David Hart over at codegent makes some interesting observations on their blog about FAIL culture, and the feeling that there are a lot of people out there in internet land who are actively willing people and corporations to scew up so that they can digitally point and jeer at them.
I think he’s right, to an extent. In one respect the internet is like a giant school-yard. Kids are the spawn of the devil, and have a capacity to hurt each other in a direct way (what did you say, fatty?) that grown-ups in the workplace very rarely do. And when anyone makes a mistake in the schoolyard or the classroom, their fellow students jump on it immediately, mocking and laughing for the rest of that person’s scool career. Reference any hollywood film about high school EVER for examples.
But there’s another aspect of the phenomena that I’m interested in: it’s the FAIL culture that specifically surrounds technology.
I’ve got a feeling that this is where FAIL started: a geek-cool thing, centred around technology, where it became cool to tweet FAIL about your new Android powered phone because you would effectively be saying hey, look at me! I’ve got the latest gadget! But it’s also increasingly a part of society to be impatient with technology, to expect more and more from it and to criticise it when it fails. This aspect of FAIL culture is much wider than the internet, and is, I suspect, something we’re all guilty of. When was the last time you looked at a piece of technology and truly thought: oh my god, that is absolutely amazing. I have no clue how it works, the guys who made it are geniuses and it very, very rarely lets me down. I don’t. Instead, I shout at my computer if it crashes. So maybe sometimes we should just sit back and realise just how fucking cool everything is, right?
This guy says it much better than me: