Thursday 22 February 2018

Kevin Myers: It's not easy being an adolescent these days

SIGHING heavily, I laid aside my quill, placed a sheet of blotting paper on the parchment and put the cap back on the inkwell. I was still no closer to solving the mystery of this Facebook phenomenon. Oh, I'm not completely ignorant about it: for example, I know that Facebook enables people to say they have thousands of friends, but have met none of them. Surely, an old-fashioned telephone directory would do just the same; and better still, it gives you people's addresses outside which you can loiter without any trousers, plus you can ring your new friends at 3am and pant heavily. Such japes. You can't do that on Facebook.

Or maybe you can. The truth is I don't know. Though I do know the name of the founder of Facebook: Mark Sodajerk (12), who is now worth more than Belgium. When he starts shaving, maybe he'll invent a razor that removes the hairs from the tiny area just beneath the nostrils that a normal blade can't reach without inflicting a lobotomy on the hasty. That was probably the reason I didn't invent Facebook long ago: I scraped out my brains with a Wilkinson's Sword one crapulous morning, and thus the future of the world was postponed for three decades or so. I don't know: I'm just hazarding a guess. There was certainly that day when, hungover, I saw something grey and wrinkly vanishing down the plughole. Was that the brain that might have invented Facebook, 30 years ago? Or was it just some withered old lady from the night before?

At least I know the name of Facebook's Luke Suckerburk. I have absolutely no idea of the name of the founder of the Twitter, which apparently is Facebook with Attitude. It doesn't consist of Friends, only Enemies, upon whom you anonymously pour bile, hatred and filth. Each message full of loathing and lies is apparently called a tweet, and the person who sends it is a twanker. But when states behave like twankers, with their lethal twittering, tweets and twats, the UN Security Council has emergency meetings at 3am, and colour-coded deck crew on American aircraft carriers wait beside ranks of poised F-18 Super Hornets. Yet apparently people freely and voluntarily sign up to become a twanker, in order to experience their very own personalised Bosnia on their . . .

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