I have posted before how I compared twitter to doing stand up comedy in an empty room. You can be funny online, but your jokes and comments don’t get a reaction as you type – but rather minutes, hours or days later. In this way, I think I was wrong in my analogy, because an empty room will never give you a laugh if you’re a solo stand up comedian. A joke told, and missed doesn’t make a sound. It’s like a tree falling in a forest.
The thing that I’ve learned about the Internet, and the thing we’re going to be discovering over and over again as time moves forward, is that a single joke or cat picture on the Internet may in fact generate laughs forever. An Internet pun could be immortal. It can be shared and passed around the world virtually for years to come, long after the original author has vanished.
In a way, it’s sad, because a great joke deserves the reward of applause or laughter. If I’m funny, I want to know you agree. I want to know I’ve made you laugh. It’s not the sole reason I am funny, but it’s the reason I’ve built my personality around humour and making people smile. When I am funny on Facebook, I don’t hear a sound. I make a joke, or a comment and I put it out there. I have to then wait for it to propagate and some people will (hopefully) choose to reply with Facebook’s version of approval; the like button.
It’s not the same guttural feeling as laughter or approval, but our brains are adapti9ng, and accepting it was similar. When we bomb, and nobody likes, we feel that rejection, but not in as harsh a way as a silent comedy club, and we move on to the next joke. Some people have monetized the like button and bases businesses on it, but I just like to know people smiled when I made a joke. A like is the online clap.
Err.. perhaps applause would be a better choice of word.
The neat thing about the timelessness of the Internet that wasn’t the same as a comedy club, is that a single status update, or blog can continue. We can read it today, or we can read it tomorrow, or we can dream of it being read in 2030 by people in silver jumpsuits, and still finding it worthy of a smile or a like click.
Blogs are like this too, and a well placed keyword or hashtag can make any published work live on and be laughed at by anyone, anywhere at any time. It’s neat to think that a knock knock joke I tell here in my blog, could be laughed at a year from now. I may never know.
I have mixed feelings. I’m happy to be able to make people smile forever, but sad I may never know.
Control Freak, now you say Control Freak Who?