Friendship Denied: Lessons Learned from Ricky Gervais

Truth In Advertising

If any of you were paying attention to the commercials during this year’s Superbowl, you probably had a bit of a chuckle when you saw the Time Warner Cable (TWC) commercial featuring Ricky Gervais.

The image of him sitting at a serene café in anticipation of a pleasant lunch, only to be interrupted by a friend request. Immediately upon the arrogant denial of said friend request, a live grenade lands in his bread basket, surprising him into an inaudible expletive and a dash for dear life. Personally, my money is on Robert Downey Jr. having tossed the live explosive, and I don’t think I’m at all reaching based on past behavior.

Ok, maybe Charlie Sheen.

Not to digress too far, the commercial had me thinking. What are the consequences of denying a friend request? Are there really any? And should I avoid serene Cafés with overzealous French bread baskets?

There are some actual malicious acts that have been attributed to this type of rejection. Some very horrible ones that have been reported in the media.

But could it really happen to you and I? I guess that is the blissful denial-ability that we have as human beings:

“It could never happen to me.”

A Real Concern

Violence is a real concern that comes with social media, and rightfully so. In today’s age, technology is responsible for many social advances, such as rekindling lost friendships and making communication both interactive and convenient.

But it can only mask the emotional.

The same issues a teenager had with peer pressure during high school is still very relevant with the technology that was supposed to build connections, and not amplify them.

Let’s face it. Nobody feels as though ill-will could be directed towards us, or our family, but when it comes right down to it, human nature is a fickle fella. Someone so normal on the outside could be so messed up on the inside. Nobody would know (or suspect) the latter.

But to play with those emotions in such an insincere way is nothing but kindle to the fire already raging. So why do it? Why be that way? To answer the questions, I believe that no one means to be that way, but the perception of rejection is nothing but malice.

Enter, Ricky Gervais.

TWC did a great job of putting a face to that malice through their commercial starring Ricky Gervais. It made the arrogance seem so inconsequential, and the retaliatory action just, yet extreme.

Is there a bit of Ricky Gervais in all of us? Of course. But move past the perceived malice and focus on the reality:

Life should be lived for you and the ones you love. Move on from the Gervais’s of the world.

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