Tweets of Flair



From The Atlantic:

Dining recently with friends, everything looked the way it always does. The menu boasted appealing but ordinary fare—antipasti and starters, wood-fired pizzas, freshly-made pastas, meaty mains. I noticed that a handful of the menu items were printed in red, and I asked the server why. “These are our signature dishes,” he explained. “They’re the ones that are most shared on social media.”

The food was fine, and the service was attentive. But the idea that I might order for the benefit of social-media sharing haunted the evening. Every time the staff checked in on us, I felt my gut tighten, expecting to be asked if we’d yet tweeted the sea scallops, a red item on our table.

Later I recognized that feeling in my gut. It was the unease usually associated with work, as opposed to leisure. It was the same tension displayed in certain scenes from Mike Judge’s 1999 film Office Space, like when Initech VP Bill Lumbergh asks Peter if he’s filed his TPS reports, or Chotchkie’s Bar & Grill manager Stan scolds Joanna for having insufficient “pieces of flair” on her uniform. Somehow, it was now my job to make good on the restaurant’s offerings, rather than the restaurant seeking to please—or even just to satisfy—me.

“Corporations Want Love (and Free Marketing on Instagram)”, Ian Bogost, The Atlantic