Sunday, April 28, 2019

Chasing “likes”– but at what cost?

We imagine many of you are hooked on the various ‘social media’ addictions of our day….sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and who knows how many more.

Here at Side, we’ve steadfastly avoided even creating accounts on such sites, and we regret it not one bit.

You don’t have to look very far or wide to see just how much damage these attention traps have visited upon our culture and our social graces, in spite of the advantages many claim they offer. 

One of the traps they suck users into, as we understand it, is the constant search for “likes.”  Try to find a web site for a new restaurant to check out their menu, and you’re almost always going to find a Facebook page instead, and a request to “like us on Facebook!”

We were recently reminded, however, that there is more than one type of “like.”  Including, we suppose, many we haven’t thought of.

The one at the top of our mind at the moment, though, comes to us compliments of the Bowdoin Orient….the campus newspaper operated by students.  It seems a campus ethnic group invited an “edgy” comedian to entertain on campus, and said comedian violated many of the modern day taboos held sacred by fragile elite college students.  You know, micro-agressions, triggering, oppression and all the rest are always ready to show up when thin lines are crossed.

You can read the entire article here:

In case you don’t care to, which wouldn’t surprise us, we give you this brief excerpt:

“David Zhou ‘21 said any commedian should be better about knowing the audience.  He should have known that if you come to a liberal arts college and start making like offhand jokes about like sex, race, gender, like, you’re going to get slapped,” Zhou said.

How’s that for “likes?”  Three in one sentence!  So David, a Bowdoin sophomore, is already up in the like stats before posting anywhere.

The overarching point in all this for us, however, is the apparent fact that a second year student at an elite, highly selective liberal arts college speaks with all the linguistic polish of valley girls from Southern California. 

Given that his higher education has a price tag of more than one-quarter million dollars for a Bachelor’s degree, isn’t it reasonable to expect he could utter such a brief thought without using conversational crutches?

While the editors of The Orient didn’t seem concerned enough to edit his words on his behalf, we have to wonder how the faculty and administration of the Ivory Tower will deal with this reflection on their English curriculum and teaching rigor.

Perhaps they’ll have to set up a program of “Like-aversion Therapy” for those so-afflicted, similar to the stuttering problem many of us saw in our youth.

We can’t wait to see, like, how they deal with this, like.

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