Social Needier

I’ve got in a bit of a grump with social media.

And it’s not the whole Facebook/data/Cambridge thing. I just don’t like what it can do to people. Like me. Allow me to elaborate…

I bought a homeless guy a pasty and a cup of tea the other week. I was getting myself baked goods from an Artisan Patisserie (Grégoires), he was outside looking hungry so I got two. Now that is not the issue, the problem is that I instantly thought this would make a great tweet. 140 characters to tell the world (or actually about 20 people in fairness) just how generous and charitable I am. Then I realised that would make me a dick. A kind act is a kind act whether or not you tell anyone about it. Einstein once said “I like to think the moon is still there even if I don’t look at it”. He was talking about his issues with quantum mechanics, but the point still holds; I like to think that kind acts exist regardless of whether they are observed or not.

The opposite is true. Shortly after my pasty experience, I did something decidedly unbragworthy. Did I compose a tweet, “Just blocked a toilet in Fenwick’s with a poo like a crocodile’s tail. Four flushes and nothing. Covered it in a loo roll shroud and ran off”? Of course not. Never even crossed my mind.

This whole editing of one’s life bothers me. I feel uneasy reporting the good if I don’t mention in equal measure the bad. For every pasty, a blockage. For every “helped an old lady across the road”, a “drove without due care and attention and mounted the pavement”.  For every “Amazed the bride and groom with magic today”, a “knocked over the wedding cake at today’s gig. Blamed the page boy”. For every “gig went really well tonight”, an “avoided tax today by just putting loads of cash in my drawer”.

And there’s more. A little while ago, the littler Strange spent her holiday money on a magic trick. Then I put a video of her performing it on my Facebook page. It was adorable! However, This also made me uneasy. She spent the next few days badgering me… “How many likes has my video got, has it got any more comments, can I make another one, can I have my own page?”

Social media can make us needy. I’m guilty of it too. And a bit ashamed. Not that I’ll be posting that of course.

On the other hand though, I’ll be releasing some new magic videos on Facebook soon. I’d really appreciate if you could like them, comment on them and share them please. Oh, and if you could promote my page too, I’d be ever so grateful.

In return, I might buy you a pasty. And promise not to block your toilet.