Ed Night has some great romantic advice for readers who are looking to go on a date...
What the inspiration behind Jokes of Love and Hate?
Loads of stuff. Stuff I'm fed up about, spite, need for validation etc. But mainly getting people in a good enough mood that they buy my essential oils collection after the show
In your show you talk about how you are a 'serial first dater'. What lessons have you learned along the way through your dating life?
I think serial first dater is a bit much TBH. I've just been going on a few dates kinda for the first time in the last year. But if you want the romantic advice of a boy who lives with his grandad then here goes:
1) Don't open with a handshake.
2) Don't open by asking them what their favourite Digimon is.
3) Don't feel pressure to date around. I kinda felt that so I went on all the apps and I did meet loads of cool people but I was also constantly looking for validation from basically strangers and basing my self worth on how many likes I got or what I thought other people thought of me.
4) You're allowed to go at your own pace.
5) Don't bring a sword because someone on the internet told you it would make you seem mysterious and cool. It sets your date on edge and more often than not will get you kicked out of Thorpe Park.
6) Feelings aren't just for nerds and people are mostly cool. If you're not into something then be honest, they'll understand. Me personally I'm a worrier, so sometimes on dates I'd get worried that I wasn't doing the date properly or that they hated me and get super drunk and massively overcomplicate social situations that being frank would have made very easy and normal. This also circumvents having to use the weird double entendre code language of flirting that we're given to believe everyone is talking in all the time.
7) Don't say "the thing about me is I've got a 10 out of 10 personality".
8) Don't lie about having gone on bargain hunt and won, cos it's the kind of thing people can check.
9) Be nice.
What do you make of the effect social media culture is having on your generation?
It's amazing that we can access info whenever we want and communicate with whoever we want at any time, but I think that thing of having dozens of different convos and emails and group chats on the go 24/7 puts a strain on the brain as it's a kind of emotional and social obligation that hasn't existed before.
I also think the bite size nature of information and algorithms making sure you, by and large, don't see a huge amount that conflicts with what you already believe and want to see means that - while you have infinite information at your fingertips in theory - in practice, it's the same thing as just sticking to buying the same newspaper everyday, but on a screen.
That idea of how only certain information is given to you kind of figures into the show a bit. I also think the bite size info and the constantly refreshing nature of social media and news feeds means it's harder to focus on issues or take them in with any depth or longevity without really trying hard. It's like the 24 hour news cycle in turbo drive. I think everybody's still having a hard time getting over the death of Vine as well, so there's that.
How did you go about putting the show together?
I mainly just write bits throughout the year then come June or July I see if I can work them into a show along side whatever stuff I've been thinking a lot about.
What advice would you give to someone having a bit of an identity crisis?
I have these monthly. They're actually scheduled in my Google calendar.
Look, so much of our identities are rooted in who and what we're influenced by, and like I said above we've now all got just a constant stream of different voices telling us what to think and why, and it's not uncommon for people to read one tweet and change their entire worldview, or see one report about global heating and become incredibly fatalistic or feel that nothing matters, but it's important to remember that the people who tweeted those things are probably feeling the same as you are.
I'm no expert but if you're having an identity crisis, maybe you can ground yourself by starting from the small things and working your way up. What do you like to do or think about when nobody else is around? What music do you like? But, failing that, I think the most sure-fire way to solve an identity crisis is to buy as many tickets to my show as possible and rebrand your whole personality as an Ed Night super fan.