Social Media: A Parable

A few nights ago, on a warm summer evening, a bunch of us were out standing in the middle of our street down here in South Carolina.  One guy was talking about politics.  Another lady was talking about how she wanted to be the Mayor.  And I, as usual, was making snarky obnoxious comments and offending people with my caustic sense of humor.

It Will Just Be A Little Prick
It Will Just Be A Little Prick
Surprisingly, a crowd of people started developing around me — a couple of thousand.  Many of them laughed and enjoyed my humor.  Some didn’t like it, and headed down the street to where somebody had a solution to erectile dysfunction they wanted to talk about.  Even more surprisingly, some of the people enjoyed my shtick so much that they wrote down what I said and then sent it off to their friends to read — boy, was I impressed. A guy in the house across the way came out, listened for a bit, and liked what he heard.  He asked if I would please come over to his house every single time I had something to say, and say it right in the middle of his living room.  Even if he wasn’t there.  Sounded a little crazy — I told him he could just get the jokes about zebras, or only listen to the stuff about peach trees — but he demanded every single thing I said. Even gave me a key to his house. Then one day, I said something he didn’t like.  I don’t remember exactly what, but boy was he pissed!  “Where do you get off saying that?  There’s no place for that kind of talk!”  I reminded him that I had just been out talking on the street, and he had chosen me to invite into his home — but it didn’t help.  I told him that there was a big red button on my head he could click, and I’d disappear and he’d never, ever see me again — but that wasn’t enough, either. He really wanted to make rules for the whole neighborhood.  Based on what he liked, what he thought was entertaining, and what he wanted to hear. Oh — one more thing.  I lied.  It wasn’t my neighborhood.  I was talking about Twitter.

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