it’s the end of 2013 and we are already substantially into the age of social media; we’ve got Facebook, Twitter, WordPress and blogs galore, Wikileaks and all sorts of portals for people to be their own newscasters, their own storytellers, their own pundits.
in light of this, I thought I would remind everyone what this actually means, both the good and bad of it.
1. to our GOVERNMENTS: your new year’s resolutions should be to STOP trying to cover everything up. YOU WILL NOT GET AWAY WITH IT. why are you still insisting on making false claims when there are people disputing you with video evidence in real time? and don’t even bother with classified documents, because as we’ve seen, someone will discover your hypocrisy and it won’t be long before it explodes on the internet, shortly followed by an explosion on the streets. when you gonna get that?
2. to our SELF-PROFESSED JOURNALISTS: one line into your “article” and anyone with a brain will know whether YOU have one or not. here’s my main tip for you – hypothesising is all right (only if you’re really credible) and surmising is NOT. oh, and if you don’t have a single fact, please refrain from doing both of those things, thank you.
3. to our BLOGGERS: I respect many of you and appreciate and am grateful for your insight and opinions. however, the internet is trolling with people who have nothing better to say than how they fell asleep with their fake eyelashes on. to those “bloggers” I say, be thankful there are many insipid people in the world who are just like you.
4. to our VLOGGERS: I guess moving things on screen are for the people who don’t have the attention span to read static words. you should also be thankful those people exist or you’d get no hits.
5. to our INCESSANT SELFIE-TAKERS: believe me, I know the draw of the selfie. I am an artist and anytime I wear something on my head or have cool eye makeup on, I am tempted to waste a good hour on getting the perfect shot. but the reason that “self” is part of the word selfie is because it is breathtakingly self-centred to post a picture of yourself when you wake up, when you’re relieving yourself in the toilet, when you’re shopping, when you’re walking along the street, when you’re having a glass of wine alone on your couch at the end of the day. (unless you have something sooooooo funny to say to pair with the picture that it just won’t do to say it on its own.) social media has bred a generation of people who love looking at themselves. forget the mirror, bring on the selfie. it’s sad.
6. to our INSTAGRAMMERS: Instagram is so smart because they knew the Instavideo function would blow people’s minds. ANIMATED SELFIES? what could be better than that? but oh man. I wish your mama would tell you that posting a video of yourself drinking juice is the height of narcissism. because it really is.
7. to our DISCRIMINATORS: it gets serious here. there is nothing worse than making a racist comment, or a sexist statement or to make generalisations about people, either out of ignorance or in jest on the internet, because these days, it’s as good as shouting it out loud in a public space. which most of you rancid people probably wouldn’t dare to do. so DO NOT think it makes it ok to persecute and discriminate online. it is NOT OK. get educated. and if you don’t know that you need to get educated, I hope there’s a patient soul who will point it out to you.
we all know that social media has made the world a smaller place. I don’t need to talk to my Goddaughter, who lives halfway across the world, on the phone, we have FaceTime and Skype. and when those things aren’t available, I just have to look at the pictures her mum posted of her and I can say what I want to say about them, and feel involved. I can discuss things with like-minded people around the world at the click of a button. I can hide behind my Facebook Messenger if I don’t want to give my personal phone number out or if I can’t bring myself to say something to someone’s face. it’s all very handy, and in a lot of cases, quite pleasant. it’s also gratifying to see oppressive and dishonest governments called out on their shit, and to give an ordinary person the feeling that some sort of justice has been done. but it also gives people a safe place to be mean, prejudiced, even harassing and downright self-obsessed.
the beauty and curse of social media is that it is difficult to censor and maybe someday people will understand they are responsible for everything they say and post, and have to swallow what others say and post. but for now, in this holiday season, I hope your feeds are full of genuine wishes, thought-provoking articles, hilarious videos of cats and ways to spread good vibes and love.
yours in truth,