We can add new meanings to words and that is how language evolves. We can't control it. Words and phrases get adopted by more and more to become commonplace. However, there are those that seem to connive us with somewhat misleading words. Ill suited - suited to their agenda.
Let's look at a few terms and show my perspective on them.
I have 506 friends (I am actually down to 6 now on my personal media account). Five hundred and six people have been classed as friends. Maybe they could be ranked and called something else. The top tier would indeed be still called friends, maybe five or six rather than 506. We muster a good few that we have met the once. Some are the people you talk to from time to time along with work colleagues, fitness club members etc. You think of a name for those. Then there is the large swathe of throng builders. I don't need to spell out what a friend really is. A real friend is cherished. Friendships, unions between people are a highlight of life.
Sharing is splitting, dividing and kindness. So how does one share a picture? Maybe you have it for 6 months and I the other. Or cut it in two? We use sharing as a way of saying showing and allowing others to see what we have to display. I really don't like this defacement of this word. It is twisting reality even though we have a saying "A problem shared is a problem halved". To share now has an equivalence of 'to broadcast'. I suppose if what you are distributing is of help to others then you are sharing knowledge, at a push. This new form of sharing is invading other people's time and space albeit people that have gladly signed up to get the latest low down. I cringe when I hear people mither over who is privy to their goings on. Who should I permit to 'share' my thoughts, images and other bile?
Hanging out near the shops with mates, social. Socialites parading around, mingling and conversing at a party, sociable. Popping around your friend's house, social visit. Telling everyone on an internet page that you have just acquired a new dress, personal media. We have mass media, newspapers, TV etc. Generally, a bunch - not usually one person, involved in producing something for all to see. Is it social media or more individual media - personal media. If it is better thought of as personal rather than social, do we view it differently? Yes, you can use the mechanism whatever you want to call it to arrange a social encounter, but what are the most prevalent posts?
Here is one of the least contentious concepts. We use the world wide web to find, to locate and to unite. Many searches make the previously near impossible far less arduous. We will assume that those that are found, want to be found and the reunion of long-lost relatives brings joy and relief. Clubs, societies, common causes can now involve people right across the globe rather than just those in the same town.
The child follows wherever the parent goes. We form a line and follow the leader. Where is the following in signing up to be fed someone's musings? Do you become a disciple, buying what they do or what the pretend to? Do you forever more concur with their worldly wisdom? Do you stop following if a set number begin to disapprove of what they have to say? How much faith do you need? I am sure it is all entertainment, distractions and who can deny the beauty of comedic content. I would never condone hacking but were some bright spark to break into the computer systems and simply change 'followers' to 'stalkers' it would be a little amusing. More benignly it could be altered to 'listeners' or alarmingly 'devotees'. You can't really call them monitors although it can be a bit of monitoring and making sure you are not saying things out of line. Viewers fits fairly well too.
A social media influencer of suckers and parasites. Influential people are abound and have provided the impetus for others to make a mark. Legendary singers and song writers became influential via other influential people that went before them. Beacons, pioneers and greatness have been the inspiration for many to follow a similar path. Marie curie faced gender discrimination yet prevailed. I too, a woman, can see her example and have greater confidence in pursuing a calling in science. Sheep congregate, people congregate. As the notoriety of an individual increases so does the validity of their worth. Have you been sucked in? Have you been sold? Have you parted with your cash in a game of collusion? We need to fit in, we can't always carry off an unfashionable choice. How do you go about influencing yourself? Making your own mind up by deciding what is right for you? Dare to be at one with yourself, not in a mindfulness, meditative way, but exploring yourself with the aid of others rather than solely by what others suggest. Balance and moderation on your terms.
The power is what they want. Being the one to choose then simply cajole and persuade. A successful influencer lives in heaven on earth - or at least makes it seem so. You too can be like them if only you subscribe to their ways of doing things. Unfortunately, this heaven is a pyramid, a Ponzi scheme with only a few at the top. You have no chance despite what you may think. Like a religion it gives you hope though and there is no harm in trying. Or is there? Self-harming. Suicides. Depression. Anxiety. Disappointment at the very least. In a socialist world there are leaders who tell the lowly what to do. The leaders and a few around them live in wonderful palaces, eat the finest banquets and have the best cars / personal jets. All for the good of the people. Allegedly. Have I spotted a parallel or is it just coincidence that 'social' is used in both domains to mis-portray?
I admit to stretching and manhandling words in ways of my choice. I try to excuse the behaviour by saying that it is done as a method to explain something, not to rebrand or swindle.
You are welcome to read a book about you, me and everyone else. Some of you will get to understand what drives us all.
When you look up into the night sky you may be able to make out the odd star, but light pollution prevents you from seeing much. Go to the "middle of nowhere" and the spectacle is very different. You see it all. This book is like that. Every facet of human behaviour becomes clear, the psychology, our dreams, our aspirations, our wishes and wants. It is all uncovered.
A film looking as gender imbalances. One day we might decide that we set rules that do not mention genders. We may begin to treat people as peolple with no positve or negative discrimination based on their perceived sex.
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