by Howard | August 18, 2014 7:14 am
I was feeling slightly nostalgic earlier today. I was remembering a time, back in May 2014, when Facebook was filled with ugly children and overweight parents building sandcastles on polluted beaches. A time when we could brag about holidays that were never really quite as memorable as we pretended they were, but we could make other people envious with our photos nevertheless. A time when not so impressive cakes were all the rage and everyone professed to want the recipe. And when the comments were “Gorgeous / stunning / Oh, what an angel (probably spelt angle)” in response to a photo of a drooling 9 month old dressed in a leopard outfit with furry ears. A time when we posted pictures of shirtless friends in drunken poses, rather than posting pictures of them wearing a flag.
It was an innocent time when we went to CNN for news and Facebook for fun and when not everyone was a political commentator. A time when we could convince my mother that it was called “Face LOOK” to prevent her writing inappropriate comments on relatives walls and when my mother in law would embarrass her grandsons for commenting on the pretty girls in their photos and not because she was a right wing fanatic. They were good times back then, those early heady 2014s.
I can almost remember a time (I think) when King David was a magnificent school, for children, and not the misplaced recipient of our boiling frustrations and John Robbie was a just talk show host who you either liked or didn’t. A time when we shopped where we wanted to because it was the place to be and not because we were politicians, a time when were a people united by our common hatred of El-Al and our love for apathy, a time when judged people not for who they were but for what they wore and what car they drove? Those were good times.
I acknowledge that I might be looking at the past with rose coloured spectacles and that it couldn’t have been so perfect back in then. Of course not every child was ugly and I am certain that deep down we all still hate EL-AL. But the change has been significant in a very short period. Facebook has become our news source, a place to voice our thoughts (even the stupid ones that we should probably wait until morning to post) and it has become an area where people can express their anger and their vitriol. And it is, like anything, a gift and curse and it should be treated with deserved respect. This respect, in my view means following some simple rules – remember that everyone can read what you are saying and that although you might feel a little differently in the morning, the words still remain. Remember that situations change very quickly, and you might feel uncomfortable should your call and plea for hyperbole come to pass. Remember also that there is no tone to writing so you need to be clear on what you are saying. My suggestion is to think of the person that likes you least (or narrow it down to the worst five) and picture them reading it. And only then hit that “post” button.
It needs to be said that the above does not apply to posting “Cuzzies (cousins) besties (best friends) ” along with a photo of your children in play cars next to their cousins, or to the response “Oh what Angles! (we know what you mean) ” as this is what we expect to see, and have come to love from this medium. Lets try and go back to the time where we ripped each other apart not because we felt we had to, but just because we could. Lets start posting pictures of ugly babies.
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