Blogging and Seeking, Stupid and Sublime

A recent piece here about “The influence of fashion bloggers on retail” only states the obvious: Products that are flaunted by an online style arbiter are the new It thing to want and imitate.

This point was driven home to me by a look at Sea’s latest “find” from eBay, a stupid vintage band jacket. I went to eBay and typed in “vintage band jacket” and then clicked on “completed auctions.” Voila!

Seeing that the jacket sold for $426, I thought, OMG, what a sucker! But then I realized that this auction had JUST ENDED. This made no sense. Looking down the list of completed auctions, I saw an identical jacket that sold 5 days earlier for $90.

I think this means two things: 1) Sea’s fans are so desperate to imitate her that they will pay an inflated price to own a stupid band jacket. 2) Sea must be mortified that her kooky jacket isn’t one of a kind.

(Just kidding about number two!)

2) I have “too much time on my hands” or I am just nuts. Why else would I instinctively go straight to eBay to look for that jacket?

I am happy to have an answer to my own question, and I think it is hugely momentous. Humans have a drive that some scientists now call seeking. When you find yourself glued to your computer, clicking on link after link, googling shit that you didn’t know you cared about, looking desperately for something to engage your interest, you are displaying behavior that is hard-wired into your brain, behavior that would mean the end of your species if it were somehow extinguished.

Our brains are excited by the act of seeking, and the little bits of information we feed it serve to reinforce the activity. The internet provides the perfect tool for endless seeking, even though the search will never end in satiation. Unlike sex or ice cream, the internet   search triggers our dopamine system without furnishing the opiate-like bliss that comes with satisfying a desire. It’s an endless loop. One that’s very, very hard to walk away from.

I’m going to get up off my asymmetrical ass and do something else. Maybe in time I can turn my seeking drive to curing cancer. Right now, I would be happy if I could direct it toward finding a job or even my watch.

Later, I know I’ll be clicking on all the links in that Slate article and my brain circuits will be ablaze with futile excitement.

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23 Responses to Blogging and Seeking, Stupid and Sublime

  1. Work those gluts! The brilliance of this post is sublime and very amusing if it weren’t so true.

    You can get a job and stop looking for the watch.
    xxx

  2. Faux Fuchsia says:

    Hello, I love this post. Jane from SOS and Judy from Atlantis Home fascinate me-I often wonder how they are funding the whole shebangI once devoted an entire post to the Aldrige Family. You have a loyal following in Australia. To this day I laugh when I think about your lesbian stick post.

  3. Sally says:

    Yoiks. I’m both relieved and alarmed to hear about the behavior of Internet seeking … it explains a lot. If only that meant it could curb the behavior.

  4. I am unduly afflicted by this behavior and powerless to stop.

  5. Ann says:

    I *just* wondered to myself yesterday morning about that damn band jacket and almost scoped it out on eBay out of morbid curiousity. Thank you for doing my dirty work for me.

  6. Mia says:

    OMFG, I might be a very bad case of a seeker. The truth is, I’ve never went to google anything *SHE* is wearing, because her fashion sense (eerr) sucks and I’m not impressed at all…unlike her fans, apparently. 😀
    And I also need a job. Sigh.

  7. WendyB says:

    My band jacket interest was so long ago (http://wendybrandes.com/blog/2008/08/shes-with-band/) that I’ve had time to be over them, then into them, then over them, then into them again.

    You might have put your watch in the same “safe place” that I’ve put some important documents, two necklaces and other odds and ends. Please let me know if you find all that shit.

  8. TheShoeGirl says:

    Well well well- thank you for the explanation for why I obsess over the dumbest shit online and why I can’t get myself to stop.

    xo

  9. j says:

    just curious, how do you search ‘just ended’ items?

  10. j says:

    or rather, completed auctions on ebay.

  11. j says:

    oh, nvm i figured it out! haha.

  12. E says:

    Ok, has anyone here seen Jane’s other blog? There is a photo on there that looks A LOT like the KKK on there. I suspect it’s not, the insignia is wrong (you don’t want to know the shit I found when I googled it). But still, apart from the insignia it is nearly identical to the KKK uniform. I know she sees hobos and indigenous people as “cute fashion inspiration” but KKK doppelgängers are going too far.

  13. Faux Fuchsia says:

    I wonder if Carole, Jane’s sister ever feels jealous of Jane? What with the Crillon Ball and the blog and Kanye being a fan, and the spread in Vogue and all.

  14. dust says:

    I wonder what Mom of the shoes really wants, world domination?
    The way our brains react on internet…yep, never ending search, I relate. In moments of weakness, I’ll be searching till the vacuum in my head starts to hurt. That is good time for some ice cream…

  15. Lauren says:

    E, those are most definitely the Ku Klux Klan’s Auxilliary Ladies’ Association. It’s arguably their most famous photograph.

  16. E says:

    Lauren, I think that demonstrates my googling skills suck.

    So why the hell is that photo on there?? I can’t believe more people aren’t disgusted by it

  17. oh my god. that makes too much sense. get me off this thing!

  18. sisimae says:

    That’ an amazing revelation!!

  19. RedHeadFashionista says:

    So THAT’S why I finish every day frustrated and mildly depressed, yet fat from eating chocolate. I need to stop checking the Internet!
    Right now.
    No wait, NOW.
    Now.
    Fuck it.

  20. Arturo Thiede says:

    Dare and the world always yields. lf it beats you sometimes, dare it again and again and it will succumb.

  21. Emeline Casas says:

    Great information 🙂

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