This strikes me as a companion piece to the article I posted earlier about social media and ‘close friends’, albeit one that isn’t wide-reaching enough. Because the “sharp exchange of humour, with a bias towards the jocular insult” and “shallow verbal sparring” which it describes is literally the only mode of communication that I witness in some ‘friendships’/social groups. As I’ve written before, there seems to be a mortal fear of being seen as ‘serious’ which extends to even being sincere. This is so pervasive that it infects our media, with a whole class of ‘journalist’ whose entire schtick is ‘SCREAM! I’M ONLY JOKING! EXCEPT I’M NOT! BUT I AM!’ Describing it as ” the tyranny of banter” seems appropriate as any effort to interrupt this tone and actually attribute meaning to things people say seems to be rather frowned upon. In fact it can inspire rather aggressive, shrill responses which leap to the personal rather than attempt to sincerely explain or defend what exactly was meant. Aren’t we all getting a little tired of it?