Social Media. How to Tie Up Your Day In Unproductive Work
I am at an age and I have lived through an age were I have witnessed a total change in the methods by which we “keep in touch”. For many years a hand written letter was the only means of carrying information between two parties. The speed at which this information was transmitted was entirely dependent on the speed of the carrier. That is still the case today but the carriers have significantly changed and we are losing precious things in life. For example , the hand written letter to me when a young man, from a girl I fancied and signed with an impression of her red lipstick covered lips. No amount of Facebook photos, Snap chat pics, Linked-in snaps, Twitter tweets, emails and texts will never be able to make a heart race as receiving a “real” letter.
The first carrier was “by foot”, the second carrier “by horse”, a fourth “by carrier pigeon”, then a real step up in speed with “by telegraph”. However, all these methods were expensive and so they did not spread to the homes of people until technology brought about mass production and costs slid down. This mass production enabling the telephone to be in the reach of normal families to have in pride of position in their home.
I was about 12 years of age when a black telephone found its way into my parents home. The problem with the device was that none of my friends or family had a telephone, at that time, so I had no use for it whatsoever. So the black phone stood there costing money but of little use to my family . However, that was all to change and by the time I was 21 years of age I found the telephone ringing but I did not want to pick it up and answer whoever was ringing. I think about that time I began to understand that when the phone rang it was someone who wanted something from me or my family or my marine superintendent sending me to a ship. However, with the “real” letter and the black phone, if I could carry the phone with me, I had everything I needed to ensure I communicated just with one person 24/7
That was basically the case through out a large part of my working life which was spent on the water or abroad in the Oil industry. When I was working abroad I did hope the BBC overseas service would eventually evolve to a “Sky” service bit that did not happen in my time.
When I returned from a long spell in the Far East my mother decided that she would buy me a mobile telephone . I was given a Motorola Micro TAX 9800x. This was state of the art with a short life battery and a long life battery. The batteries weighed similar to HP sauce bottles and had as much charge. Further , their were not to many mobiles about so the use of the phone was very limited. I had a friend at work who liked the idea of having a mobile so he went for a phone with slightly less bulk than mine. However, he chose a Nokia that was expensive during the day but free at night. Well you can guess the result, the air waves were crammed at night and the phone again useless.
That is all in the past and now there are more phones than toilets but still some men and women test the bowl to see if they can make a connection to a person called “Hewy”. With the advent of incorporating software into a phone, that allows applications (apps) to be used, more and more the mobile phone can communicate with all and sundry 25/7. My question is this really sustainable on our nerves as we try to keep abreast of all that we think we should be keeping abreast of 24 hours a day. Should we prioritise and organise our lives to keep abreast of what is really important and let the dross slip by.
We like the things that Social Media offers but is that it?. Is it taking us on a path we should not be on?.
Who Is The REAL Beneficiary From Our Use Of Social Media
I am a great believer in understanding that there is nothing free in this World. For a number of years, as the growth of social media was experienced, the old head on me thought who is driving this and why. The start up pangs of Facebook, if replayed today, would be a problem that its originator did not have a a central driver when he envisaged his project. I believe he thought it was right of him to link all the people of the World and do a John Lennon, “imagine all the people” and “a big melting pot”. However, the huge amounts of money placed behind Facebook was by the very big names in advertising. These moguls could envisage everyone opening up their private lives as to where they went, who they met, what they did, what they drank, what they ate and a host of other activities that form our personal lives but are scrapped out by the moguls in order to focus their marketing strategy and armies on selling us more and more crap. There has been a huge growth in those seeking the “Ultimate App” that can make us redundant and therefore to be able to sit at home and do what exactly?
Whilst they do this, others are taking our private details to form clones of us in order to drain our money from our “secure” banks.
Having opened up an account on Facebook, Linked-in , Twitter, etc I find that rather than having a quality piece of kit to communicate with I need to screen many apps to ensure I have taken all my messages in and, then, as they are all on different apps I need to sort, top and tail, and reverse lots of bits of information to make sense of it and, even then, it may not be the intent of the original message. In the meantime, the young see the old joining in on THEIR wave band and start to switch to a wave band “exclusive” to them. In the final analysis, we have shall have a communication network divided on age, class and religion, oh yes and maybe with subdivisions using the 1000 apps we can potentially use
The other danger is that the I.T. systems, now devised, route to our attention subjects that the algorithms conclude that they are our only interest. However, mankind has developed by finding subjects out of the normal, contrary to the algorithm deduction, which by the way, has been devised by a inexperienced nerd in a office devoid of real life . This is a very dangerous path being set by the large corporations who devise the algorithms
For the younger people, I can remember the hype as people stated to have ten, twenty, fifty, one hundred , one thousand, one million “friends” on Facebook. But they will come to understand that they can count their true friends on the fingers of one hand.
I take note of the point in the movie “Forrest Gump” where Forrest decides to just run. He runs across America and in doing so gathers a host of followers who believe he is running for a cause, their cause. However, a cause is not the reason he is running and when he questions himself why he is running he thinks to himself “it is time to go home”. He stops, turns around and starts to walk back home through the host of his followers. They have lost a “leader” whilst in the middle of nowhere. Importantly, they have lost a reason to be, a driver in this insane World.
So, as John Wayne said “I don’t want to be the one but I will”. I am going to hang up my spurs and my chaps, and bin my ahhhhhhhhhh”
However, as I back away from the complete insanity of watching my fellow travellers and family carrying a mobile phone in their hands and reacting to its every pulse, the World has now woken up to the dangers from the abuse of social media and the aims of those who control social media. Most young people identify with the word “Social” as being an attribute of person who fits in with the rest of our fellow travellers we may call “friends”. The darker side of making contact with a person, know only through the mobile phone, may lead to being manipulated by others to engage in anti social behaviour. Further, the people at the top, who control social media, have their own personal bias and opinions which will be impressed on those who use their platforms. The people who construct the algorithms are young people who have spent their youth mainly using computers and mobiles. They have little to no expereince of life outside the bubble they have lived in all their lives, but it is their opinion and bias which are written into their algorithms which directly affect those that they touch with their “apps”.