One of the weirdest Internet trends right now is celebrities who are joining Twitter after denigrating it.
For months they slammed the medium, making fun of it and calling it useless. Then, out of nowhere, they join and announce this momentous event with a press release. They then proceed to talk about Twitter as if they invented it. They’re like that friend who discovers Lost on DVD and then tries to explain to you what the hatch is three years after the show went off the air.
I’m talking about my favorite college dropout right now and predicting that in a few months, Jay-Z will be doing the same thing. Although I can’t hate on Jay-Z because his line, “I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man,” is one of the greatest rap lines ever written. He communicated more with a comma than most rappers do with a whole song.
But despite the oddness of late to the game Twitter celebrities, I think there is something even more serious we have to address in the Christian community:
Our friends who are three weeks late on all Internet trends.
You might not have friends like these, but I do. A few days ago, one of them sent me the link to the auto-tuned version of the “hide yo wife” interview. That clip is about a month old and any day now I’m expecting him to send me a link to the double rainbow guy.
But I’ve been that guy. Despite having a blog and being active on Twitter, I am often, very, very late to the party. I’m often the last one to know something. Like Joel McHale from the Soup speaking at a Christian Conference last May? How did I miss that? I swear you guys never tell me anything.
So what do we do? How do we show kindness and compassion to our chronically late friends who find themselves on very thin ice, very thin ice?
4 ways to love on our late Internet friends:
1. Never say, “I’ve already seen that.”
When I send someone a funny video clip and they say, “Oh yeah, I’ve already seen that,” the first thing I think is, “So then why didn’t you send it to me?” I clearly care enough about you to share laughter and merriment of an online variety with you, why didn’t you do the same with me? Why are you being such an online Pharisee? Don’t say “I’ve already seen that,” it makes people feel like Kenny Bania, the hack comedian from Seinfeld.
2. Allow them to say, “You’ve probably seen this already.”
This is the calling card of we slow Internet trendsters. We say it at the beginning of our emails to soften the blow if it turns out we’re late. Sure, if we assume you’ve seen it before, we don’t need to send it, but maybe you haven’t. And we’re kind, like a digital Johnny Appleseed spreading the joy of the Star Wars kid, unlike that jerk from point 1.
3. Allow us to keep the sweet belief we’re holding on to.
I once went to a wedding where the groom sang a really beautiful acoustic guitar version of a Coldplay song. After the wedding, one of the relatives told us that he had written that song for his bride. That’s not really the moment to say, “Actually lady, that’s a Coldplay song.” Same with Internet memes, which is an idea/clip that is passed about online. If I want to believe that Carlos Whittaker wrote the song “Single Ladies” or that Kobe really did jump a car in that Nike commercial, please let me.
4. Love them enough to intervene.
Despite the kindness of turning your digital cheek with number 3, there might come a time when you need to have an intervention. (Much like the hardest show on the planet to watch.) I once thought that was going to happen with me and the Fergie lyric, “I’m so 3000 and 8, you so 2000 and late.” It starts out so innocently, you tweet it once or twice and think you’ll move on. But you can’t. You’re surprised at its versatility. It works with everything! Your favorite NFL team wins? That other team is so 2000 and late! Someone talks about Heidi and Spencer? That’s so 2000 and late! You fail to get your car inspected very fast when you move to Tennessee? That’s so 2000 and late! Before you know it, you’re in a corner somewhere in the fetal position just repeating nonsensical Black Eyed Peas lyrics over and over, “I’m stepping on leprechauns, I’m stepping on leprechauns.” Love your late friend enough to kindly let them know that their new favorite Internet video clip is everyone else’s old favorite.
I hope that next time I tweet something dated or blog about a video that the free world has already exhausted, you’ll keep these four tips in mind. In the meantime though, have you seen this clip I just found where this baby bites his brother’s finger? That and the Chocolate Rain guy are two new videos I just discovered.
You’ve probably seen them already, but if not, you are going to love them.