Maude and I met Chad for breakfast this morning: Eggs Benedict in Gosforth seemed a very civilised way to start the week. Chad was as effusive and entertaining as ever – as he and Maude traded stories of teaching difficult young people under difficult management.
Anyone related to a teacher will know that a gathering of teachers brings about a detailed discussion of modern teaching: poor managers, excessive workload, government meddling etc. The quorum for this to occur is a mere two. I usually try and change the subject and bring teachers back into the non-teaching world. It’s easier during the holidays: their ire is not quite so intense. Today, I managed to get Chad onto the subject of social media. Chad shared my horror of people whose status updates reveal/share too much or make childlike observations.
We quoted a few examples to each other and agreed that one could be forgiven for thinking that the status updaters concerned had forgotten to take their medication.
‘I think it’s that they’ve generated their own mini stardom‘, observed Chad, ‘and those idiots who ‘like’ their every observation on ‘how cute chipmunks are’ cheerlead them into thinking they are funny and relevant.’.
I nodded agreement. Chad went on.
‘They’ve deluded themselves into thinking that their every thought has an import that has to be shared, when, in fact, it’s…….it’s….’
‘Giddy nonsense?’ I suggested.
‘…a load of shit,’ concluded Chad.
I agreed that he had a point and people should stop ‘fluffing’ inane updaters with the stimulus of a ‘like’ or a supportive comment.
‘There should be another button - next to the ‘Like’ button. An alternative.’
‘What?’ asked Chad, ‘a ‘dislike’ button. What are you – some kind of joy-sapping troll?’ Chad guffawed.
‘No. Nothing as negative as that. Something supportive. A small medicine bottle, or perhaps a pharmacy sign. Hitting it would send a private suggestion that the fully grown adult who feels the need to share their love of chipmunks should consider taking some calming medication.’