Good morning, you lovely thing. How’s Tuesday treating you so far?
It’s a sleepy, chilled out kind of morning at Bag End. (Bag End is what Ash and I named our flat, by the way. We don’t actually live in a hobbit hole. Which is kind of sad, actually.) As I write this, my friend Rob is lounging around on the sofa in our living room. He stayed over after a group of us went to the pub quiz last night. Ash is lying in bed with her laptop, probably browsing Pinterest and Facebook messaging people. I am sitting at my desk (in pyjamas, but still – at least I’m sort-of vertical) talking to you, dear reader.
Bearing in mind that our flat is roughly the size of a shoe box, it seems bizarre to communicate with one another via social media, and yet a few moments ago I found myself offering Rob a cup of tea via Facebook. It’s not even a laziness issue, because obviously I then had to stand up and make the cup of tea and take it to him, so why did I bother?
Using social media to talk to people who are in the same room (or teeny tiny flat) is one of the weirdest little bonuses of technology, and was parodied in an excellent episode of The IT Crowd called Friendface. I have a few ideas as to why we behave in this strange and illogical manner:
- Novelty value: we are still at a point where using social media unnecessarily makes us feel raffish, kooky and hilarious. This is because we are all gleeful little children deep down, and that’s ok.
- Illusion: social media and Skype allow us to talk to people all over the world, which is amazing. When your friends have bogged off to far-flung countries, the technology makes it seem as though they could be right next to you, so using it when they actually are right next to you puts the whole thing on a level playing field. Basically, it makes it easier to cope when the person you’re talking to actually is in Italy or what have you.
- Posterity: we are the first generation who will be able to look back at their youth and see our entire lives documented, photographed, liked and retweeted. Having real conversations is obviously an excellent thing, but we like to keep birthday cards, notes passed in lectures and other bits of memorabilia, don’t we? We like having a record.
I’m not sure that mine and Rob’s little messaging interchange about a cup of tea will be my most prized memory aide in forty years, but it’s nice to have just the same. I might go and have an actual conversation with him now. Have a spectacular day.