reality Web is your new form of entertainment.  Its your own social network or community giving you constant updates to their lives.  With the help of online media, journals, and time-based updates, Reality Web is your real life drama playing out right before your eyes.

My favorite part about daytime soap operas are the familiarity with the characters.  They grow old with you.  Sometimes super fast aging, but that’s besides the point.

The characters experienced their own ups and downs which sometimes reflected your own life. This interpersonal bond is what makes soap operas addicting.  The same holds true for social networks, with an added bonus:  you care about everyone on your list.  Even if you aren’t exactly fond of them, or they are just acquaintance, you at least have some interest in their life or else you would have de-friended them years ago.

With the advent of my driver’s license, I was able to go home for lunch during my senior year.  Coincidently, my soap opera started during my lunch.  This is pre-dvr age.  If you didn’t have a VHS available, you would just have to read about it in tomorrow’s newspaper.  Harsh reality of the 1990s.

The idea that your drama was available at the very same moment every day is comforting.  Its a routine you use to Zen through your day.  Reality Web thus holds the same power, yet it is instantaneous.  Hundreds of devices now give you the comforting knowledge that your world is only a click away.

You decide your own level of involvement. Tyler Durden, Fight Club  Tyler lived a life of drama and made and sold soap out of lipsuction left-overs.  Btw,  Brad Pitt got his start on Another World. 

I would take a long break from my soap and then come back.  The characters remained mostly the same, with some significant changes, but usually a friend could completely catch you up with back story.The idea that I could even take a break, just to live an actual life away from the tv, but still come back for entertainment kept me on this cycle. 

With advances in internet technology, I completed stopped the cycle and switched to Reality Web.  I still get a small soap update from a friend every now and then, but its always out of jest and humor.  They could never resolve any problems.  It took weeks to find some sort of resolution.  At least in Reality Web, everyone ends up with a happy ending.  Most of my facebook friends, including myself, have perfect abs, a yacht and an amazingly joyful life. (Dramatic Music.)

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