Online discussion is today what the original neckbeards made it centuries ago. If neckbeard can be accepted as a derisory term for a youngish man who is socially awkward, physically unappealing-to-repulsive (because of hygiene habits more than physique), and personally obsessed with nerdery emanating from computing and escapist cultural fads, then the progenitor of that species must surely be a monk of the Dark Ages. Obsessed with scholastic but pointless logical debates about smartarse new ways to win the argument that god exists, must exist, and is better than your own shitty conception of a deity. A scholasticism that encapsulates almost all online arguments, because these are overwhelmingly not about discovering something new, rather than establishing the ‘correctness’ of each neckbeard participant.
That thought, coming at the end of a train of thought described below, offers me a deliciously funny imagined visualisation of half-pissed, fat, unwashed, and unruly monks burbling bullshit over rough wooden refectory tables laden with more wine than food. Something from a Monty Python sketch.
You say such sweet things to me first up on a Sunday, Joanna, while I’m still ungluing my eyes and cranking up my pulse rate to resemble life. Moah coaaaarrfeeee!
Your interactions were fake: hand-picked, overglossed, idealised personal statements that were bound to make your friends feel insecure, and vice versa.
Damn. Sprung! Wait. You weren’t talking about me?
… posting photos of depressingly minor life events – Attention, world! My child went to the dentist! – or scrolling down the news feed and “liking” 15 items in one sitting. I’m marking my presence, like a dog. If I lay off the site for a few days, I invariably miss six birthdays and feel like a jerk. If I stay away for longer, I worry I’ll miss big news.
So you were talking about yourself? Hmmm. Yeah, we all do that. Talk about ourselves, I mean. Is that a bad thing? I suppose it does depend on the level of triviality and repetition attached to the details. Personally I don’t give a fuck about your food and coffee pics, but I won’t tell you that.