Butler Archetypes: The Social Networker

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It’s been a long weekend—one you spent in Butler, no doubt. Re-join us as we continue to profile those library regulars who spent it with you. In this installment of Butler Archetypes, Carpal Tunnel Victim Conor Skelding takes a close look at just how many notifications the guy next to him has. 

Sketch from Louise McCune's dream journal.

He’ll give up anything, just to feel that rush.

New tab, f-key, return, c-key, down arrow, return, tab, password, return—inhale, pause. The moment it takes for the page to load stretches to infinity. Then, yes! God, YES, a notification! His brain floods with dopamine release.

We’ve all been there; Butler can be a sad, lonely, place. Who are you to judge the guy next to you for taking the edge off with a little Facebook action? We all do it in moderation, and it’s not as big a deal as people make it out to be.

But oh, no. With this guy, it will never be just be “a little.” He needs those little red boxes. He craves them.

Seeing a fellow human being go on like this isn’t easy for you. He’s fighting his instinct, fighting his brain which has not-so-sensibly determined that the immediate return of Facebook outweighs his paper. And the Reference Room isn’t a very friendly place—maybe a little human reinforcement, a head nod from you, will go a long way to curb his cravings. But you wonder… will he try to Friend you after?

And there he goes again! He’s waiting for the page to load. When it does, he’s disappointed, but tries to hide it. You can see him drafting an internal status; “No notifications? Whatever. Anyways, I just checked! How crazy is that. People value me. Back to workkkkk.”

Do they really, though? He’d better check, just one last time…


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  1. Anon  

    Bwog, I'm loving these! Can we have one on the creepy guy who hits on you in 209?

  2. nwbar

    I figure no one will believe me, but I swear that this happened. So here you go, the worst archetype.

    It was the Tuesday right before Thanksgiving two years ago. I was a young freshman, full of innocence, resenting the fact that I had a midterm the next day and couldn't go home until Wednesday night. I hadn't seen my girlfriend since the semester began. Of course, like every other couple, we broke up that weekend, since apparently that's the true spirit of Thanksgiving (COLONIZATION IS GENOCIDE), but I digress.

    I was on the fourth floor. It was obviously pretty empty, since anyone who didn't have anything they really had to go to the next day had gone home, or at least wasn't going to be slaving away in the library. So when I walked into the room it was just one other person in the room on a laptop. Not wanting to sit in a spot where we might accidentally make eye contact (G-d forbid), I walked past the table and took a seat behind him. He never looked up.

    I pulled out my notes. Data structures — why did I decide to be an overachiever and skip the first two CS classes? Seriously, what's wrong with me? Just because a professor is willing to sign off on it doesn't make it a good idea. But I trudged ahead, kept my head down, flipped through pages of little arrows and boxes. I sighed and looked up.

    Horse porn.

    The man in front of me was watching horse porn on his laptop. He'd been watching it in the room when I entered and he was the only person there, and he had continued as I had entered, never for a second adapting his horse porn plans to his new, no-longer-alone environment. I made a noise of shock and disgust.

    He started. He turned, slowly, and looked me in the eye. At no point did he stop the horse porn. I was spellbound. It was like a midget having sex with a car crash. I couldn't look away.

    "Hello," he said.

    That was too much. The spell was broken. I had to go right then, had to get away from the man. Not knowing what else to do, I mumbled, "Hello," and then began to gather my things as quickly as I could while keeping my eyes clear of a 60 degree patch of my world.

    "Does it disturb you?"

    No response on my part. I did not hear him. I could not hear him. I was dead to the world. Horse porn had me more focused on my task than all the Adderall in the world could ever hope to.

    "Does it disturb you," he repeated, "to see a person and a horse expressing their love for one another?"

    No response. Paper, backpack. Paper, backpack. I am one with my backpack.

    "It's good that you know," he said. "I was the only one who knew, now you know. It's our secret." I heard the chair move. I looked up, I had to, this could have been life or death. He was looking me dead in the eye. The horse porn was still playing.

    He pulled the headphone jack out without looking away. And then I heard a sound no human should ever hear, a sound like Jenna Jameson in a glue factory.

    I ran. The notes and the backpack I forsook. Useless trinkets. Baubles. There is nothing in life save the preservation of life. The next day, when I came back for my things, they were not there. I started studying in Avery after that. I failed my midterm.

  3. Not sure if trolling  

    but this is a Worthy Tale, with a capital "W-T."

  4. Anonymous  

    Reconsider! Read some litera-ture on the subject! You sure? Fuck it.

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