Thursday, 24 April 2014

Snap Chatting And First Loves With A Side Order Of Bullshit

Running straight into a wall from the get go with a completely unrelated opening paragraph, but what the hell is up with hayfever? I'm in a room, it's a lovely day outside but as per the requirement of not feeling like shit, all the windows are tightly shut. It's boiling in here and I hate it, but it's the only thing I can do given that all the hayfever pills in the shop are sold out and I don't have to fan to cool the room. And yet, I'm still ill. Where is the pollen? How is it getting in here? I know pollen is small but it can't be squeezing in here. Also, I thought pollen only travelled on the breeze of the wind. I don't believe that any more. I think pollen has a covert and malicious nature to actively hunt me wherever I may try and escape.

Maybe I'm just allergic to the sun and just always assumed it was hayfever. I've spent enough time cooped up in rooms with the curtains closed for it to be possible for the sight of sunlight to have become disgusting to me on the violent physical level. But oh well, I guess today is going to be a bad day. The only solace I can take from that is that it's at least not an interesting bad day, so I can't remember it vividly enough for it to traumatize me in the future. It can just fall back in with the general mass of bad days that I can vaguely regret on my death bed.

Throw in a few more instances of me shouting “what the fuck!” for no reason and this could be a solid piece of late night stand up.

So as the title suggests I'm basically here complaining about phones again. This is nothing new and I apologise for anyone who has read anything else about phones that I may have written and is starting to notice some of the same rehashed ideas cropping up. It is a lot of the same stuff, but I assure you there was a new aspect to phones and the people that use them that pissed me off the other day, so there's going to be some new ideas here, even if there are a few more slightly rugged looking ones.

Just to clarify, I also have a phone. I'm not advocating banning technology that's clearly amazing. I'm just very flaccidly putting out the idea that maybe there's some way that we can stop stupid people getting their hands on it. Then again without them, the ad revenue for Flappy Bird would've been significantly lower; so in the pursuit of the mighty dollar, we would have failed our basic motivation as human beings. Or at least that's what I think we're doing here. I was told that anyway. But in light of me not seeming to be involved in any conspiracy plots to save the world and with none of my fellow man in a jeopardy that is conveniently simple enough for me to solve, I guess the next best point to my life may as well be saving up my money to buy a 3D television.

So anyway, as I was saying, or not actually saying, I have finally begun to hate Snapchat. Wasn't even entirely sure what it was a week or so ago. I didn't bother it and it didn't bother me. I knew it vaguely as the thing that deletes pictures after you send them and that had gotten a few people into trouble, believing that the security of a photo deleting itself was good enough to send the most incriminating of pictures. Good thing that Apple quickly went and put a screen grab button to spoil everyone's fun.

So people love the shit out of Snapchat and they go around taking funny photos all day and sending them to each other with a short message. If I gave a shit and had not had any sense of care free enjoyment distilled from me at a young age, I might even be on board. But the powers that be have made me immediately annoyed whenever someone actively begins to try and artificially make the situation more fun than it should be.

What used to annoy me about phones was people becoming more introverted. At a moment's notice they could choose the solace of a Youtube video, or a silent Facebook conversation, that left you, as the actual person in the room, feeling ignored and unable to compete against the obviously superior infinite entertainment complex of the internet. What Snapchat offers though is something different. It doesn't create solace and silent communication with other people who didn't take the time to come and physically visit the person who's rudely on the phone. It creates a communal variant of this and it is this communal element which makes the whole thing a thousand times more annoying. So now that person, who was taking up your companion's attention across the internet, can impede on you as well, which since you're pissed off at them for existing and making your friend ignore you, isn't a good mesh for a good time. But I'll come back to this after exploring the other part of my article heading. That of budding romance.

So I went to go and see a close friend who I hadn't seen in a while and after a while of fishing about for topics, I thought the polite thing to do would be to bring up his new girlfriend. It's also his first girlfriend which is what probably exacerbates all the complaints that I'm about to bring up. I'll break it down for anyone who was concerned; she's amazing. Best person in the whole world, smart, beautiful and funny, with an intriguing mysterious side that they haven't quite worked out yet. Isn't everyone's partner always so great when you first hear about them. I'm surprised any of these couples ever break up with how great everyone is. But then again that's going to be a consequence when you're a mammal who's hard wired to find attractive and compatible mates to spawn healthy young with, so I shouldn't be too hard on people's immediate emotional indulgence when they finally do achieve this goal. Anyway, I'm not here to slag off an early relationship. As a default position, I'm always very happy for my friends to be happy and get the things they want in life, just so long as I don't have to hear about the more boring aspects of it.

So there was a lot of girlfriend worship going on, about how amazing everything is and how passionately intense the feeling of falling in love is. I could only think to my two year relationship and the woman I love very dearly and how just the night before I had tried to initiate sex, but with her having the flu and me not caring enough about that fact due to my desire to have sex, I was very quickly told to fuck off and go masturbate or something. I had worried that intensity leaving our lives had been a problem, but with the warm fuzzy feeling of contentment whenever I think of her bringing me a lot more satisfaction and a lot less insecurity than I once felt; I am now very happy to admit that I'll take brutal honestly and temporary fiction over bullshit self indulgence and uncertainty.

My friend phone then buzzed, at which point he picked it up and told me about how he's started Snapchatting a lot now. I nodded along with the same attention that I would whenever I open the door to have a Jehovas Witness attempting to convert me to their cause. I nod to be polite and make whatever thing I don't care about go away faster by not impeding it. Then I was told how cool my friend's new girlfriend thought I sounded and that she'd love to meet me, which would've been nice if I had actually been cool, but knowing that I'm not, I just suspected that I'd just been bigged up by my friend to make his social group sound a lot more alive than it is. It was at that point that I was invited to Snapchat.

I declined to Snapchat. I was asked again. We then went to lunch and I was asked again. I declined. My friend then took a photo of the funny T shirt that I was wearing and wrote something on his phone about it before sending it to her. She replied how funny she thought it was and that we should do something else funny. My friend then asked me what we should do to be funny. I said nothing because I don't know or care about this person, since from my perspective she's just an idea and not even a person anyway. Yet she insisted we should do something funny. I complained about how annoying this was more, at which point my friend pointed out that I used to text my girlfriend when we were first going out and sometimes ignore company around me. It is true that I'd done this, but I think the difference being that I hadn't involved anyone else in my relationship management duties is what separates one from being rude and the other tedious.

I was also frustrated because a few weeks before this, my friend would've shat all over Snapchatting funny pictures and would call bullshit on it. But people have a hard time not understanding why their private jokes might not translate to the wider audience. This is why I made it a rule to never talk about my relationship to anyone, out of fear that I might become comfortable pulling bullshit like this. It had the secondary problem of making people think that my relationship was going terribly because I never mentioned it, but I always saw myself as Bruce Wayne; tarnishing my own reputation to protect those around me.

Eventually I had a picture taken of me against my will which I thought was slightly intrusive. I was asked for caption ideas, but my idea was rejected, “As you can see I'm with my friend. Now please fuck off”.

Later my friend tried to persuade me to get Snapchat so that we could send each other ridiculous pictures that will delete themselves so there'll be no evidence of them existing. I never understood this excitement because I'm guessing he thought it'd be funny to take pictures of each other's dicks and send them to each other. But I couldn't understand how Snapchat had facilitated this as a new idea, since I could just get my dick out in front of him in real life and then put it back in my trousers, in a sense deleting the fact that it had ever happened. I left finally having not been won over by Snapchat and regrettably agreeing to a double date.

I think that Snapchat is annoying enough in itself. It combines people's desires to be seen as fun and alive, while also enabling people to be funny through caption comedy. I've said it before but caption comedy is the easiest type of comedy, since all you need to do is take an initially silly photo, if you're going for easy mode; or you can just take any photo and then warp the context to make it into a joke. A picture of an old man sitting in a chair isn't a joke, but if you add in the caption that he has shit himself, then suddenly it takes on a new light.

That awkward moment when you shit yourself

People like being funny and alive, which is a lovely thing. The problem is that being fun and funny is also a technical skill, a lot like being good in bed or a competent singer. Not everyone can be technically competent to pull off these skills and so attempts at them are usually shit. Unfortunately, now Snapchat offers unfunny people a method to think they're funny through allowing them to mass produce their own caption comedy. If the mood takes them and there's enough people around they can also get some other people involved. But people forget that sometimes you don't want that, instead you want to talk to them and spend a few hours having a personal and intimate conversation and not feel the pressure to impress people who you don't know and aren't even in the damn room. It still confuses me why people can't read that as the tone of the situation and instead insist on always being so extroverted.

Couple this desire to be fun, the means to do it in a socially involving way, the ability to exhibit yourself to others who aren't even around you along with the insecurity of a new relationship, and you have a melting pot of paranoia and exhibitionism that can only be annoying.

So that's why I now hate Snapchat. I don't fully understand people's excitement over it, outside of simply using it as a phone sex tool. My opinion on people who have just gotten in relationships remains exactly the same. It's annoying but at least you just have to wait out the growing pains to see if the thing will fall apart or turn into something more subdued and resentful. But I don't think you can out wait communication apps. They'll just continue to get more popular and more extreme in how far people can interact until we're literally licking each other across the things.

People with an oxytocin boost will always be as annoying, but at least love dies eventually.


  1. I never understood the need for people to communicate in the first place, why don't we just hit out with a stick and spit eachother in the eye?

    p.s. I'm single.

    1. I'm not single and even sometimes I have a crisis of faith that being a good human being is worth it sometimes. Don't fret my brother. We all feel your pain.

  2. Yes, bad enough people sharing their photos without sharing their friends as well.

    Amusing as ever, mr b

    1. Oh Just Saying, that's so antisocial of you. It's good to be connected as much as possible. That way you can't have a moments peace from having to entertain and impress other people. Never being able to switch off is fun isn't it.

  3. I heard a good cure for hay fever was to carry a raw onion around. Does nothing for the sex life though.

    1. Lol I think I'll take constant sniffles over burning eyes and seering pain.

  4. Noone exposes the ridiculous quite like you, Billy B.

  5. My first love discovered she was gay and buggered off with her best friend.
    A pox on first love!

    Good article.

    1. I guess in a way that's quite a nice thing you gave her, even if it was slight demoralizing for you.

  6. How is mr pink single?

    Well done, Harvey, you keep them coming.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it.

      Remember that Mr Pink is still just a man on the internet. His words might be charming, but he could be masturbating the entire time that he's commenting on anything.

  7. I hit thee with my stick for that vile slur

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