A Copywriter’s Blog

I think we need to stop this right now. I’ll admit I’ve done it in the past, but I resolve here and now to turn over a new leaf, and I urge you to join with me. Let’s resolve to stop being egotistical and infantile, and never post one again. I speak of course, of the intentionally ambiguous passive aggressive status message.

I see them, the “So pissed right now, everything sucks” and the “Can’t wait for things to get better” messages.

When I did it, it was called an away message, and we had to type them on computers that weren’t meant to leave the desks they stood on and received their interwebs through a cable attached to a wall. (I also walked uphill to class both ways, in the snow. But that was because I went to school at Syracuse University where the phrase “higher education” was a reference to the local topography) These days such messages exist on all the mybook-facetweet-waveapps. And they’re all still bullshit.

The idea that a desperate and generally-worded cry for attention will generate any useful discourse is laughable. We all know the author of “I hate everyone” is just sitting at their keyboard, fingers poised, BEGGING for someone to ask what it’s in reference to. Woe is them. All is pain and agony and suffering and if someone would just ASK them what’s wrong they would tell all of it, a sordid tale of horror and sadness about how they missed the end of Gossip Girls last night.

If you’re twelve, this behavior is understandable. After all, at twelve all IS really pain and agony and suffering and it’s your job to be horribly miscommunicative and a total ass. So carry on.

But if your voice no longer cracks when you talk to girls, your years of carefully crafted generic angst are past you, my friend. From now on, If you’ve got something to say, say it. If you really need to talk to someone right now, message them in some fashion. Directly.

This is the future. We live in it. There are multiple options for direct communication. I can think of few worse ways to initiate a dialogue in our post-modern dystopia then leaving an oblique message for a virtual passerby. It is science fact that we have shrinking attention-spans and a growing avoidance of reading. I am an advertising copywriter. The truth of what I say is writ in salty tears upon my keyboard.

So I don’t want to see anymore “this isn’t what I wanted” and “when will this day end“.

I don’t want to read about how you “finally understand what this song’s deep and emo-riffic lyrics mean“.

Stop informing me that you “wish [Fictional Character X] would come and take me away“. [Fictional Character X] will never come into your life and make it all wonderful, just like he did to [Fictional Character Y]. Because they’re a work of FICTION. And if [Fictional Character X] did exist? They would probably consider you a whiney sycophant.

I hereby resolve to do my status bitching out in the open, as a man, and I hope you’ll join me. (You women can join me in being a man too. This is the future, you can do that here.) If you want someone to tell you your goldfish is in a better place now, just put “RIP Goldie, we’ll miss you“. If you’re having a bad day, admit that it’s because you were too dumb to save your blog post, and now you have to retype it from scratch. Do it. Be direct, or be quiet.

And lastly, stop telling me, and the entire world, that “everyone has someone but me“. Oh it’s a straightforward, unambiguous complaint, I won’t argue with that. But you’ll stop being alone when your away messages demonstrate more interesting aspects of your personal life than desperation. In fact, you don’t even have to wait that long. If you’re upset because all your friends are getting married and you don’t have a date, be proactive. You can order brides from Russia now. Get out your Visa and solve the problem.

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