A Whole New Social Media?

Social Media Logotype Background

I’ve posted about Social Media before, and no doubt, there are countless blog posts about this subject all over the World Wide Interweb. But ever since I published my previous Social Media posts, things seem to have changed. A lot. Social Media has darkened, it has become a place of confrontation, trolls and sarcastically dry humour. And I love it.

Social media, it seems, moves with the tide of ever-changing society and it, again, seems to evolve and adapt to current affairs and, more importantly, how and why people react to things. That’s why it’s such an important aspect of modern life. It’s an entirely organic form of web-interaction.

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When it comes to so called social media ‘trolls’, the most important thing to do is simply to ignore them. It’s so easy to keep replying to the bait, to keep feeding them more ammunition so that they can continue to ‘troll’ (or just bug the hell out of) you. I always find it curious that people become so wound up, or hurt or are emotional because of internet trolls. Let’s use Twitter as an example here, Twitter uses the system of following, so that each member of the Twitter society can follow each other and see what all of their favourite people are up to. Unless of course you want your social media private, in which case there is the private option, whereby only people you allow access to your feed, get to make any contact. You can also ‘Block’ and even ‘Report’ any suspicious or potentially harmful activity, or for the sake of this paragraph, any Trolls. This is the case for almost all social media website these days, so there really is no excuse to allow internet trolls to have any affect on you.

My favourite form of Social Media has, for a long time now, been Twitter. Facebook is old and out-dated; it’s struggling to keep up. Vine burned bright and extinguished hard and fast. And Tumblr is massive, but I still think it needs time for everyone to actually know what it does and more importantly, how to use the damn thing. In fact the only form of Social Media that seems to be keeping up with Twitter’s appeal, in my opinion, is Instagram, which, ironically, is owned by the incredibly dull and very tired Facebook.

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Although it faces the same level of so called ‘trolling’ and sees a never ending stream of bad feeling in some comment sections, YouTube still has a wonderful sense of community to it. If you’re a fan of YouTube; and by fan I most definitely do not mean watching cat and angry  driver videos. I mean if you are a fan of YouTubers who upload regularly to their channels and create consistent and entertaining content for dedicated viewers, then you’ll know what I mean about a community feeling. It’s really quite a marvellous thing. But as I said, you won’t know if you don’t watch YouTubers. Their fans are some of the most loyal, dedicated and often ruthless people. Sometimes more so than fandoms of pop-stars or actors. These people will defend their favourite YouTubers to the end and it’s a relationship between YouTuber and fan that only grows organically over time, that lasts. Fascinating really. There is no room for a ‘viral’ YouTuber. And certainly (for most fans) absolutely no room for ‘vine’ users to think they can become YouTubers. Leave it out.

Isn’t it weird how society has moulded itself around social media. In some ways it’s rather concerning, I mean, we spend more time speaking and interacting with people on social media rather than people in real life, and by doing so, gradually distance ourselves with the more important things in life. But on the other hand, you could say that we meet new people all the time on Social Media and really it’s not as dark and scary as your parents want you to believe. YouTube is such an amazing place to find new friends, I mean like real friends, not cyber friends. I’ve met a few people through YouTube and they’re the best. So it can be a good thing, when you actually end up meeting your YouTube friends, but when these people remain on the internet, it’s probably time to get out of the house.

Social Media is very quickly becoming one of the most common forms of interaction between young people. It has its ups and downs, its pros and cons. It has it’s wonderfully innocent and beautifully like-minded communities and it’s incredibly small-minded internet trolls. One thing is for sure though, it’s growing, and it’s growing fast.

Here are a few statistics:

  • YouTube has over a billion users–almost a third of all people on the Internet–and every day, people watch hundreds of millions of hours of YouTube videos and generate billions of views.
  • YouTube overall, and even YouTube on mobile alone, reaches more 18-34 and 18-49 year-olds than any cable network in the U.S.

And of course, the big statistic…

  • The number of channels earning six figures each year on YouTube has increased by 50% y/y.

YouTubers are earning BIG. And it’s only going to get bigger. TV, watch this space. This YouTube Space.

I love mostly everything about social media and am a self confessed addict.

But what I want to  know is what YOU think of social media, Good? Bad? Not quite sure? Leave a comment!

 

And Until next time…

 

BYE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s In Our Nature. But Why?

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  • 30 people killed in a suicide attack at a market in the northern Nigerian city of Yola,
  • 43 People Killed and at least 239 others injured when a pair of suicide bombings struck southern Beirut.
  • Bomb kills all 224 people on board a Russian airliner over Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula last month.
  • 147 killed  in an attack on Garissa University, in the north-east of Kenya, by the Somali militant group al-Shabab. April 2015.

The list could go on and on and on. These too were disasters caused entirely by monstrous militants or ISIS terrorists.

But how many people changed their Facebook profile picture to the flags of Nigeria, Kenya or Russia. How many trending Twitter hashtags were there for #PrayForNigeria/Kenya/Russia? How many of your followers or Facebook friends focused all their prayers on good thoughts and love toward the people of Beirut during it’s time of need just one day before the Paris incident? Or any of the other countless disasters which have hit our world in the past year.

The simple fact of the matter is, we feel more sensitive and give more sympathy towards any terrorist bombing or outright genocides that happen on our doorstep than to that of people living three thousand miles away. And what’s our excuse? ‘Oh, well, it happens all the time over there so we’re all used to it’… Are you kidding me.

Don’t even get me started on the countless people who completely disregard religion and God for most of their lives and then break in to #PrayFor tweets whenever shit gets crazy. It’s almost as if we as humans feel like we can completely shun the idea of religion and then ‘find’ it whenever we feel we messed up the most. It disgusting.

I’m an atheist and therefore didn’t pray for anyone in the Paris attacks, because I don’t believe that I, as a non-believer of God could do anything for those poor innocent souls. Nor can anyone actually help in any way by changing their Facebook profile to a French flag.

This type of thing has happened so many times in the past few years that I can’t actually be bothered to list every single incident. But i’ve brought it down to the ‘snowball effect’; once enough people have seen enough posts, or news stories, or #hashtags, they join in, regardless of whether or not they actually know anything about what has happened, because they need to be seen by their peers to be doing something to contribute to the ‘united front’ against terrorism. It makes them more liked by their Facebook friends. Or GETS them more LIKES, as is probably the case for most people.

One thing I can’t stand is when people actually believe their lie. They actually begin to believe that they care for these people; that they care for those effected by terrorists around the world. But did they care even just a little for all of those other people killed in recent months? Have they taken ANY notice of more than TWO MILLION innocent souls taken by these evil creatures over the past decade? (Yes, I referred to them as ‘creatures’, these things are NOT human). For anyone who can commit such atrocities is not a civilised being.

If we absolutely must stop everything we’re doing to #Pray for a disaster, then how can we, as some of the most privileged people on the planet, really pick and choose which ones we back? How can we stand by and just let the killings of 147 innocent students at a university go over our heads, and then in the next breath completely devote our entire social media presence and  news rooms to a single disaster? However horrible it may be. We can’t, is the simple and honest answer the that. If you’re going to ignore some attacks, the ignore all of them. Otherwise we need to start caring for our world as a species; and stop simply sticking to our own.

Think about it. Please.

Until next time…

Bye.

Dealing With Writer’s Block

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Have you got any idea how difficult it is to write a post about dealing with Writer’s Block, whilst at the same time suffering from writer’s block? It’s the most unproductive situation you could possibly get yourself in to. So I’m going to write this with the hope of 1. Getting out of a writing rut and 2. Possibly helping others having the same issue by letting them know how I manage to break through the ‘writer’s block’ wall; thereby killing two birds with one stone. Simple. In fact, it is possible that this might be more than just a one-part blog post. I might need two or three.

It’s also worth noting that not all people beat writer’s block in the same way and I would humbly welcome any and all comments on this post letting me know how any of you do it. Thank You.

Right, shall we begin?

If I was given a pound for every time that I stopped writing because my mind just went blank, I’d probably be a freaking billionaire by now. You see, I’ve always loved writing, but my main issue is not having the right ideas at the right time. When i’m not boosted by the right idea, the project i’m working on becomes stale through lack of motivation. But when something comes in to mind, or is given as a suggestion and I like it -this post was given as a suggestion to me- I can write non-stop for hours and it turns out OK (hopefully).

One of the ways some writers will tell you is a good way of getting out of writer’s block is by sitting in a quiet room, with nothing but a pen and pad or laptop and stare at either one until an idea comes in to your head; but I disagree. How can anything of any worth come in to any mind that is simply sitting doing nothing? As a blogger who doesn’t like to focus on a single subject; I often like to post things A. Of current trend or B. Which have or soon will have importance or impact in the world we live in. So it’s not OK nor is it in any way productive for me to sit a room and wait for an idea that may or may not come to mind.

I like to search anything and everything for the latest news or ‘trends’ – please bear in mind that I hate using that word but as it is in fact currently ‘trending’ it seems fitting for me to use it. Some of the best places to find these ‘trends’ include Twitter, Buzzfeed, YouTube, and of course, the news. BBC News; because let me tell you, if you think that you’re going to find something of note, or of any cultural value while browsing through The Sun; you’re quite delusional.

A lot of the time I just like to air my thoughts on what might be bothering me about our species. Sometimes I hate humans, and honestly, I think, what with everything that is happening lately, that that is entirely justifiable. So a while ago I posted a three-part mini blog series on here called ‘Dystopia’. It’s one of my favourite movie genres and also one subject that I can not stop thinking about and so I just had to put it down in a blog post.

I love to talk about the online world and how it is shaping and affecting our minds. More importantly, I like to spend some time talking about the people who are making this online revolution happen. I’ve done posts on Jenna Marbles, Jim Chapman and KSI and am currently in the process of planning the big one, PewDiePie. I think that’s very important with a blog; to write about things which interest YOU. If you write on something that you love, then that love will show in your words and people will enjoy your posts so much more because of it.

There are ways in which you can get yourself out of a rut when it comes to writer’s block. You can plan and plan until you’re blue in the face, you might never actually get around to writing the final piece. You could sit in a quiet, empty room until a spark of inspiration hits you suddenly; but that might never happen and you’ll be sat there wondering if you’ll ever get the right idea. Or. as I often do; you can stop thinking about what others might enjoy, and just write what you DO enjoy. As I said before, if you enjoy what you’re doing, then others will start to enjoy it with you. Be yourself.

I love to hear how others manage to break through ‘The Wall’ when it comes to writing; so any comments that you feel might be helpful to others who have issues with it would be amazing.

 

Until next time…

 

BYE!

 

Really, Social Media?

Have you ever been on Twitter or Facebook and found yourself getting more and more frustrated with a certain person or group of people and subsequently Tweet or post something that you- at the time – think nothing of? I know I have.

When using Social Media we need to remember that every Tweet; every Facebook status has implications that could possibly harm or affect someone in some way. What we, as people who use these websites every day and who take them for granted, fail to understand is that there are people behind the keyboards who are indeed affected by what we say; and if you say something harmful, it will eventually make its way back to you. Most of the time these responses are nothing but spur of the moment jabs or jokes meant to lower the importance or impact of the original message. But occasionally someone says something that truly effects the feelings others, and the responses they receive – often by third party social media users – end up destroying their lives.

I’ll give you an example as to how some people use social meadia (mainly Twitter these days) to try and hurt or in someway degrade others. The example is personal.

Ex-Prime-Minister Margaret Thatcher had just passed away and like many people who were unfortunately too young to have seen her in her PM days but nevertheless liked/admired her strong personality, I tweeted my sympathies and expressed my condolences to her family; because lets face it, she was a kind of important figure in our country. A certain ‘comedian’ (i’ll use the word extremely loosely as he isn’t in the slightest bit funny) and I wont mention his name, lets just call him ‘Vonnie Jagas’ Tweeted a few hateful remarks at Mrs Thatcher and somehow my @name managed to wiggle its way in to one of them.

I’m not sure if everyone on here is aware on the ‘wild-fire’ way in which tweets from morons with large audiences make their way swiftly around the website, so i’ll give you an idea. Seconds. I had to wait just seconds before the first ‘what a stupid little southern Tory Bullingdon Club w*****’ message seeped its way to my mention page. Needless to say dozens more made their way to me over the following hour and then people began commenting on those and it very quickly snowballed in to quite a hilarious (and might I say rather Northern dominated) mess.

But you see this is where people like myself differ from those who unfortunately have their lives ruined by simple-minded ‘keyboard warriors’ (or cowards as I prefer to refer to call them). I take it very well and try my utmost not to feed the flames. I might correct them by saying that I was never in fact a member of the Bullingdon Club and would never condone such an establishment for their utter ignorance and for thinking that they are above the rest of us. Yes, I am a Tory; yes, I am from the south; but I grew up in a modest background and attended a very average school.

I try to do what everyone else in that position should. Ignore them. Because it’s only those who feel the need read every comment and get offended by every remark who will feel the full force of its hate. If you ignore them, they will disappear; you’ll never have to see them again. Bullies have a very short attention span.

Some people however don’t take my obviously Yoda-like advice…

I’m currently reading a book by the author Jon Ronson called ‘So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed’ in which Mr Ronson tells the stories of a few people who have been directly effected by Social Media and in some cases have had their lives taking from beneath them and thrown away. I wont go in to describing the book at any length; I’ll leave it up to you to read and make your own assessments; but it saddens me to read such stories. Is this really where society has peaked? Do we really live in a ‘civilised’ world where what we say in our private time on a silly website can have devastating effects on our entire lives?

This subject annoys me. And not in the same way that Kanye West or TV Soaps annoy me. It actually angers me. It angers me that the online world has such a direct influence on our lives. It angers me that people we don’t know, nor will ever even meet in person, have such a direct influence on our life and the way in which we live it.

I’m going to cut this short because I can feel this being a two or three-part post and i’d rather do it without rushing.

 

What do you think on the subject? Let me know in the comments.

 

Until next time…

BYE!