Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Lend me a tenner mate.
Social media is a slot machine. You put up a post, a blog, a tweet, pull down the handle and watch dry-mouthed hoping your readers go up as the comments roll around and around - till it all grinds to a halt on three lemons and a shower of interest and LOLs. You can stand there in the dark for hours playing it - man against machine. The souls of your shoes tacky against the nylon carpet. An almost empty pint glass in your hand, the dregs warm and flat. Hoping for a jackpot. An addict hoping for a hit. And the etiquette of it all is tough. Some people you like but there is never the time to get to know them properly. Others want stuff from you - a review, a signed book, or just to be your friend. What for instance is the done thing when someone who owes you money wants to be your friend on Facebook? Not that he owes me much. I can't even remember whether it was five or ten or twenty. I think it was ten and it was years ago. And it is not the money. It is just I can remember feeling stung as happening upon me in a cafe, this chap greeted me warmly, chatted loudly and effusively of how great it was to see me as he queued for coffee and a pastry, and then called to me as I sat at my table asking me to pay for his breakfast as he didn't "have the time" to pay himself. And the hungry, snaking queue of patrons heard him, watched me, as I was had. I remember thinking "Are you kidding me? You're standing there. At the till. Ofcourse you have the time." And he must have had the money because he was in a bakery buying coffee and a pastry - had joined the queue to buy them. And I'd liked this chap. And I'd felt let down and used up. But I paid for his coffee and his pastry and he left the cafe, calling how he would get the money back, and raised a hand in warm salute and I thought "I bet you don't. I bet you won't." Ofcourse perhaps that's why he wants to be my Facebook friend.