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The Day Social Media Ate the World

Today began like every other morning: I procrastinated for the first 20 (ahem) minutes of work by checking my email. But little did I know an insidious evil lurked within. An innocuous missive from my chums at Twitter HQ informed me that I had a new follower. Could be a Yay (multiple exclamation marks), or it could be a Nay (outright disgust). That depends of course on whether said follower is interested in reading my daily attempts at puerile pithiness, or is intent on selling me some kind of neat tool to ”increase my social networking profile by marketing the message in a bikini just for you” - or some such nonsense.

At first I’m unsure if it’s someone I know, or know of, as I don’t recognise the obscure photo or the username. With guileless innocence, I click through to my new follower’s profile to be greeted with a rather horrifying realisation. It’s not a freaky fake porn peddler or an apparent sales & marketing prodigy. It’s my mother.

This is a person who can barely use her mobile phone. Her computer, a dusty beige box, has a floppy drive, and she is still lugging around a zip drive for crying out loud (no, I don’t really remember what that does, either). What the hell is she doing here, deep in the bowels of au-current technology-driven media? That’s when it hit me. Twitter is dead as dead as dead. Au-current it is not.
However, I’ve invested a lot of energy into my Twitter profile so I’m loathe to say goodbye to all those hard-earned procrastination hours, and I want to keep up some of the faux-acquaintances I’ve made. Somehow I need to find a way for my Twitter-self to survive knowing that my mum is just down the hall, listening in for odd sounds during the night. What to do?

I have devised a set of rules to help you navigate this thorny dilemma; the product of lessons hard-won.

1. Don’t discuss your sex life. Ever. The moment you open that door she will take it as an invitation to talk about HER sex life. She may not be blatant, but even those casual little remarks and sideways comments will crush your soul and prevent you from being able to get naked with another human being ever again. Needless to say, from that moment on your father will believe you have become an inflated egotist because you never look him in the eye.

2. Never mention an injury or illness of any sort. Not a cough nor a sniffle, a scratch nor an ache. This will become an interminable bombardment of phone calls to remind you to go to the doctor. And if you do go, make sure you get a second opinion because that first doctor sounds like an idiot and what if it is something more serious?

3. Stop linking to your personal blog. Or at least, stop adding links to the posts where you bitch about your mother’s inability to keep a mobile phone for more than three months without breaking it and how somehow it’s always the phone’s fault.

4. Intentional religious blasphemy for comedic purposes should be avoided.

5. Do not mention how much you drank/smoked/inhaled/injected the night before. Initially she may laugh and warmly refer back to her younger, wilder years. HOWEVER. Eventually her true maternal nature will make itself known and these little tidbits of intimacy will become weapons of mass destruction that she does not hesitate to use - with deadly force.

These are tried and true methodologies. I can’t guarantee they will work for you of course. For all I know your mother is a free-wheeling pal with whom you’ve shared many a boozy evening holding each other’s hair back as you hurl into the lavatory. For the rest of us, beware.

words: Kristen Hodges


September 6, 2009 at 8:42 PM Anonymous said...

Hmmm....a brave case of gurgitation. Not sure I would have ventured out onto such thin ice but there you are, thats you this is me!

September 7, 2009 at 7:26 PM Icy @ Individual Chic said...

I giggled when I read this. Great advice. I plan to get my mother to write a guest post (on hair products). Do you think this is wise and can you offer any other tips to stop this becoming a debacle ^_^

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