Note: Whoever spots the spelling mistake in the following entry gets a free hat! I’m not sure which one, though; still tossing up between my sister’s school hat (don’t worry, she’s in America at the moment) and one fashioned out of last Saturday’s Sydney Morning Herald. But good luck, and happy hunting!
Let’s get one thing clear. When you, whoever you may be, talk to me, face to face, that is real life. Notwithstanding the fact that 90% of communication is non-verbal, we do not need emoticons, acronyms or abbreviations to express our feelings. So why then must people insist on doing it in real life conversations?
I may be old-fashioned, but I would have liked to believe, nay hope, that there is a sort of parallel universe ideology that exists between our real lives and our online ones, a distinction that exists to differentiate the two. Yet, unbeknownst to me, it appears that a paradigm shift has occurred. Our “avatars” (does anyone use that word anymore? I got it off an episode of “All Saints” last month) have merged with our real-tars, and resultantly so has the language of the two. And not in a good way either.
For instance, whenever someone screws up something relatively easy, it used to be common to give them a bit of a ribbing about it. Say your friend is at the bar. He orders a drink, pays for it, acts in a courteous manner i.e. doesn’t grab anyone’s ass, and picks it up and starts walking back over to you. But on the way, he spots a girl at the opposite end of the bar. This girl is stunning; imagine of a younger version of Joan Holloway from “Mad Men” minus the red hair (and that means a different colour, not bald!). Not unexpectedly, he can’t take his eyes off her, and waltzing over to your crew, he trips up and spills his drink. Actually, let’s give this hypothetical guy a name: Brucy. So Brucy now has to endure the walk of shame back minus a drink, but plus a big red stain on his frilly white shirt (imagine Captain Feathersword’s garb). When he finally arrives, you would expect that he would be mocked relentlessly, maybe slapped on the back a bit for being a world-class pervert, wouldn’t you? Well, the truth is, it’s increasingly likely that your associates will merely greet this with a n exclamation of “Epic Fail!”.
But why do people feel the need to express their feelings in ways usually represented by a complex series of 0’s and 1’s? Well, I’m not going to lie: I have no idea. But I do think that part of the blame can be placed on Facebook.
It’s a sad day when someone tells you that they were conversing with another person, and you have to ask whether it was in real life or just on Facebook. But that’s what I find myself having to do more and more. And let me just say that I personally don’t mind Facebook Chat; it’s a quick and easy way of contacting people who may otherwise be tremendously difficult to reach. Perhaps you can talk to people with whom you’re just not that comfortable talking to on the phone. But it is by no means a substitute for real conversation. Talking online is atonal; there is no method of detecting excitement, anger, or any other emotion through simple text. Sure, turning caps lock might convey your “pissed off” mood, but it’s more than likely that people will just get pissed off with you for doing it in the first place. “Stop yelling!” they’ll say. “You’re hurting my eyes!”
But truthfully, “talking” to someone online is just incomparable to real-life conversation. For one, people may take a minute to respond. This gives them more than enough time to think of witty retorts worthy of a place in the “Gilmore Girls Hall of Fame for Impossibly Funny and Incisive Remarks in a Casual Conversation”. And I know that this screams hypocrisy. I’ll even admit that it took me at least 45 seconds to come up with a name for the aforementioned Hall of Fame that would seem just as funny and incisive as the remarks it contained. And yes, I am confusing myself majorly with all this talk about meta-Halls of Fame, so I’m just going to take a quick break.
Alright. I’ll wrap it up, since I’ve been sitting down for at least an hour, and my backside is starting to hurt. “TMI, Brendan, TMI!” you say? Fair call. Just don’t mention those initials to me in real life.
Like it? Hate it? I don’t care, just as long as you tell every single one of your friends individually to read this blog. And become a fan on Facebook if you want updates; I’m not too sure how else people can track it otherwise. I mean, no one can be realistically expected to know what an RSS feed is. Just look up “Kingculture”, and it should be there. And don’t be put off by the extraordinarily small amount of members; it’s “indie” if you join!
Also, there were no spelling mistakes, at least none that I know of. Sorry for wasting your time, hat aficionados.