Dave and his big, fat sense of entitlement
Internet, meet Dave. Dave is a composite character; a stereotype borne of the burgeoning masses of the entitled. You know Dave. He’s the keyboard warrior that gets fired up at service providers for not understanding that when he shouts angrily at the world they must come running with gifts of free things he didn’t earn and admissions of guilt they didn’t deserve. Of course Dave himself is employed yet should some unlucky punter stumble upon our rogue hero without three days written notice of intent to engage him in his day job, Dave is more than likely to regale us with the tales of wrath dispensed on those who dared to interrupt his life.
Unfortunately, entitlement is contagious. Physical symptoms are difficult to spot although should you find yourself in front of an entitled person or persons you may catch a glimpse of the laptop rash on their thighs and the arthritic curve of their dominant, mouse-deprived hand.
I’ve been trying to trace the origins of entitlement and initially I was considering money as the cause. Dave’s entitlement is often driven by the exchange of his money for a particular service. Dave is also paid money to do his job and yet feels entitled not to do it in an assumed stance of solidarity against the proverbial “man”. Then I realised Dave didn’t seem to limit his sense of entitlement solely where he spent his money – even free platforms built on the sniff of an oily rag by some clever kids who have watched their creation take on unprecedented, exponential growth seem to fall victim to the rage of the entitled.
As entitlement spreads like wildfire each individual case gets worse, spurred on by the collective voice that cuts across channels with the chant “you’re doing it wrong!”. Of course in the hysteria of entitlement we remain blissfully unaware that by shouting louder and longer we are creating tidal waves of noise that make it even more difficult for others to wade through to find the genuine calls for help. We stamp our feet like toddlers in a playground who have been told that because only 1% of us like playing on the swings the playground will continue to be a big sandpit for everyone else to use.
I think I’ve had enough of the analogies and being facetious. I know I’ve had enough of the Daves.
If you’re wondering why our service providers aren’t like totally all over social media it’s because they’ve stopped to think what the increase in promotional activity means for their customer service standards. Pity we haven’t. If you’re wondering why the social media team hasn’t solved the problem you tweeted 3 hours ago it’s because they’re sorting through the masses of content out there to find you, navigating the issues of confidentiality for your account (even if you don’t care) and finding an answer. While the call centre that you refuse to call has hundreds of trained staff to cover all aspects of the business their social media team of 1, 3, 5, 15 or 20 is just trying to do the best they can. And if you’re wondering why they don’t have hundreds of staff on their social media team yet then you need to look up from your iPhone for once, look around and realise that you are not the average Australian. And frankly if you took your $20 a month account elsewhere they wouldn’t freaking care less.
We like to talk about how real the online world has become and yet we seem to have lost our grip on reality – that the employee on the other end of the computer is a person doing their day job working for a business who needs to make money as a business to employ thousands of staff and deliver profits that plump up your super. Quite clearly I’m an advocate of the occasional rant – but it’s time we evolved from these origins of entitlement towards brands in social media and grew up a little. Let’s give Dave the boot.
Disclaimer: these views come from me as a customer only. I’m empathising from the outside looking in.