Let’s begin with the first part of that title.
Facebook is great for staying in touch with people you have met throughout your life (see my excellent blog on gaming and sanity), but you no longer see socially. Given that we have all been in lockdown recently, this has been even more relevant.
YouTube allows you to learn about subjects you may not normally have access to, just please make sure it’s not Flat Earth… I said I’d leave stupid for now didn’t I?
Instagram and Pinterest are great for stalking your favourite celeb, seeing what your mate cooked on his third barbeque this week, and possibly learning about new product releases.
TikTok allows (some of) you to be entertaining in the ‘Hey look I bought a Sony Handy Cam, do something funny now’ kind of way.
LinkedIn is there so you can look for your next job after your current employer goes bust due to lockdown… not sure if that’s even funny…
Twitter is well… it must be good for something except for that fat orange American ranting at people he doesn’t like and people arguing about who has the moral high ground… tried it, didn’t like it, answers on a postcard… if and you are old enough to understand that reference, I salute you.
So we can all agree that Social Media can be good, useful, informative, educational, entertaining, hell sometimes even ‘social’.
Now, as always there is a flip side to that coin, and oh boy, it’s a doozy!
Let’s begin with Twitter (seeing as it’s the one I detest), at it’s best it is a platform for you to reach out to that celeb you are stalking on Instagram. In most cases it’s where lots of morons go for an argument, or to be racist, or to generally show off their ignorance.
I recently saw a screenshot (told you I don’t use it) of a Twitter exchange where Stephen King (yes the author) was explaining that coronavirus was nothing like his book The Stand, as coronavirus was survivable. Enter stage left (a moron) asking Stephen King how the hell he could comment on such a thing, and ‘Did you even read that book’. Now I appreciate that we have Photoshop, and yet another blemish on the dark side of our Social Media coin is Fake News… back to the fat orange American aren’t we… and this could have been created by anyone. There’s no way I’m joining Twitter to check it out, I will instead use this as an example of just what happens when you let stupid people use the internet.
OK, next up TikTok. This is a platform I have seen in it’s many variations, from that harmless video of your 80’s childrens entertainer Paul Chuckle doing a silly dance on holiday to the professionally created videos Will Smith bangs out, great, nothing wrong with either, both harmless, both entertaining… sort of.
This time I’ll address the ‘desperate’ element of the internet, i.e. those of you who, and I’m going to quote Ricky Gervais on this one ‘…live their life like an open wound, just to be famous’, thanks Ricky, couldn’t have put that better myself… but will have a go if I get enough likes… see it gets to even the most stoic of us!
I watched, not all the way through I hasten to add, some kid apply one hundred layers of that school glue to his face, then peel it off… words… fail… me.
Why, please someone tell me why, it’s like those charcoal face masks where everyone screams like a baby, at least you can claim that’s product testing… and I bet there’s someone on Twitter claiming those are racist.
For my final instalment, let’s hop onto Facebook, good old Zuckerberg and his data selling cronies. Until recently (they say they are tackling it) Facebook was a minefield of mis-information, fake news and pseudo-science experts advocating anything from drinking your own urine to applying bull semen instead of L’Oreal’s latest super hydrating, self levelling, gluten free, vegan pot of wonderment.
It’s a sad state of affairs that whilst the internet is one of the greatest creations of mankind (and womankind, let’s get ahead of that curve), it is polluted by the stupid and desperate. Personally I don’t crave the attention, sure I’ll take the money if you’re offering, but you don’t get one without the other. At Least I can’t see how you get one without the other, and how quickly fame becomes infamy.
Kenneth Williams – Carry on Cleo
As with all celebrities, once you put yourself out there, undoubtedly some of the internet will ridicule you, fat shame you, point out your bad grammar (guilty y’honour) and generally lambast your well meant creations. At worst you get trolled so badly you quit the platform and do a Luke Skywalker (If you haven’t seen the last 3 Star Wars movies, that’s your problem, not mine), at best you become a meme and think you have succeeded. At which point you become like someone in the TA, in so much as you can’t wait to weave your solitary ‘achievement’ into any conversation.
Another pet hat of mine is the ‘challenge’ paradigm, we’ve had various ones, the ice bucket challenge, the see if you can find toilet roll in the supermarket challenge and the one I have most recently detested, drink a pint in 30 seconds or donate to the NHS challenge.
Let’s just analyse that last one for a moment, a 100 year old veteran who can barely walk pledges to do 100 laps of his garden with his walker and raises £30 million quid for our under fire NHS, and the response from people on Facebook… watch me down a pint so I don’t have to donate to the NHS, well done, you should do a Luke Skywalker you selfish degenerate. I didn’t do the pint challenge, I did chuck Captain Tom a tenner, go figure.
It’s such a shame that so much good can be done using social media and yet a small contingent ruin it out of stupidity or desperation. #RantOver
Please don’t like or subscribe, don’t share this, don’t comment, and if I get any answers on a postcard I’ll send that kid round to put glue on your face…