The expression ‘15 minutes of fame’ comes from Andy Warhol’s book A-Z and Back Again (1975). It obviously struck a chord. Why?

With an artist’s vision, he captured and mirrored back to people something they instinctively felt to be true. He tapped into the zeitgeist.

Everybody wants an audience. The ordinary, the retiring, the unremarkable. Everybody wants to sparkle even if it’s just for a moment here, a moment there.

Social networking – the phenomenon of our times – hasn’t just taken off because it’s convenient for busy people leading busy lives. People who can’t be bothered moving from home yet still want social interaction.

Or because it’s a great marketing tool.

The real appeal of social networking is that it validates what you have to say. It tells you that your opinion means something because somebody, somewhere is listening. And responding. Even if you don’t know that person and will, almost certainly, never know that person.

The distance and the comparative anonymity, rather than being inhibitive, are exactly why this medium perfectly suits modern sensibilities. If your social network friend says something you don’t like you can block them or ‘unfriend’ them. Just like that!

There is no requirement to develop or use the skills of communication and negotiation necessary for real friendship. It’s all about ME.

Greenies and refugee advocates think that they are solving society’s ills but they are still riding the wave of the ‘me’ generation and the tide hasn’t turned yet.

Maybe all the attention and the lol’s now available on tap will pacify us and, like a hungry baby finally fed, we can get back to the business of living.