THE MUSIC MAKER
Years ago, when people didn't take themselves as seriously as we do now, Dave would go to the pub with his friends on a Friday night. As the evening wore on and various pints were duly quaffed, Dave would say something risibly absurd.
'The fence at the end of my garden was originally painted a light shade of fuchsia by Richard The Lionheart's window cleaner because he needed a few bob extra to kick start his mate's ice cream business.'
Dave's friends would then fall to the floor, laughing heartily, kicking their legs in the air and wiping tears of mirth from their eyes all the time pointing at him and mocking his very existence. Then they'd buy him a pint and they'd all go home, with Dave vowing never to open his daft mouth ever again. Halcyon days.
Nowadays Dave's got access to social media and it's a problem. He's got three hundred contacts on TwitFace and will, a couple of times a week, offer them the benefit of his opinions on the political issues of the day or, possibly, Leo Messi's new tattoo. Five of his contacts will consequently give him a thumbs up or an oxymoronic virtual hug and say things like 'aaawww', 'babe' and 'hun' which will make him feel marginally and momentarily better about working at a large accountancy firm, especially if the 'hun' comes from the girl who studiously ignored him for five years at school in spite of his ample, but futile, wooing tactics.
The interesting thing here is the two hundred and ninety-five people who don't react to Dave's mindless witterings. Let's say a hundred or so didn't see his post because they've decided they've got better things to do than look at other people's plates of food. That still leaves a hundred and ninety-five souls who are left pointing at the screen, kicking their legs in the air and screaming with laughter. Poor Dave.
The trouble is, he can't see any of this and focuses on the five contacts who offered a thumbs up. This feeds his disproportionate sense of self-importance and this is not good for him. Or us.
Not to worry, though, I have a solution. The dreary hipsters at TwitFace headquarters need to introduce a 'rolling -on-the-floor-laughing-but-not-in-a-good-way' option and, crucially, it needs to be anonymous. This means that Dave's empty rhetoric will now receive the usual five positive reactions but also a hundred and ninety-five expressions of bemused derision and yet he won't have a clue who they're from. This is good for Dave because he'll realise the vacuous nature of his opinions and, we hope, stop offering them.
Then he'll call his friends to go to the pub where they can all laugh at him face-to-face just like they used to. Healthy Dave.