Over 200 million pieces of potentially self-involved, cringe-inducing free verse poetry, hundreds of thousands of thinly disguised autobiographies framed as rambling ‘novellas’, along with a high number of other examples of Bad Art have been murdered in their beds by the ingeniously distracting charms of popular social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat, it was reported this week.
Throughout last September, Irish polling organization Behaviour & Attitudes conducted a telephone- and street survey on the perceived drawbacks of excessive engagement with online Social Media, reaching a demographic cross-cut of 25,000 random users.
They have extrapolated and now released a set of what they describe as ‘accurately proportional end figures’, based on a conservative reading of how respondents answered.
Initial results show that a sizeable percentage of those polled reportedly cite an inability to finish writing their objectively unreadable short stories as a chief downside to spending large amounts of time online.
“We’re talking 14 million really incoherent film screenplays, at least as many half-thought out ideas for a comedy series, and a barely believable number of novels that unintentionally and erratically switch tense and narrative voice”, said B&A’s head of operations, Ursula Downes.
Several putative Dublin artists were prepared to concur, in part, with the thrust of the findings.
“You know, it’s like, ‘Poof!'”, said hobby percussionist Amanda Fletcher.
“Two hours later I look up from the screen and say to myself ‘Great, they’re all collected in their proper albums now, but wouldn’t the time have been more wisely spent cutting up Coke cans with my arts and crafts scissors for that collage I had originally wanted to try and sell to my mother before Christmas?’
“Facebook is such a drain on my creativity”, she concluded.
Another of those polled, courier dispatch assistant Girvan Vasquez, admitted to harbouring ambitions for a second career in Creative Media.
“Sometimes I think of all the great things I could be doing instead of scrolling up and down through my Facebook news feed or my Tweetdeck, learning about what strangers have just overheard other strangers saying on their bus to work.”
“Like, I have this one idea for a film where all these killer zombies dressed up in tight jeans and lumberjack shirts attack coffee shops and start making lattes with the blood of dead waitresses. If Facebook and Twitter weren’t there I’m sure I could flesh it out into a 90 minute screenplay, or even just punt it around as it stands to (advertising agencies – ed.) Ogilvy, Saatchi or McCann. Maybe a couple of others.”
“I recently also came up with the guts of a really good global model for Economics, but between curating my seven Pinterest accounts and browsing Tinder, I’m not going to put it to bed any time soon.”
Overwhelming evidence would seem to suggest that the group of people to which Fletcher and Vasquez belong whose daily Social Media commitments stop them from completing something absolutely devoid of any critical merit whatsoever, is not small.
“Facebook really prevents me sometimes from fully immersing myself in my Art”, said engineering office intern Brian Stewart with a straight face.
“Talk about a time-sink. Take two days ago, a friend of mine had this super funny boat crash video from somewhere. I’m still getting Likes for two of my comments. I mean of course it’s gratifying, you know, but they’re still trickling in. Two days after the video went up. How am I supposed to get anything else done?”
“I had some new material I wanted to try at a Poetry Slam in Brogan’s next Tuesday, but I’m just not going to have it ready in time now. That’s a fact. Damn you, Facebook”, he said.
GO RAIBH MAITH!