Thursday, 29 September 2011

SOCIAL MEDIA - WHERE WE STAND?

Well, here we are on Facebook, Twitter, Bebo, Foursquare, Myspace (or is that passe?), LinkedIn, plus a myriad of other channels all designed to put us in touch with like minded people all desperate to be in touch with each other and presumably desperate to share their entire life stories too on "soap box me", or so it appears. There are many reasons why people engage in social media, often it's more for themselves to tell the world about what they think and what they have done more than to follow what others have done or think, even if it's for those on a like minded wavelength. Of course there is a the business route too, where engaging with others - networking - can have positive effects although it's usually individuals touting for business and not giving anything in return, free is a word that ranks highly in this strata of life. It's a relatively highly motivated world comprising of ego, social vampire status - all about me, and people who have an abundance of time to make the effort and feel the need to tell others in their group about aspects of their life and share it - or give constant updates - hoping that it produces a response, if it doesn't it's a bum move and its failed. There are nearly always those who will respond because it makes them feel "a part" of a circle more often than not they aren't even if they are well known to each other, it's a strange dichotomy, it's almost symbiotic in nature and quells a feeling within of need but without commitment. Social media is a need defined stucture that almost automatically hits home emotionally with those that join, at what level varies considerably but like water it soon finds its common level.

For some the social media scene is akin to a drug in that they have literally 100's of "friends" who are picked for their "looks", sexual proclivities, aspire to me factor, commonality of interests or views, similar loneliness factor, neediness factor and any other factor that arises out of 'must have' in my circle. Unless we just pose a comment here and there we start eventually to subliminally tell others about ourselves, we can't help it, we get to a stage whereby the need to spew out what we feel within via a conversational piece which gets stronger and stronger, especially if we know there are a few punters in our group who will always respond, it's nice to get the little red markers indicating a response and to see who it is. After a while many people trim their accounts, they can't remember who is who nor after a time do they care anyway, and what once first excited has lost all of its sparkle now and is just contact candy turned into tomorrows fodder. The stories of many contacst unravel in front of our very own eyes, their inner feelings and thoughts being displayed by their choice and not by our need to know. Even the most secretive of people on social media sites seem to have to give out something of their inner self as if it's a degree of validation about who they are and how they think or at least how they would like you to think, the reality between the two is often quite great and at times sad.

We are all different and there's no right nor wrong on social media, you do and say as you feel and if others do and say things you don't like there is always the "unfriend" or "delete" button at hand to eliminate them for good and in some case permanently block them from re-joining at a future date. And unless their diatribe is directional i.e. personal to you the chances are that they won't even know they have been deleted. The lightness of social media can be exemplary in that one gets to commune with people that would have otherwise never by chance entered your social strata, the opposite side however can be macabre and dull and sober and boring, where the rhetoric is forever in the same vein and reeks of an aspache sameness that eventually borders on 'delete'.If stimulation is not evident and the main thrux is small talk then it all verges on the pathetic or saying for the sake of saying which not only speaks volumes but tells more than one would possibly like to admit to.

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©John Rushton / The Life Alchemist 2011