Tweets from Dad: The Story of One Father and His Struggle in Modern Society


Does anyone else have a problem with their parents being on social media? I never really did. That was I never really did, until I discovered that my dad had twitter. You see my father as I have come to have found, is somewhat of a Twitter sensation back where I come from, and his legend has amassed a cult following consisting of a legion of fans that spreads approximately thirteen people wide. And though I wish that I was making this all up, you too can follow him @richybally. Ever since my discovery of my father’s twitter account last night, a mixture of embarrassment and pride has filled me to an extent to which I will only be able to fully convey using a few of my own words, as well as the incredible material that his Twitter account brings to my disposal. For one, I am proud because I know my father as a 50 something year old man who is so far removed from understanding how the internet works, that he seemingly goes out his way to press on shady pop-ups; he does not care if it is to meet single women locally, or to receive tickets that he has won to a fictitious Seals and Crofts concert, because my dad will press on anything which flashes before him on a computer screen. And this is why I became so proud of him when I found out about his Twitter account. Obviously, this all subsided once I actually looked at his twitter, and that is when that sense of embarrassment sunk in.

At the time of this tweet of my father was still going through his Drake phase, yet another fact that I wish was made up. During his Drake phase, my father; a 50 year old married man who attended Hebrew day school his entire life, felt obliged to go to HMV and purchase a Drake CD, so that he could roll down his windows and blast it when he was driving through tougher neighbourhoods. Okay that is not the reason he enjoys it, he actually highly relates to Drake, as both grew up over privileged Jewish kids in Forest Hill, and both of them pose as rappers in their spare time. My dad was not on Degrassi like Drake was, but at least he seems like the kind of guy who watched it. Looking closely at this previous tweet I can assume that my dad’s Drake phase hit its peak at this very moment of unfortunate times. As within the tweet you can truly get the sense that my father has lost his own sense of reality, and that he is also a horrible song writer. His rhyme does not even make sense when you look into it. For one, why would there ever be a man named Rock? Its seems so misguided. For instance he easily could have made this characters name Brock, which is an actual human name that a man would have, but instead went with Rock as the name; a name given to a pet that is a literal rock, or a wrestler who questions if you can smell his cooking.

Let me take you through the day in the life of a boy named Rock, in case you were going to name your next child Rock:

Rock is young and vulnerable, he hears two kids outside playing on the school yard close to him. One kid says to the other “wanna go play by the Rock?” The other kid says something mean like “I hate the Rock, the Rock’s the worst”. A kid named Rock in this situation is likely going to confront the other kids over this. And the likely response from those kids back to Rock will be something like: “shut-up Rock, and go play alone with your freakishly large penis.” Now some people would dispute that Rock already has a 9 inch whatever my father was not allowed to tweet, but still implied, while the Rock was still just a child, but what cannot be disputed is that a kid named Rock is going to have shitty childhood. And that geology will be a very confusing class.

Recently my dad’s tweets have come in the form of keeks. My dad has introduced me to the website Keek through his twitter account, and no one I have talked to since the discovery has heard of the website. Keek appears to be some sort of social media website where on people post poorly shot videos of themselves that they have not previously been thought out. If you feel my description did not do Keek justice, below is my father’s first ever Keek, and his Keeks are all I have based my prior description off of. If there was ever a reason my father should be disbarred from all forms of social media, it should be this video of a conversation between him, and my dog which he felt obliged to post onto the internet. If parents should be able to use parental block on the television in order to disallow their children from watching harmful shows, than once those kids grow up they deserve the ability to block their parents from using social media in this same manner. This will save kids everywhere from that awkward moment when they decline their parents Facebook request, or see a video such as the following one of my dad:

Jun 23, 2013 | by richybally on Keek.com

That folks is actually my dad talking, a man with two legs, and according to himself “really hairy balls”. I felt comfortable going through life without this knowledge, as did those reading this most likely, but if I had to find out, this Keek scenario would have been one of my top choices. Either that video would suffice, or one of those messages on a sign hanging from the back of an airplane, which read “Jacob, daddy has a hairy sack.” But the levels of hair on my father’s scrotum are not all that can be taken away from his twitter activity, and what I discovered searching through my fathers twitter last night is that my father has twitter beef. Okay it is not real beef. If anything it is like a beef substitute that you would get from your local Taco Bell. My dad’s beef was with the Toronto Sun, and through his twitter my dad decided to express his support of his dear mayor Rob Ford, against allegations that he smoked crack. It seemed like a lofty choice for his first twitter beef, but my dad fears nothing, not even publicly supporting a man who actually committed the act in the matter he is defending his innocence in on a recorded video. And even when that act is smoking crack-cocaine my dad remains loyal and defendant.

Like Rob Ford my father makes mistakes, they are not composited through a drunken stupor, and they have never involved the ingestion of crack-cocaine, instead they seem to actually be innocent everyday mistakes that come naturally to most parents as they get older. For instance the other day my dad texted my older brother the following: “Matthew, I am in Quiznoes. What do you want?” Excited, my brother responded “a Black Angus sub”.  After ten minutes goes by my brother receives another text message from my father, that text reads: “I ordered a Black Angus, and the guy working there said ‘sorry sir, this is a Subway’. Now for those of you unfamiliar with the lineup of subs at Quiznoes, the Black Angus is something that is specific to Quiznoes, in the same way that homophobia is specific to Chick Filet, or a Big Mac is specific to McDonalds.

Upon hearing this story I did not even question how my father managed to mess up on such a thing, I have known the man long enough, and have read enough of his tweets in defense of Toronto mayor Rob Ford, to be able understand his capability of making such misplaced judgement’s. But what I actually immediately wanted to know was what took place during those ten minutes in between texts. Did he stand in line at Subway for ten whole minutes, staring at signs and billboards that read Subway, still only to order a Quiznoes sub? Or was it the case that he ordered the sub right away, realized “Oh shit, I am in a Subway, and subsequently I am being stupid”, and then for the next ten minutes he just sat in the parking lot in his car debating whether or not to reveal how dumb a mistake he had just made to his own child, with the other option of just driving down the block to Quiznoes, then eventually he just said “screw it”, and chose to text back my brother? Either way the only thing my dad brought home with him that night for dinner was some shame, his Drake CD, and his legion of 13 twitter followers.

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Live Tweeting a Death


Let’s face it. Social media is no longer just a phase in our lives. Like HBO Girls, it’s an essential everyday part of our existence, and whether we like it or not, it is not going anywhere. Social media is a part of us. When I go eat some cool cuisine, or cook up a fancy dish, you know I’m thinking in my head “what filter is this going to look best with, mayfair or amaro?” #chefsam. Hashtags are EVERYWHERE. Literally you walk down the street and every billboard, window pane, homeless man has a hashtag on it. Constantly, we are sharing what we eat on Instagram, our anger at Justin Bieber’s latest shenanigans on Twitter, selfies on snapchat, and nothing is left to the imagination on Facebook. There are always jokes about how people share when they go to the washroom, but I am almost positive there is an app that is just for following your friends bowel movements, and if there isn’t, it is coming.

Social media is a part of us.

I ask this question though: At what point are we over sharing?

A little while ago while strolling through my medias, a post caught my eye. I am going to paraphrase the message, but let me be clear, this is almost exact.

RIP Grandpa. I will always love you. #PawPaw #RIP #WillAlwaysLoveYou

This girl hashtagged her grandfather in the post sharing to her friends that he had passed away. I decided to check out more of her posts and what I saw shocked me. Somehow I had missed that for the few weeks prior to the previous post, she had been updating everyone of her grandfathers condition through the hashtag #PawPaw. What. The. Fuck? While scrolling through the past updates I came across postings like:

Stay Strong Paw Paw. We all love you and are here for you #PawPaw #LoveYou #Hospital
You mean everything to me. I love you forever #PawPaw #Sick

Let me be clear, I am not bashing or trying to shame the sharing of your emotions over your ailing grandparent on Facebook. But hashtags!? Am I the only one that thinks this is crazy? The death of a person is not a Katy Perry Concert! Ever since the passing of this girls grandfather, she will share a post every once in a while such as:

I will never forget you. Always in my heart #PawPaw


This scares me. I can admit, I overly use social media, it definitely has a stranglehold on my life, as I am sure it does most. But is it not crazy that we are getting to a point in society where we are blurring the lines of social media and everyday life to this extent? We are live-tweeting tragic events in our lives, and making sure people can follow the dialogue through a hashtag.


What do you think? Am I being an asshole, or is this really as crazy as I think?