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The Circle - Channel 4's new social media 'experiment' makes me glad to be old

Aiden, from Wakefield in West Yorkshire, is one of the contestants in the new Channel 4 show The Circle
Aiden, from Wakefield in West Yorkshire, is one of the contestants in the new Channel 4 show The Circle
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I came to the unwelcome conclusion this week that I am very, very old. I realised the modern world is not for me, that I am confused by the new, and befuddled by the ‘now’ and the ‘on-trend’.

This occurred to me as I grumbled my way through The Circle (Channel 4, weeknights), which colonised the schedules like a particularly virulent STI.

Shifting uncomfortably on my sofa – my back was playing up – my eyebrows creeping higher and higher up my forehead, I watched as a parade of sentient people masquerading as idiots were locked in a block of flats, interacting only via social media.

The ‘experiment’, such as it was, was designed to show how difficult it is to build proper relationships when we our interactions are governed and mediated by technology.

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How can we be sure of people if we can’t be certain they are not lying on their bios or profiles?

And so lanky, limp-haired 26-year-old male Alex posed as spunky, pretty, definitely female Kate. And loud-mouthed, foul-mouthed, open-mouthed gay man Freddie posed as straight.

There were emojis and LOLs and LMAOs all over the place, like a text-based game of Countdown.

All of the eight initial contestants were irritating in some way, in the way that a weeping mosquito bite is irritating.

But the worst thing about The Circle is that it is boring, tedious mind-numbing nonsense.

I’m not going to say things were better in my day –I believe young people now are more open, more tolerant, more willing to accept new things than my generation, growing up in the 1980s.

But they deserve better than to be portrayed as vacuous, ignorant, inarticulate fools.