Sunday, July 23, 2006

See Me, Click Me

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Linton Weeks profiles Sober in the City as part of an article in today's Washington Post... "See Me, Click Me"

Article excerpts below...

Ingrid Wiese is a publizen with a purpose.

"There is a lack of shame I have in sharing my personal life," says Wiese, a 32-year-old development consultant for nonprofit groups who divides her time among New York, Philadelphia and Washington. She is very blond with hazel eyes and on a recent afternoon she is wearing a brown suit, nude fishnets and mustard shoes. She is drinking bottled water at the Mudd House on M Street NW and doing one of the things she likes to do best: talking about her life.

She posts interviews she has given from when she starred in "Joe Schmo 2," a 2004 reality TV show, on the Internet. Writing as Jane Schmo, she puts her observations about dating, growing up and being on television on her blog, . She is at once funny and befuddling on her Friendster page, pointing out that she meticulously keeps menus from restaurants where she has eaten and sometimes hides gossip magazines in copies of the Wall Street Journal.

For Wiese, living a public life and having people respond to it is a natural thing. Many of her friends and family members are on Friendster or MySpace. Her sister, her mother and one of her brothers have blogs. She says, "It's just what we do."

She gets 200 to 300 hits a day on her blog. People are watching her life unfold. Men she meets through Friendster often know more about her than some of her offline friends do. She said it's kind of cool to know a guy has read "all my scary dating stories and still wanted to go out with me."

There is, Wiese says, "a certain narcissism in people who choose to live their private lives in the public. I see a lot of people get caught up in it."

My personally favorite line though that leaves me in hysterics, laughing on the floor, is ...

Signing on to star in a reality TV show like "Real World" or "Joe Schmo," "is about choosing to become a celebrity," Boyd says. "And the Internet looks a lot like a reality television show."

So everybody is famous, everyone is a public figure. And every life is lived out in the open. Which changes a lot of things. Libel lawyers may find it harder to determine just who is a public figure and who is not. There soon could be more people in reality TV shows than watching them. The Hollywood celebrity hierarchy could topple as the Ingrid Wieses become just as recognizable as the Angelina Jolies. And there could be a general sense spreading across the land that if it doesn't happen in public, it doesn't really happen.

Um. Did I just get mentioned in the same sentence as Angelina Jolie?

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