With so many humans spending more time at home and on-line, we have a unique opportunity to do an imaginary degree in psychology.
Hear me out. This is legit.
The internet strained and almost bent in half in the last few months. Why? Because every school, from elementary to University in the world loaded courses onto the information superhighway.
I found myself poking around the offerings at the university level. I didn’t bother to look at my teen’s courses because if he doesn’t give a shit about them, why should I?
There were all kinds of psychology courses that fascinated me, so I dove into the descriptions. The summaries of what I would have to learn were daunting enough, but then I saw the expectations for assignments. I shut my laptop with a decisive thunk.
Real courses are hard and don’t allow a lot of opportunity for day drinking. So I moved on.
Plan B: Maybe I can analyze human behaviour on Facebook. That would be not only informative and educational, it would be hella fun. Real-time learning is a thing, right?
Let’s start with the first assignment that my professor (also me) assigned.
Assignment one: Post a meme with a puppy and a kitty asleep on a hammock in a pastoral landscape. Then wait for all the “awe” comments. Measure their individual levels of effusiveness on a scale, from “mildly cute” to “OMG I am crying” level of crazy animal person. Did you already know who would respond and how? Of course, you did. Top marks for having a bead on your friends.
Assignment two: On Facebook, post a highly controversial debunked conspiracy theory. You are baiting a segment of your friends to see how brutal and skeptical they are by nature. Have you anticipated who would post 47 links as to why this whackadoodle theory is wrong? Do you also know who will defend the idea that the government is in fact keeping natural medicines from us? Of course, you do. You are on your way to a solid “B” now.
Assignment three: You have reached the next level of psychological analysis. Put out a sad personal anecdote. This assignment tests for empathy, the answers will come in three forms: 1. the “this made me cry for you” bullshit; 2. The awkward attempt at humour because this friend has no social skills; 3. the non-answer thumbs up emoji (these people are just being polite, they don’t actually give a shit). If you guessed in advance who would come in as one, two, or three, you are ready for the next assignment.
The mid-term exam will require you to delve deep into the mind of two specific types of people. A low IQ individual, and an intellectual, using the same sample news story. It will be worth 30% of your mark. Post a video of a political speech. The topic of it is a daily update from a controversial political figure about how a deadly virus is just a hoax. Grab a beer while you wait for your thread to populate. When a statistically significant number of friends have indicated their response, begin the analysis of their mental capacity.
Make a list of the people who responded and put them in their respective categories. Did they throw tomatoes at the video or slam on a red hat and cheer? If you have been paying attention to this course, you probably put them in the right category. Full marks for you!
Lastly, anybody with ambitions to be in the mental health field must look after themselves too. In the interest of self-care, you need to eliminate negativity from your life. Take the red hat list and in one sweeping motion, delete them. See? Doesn’t that feel better?
This course is how I got my imaginary degree as a Psychologist. Simple if you think about it. Do real shrinks categorize people? I bet they do.
You too can learn how to spot a kook, a moron, or any other category of person. All the psychology you need can be obtained from social media.
The next class I plan to take is “the diagnosis of people who take quizzes like, “what kind of jockstrap would you be, based on your astrological sign?” Those are the ones you need to watch.