6 Jan 2016

#DrummondPuddleWatch

The best and worst thing to happen in 2016 is going on right now. In Drummond Central, Newcastle, a divine puddle was created as a result of the rain from earlier in the day. Once it was discovered that people had a bit of trouble crossing, it was livestreamed. Within the hour, 20,000 people were watching the puddle. I don't know how, but I found myself oddly engaged with the stream as did the thousands of other people. It's a bit like Tom Cruise's middle tooth, it's uninteresting but oddly satisfying to look at. But the story of the puddle is more tragic than it seems.



In the beginning, it was all a bit of fun. Every 15-20 seconds you'd see someone approach the puddle and have a bit of fun guessing how they might choose to cross it. Sometimes you'd be surprised, and sometimes you'd roll your eyes. Viewers of the stream created a list of rules around it, such as cheating if they used the side of the bridge to help, and they awarded points per puddle crossing. The viewers slowly increased from the small hundreds to over 20,000. We witnessed legends such as "pram lady", "orange coat woman" and "long jump guy". So what went wrong?

Well, people found out. I knew that as soon as the livestream hit about 10k viewers it'd be the end of the fun. We firstly saw people waving as they walked by it, but eventually someone started taking photos and lingering about like a real tourist. There was a guy that brought an empty water bottle to get a blessing of the holy water. Someone even brought a raft, and there was a wet floor sign placed in the centre. British people are amazing.







I felt like this whole epic has a metaphor behind it for social media; how one thing can be amazing when kept on the downlow, but is ruined by the masses once it reaches public ear. I now can't stop sighing in sadness when I see another poor soul approach the puddle with a little raft or surfboard, thinking they're funny by pretending to surf or ski along the puddle, despite the fact that dozens of people before them have already done it. It's a bit like that episode of Spongebob Squarepants where Spongebob rips his pants and everyone laughs, but he keeps milking it and everyone starts to think he's a cunt. Can people stop ruining things please? Still, the puddle is located on a school route, so we got that to look forward to I suppose.

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