Having spent the better part of three years actively participating in social networking in Rochester, I begin to see a pattern emerge whenever something really big happens. Whether it’s the Park Avenue Festival (big, but annual) or Barack Obama coming to town, we basically have three faces we like to show the public whenever Awesome Event X happens.
There are of course more faces than three. And no one person fits into one face all the time. But there is a consistent triumvirate, nevertheless, as predictable in its presence as it is in its temperament. I thought I’d outline them here for the sake of discussion.
The Sunny Optimist
This irrepressible soul wants to share their enthusiasm for all things Event X, no matter how trivial or meaningless. The Sunny Optimist knows that stuff like this doesn’t happen every day and you have to make the most of it. There is no countervailing fact or inconvenient truth that cannot be swept under the rug for the sake of enjoying ourselves in this, our most blessed moment. Cheer up, everybody! It’s Event X!!
The Chain-smoking Ennui-ite
Oh, this weary world of “special” events. Nothing ever changes for the CSE. Even when change happens, it happens exactly as they thought it would. Big deal. And anyway, the Ennui would like to point out that everything about this event is a sham in the first place. And all of the people gushing over it are just stupid. And they wish they could just ignore all this annoying Event X traffic, but how? Shut off Twitter and Facebook? That’s crazy talk. Oh, this awful world.
The Boy (or Girl) Who Lost Their Balloon
This might be thought of as “the sweet spot” of Rochester social media event thinking. This person is 100% on-board with Event X. He or she truly wants to be part of the fun.
Sadly, they simply. can. not. It seems that others in the crowd, whom Lost Balloon deems insufficiently joyful, have prevented their happiness.
That there are people who disagree with or question their otherwise-boundless joy is so upsetting to them, that they feel the need to call out – usually in generic and unspecific terms – everyone who can’t seem to see how awesome Event X is. They have to take time out of their busy schedule of frolicking in the wonderfulness of Event X to get pissed off at everyone else ruining their good time.
If every staffer on Barack Obama’s bus tour opted to block the #roc and #POTUSroc hashtags, you could hardly blame them. But like it or not, Rochester’s gotta be what we are. And even when we’re bitching, we do with hysterical style. So, there’s that.