Social media has come a long way in recent years.
Remember the time you’d receive, through the post, a quaint little invitation, hand-written on rose-bordered notepaper bought from the ‘three for two’ bucket in WH Smith.? It would request the pleasure of your company at a friend’s fondue party, organised as an excuse to show off the new eighteen inch, colour television set.
Oh dear God! The sheer terror! Your mind would immediately click into excuse mode, but you were fresh out of dead grannies and if the kids were sick any more, you’d be reported to the Children’s Panel.
Nowadays though, it’s possible to ‘virtually’ attend such a party from the comfort of your own armchair. No longer need you fret over being polite to the host when they ask you to comment on their newly wood-chip and emulsion decorated home.
Of no concern either, is that irritating know-it-all who’s experienced everything you have, only longer, better or in the case of ill health, worse.
And, while the host is able to give you a flavour of the party as they Face-Time you around selected guests, what they are entirely unable to do, is pressure you into sampling the culinary non-delights of salmon and cucumber on a rye crispbread.
Of course, social media messages are prone to hacking from time to time – something that was unlikely in the days when communication was principally done by lighting a bonfire on top of a prominent hill.
“Look yonder! A third, bonfire has been lit. This can only mean bad news.”
“You’re damned right. That’s no bonfire – that’s your house. You’ve been hacked.”
But for all the obvious benefits the various interactional platforms bring, they also encourage another modern day phenomenon. One with a terrible, sinister underbelly that gives voice to those previously considered quiet, mouse-like, introverted people. A virtual power that amplifies the booming opinions of those already with an overspill of self-importance.
Communal Anguished Hand Wringing. (read more …)