I’ve learned over the years that there are certain keywords people use that tell me the conversation is not going to end well. One of those is the phrase “social experiment.” Invariably, it means some sort of elaborate scam carried out for the express purpose of duping others into believing some sort of sob story. Alternatively (and far too common in patient support groups), it’s somebody who sets up an elaborate prank wherein they pretend to be a fellow patient asking seemingly innocent questions. Of course, the actual reason is to gather fodder to allow for laughing at other patients behind their backs.
Recently, this latter scenario invariably played itself out for me. Somebody came into the group and, after announcing they were conducting, yes, a social experiment, asked others how their day had gone. Several people responded as you might expect. I responded that I had spent the last few minutes wondering what sort of methodology he was using for his social experiment.
As you might expect, the conversation quickly devolved from there. Mr. Social Experiment quickly got defensive . I’ll spare you the rest of the gory details, as it simply got down and dirty from there, in which I was accused of being self-absorbed and somebody else was referred to by a word that should normally only be used as shorthand for a car part.
The point is that I’ve spent a good chunk of my life as a lab experiment for various and sundry doctors. So I have less than zero interest in being yet another test subject in an “experiment” designed to do nothing more than provide somebody else a means to poke fun at me. Because I’ve also had my fair share of being poked at.
So take it elsewhere. I’m not fodder for your LULZ. Nor am I your social experiment.