They say a lot of things about social media. One of the most encouraging things that they say about social media is that it can facilitate social change. They say that the discontent expressed on social media helps to bring down corrupt, dictatorial regimes. They say that social media speeds up a revolutionary process that used to take months or even years. Some advocates of social media even say that will eventually herald a new epoch of human co-existence, well that’s the theory anyway.
I’d like to change the world so I decided to get in on the ground floor with this theory. I’d like to instigate something and leave my mark on the world. I’d like people to point at me and say “There’s the bloke that started something”. I want to ride the crest of the social media wave.
I desperately want to agitate for social change as it sounds like something I should try but I remember the example of Icarus so prudence feels the more attractive option. At least this way I could ease myself into the world of societal change.
After much thought I realised that I didn’t actually want to be cyberspace’s Trotsky, what I really wanted was to try and break into the realm of public acclaim via social media. To cut a long story short I decided to try to use social media to become a terrace legend. I thought that this was the way to achieve all the acclaim of getting rid of a dictator without all the inconvenience of a visit from the secret police after the dictator has re-taken power.
As with societal change social media has removed the fuss from becoming a terrace legend. It used to be hard; you had to fight a load of hard blokes, be consistently hilarious, have an anti-social quirk or consistently come up with catchy chants. Nowadays, in this banter-led football paradigm, all you need is social media. All you need to do is be the first person to come up with an off-colour joke, or type a tweet with the hashtag #justprovingImthekingofbanter and hey presto!, you’re an instant hero. Now all I needed was an opportunity!!!
I have great faith in Jung’s idea of Synchronicity and this faith is often well placed. For example let’s consider the events of last week. At a time when I want public acclaim a story involving the fans of Swansea City appeared.
It was a story that relied on quotes. Brendan Rogers, the Swansea manager, said; ”I am going to ask all the fans on that day if they can wear, as a tribute to ourselves and Elvis Presley, as many Elvis costumes as I want to see.” Mr. Rogers said this because at the start of this season someone else had said this; “You have more chance of seeing Elvis, then Swansea staying up”.
Football fans and managers have a long memory for slights against their club so the Swansea fans decided to follow their manager’s plea. They decided to stick two finger up to the doubters with a tongue -in-cheek display;
In contemporary society people crave fame. In the contemporary banter-led football paradigm terrace legends crave infamy and it looked like I now had my opportunity.
I saw my big chance to be a modern-day football icon; the bigmouth joker that motivated people. I wanted to become a target for the twitter hate mob. I wanted the ire of “The Jack Bastards”. I wanted them to dress up in fancy dress next season because of the things I’d said. With social media at my fingertips my opportunity had come knocking, I wasn’t going to waste it so I tweeted;
“Next season there’s more chance of Glenn Miller playing Clwb Ifor Bach than of Swansea staying in the premier league!!!!!”
I liked the idea of thousands of people getting in the mood by dressing like a 1940s band leader!
After a few minutes no-one had bitten, there was no ire, no hate-filled rejoinders, there was nothing. I didn’t worry because the amount of traffic of twitter is often so great you don’t get replies for several hours.
I waited roughly 10 minutes before trying again;
“There’s more chance of Kriss Kross reforming than Swansea staying in the premier league next season.”
I longer to see thousands of people turning up to the Liberty Stadium with their clothes on back to front;
Even with a knockback I was sure that I was going to be regarded as a “ledge” by the end of this. I thought that putting “premier league” at the end of the tweet, instead of the beginning, would help me become a “ledge”. It didn’t; 10 minutes after my tweet there was still no response. I tried a third tweet;
“There’s more chance of Chaucer writing “Canterbury Tales Two; The Miller’s Revenge” than Swansea staying in the premier league next season!”
I relished the idea that next May people will turn up to Swansea’s last match wearing medieval robes and speaking Middle English. After 15 minutes the barrage of hate-filled tweets had failed to materialise.
I gave it another ten minutes and typed one last tweet;
“There’s more chance of Niels Bohr reformulating his theory of Atomic Structure than of Swansea staying in the premier league next season.”
I couldn’t wait to see thousands of the “Jack Bastards” in tweed jackets discussing quantum theory with their peers. Again my tweets failed to inspire infamy. There were message board hate mobs labelling me “numpty” or “ tosser”.
I have to live with my lack of infamy; I have to live with the knowledge that I’m not a terrace legend, that I’m not a “ledge”. This “creating social movements through social media” business wasn’t as easy as it looked.