I was reading a debate/thread on my favourite tech nerd website the other day about how global warming is essentially hyperbole, orchestrated by, I went on to read, Gaia theorists, biochemists, astute eco-business minded do-gooders, former VPs of the US of A and manipulating puppet masters…an opinion not necessarily shared by the site itself, I’ll quickly add… when all of a sudden the words of a normally – but not this time – incisive advisor came to mind: “Log off and get a life!”
In the middle of mulling over a theme for my next blog entry I stopped to think again about the reason for this “half-cocked” comment by somebody normally a lot more perceptive and subtle than that.
Apparently the normally wiser advisor had just switched on his PC after several days without connecting and was reacting to the overspill of mails, spam and other “important” junk – I know… an oxymoron if ever there was – in his inbox, including notifications about texts I had recently published, here and there (the person’s reaction then being to log on to a particular site and vent his spleen in the appropriate scribble zone!)
On first reading the comment my initial, and very spiritual, thought was: “Bug off, you Troll!” and having already warned the person against Bad-mouthing and Trolling on Social Media sites, especially mine, I promptly revoked the person’s access to the website page in question, Yes I am attentive and no I won’t develop!
Afterwards, while upholding the revocation, my reaction changed from: “Why log off and get a life? This is part of my life!” to: “Ok, so where’s this person coming from?”
The Great Divide
It then struck me that while the person in question might well be a Troll it was symptomatic of someone not quite used to exploiting Social Media as easily as others, more “Media savvy”, may do.
At this point the truer words of another wise advisor, spoken some years earlier, came to mind: “Mobile phones are more than just that. For the majority of users they’re now portals to a whole new universe and iconic of the way people communicate today”. And?
And what if, soon obsolete and outmoded, this current media does go the same way as Papyrus, Morse code, the telex, Ceefax and the PC? For all the attached advantages or inconveniences this particular Media has made communicating far more accessible today than it ever was, and rightly so!
From Azerbaijan, via Belorussia and North Korea to Zimbabwe, OK so maybe not in those countries… From Austria to Zambia via Russia, Syria, Egypt and Tunisia what was once the domain of a select, chosen, privileged, educated and invariably biased* elitist few (i.e. editorialists, chroniclers, apparatchik and press magnates…) is now, thanks to Facebook & Co, open to all.
(*why else write an editorial or a chronicle if not to air a point of view and aren’t opinions, by definition, biased?)
Communication, Verbiage… and worse
While not everyone condones “Wikileaks” or aspires to joining “Anonymous” most people do understand the potential of good communicating, and yes everyone, even your humble servant, loves talking about themselves – that’s why I write blogs! But they/we/I also understand that for it to work a certain protocol and understanding of the environment is required.
Yes protocol and rules are required, even if it’s just the basic rules of common sense! Understand that and communicating is fun. Abusing or misusing it opens the door to Dark side of the Force!
To conclude – before the subject becomes completely redundant – rules, preferably self-imposed, are essential. They protect against the darker, more perverse side in all Media, a side where malignancy and perfidity lurk…sounds all very “Machiavelic” and so it can be but, apparently, not everyone catches that!
To better illustrate my point I was reading an article recently about the harmful after-effects misusing and abusing Social Media (SoMe) can have on one’s career*. A study brought to light the fact, subsequently confirmed, that DHR and recruitment agencies trawl Social Media sites in search of info on candidates (and employees). They do not consider it wasted time looking at “SoMe” site pages if it helps shed a (different) light on candidates and saves the DHR/recruiter from “Egg on face” situations later on by knowing a little more about someone who did a smart job on their résumé but left some inappropriate details about their private life for all to see on, i.e. Facebook.
So who cares? Well you may not care now… but who knows… the web has a very, very long [and tentacular] memory!
(*…and we’ve all read about the young trainee, or similar, showing off her latest Saturday evening binge photos and trashing her “Perve” of a boss on Facebook. What a shock she got when she saw the comment from her boss, tucked in between the “LOLs” of the girlfriends: “Actually I’m gay and BTW don’t bother coming to work on Monday, you’re fired!”)
But to answer the initial question, of course everyone should have their say, and speak up, about problems that in fact impact our daily lives in more ways than we realize. Get on your favourite Social Media soap box and say it but say it right and don’t be content to parrot what others are saying. SHOW YOUR ENGAGEMENT!