Social media is great. All those things you can do with it, like… Sorry, didn’t quite catch that. He’s done what? Well who let him do that? This won’t end well
Thank you for signing up to my new social media network Fatr. Please choose a username. You cannot use capital letters, spaces, emojis or vowels. Your name must be a food pun on a celebrity musician, such as Bread Sheeran or Calvin Haggis. Before you proceed, we need to ensure you’re not a robot. Please identify all the spiders in this gridded photograph of the Taj Mahal. Now click the box that says, “I am not a robot”. Exactly what a robot would click. You will now be disconnected from the internet.
Please upload a profile picture. This must be an original oil painting with lots of flesh and screaming. Now enter a short biography listing all the singles that you own and your full web browsing history. Finally, type your mother’s maiden name. Congratulations, you are now a member of Fatr, the website that puts the “me” back into “social media”. And the word “I”. Twice.
Please ignore the man who just appeared in the corner of your room. He’s monitoring things. It’s important that Fatr knows every detail about you, for example, the fact you own two Joy Division T-shirts but you secretly find them boring. The fact you’ve never played a Record Store Day purchase more than once. The fact you watch Jools Holland on New Year’s Eve to keep your partner happy, when the embarrassing honky-tonk uncle act actually makes you want to peel off your eyelids. The man in the corner of the room is diligently writing all of these things down.
Let’s see who Fatr is recommending as friends. Seven Russian women with numbers at the end of their name. Three men that look like they’ve misplaced their tickets to a Status Quo gig. The twitchy guy with the greasy hair who’s always in the same post office queue as you. A picture of a Cornish pasty. Gary Numan, but probably not the real Gary Numan. The novelty dance band Doop, which probably is the real novelty dance band Doop. Your first status update is an insightful comment about the failings of social media tribes in a disconnected world. You end the comment with “lol” so no one takes it seriously. You join the group Bruises That Look Like Shane MacGowan. You join the group Bring Back Jive Bunny. You join and then get banned from the group Sharon Is Raising Money For A Phil Collins Face Transplant.
Your new Fatr profile has been suspended. You didn’t show enough appreciation for Aphex Twin’s latest SoundCloud upload, so you have been cancelled. You will post a snivelling apology video on YouTube, but this will only make things worse because you pronounce “Aphex” with a short “a” as in “ham”. You’d defend yourself on Twitter, but that password has long been stolen by someone selling willy pills. You are now trending on Fatr for all the wrong reasons. People are outrage-sharing an old video of you dancing to ‘Ebeneezer Goode’. You look caked off your nipples because you were most likely caked off your nipples. A snotty journalist from a grubby monthly electronic music magazine is trying to dig up a scandal by going through your bins. If they find your receipt for that Justin Bieber single, you’re screwed. You should have never joined social media.
The man in the corner of your room smiles. He has sold all your private data to the Hungarian government. You are now technically owned by the Mayor of Budapest. You will spend this Christmas with him. You will bring vegetarian meatloaf and he will sigh and stop talking to you. Thank you for signing up to my new social media network Fatr. Happy Christmas, idiot.