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By Kelyn Luther on 3.6.2023

Overused at Kent Uni

Overheard at Kent Uni is a Facebook page where people can post amusing things people have overheard around the UKC campus. I love this sort of stuff. The only bit of More! Magazine I read is the Stupid Things That Men Say section at the back, where male confusion is a surprisingly good source of entertainment. The problem with Overheard at Kent Uni is a loss of focus and a foray into voyeurism.

Countless posts are made every day, most of which are now people plugging a spare room or asking for help, sometimes most ingeniously in the form of a faked conversation. Fair enough, it gets them an audience, but there are other places to advertise. Sift through the advertisements and you’re hard pressed to find a post that will do anything more than raise a slight smile, if that. What might have been really funny when you heard it last night under the influence of drink loses its humour when posted out of context on Overheard some hours later.

If you were that person who said something really funny, at least you’ll remain anonymous. Unfortunately, the people who “liked” that post won’t. You know your friends are laughing at you but they don’t know. It’s like that nightmare where you’ve done something really embarrassing in front of a massive crowd of people and they’re all laughing and pointing, even your friends. You’re forced to wait until it gets pushed down by others imparting their hilarious anecdotes and even then, it’s still there.

Posting on Overheard does not require the poster themselves to be funny and yet they’re the ones getting the congratulatory thumbs-up. Picture that nightmare again except everybody is slapping some random guy on the back, congratulating him for providing such hilariously stupid material, whilst you stand there getting pointed at.

If you attend Canterbury Christ Church and you stumble upon this page, you are pointed and laughed at by default, branded somebody who was too stupid to get into Kent Uni. This is rather ironic on a page celebrating the stupidity of people at Kent Uni. The title of the page is no longer entirely correct- it’s morphed into an Overseen page. Some of the observations raise a smile- I rather like the photo of the sign that looks like it’s pointing the way to “Canterbury Christ Church University H.M Prison”. To be honest, some of these are better than the overheard conversations. What I really don’t get is all the photos of strangers asleep in the library. Has common sense gone out of the window? If somebody came up to you and showed you photos they’d taken of people sleeping, you’d think they were disturbed. It reminds me of when I looked round an art college and mentioned to my eccentric tour guide that it was hard to shoot crowd scenes because of having to get people’s permission. His reply: “Not if you hide in the bushes”. At least he could get away with the excuse of art. There’s also a photo of a couple on the grass together, taken by an anonymous photographer/stalker out of a window in Tyler Court.

The page is great as the equivalent of telling your friend something funny you overheard. The difference is that your “friend” is now everybody. The platform of Overheard at Kent Uni is great for showing how weird conversations can be or how some moments of stupidity are universal. If only it was used more for that purpose.

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