Monday, 1 January 2018

The Liquorice Guillemot's Perch

I recently came across a character calling him/herself the Liquorice Guillemot, a blatant rip-off of your own correspondent. Rather than getting mad, I engaged this evidently bitter, angry little person in conversation and eventually drew them out on a matter close to their mean, flinty heart. To wit, their opinions on the correct use of social media, which I have reproduced below, unedited.

The Liquorice Guillemot's Promise:

I will not post up scornful broadside attacks on films, TV or other productions which other people clearly take delight in, in great numbers. If they enjoy it, fine, even if I find their facile lowest-common denominator celebrity dancing contest / Irish drag act / reheated old sci-fi franchise to be mere opium for the grunting masses. After all, it's just pretend.

Conversely, I will not post up preemptive 'Well I liked it, so there all you haters' posts, as they are also disproportionately aggressive for something that is just pretend.

I will not post up passionate commentary on sports games, either minute by minute as they occur, nor after the fact. There are plenty of professional sports journalists already doing that for us. I will especially not do this for American Football as I am tragically and irrevocably British, and there is something faintly desperate about a pasty Brit from the Home Counties waxing dramatically about the Steelers' or the Browns' performance.

I will not vaguepost. It is both needy and maddeningly uninformative.

I will not virtue signal. One's good deeds should be reward unto themselves.

I will not propagate memes which invite codependents to post up shared memories of good times, even if we only speak once every 6 months. Especially if they relate to live roleplaying games. My ego is not that fragile that it requires other people to say 'hey you did that cool thing once when you were pretending to be the archduke of Elbonia' to shore it up.

I will not address a diverse group of real human beings as either hivemind or intarwebz. You are all individuals.

I will not not post up my every inner bloody thought on subjects which are of no consequence to anyone else, nor will I exceed 3 posts per day, no matter how thrilling a picture of my newly painted spare room may seem to me.

I will not overstate any minor claims to fame that I may have by tagging in my more famous friends, or by accidentally-on-purpose mentioning a fabulous media event or celebrity that I have a moderate connection to.

I will not swear on posts, save for the odd feck, which is curiously acceptable thanks to Father Ted.

I will not post up photos of beheaded elephants.

I will not rush to be the first to announce the death of someone famous. They won't get any more alive or dead just because I blurted out 'RIP William Shatner' before anyone else and then changed my online avatar to TJ Hooker. I am not one of those people who wishes Bowie could die all over again just so I could use the Ziggy Stardust overlay.

I will not share any personal mental health issues online. The charity Mind suggests that approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. I do not need to know about the battles with depression of every fourth person I know online. By all means seek help and discuss it with close friends and family, but do so in person rather than the equivalent of shouting it across a crowded room of your entire social circle.

I will not talk politics, nor assume that everyone in my online circle is of the same mind. This merely reinforces echo chambers and forces meeker acquaintances of legitimate differing opinions to keep their heads down. This is also something to discuss in person.

Before clicking on Post, I will always ask 'Will I sound like a dick?'

I will occasionally post up funny material of my own invention which mocks only myself or made-up people. 

I may also cravenly adopt a new online persona purely to vent my frustration on the state of social media usage.