It has recently been announced that from the year 2017, all real-life interactions will be required to conform to models derived from social media. Sign-up forms will be available in schools, Safeway and the DMV. As a public service, I am providing a guide in order to assist you in choosing which medium to adopt. You’re welcome.
A group of people sit in an airport lounge.
The first says: “I have an inspirational observation about how every day is a chance to start becoming the best you can be.”
Another says: “I have a new eBook out. My friend liked it.”
A woman offers to sell them all insights on how to acquire 5,000+ connections, like she has, without ever making it clear why that would be useful.
A man sits muttering appropriate but impenetrable things about the business he is in.
But all these people are deaf, and blind. And no planes fly from this airport any more.
“I’m a teenager!”
“I’m a teenager too!”
“I wish I was still a teenager!”
“I want to sell shit to teenagers!”
“I’m a teenager!”
A young woman walks into a town square with a violin, and starts playing Bach, quite well.
A man strides up to her and throws a dollar in the hat, gushing: “Your playing is an immaculate confection, a glimpse into the mind of God, a bounteous gift to us all in this glorious shining moment of infinity.”
She frowns, and says: “What?”
Another man arrives and briskly informs the violinist that her intonation is uneven and that because he knows everything about classical music he prefers the 1973 recording by Yevgeny Madeupovich.
Two children then run into the square, accuse everyone of being gay or Muslim or fuckfaces, and start punching people. This goes on for ever.
Realizing she’s wasting her time, the woman stops playing and instead reminds everyone of the great, great savings available at their local Honda dealership this weekend.
A tall, handsome CEO in chinos and a nice shirt stands at the front of a lecture theater. He knows everything about start-ups, and once had a conversation with Elon Musk. Earnest young students pipe up with questions designed to show how smart they already are. The man answers their questions correctly. Luckily most of them are about what it's like to meet Elon Musk.
A pleasant, airy coffee shop. People sit sipping small-batch coffee and nibbling artisan croissants. Every now and then someone stands up and explains for three, five or nine minutes precisely how evolved, productive or pissed off they are. Eventually it becomes clear that the only real subject is the speaker, but everyone keeps listening because once in a while someone accidentally says something genuinely interesting (usually Jonathan Carroll), and also there’s nothing else to do.
A pub, half an hour from closing time — except this bar never shuts. It’s always in that hectic, drink-this-one-quickly-and-order-another period, just before the fights break out.
A man quietly observes that he thinks guns/anti-semitism/being vile to one another might not be a great thing. A bug-eyed lunatic comes running out of the toilets and batters him to the ground. In triumph he then strides to the bar and orders an assault rifle for everyone in the room. Meanwhile, a social justice warrior sidles up to the first man’s prone body and kicks him repeatedly for using a semi colon in his tweet, when everyone knows they are an instrument of oppression and rape culture.
The reactionary loon and SJW wind up getting drunk together and shouting at literally everyone, while a huge group of people stand round the man’s prone body, bleating — “This thing just happened! This thing just happened! This thing just happened!”
Meanwhile, strangers occasionally wander in and try to sell people irrelevant software, services or video games.
The man eventually crawls out of the bar and limps back to Facebook, where it’s safer.
Lots of people stand in a park. It is warm and sunny, but one person looks sad.
“Something bad just happened,’ he says. “But I don’t want to talk about it.”
A woman says: “Aw, poor you. But that’s a weird co-incidence — something awesome is about to happen to me, and I can’t talk about that either! It’s going to be super-exciting, though!”
“But — what about my thing?”
“You won’t say what it is.”
“But neither will you!”
Another woman approaches. “My life is extremely fulfilling,’ she says, ‘I feel #blessed.” Everyone ignores her. Meanwhile, two men start arguing about something from mutually entrenched positions of unsophisticated dogmatism. The discussion gets very loud, and there’s a danger of people becoming upset.
But then someone points and says: “Hey — a cute cat!”
Everyone looks at the cat, and smiles.
Personally, as I’m useless and annoying on all social media, I shall stick to mainly avoiding human contact, as usual. Yes, I should probably get out more. But I asked the outside world and it said "No, we're okay. You're good." So.