So, apparently, ‘everybody’ is deleting their Facebook accounts.
Nope. Not jumping on that bandwagon. It’s not even a new one. OK, as an Older Person, I have had a few issues with social media in general (when I first tried Twitter I remember describing it to a mate at ‘like shouting at passing cars. It’ll never catch on…) but now I get on with the sites I use, reasonably well.
Yes, waah, Cambridge Analytica, yes, waah, propaganda, yes, waah, privacy concerns. Oh FFS. In the UK we have had decades of dishonest, button-pushing propaganda from national newspapers: a mix of sentimentality, prurience, bigotry, stupidity and the setting up and knocking down of target after target: the ‘heroes’ who ‘fell from grace’, the ‘monsters’ who were quite often idiots who made bad choices – and the endless parade of semi-fictitious perverts, satanists, communists, benefit scroungers and green sheep. Quite a lot of people learn to see through it fairly early on.
Oh, but, waah, it eats your life. This has been said about television, recreational sex, fiction in general, computer games, music, cinemas… Some people don’t believe in leisure or pleasure, or at least don’t believe the masses should have access to such things in case it gives them Ideas. The idea of mass communication, in particular, has always put the shits up people who are interested in maintaining power over others, and one of the biggest positive things about the Internet and the connections it affords has always been the benefit to the writers, artists and musicians who can (theoretically at least) put their work out there without having to go through any kind of gatekeeper who will tell them it’s not fashionable any more, or that it doesn’t have enough appeal to heterosexual white men to be worth promoting, or whatever else.
Yes, I’m aware of the Shit Volcano effect. I’m aware that, along with the people who use social media either for sharing their witless and hugely unpleasant opinions in general, there are those who use it for spamming the fuck out of everyone they know with their latest not-very-good work. But it remains the case that the possibility of using social media to promote your event, your art, your work or your good cause is there. It’s valid. At the moment there is nothing to replace it. So let’s not be in too much of a hurry to spurn it.