Having spent a fair amount of time at one of the top party schools in America, keeping my finger on the pulse of undergraduate thinking, feeling, and acting (It’s about the Other Guy, Stupid), and generally finding young adult life interesting, I dispute this NYTimes story about the death of the college bar, killed by social media. Here’s the money shot.
“Students don’t need bars to create a community the way they used to,” said Stephani Robson, a senior lecturer in the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell who specializes in restaurant psychology.
Great. They find somebody who’s an expert in restaurant psychology to assert the death of the college bar by Facebook. And the story details compelling examples to illustrate the senior lecturer and her expert point of view. I like this one.
“You could have this really amazing night, but if you didn’t get a picture, it’s like it didn’t happen,” said Ms. Parr, 22, a senior at Gettysburg, whose friends often order designer outfits from the Rent the Runway Web site because incessant documenting makes wearing anything more than twice taboo. “It’s crazy how much pictures consume our lives. Everyone knows how to pose and how to hold your arm and which way is most flattering, and everyone wants the picture taken with their phone.”
Yeah. It’s the pictures.
You remember Rent The Runway. They are the persuasion guys who seduce pretty women into unpaid “internships” that spread the good brand word with chalkboard graffiti then “suggest” to those pretty women buying the brand while attending Rent The Runway workshops. Call this Rent The Runway play, Cueing Up The Cue wherein Rent The Runway seduces both the undergraduate population with Pretty Women and also seduces the Pretty Women into buying their stuff as part of the unpaid “internship.”
Of course, none of this requires any good, old fashioned, face to face, oops, f2f persuasion. It’s all SM2.0, baby. That’s why all those High Street bars in Morgantown, once again the party champion of university campuses (and 9th ranked football team in the current polls), have shut down.
Gee whiz, I appreciate that the NYTimes needs to fill the digital space with . . . digital space fillers. But this is just Bad Persuasion without even being Sincere!
Think about it. If Facebook killed college bars, then its stock price wouldn’t be down nearly 50% from its IPO (that’s half, you knuckleheads). If this story had a ounce of truth in it, a jello shot in the navel of your favorite quivering undergrad tummy, then Facebook would be selling at $600 a share today.
P.S. Fun story, though. Liked the photos.
Notice you don’t see anyone – no one! – on a smartphone texting or Facebooking or twittering. Just young adult undergraduates doing that young undergraduate thing. Face to face. Skin to skin. Laughing in each other’s faces. Man, look at that eye contact. Yeah. SM2.0. Pull my finger. Now, pull my leg.
P.P.S. WVU doesn’t party today like it did in 1988 or 1992. Princeton would have needed a new counting scheme to keep up with the Gold and Blue back then. Girls of the Big East for Playboy. The Girls Gone Wild party bus. And that was for the Comm 80 Rock Breaks during regular classtime! Still makes me blush. And, no. No pictures. They’re all adults now and that was 20 years ago.