I just dropped in on the 'Look Up' vid on yotube which criticises our modern obsession with the multi media, touchscreen mobile device we still call the phone or now call the tablet.
The vid' for me contains both a degree of truth and much that annoys me about the Luddite view some hipsters, social sideshows and old fogey laggards take on social media in particular, as the main up time on said hand held machines.
'Look Up' by Gary Turk, self appointed urban laureate, does address a couple of issues, which came up for me this week. Firstly our local mayor has put the hammer down on councellors and other of the meeting's participants should refrain from the distractions of tablet communications which are either unrelated to the debate or perhaps devisory or showing that they are seeking council and authority which they should hold in their own stature of office.
The other thing i noted more than anything this week is that i have more or less given up on tv in favour of SM.
Before in life as young adults even, we would expend our energies of the day and then sit for two to three hours, often more. We found tv relaxing, distracting, informative and we became attached to stars, journalists, presenters and even continuity announcers and cartoon characters.
The other night I watched an episode of 'silent witness'. It was in the mould of 'personal involvement with the perpreators, and forensic scientists being far more involved with the policing and legal processes than they are in real life'. Put in a drop dead gorgeous actress, bit too skinny for me but she'd do, and you used to get my disbelief suspended and my enjoyment secured. Not any more. I am intellectually insulted by them regurgitating yet another aforementioned plot vehicles.
I refused to suspend my disbelief and instead read about my pals in SM, rose tinted postings and all, or the israeli Like campaign for cocking a.n M16 in the face of pallestinian youth protesting about the ethnic cleansing on the west bank.
I find the Westminister and Washington parliamentary/congressional largely a media propoganda circus for the old, dying media while freedom of thought and expression and political movements happen on mobile devices and social media. I trust bloggers more than journalists, at least I can go in thinking the b log is owned in a bipartisan set up before i accept what they have to say.
I no longer bother much with marketing material and brochure-wear web sites , i go to consumer generated experiences, pirated technical manuals in pdf form, price finder sites and our own version of e-bay, finn, which often has the entrepreneur selling outside the usual chain store retail price agreement, or the unwanted gift from a fellow consumer at a bargain price and so on.
So the old 'channel' concept where journalists, politicians and marketing managers were the would be puppeteers, are now dying away to be replaced by CGM ( consumer generated media). Why look at a bunch of pontificating self appointed experts or story mongers? Why adsorb meaningless soap opera stories with the cardboard one D stereotype or the larger than life characters being played out by actors. Not to mention the overly violent nature of crime dramas and much of what Hollywood churns out. "Don't believe the Liberal Media" well dont beleive the fascist 'fender sticker' either.
Also I am considerably MORE sociable than I would be and I like both the spectrum of people and groups I can mingle with and my ability to exclude those bitches and fascists I really cant abide, but may have to endure in a 'real' social context like that great pretence of sociability, going to the pub to talk about the weather and the cricket scores.
The fact is too that SM in particular has kept me sane while living in a small, navel gazing town where after six years I have basically no real mates. I have some quite good FB buddies here, some are a bit shy in real life. More over I keep in touch with some really interesting characters and old friends, even if that is in a strange cocktail of flagrantly boasting child-pride and socio- poltical "Likes this Page".
People do post bad day feelings.
Prior to the advent of SM proper we had e-mail and sms and the long distance telephone call before that. When my dad died I picked up the handset and called to talk to my best pal, explaining to his dad in his abscence the cataclysmic event for me. Aged 12. When a long term would be love interest lost her mother we got a chain e- mail as her way of crying out loud and getting attention rich shoulders to cry on. Parties would be organised to exclude boy X or girl Y by using chains of carefully planned phone calls or notes in addidas sports bags last thing on a friday at school such the poor uninvited, sometimes me, knew nothing before it was over. I got dumped most often on the phone, from at least 50 miles away and after 10pm. Thanks girls. Would be a PM on FB these days.
I spend more time thinking about other people and issues ,while yes, I do less with them....but i live frikkin out on a limb anyway!
The main issue is with the children. They spend too much time on tablets and I spend too much time on mine at some prime points for QT in the eves and weekends. At least i admit this.
If I lived in Edinb'ra or Glesga agin, then I would be more sociable by using SM to get to meetings and get involved, and dating sites to use my pri.nciple of turnstyles and serendipity of an extended, and ever expanding social network. This would be in the opposite without SM, as circles would be ever-decreasing.
Think of a mid life crisis in the 1970s?? For me post divorce, it would be an unbearable trawl around pubs, over 30 clubs spanish evening classes, badminton ladders, amnesty international meetings and a dusty address book with a list of bridges which were burnt years ago by lack of contact.
SM is not an issue for me, playing with my kids would be an issue without more than a turn dial telephone as remote social technology. But knowing that i can do something about it and will because the contrast is so strong.
Back to how life was as a teenager and hip young adult in the 80s and ealy 90s. As Morrissey crooned while in the smiths..."there's a club...meet someone who really loves you...so you go and you stand on your own and you leave on your own, and you go home and you cry and you want to die'. What a great truism for we the shy majority.
How many times too did i go to the pub with my "best mate" or other to have them play the puggies and skip buying rounds or try and ditch my shy heaviness and meet some new girls?
Far better dear Morrissey now, to meet up with someone you have affirmed as having common interests and maybe even got passed the maybe we like the look of each other. Then you go and maybe leave without being on your own.
Or the Arab Spring and what is happening in Saudi Arabia: Now as a liberal ,reformer you can meet on the internet and have your views affirmed and. become a force for positive change.
In fact from 1986 to 1999 i did not look at much tv, and went to indie cinemas or fringe field films. After that it was the mad friday night rack of father ted, trigger happy TV, have i got news for you, absolutely and latterly spaced. What has happened to that radical free energy? TV went cheap with reality shows and then worse, celebrity reality shows. Full circle to the SM fueled talent shows, which reward excellence in mimmickry as substitute for originality.
So bye bye TV, news in retrospect on the tablet, FF through the handball and the break-ins. And yes, i do want to see my disparate, spread out fkormer buddies' families gfrowing up and do more than the christmas card and the goin.g out my way to meet them once a decade.
Bye bye random dates and random geogrpahical fortuities: proximity shags, convenience friends, down-the-local drinking buddies, sport team "mates". Hello mutual socio-politico-pshyco- triage relationships : new lovers, casual sexships, political alliances and new best pals.
So social media i am glad you are here, i am glad i use you, i use you less than i used to watch TV, i have as many or more useless, wonderful acquaintances than i did 25 years ago. I keep in touch with my old pals more than i would have before you, dear media noveau came along.