So­cial me­dia and me: an app made in heaven?

It feels like we’re kind of stranded on ice floes, yelling at each other

The Hamilton Spectator - - COMMENT - DR. DAVE DAVIS Dave Davis lives in Dun­das, Ont. and Fort My­ers Beach, Fla. He’s a re­tired physi­cian, a writer and speaker. You can fol­low him, if you have noth­ing bet­ter to do, via @drauthor24 or write him at dr­dav­e­davis@gmail.com. He likes it when you w

For years, I thought an app was a lit­tle thing you had be­fore a meal. Like in a restau­rant, on a lit­tle din­ner plate, not that they’re small-plate-priced. My new favourite by the way is bal­samic-baked sprouts. They’re awe­some, but they do raise many ques­tions, like: do the lit­tle sprouts grow in Bel­gium? Do you al­ways have to cap­i­tal­ize Brus­sels? What do you call an older sprout?

I was ap­par­ently wrong about the app thing: bear with me, this gets a lit­tle tech­ni­cal. Apps are, um, things that do things for you. They are gen­er­ally lo­cated on your phone. They are giz­mos, kind of. See? Highly tech­ni­cal. On my phone, the thing I said I would never have and now never let out of my sight, there are two apps; Face­book and Twit­ter. They are, I’ve learned, part of the weird wired world (that’s what www stands for, I just betcha) of so­cial me­dia.

My daugh­ter set me up on Twit­ter months ago, and re­cently, all on my very own, I set up Face­book. OMG: Twit­ter is one thing, but Face­book is an en­tirely dif­fer­ent world. Who knew I had so many friends? Well, “friends.” Friends from Uruguay. Friends whose names I can’t spell. Peo­ple who, get this, folks — I don’t know! Maybe I should. Maybe we should all be friends, a theme I’ll re­turn to in a minute.

Here’s the deal though. There are peo­ple I do know who are on Face­book (a lot it seems to me, but then that’s just me. I mean pic­tures of their break­fast bagel? Get a life) and not on Tweeter, Twit­ter, what­ever. And then there are friends just on Twit­ter. Or LinkedIn. Or email for Pete’s sake. It’s like, I don’t know, that they’re on dif­fer­ent plan­ets. I mean, isn’t life com­pli­cated enough? Aren’t there enough tec­tonic plates in the world?

I can see what this is go­ing to do to us down the line a few years: just pic­ture this.

It’s 2037. I’m stand­ing in a Timmy’s lineup, us­ing my walker (Gimme a break, I’m like 90-plus at this point. I’ll use a walker if I want to). I’m try­ing to lis­ten to two women talk. They are, not to put too fine a point on it, Women of a Cer­tain Age.

WOCA No. 1: “Re­mem­ber Billy-Bob, our son?”

WOCA No. 2: “Oh yes, Mar­garet I do. A lovely young man when I last saw him, you know, in the flesh so to speak, 30 years ago. I fol­low him on Twit­ter though.”

WOCA No. 1: “Yup, he was al­ways a Twit­terer for sure, our BB. Tweet, tweet, tweet, that’s all he ever wanted to do. Re­mem­ber he mar­ried Mary-Sue? You prob­a­bly saw all the pic­tures of the wed­ding. No­body was ac­tu­ally at the wed­ding, of course: it was all done, well, vir­tu­ally. I’m sad to say they’re not to­gether. It turns out ...” At this point, WOCA No. 1 would lean close to WOCA No. 2 and sort of whis­per. I’d hate that; screws up your eaves­drop­ping. “Well, she’s a se­cret Face­booker. To­tally. She even named their dog Zucker­berg. Imag­ine!”

WOCA No. 2: “Well, I can see the stres­sors on the young cou­ple, the poor dears. My good­ness. It was kind of a mixed mar­riage, wasn’t it?”

At this point, Mar­garet and WOCA No. 2 (I think I’ll call her Hermione, just be­cause, you know, I can) would be called to the counter by the Timmy’s As­so­ciate, get their Bos­ton creams and dou­ble dou­bles (Do you al­ways have to cap­i­tal­ize Bos­ton? Writ­ers worry about that stuff. Do they ac­tu­ally get made in Mas­sachusetts? Are two dou­ble­dou­bles ac­tu­ally one quadru­ple? Life is chock full of im­por­tant ques­tions). They’d head off to com­mis­er­ate, sadly, leav­ing me en­tirely out of their con­ver­sa­tion, mak­ing me next in line, try­ing to re­mem­ber what I ac­tu­ally came to Timmy’s for (Re­mem­ber, I’d be like old at that point). We’d feel bad for Bobby-Lee and Mary-June or who­ever, but you can see their dilemma, right?

We have enough to di­vide us, don’t we? Races, coun­tries, so­cial in­equal­i­ties. Ed­u­ca­tion. There are those walls for Pete’s sake. Can’t we all agree on one so­cial plat­form, maybe on one hu­man plat­form? (We have it al­ready by the way; it’s called Earth.) Can’t we all just, like we used to say, just get along? It feels like we’re kind of stranded on ice floes, yelling at each other, iso­lated on the re­mains of glaciers calved off by that global warm­ing thing.

I have a sug­ges­tion; let’s all have din­ner to­gether, maybe in­vite some of those Uruguayans. Ac­tu­ally talk to­gether, live, real-time, in the flesh like. Get to know each other. Maybe try some of those Brus­sels sprouts.

"Can’t we all agree on one so­cial plat­form, maybe on one hu­man plat­form?

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS FILE PHOTO

Dr. Dave asks: Can we not get to­gether and talk in real time?

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.