a novel by JOHN GRABOWSKI

“Putting my head in the toilet…would be a more cleansing experience.” —Emma Thompson

"Don't you dare 'like' me!"

“Don’t you dare ‘like’ me!”

Wow, tell us what you really think, Emma… Don’t be so Brit-polite!

The star of such literary fare as Much Ado About Nothing and Sense and Sensibility says she hates hates HATES social media, thank you.

Also, she HATES social media.

…And did we mention she HATES social media???

Though she’s publicly forgiven fellow thespian Helena Bonham Carter for having an affair with former hubby Kenneth Branagh, if she never met Mark Zuckerberg in an elevator something tells me she’d strangle him dead.

And then kick him in the jewelbag just for fun.

Asked in a recent Vanity Fair interview about joining Twitter, Thompson said:

I’d rather have root canal treatment FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE than join Twitter. That’s not my scene at all. I can’t bear the thought of being connected all the time. God knows what it’s all doing to us. I hope that everyone does realize that we are all just one giant human experiment at the moment. We are just a great big bunch of little gerbils on wheels.

But it didn’t stop there. The two-time Oscar winner thinks these recent seismic changes in how we live are dangerous to our mental well-being, and she’s serious—we are in danger of our whole civilization going down the tubes:

In about 25 years time, maybe, a sudden generation will just drop dead. Everyone will just die on the same day. And I’ll say, “Oh, what do these people have in common? Hang on.” They were connected every day 24/7, you know! And no one knew what it was going to do to them. No one knew! Because we didn’t bother to find out. Because we’re stupid! We invent stuff, we just fling it out there, we let anyone use it. A three-year-old could fucking be on Twitter. A three-year-old! And then they go on and on and on about everything that there is. And get reviewed every day by Facebook. And then we will wonder why, at the age of 60, an entire generation chucks itself off a cliff like a bunch of lemmings. 

When asked if she ever Googled herself, she replied, “Putting my head in the toilet and flushing it repeatedly would be a more cleansing experience.”

Yikes.

She goes on about how today’s Americans are too monied and as a consequence have nothing to do but dream about owning the latest gadget. She said she doesn’t know what to talk to these people about. It reminded me of a famous Tocqueville quote that in democratic societies each citizen is habitually busy with the contemplation of a very petty object, which is himself. Emma must be a handful—and I love her for it.

The day after her comments emerged in that Vanity Fair interview, an article in a San Francisco Bay Area newspaper pointed out  how app developers more and more are targeting young children—very young, as in one or two.

The Oakland Tribune story talked about developers who want to put smart phone gizmos in the hands of children who don’t really understand concepts like data mining or opting out, or even privacy. Some parents defend these apps—one family says their third-grader is reading at the level of an eighth grader, something I find hard to believe simply because to read at such a high level requires more than just early exposure to technology. It necessitates life experiences, not just being able to process larger batches of words than your peers, and these can’t be rushed along; they have to happen. How was it ascertained he was reading at an eighth-grade level? Who tested him and how? Is “reading at an eighth grade level” defined as just assuring his parents he “knows what the words mean”?

Besides, every parent believes their little puddin does things so much better than all the other tots. Remember, at Lake Woebegone, all the children are above average.

Read more about Emma’s rant here.

…And about the trend of apps for tots, which interestingly had its headline changed from an originally critical one to this more positive one, here.

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One response

  1. God love her. Emma Thompson may be the only sane one among us.

    Like

    May 30, 2014 at 5:39 am

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