Social Media

I frequently wonder why I do social media. By that, I mean Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat etc. For me, it started with Facebook and went on from there. Most of it is harmless nonsense, but my worry is that some of the people (not many I would add) I am interfacing I would happily cross the street to avoid. There is a strict byword; do not use Facebook after you have had a few. Your normal protective instincts are reduced such that you find in the morning that you are FB friends with people who you would happily move countries to never meet again. Fortunately, I have a lot of friends on Facebook that I do like so it is worth a look to see how these friends and my family are getting on.

A point I sometimes ponder is ‘what is social media’. I have an ‘internet definition’. Now isn’t that is something for the computer age! It used to be ‘dictionary’ definition, but who knows where their dictionary is now. OK so you have dictionary apps but it is not like thumbing through a well-used book to find out the meaning of words. Then you also needed a thesaurus to get synonyms and antonyms. Was it on Friends, where the hard of learning Joey used a thesaurus to write a letter and the result was reasonably funny. Well for the first six times that you saw the programme. So my ‘found’ internet definition of social media is; social media is computer-based technology that facilitates the sharing of ideas, thoughts, and information through the building of virtual networks and communities.

Now, taking that definition and looking at some internet lists of social media sites there are some quite surprising results. There are of course Facebook and Twitter, but other inclusions were apps like Skype and WhatsApp. These do not fit into my definition or the definition above. I heard the other month someone calling ’email’ Social Media. Absolutely not!

So what does social media give us? Primarily it is the ability to communicate with people without talking to them. On a TV program, not sure which one, a patient of some kind of therapist was suggesting that she talk to one of her friends; the youngster replied something like, “I can’t she has blocked me”. The therapist who was a lot older said, “Why don’t you speak to her” which appeared as somewhat of a revelation to the young girl.

So, our young people growing up without the need to speak to their friends etc. You do see a lot of youngsters. and not so young, walking alone looking at their phones oblivious to the world that was going on around them.

We happened into a restaurant a long way from here, which had one wall with banquette seating. What a way to pack the punters in. Banquette one side and chairs the other and away you go. If you get a big party push the tables together and voila any size of party you like. Just a pity if anyone in the middle of the banquette side needs to use the toilet. Anyway, a couple arrived and were seated next to us. As soon as they arrived, the young lady went to the restroom to powder her nose, leaving the young man to laugh out loud at something which he was looking at on his phone. His dining partner returned and they carried on looking at their phones stopping only to look at the menu and order their food. Is this acceptable behavior!

Not long after the restaurant incident, we were at an inn at breakfast time, seated next to a young couple who were probably ‘away’ for a romantic weekend. The world cup rugby was on in the bar of the pub/inn and a bunch of locals were enjoying breakfast and the early morning match between England and someone else. The young man had his phone propped up against the cruet set with his head bent down. I believe he was looking at the rugby on what I think was an iPhone, no later than a ‘5’. The internet connection in the hotel was desperately slow so there must have been a lot of latency. Every time there was a shout from the other room he would jump up and rush into the bar. Needless to say, his companion had a face like a smacked butt. I have one recommendation for the young lady. Get yourself a smartphone, find a restaurant with a good internet connection and book a table for about 7 pm on a Saturday. Sit there and watch Strictly Come Dancing and see how he likes it!

I will continue to use Facebook because once you start it is very difficult to stop. There are some good sites on there. I really like ‘Pictures of Woodbridge from then until now’ and ‘Your Memories of my Home Town’.

Care with Social Media! Once Tweeted never forgotten. OK with some apps you get a grace period where some of your contacts will probably not see your post before you have removed it. That is not always the case. I try not to post anything I would not want my mum to see.

And now to the point of this blog. I was speaking to a couple of villagers who told me about the Shottisham Village Association. I have had a look at the Association’s Facebook page.

It is a recently formed association which has the following objectives,

  • to promote the social activities of the village
  • to promote the attractiveness of the village including those areas within the conservation area and without
  • to promote the well being and support of the village inhabitants and their pets
  • to promote the local flora and fauna to ensure that, where possible, these remain protected from unnecessary interference

I am very pleased to have ‘found’ the association and looking at a couple of the initiatives on the page they are completely aligned to issues noted in previous blogs. Strength to the association and what it is trying to achieve. The strength of any group is in the numbers which are joined in that common objective. I have joined so why not you.

A very good use of social media.