Having succesfully navigated my way through 33 years of life on this planet, and watched the occasional episode of 'The Real Hustle,' I would like to think that I've developed a heightened sense of awareness for cons, hoaxes, tricks and scams. Indeed, I now go to extreme lengths to shield my pin number from prying eyes (hunching over the cash machine like the world's most short-sighted man), I have developed a receipt-shredding obsession and I'm wary of anyone knocking on our front door. In short, my inbuilt con-radar and self-confessed paranoia means that I'm not easily fooled.
Yesterday, however, my shields must have been down as I fell - hook line and proverbial sinker - for a hoax that spread like wild fire via the gossip-machine that is Twitter. The reason for my moment of weakness? A childhood obsession with the film Back To The Future.
Now, as anyone brought up in the 80s will know, Steven Spielberg's Back To The Future trilogy brought us a time-travelling DeLorean, a mad professor and a skateboarding Marty McFly...all the ingredients you need to make a huge impression on an impressionable eight-year-old.
Twenty-five year's later, Twitter proclaimed that July 5th, 2010 was 'Future Day' - the day in the second film to which Doc and Marty travel, experiencing a world of flying cars, self-fastening trainers and hoverboards when they got there. A landmark day in cinematic history, albeit entirely fictional.
I had been suckered in to fanning the flames of a Twitter hoax, but I don't really mind. The whole incident has led me to reflect on the impact that this trilogy of films has had on a generation of children. I am by no means a film buff or cinema nerd, but I do love the magic of Spielberg's time-travelling adventures and would happily watch the films time and time again (well, maybe not the third one so much).
The huge impact that film can have on young minds is clear and this has just made me think further about what, in the future, may have the same affect on Baby B and his or her friends. However, it appears to me that Hollywood has become obsessed with churning out children's films that sacrifice story for special effects, spending millions to create something that is visually spectacular but narratively appalling and utterly forgettable.
Children love adventure, or at least they did when I was growing up, so why not forget the special effects and produce the next generation of films like The Goonies, the original Indiana Jones trilogy, Back to The Future, Star Wars (puppets and costumes instead of blue screen), Labyrinth and Gremlins?!
I may be showing my age a bit, but which of today's cinematic offerings do you think will be the centre of Twitter hoaxes in 25 years' time?