Social media is a harsh mistress. She can be good yet evil, light yet dark, but most of all, she is a cynical beast.
I recently decided to put an open-ended question on Facebook to see what my online friends would respond with. The question was, “What are four words that can ruin a date?”
While posting this question, I was expecting two or three answers that would be good for a chuckle. I awoke the next morning to find 237 responses to this question.
Almost all of them were laughable, but some were downright comical genius. Some highlighted comments were “Hi! I’m Ryan Lochte,” “I get tested monthly,” “Your sister was prettier” and, my personal favorite, “I’m with Dateline NBC.”
What was most surprising was how edgy many of the comments were. Some joked about Brock Turner, Donald Trump and the death of Harambe. Others even touched on subjects such as prostitution, incarceration, pedophilia, polygamy and a variety of sexually transmitted infections.
There were some posts that were funny to a smaller number of people. Those included “Looked female on Tinder,” “I’m a BYU fan,” “My wife recently disappeared” and the dreaded “Is this cake moist?”
The post itself was a mark in the humor of today where cynicism is king. The art of using the dark things in life as fodder for humor is a common theme in television and stand-up comedy.
Comments on the Facebook post demonstrated that our view of cynicism helps us take a humorous look on the awful things in the world.
For those who believe that this post was garbage and that it “would never happen in real life,” I had a real-life situation where a date was ruined in four simple words.
I went on a date with a girl I was interested in. She and I had a lot in common with tastes in television and movies.
As the date progressed, I brought up a topic that is very dear and important to me: music. When I asked her about her musical interests, she responded, “I don’t like music.”
Those four words literally changed the date from “going pretty well” to “there has to be a way I can get out of this.”
The words we use can evoke such strong emotions. Four words seem like nothing, yet people on Facebook were able to create over 200 funny remarks to an open-ended question.
These comments were a reminder that using your creativity and staying simple can help you showcase your sense of humor to the world.
Next time you’re on a date and need an ice breaker, you could ask them the question, “Could you ruin this date in four words?” and their response might determine if that relationship is worth pursuing.