Letter to the Editor

RE: Overheard is Dead

My name is Courtney Langton, ConEd '09, creator of the Overheard at Queen's Facebook group. Since several friends have already sent me Sam Koebrich's editorial, I figured it was time for my two cents.

I joined Facebook in 2006 while I was supposed to be studying for my Psych 100 midterm. At the beginning, my only Facebook friend was Kevin Fernandes (a claim most '09s and '10s can probably make).

Then more and more friends joined — you know the story of Facebook. We didn't have groups at first, we didn't have Apps and games; we did not even have a Newsfeed.

When I started the Overheard group a year or so later, partly inspired by the Journal feature of the same name, we didn't get notifications when someone posted in the group. We had to comment on Overheard at Queen's posts the old-fashioned way, by logging on to Facebook in the library. That might be part of Overheard's current problem: too much access to a group that didn't used to get more than one or two posts a day.

What Sam does get wrong is his criticism of the group admin's deletion of non-topical posts. The one legacy I am pleased to have passed down to younger generations of Queen's students is the ruthless removal of unrelated posts. From the beginning, people saw a Facebook group with a lot of members and either asked about or chose to post without permission the type of unrelated content Koebrich mentions frequently.

It did pain me a bit to decline when it was a great cause, but if it wasn't a funny overheard it had no place on the group wall (yeah, we still called it a wall back then).

So I deleted those posts, because if you only have a quick study break from six hours of writing about Belgian federalism, you should be able to rely on a comedy Facebook group providing you with a few funny comments about entropy or hair scrunchies — nothing else.

The incredible things Queen's students research, write about, put into practice, engage in activism about, create, etc. are draining enough; sometimes you just need a haven where things are going to be light and easy. Not hurtful. Not necessarily “showcase[ing] a grittier side of Queen's homogeneity."

Just funny.

The Overheard at Queen's that my generation knew is gone.

From his comments in the Journal yesterday, it seems it was gone well before Sam Koebrich started at Queen's. Time passes. Things change. Sure, savour a sad QP beer in honour of the end of your favourite Queen's Facebook group. But when you finish that beer, go out and create something new.

Courtney Langton
ConEd '09
BEd '10

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