The order in which I read, and therefore review zines, depends not on what I’ve acquired most recently, nor what I like the best, but more on the tectonic shifts and micro stratifications of my great-big-pile-of-small-press-books. This little zine has been on my to-review list for quite a while, and when a recent zine-slip exposed it to the atmosphere I took it straight over to the scanner.
Social Notworking follows the Studies of a Dr Gustav Von Schneider and his investigations into something he calls Social Networking Syndrome. We follow his methods as he explores the murky psychology of the social networker and concludes there are four varieties of user, The Cowboy, the Archivist, The Horn Tooter and the Transformer. The four types described are horribly recognisable and even more familiar in 2013 than 2011 when this study was conducted.
As with Sofia’s earlier ‘Talk to the Scarf’, an amusing feminist take on the benefits of wearing the head scarf (yes that’s right the Muslim one) the disarming charm of the artwork and writing neatly conceals the seriousness of the subject matter. In a world where social networking takes the credit for revolutions, and the democratising principle of ‘interaction’ (as long as it fits into 160 characters) is uncritically lauded by all, this stands out as the most sensible thing ever written on the subject of social networking.
But there’s more! The life of this little and un-presupposing zine goes beyond the confines of it pages, it also has a brilliant accompanying animation and, most interesting of all, a piece of performance art. As part of New Cross Turn Left back in 2011, the public were offered consultations with Dr Gustav Von Schneider about their social networking habits. The clinic was completely booked up, and many people were helped with their unhealthy online habits and saved from repetitively injuring various parts of their anatomy and mind.