With all due respect to great Dave Borchart, what the hell is going on in his drawing? Two men are having lunch on a park bench on a sunny day. Shadows of both men appear on the wall behind them, but the shadow of the man on the left is full of text and pictures, and an arrow is pointing to one of the pictures. Is it a social media page? I’m not on Facebook or any other platform so I’m not sure, but I can’t imagine what else it’s supposed to be. The man with the social media shadow is saying something to the other man.
I came up with only two captions, the first of which is slightly more sinister than the other:
- “You must be part of the dark web.”
- “What are you? A Luddite?”
Now let’s see how you did.
There were a lot of transparency captions, and these were among the best:
- “Ever since I joined Facebook, I feel so much more open and transparent.”
- “I’m a big believer in transparency.”
- “I’m all for transparency.”
- “Am I really that transparent?”
- “I’m very transparent. No one is more transparent than I am.”
That last entry has a topical twist I admire.
There were almost as many projection issues, and I thought these three were particularly good:
- “My therapist says I have projection issues.”
- “It’s all about how you project yourself.”
- “Sorry, I’m projecting.”
Like I did, one of you alluded to the encrypted online content that is not indexed by conventional search engines: “I see you’re into the dark web.”
Several of you submitted captions that directly addressed shadows in a way that cleverly incorporated references to technology:
- “So you think big tech shadows people?”
- “I’m a member of a shadowy network.”
- “I switched all my social media from the Cloud to the Shadow.”
- “I’m being shadowed by Facebook.”
- “My shadow isn’t just long, it’s infinite scroll!”
I’d like that last caption a lot better without the exclamation point.
Here’s a shadow entry that honors those who not only understand and embrace new technologies but are generous enough to put in the best possible light another person’s refusal or inability to use these technologies: “I love your shadow, it’s so retro.” This entry, however, takes a dimmer view of those who reject social media: “And yours is boring.”
Similar to the shadow captions were the entries that allude to shade:
- “On social media, I throw shade.”
- “It’s called Google shade.”
This caption ignores the social media angle and assumes that the man on the left is a technologically advanced alien: “I’m from…earth. Why do you ask?” That’s good, but it would be better without the last four words, which do nothing but explain a joke that needs no further explanation. Learn to trust your audience.
A couple of you focused on the wall, and on the double meaning of that word:
- “It’s a new social media app that lets you post on any wall.”
- “It’s a paywall.”
This caption does a nice job of addressing both shadows and people who work had to present the most flattering versions of themselves on social media: “Sunshine always brings out the best in me.”
I like this beautifully concise reference to the dangers of ignoring user agreements: “I clicked YES.”
And here’s this week’s best dirty joke: “Guess where I store the porn.”
This entry highlights how competitive some people can be on social media: “So, just the one follower?” While this entry acknowledges that we all might be better off if we didn’t spend so much time on Facebook and similar platforms: “I’ve finally put social media behind me.”
For the reasons set forth at the beginning of this commentary, I felt an affinity for this entry: “I don’t understand this cartoon, either.” Nevertheless, it’s obvious that many of you understood the cartoon very well, as you came up with captions that not only fit the drawing but made it funny.
The best, I think, is, “I love your shadow, it’s so retro.” I’m not sure about the punctuation—shouldn’t the comma be a period or a semi-colon?—but it’s still a strong caption.