It’s so funny how we don’t talk any more

Published Categorised as Life in General 6 Comments on It’s so funny how we don’t talk any more

I real­ised recently how much I miss getting comments and having conver­sa­tions on this blog. I know that people read it and they seem to enjoy it, but I don’t get much feed­back or reac­tions outside Face­book.

When I moved this blog from Blog­spot over to Word­Press for the super­i­or design features, I stopped getting as many comments, because the default Word­Press comment system isn’t that great. It doesn’t have any noti­fic­a­tions or nest­ing or other basic features. So I’ve added a new comment plugin today to make reply­ing a much nicer exper­i­ence.

I also decided recently I should do more regu­lar short posts on here, rather than saving it up/​putting it off for ages and then doing a massive entry.

So leave me some comments! Don’t be shy! Let’s talk. (Keep it polite and respect­ful of others, I hope it barely needs saying that I’m not going to toler­ate any bigotry or abuse here).

I’ve been having a lot of mixed feel­ings lately about social media. It seems we’re going through quite a dark Wild West sort of peri­od with how the inter­net is affect­ing soci­ety. Every­one is on the inter­net now, your 60 year old uncle, all the people you didn’t like at school; but the unspoken social contracts about how to use it in a civil­ised manner just don’t seem to be there.

So there’s a massive, pois­on­ous amount of abuse out there, espe­cially towards minor­it­ies and women. You see things like poor Leslie Jones being houn­ded and abused for daring to star in a fun family film, and the whole Gamer­Gate fiasco. Every time you look at the comments for almost anything it seems, it reminds you that there are lots of people out there who have a real level of vitri­ol­ic hatred for you and people you care about, and would really love to hurt you. I just use these sites to commu­nic­ate with people and have fun, I don’t want to walk some kind of gaunt­let of abuse, and be scared of putting my head above the para­pet. I’m glad that I was in my 20s and had gradu­ated univer­sity before social media was even a thing.

The big social media corpor­a­tions like Face­book and Twit­ter couldn’t care less about it. I have repor­ted a fair few really vile and abus­ive comments I’ve come across on Face­book, and wheth­er they upheld the complaint or not was a total crap­shoot. They didn’t think a rape threat (direc­ted towards someone else, not me), or a neo-nazi deny­ing the Holo­caust coun­ted as seri­ous beha­viour, and appar­ently I should just block the offend­er or learn to ignore it.

It’s hard to avoid this stuff, because those big social media sites don’t even just show you a simple chro­no­lo­gic­al list of posts from the people you’ve chosen to follow any more. I don’t want their algorithm to pick other things to show me, I just want to see all my friend’s instagram photos, and tweets only from my care­fully selec­ted list of friends, musi­cians, artist and museums, and see them in the order they were writ­ten. Instead I get bombarded with conflict and drama from people I don’t even know, and completely irrel­ev­ant stuff, and I don’t even get to see a good chunk of the things I actu­ally want to see from my friends.

I guess I could just close my accounts for these things, but they’re part of soci­ety now, and I actu­ally do enjoy seeing things from my friends, and find­ing out about new things. If the site’s algorithm actu­ally lets me.

This also leads into the increased commer­cial­isa­tion of blogs and instagram. (I wrote about this topic before here). It seems like everything is run for spon­sor­ships and commer­cial poten­tial now, and the result­ing content is dismal, as bad or worse than any pois­on­ous women’s magazine. Identikit instagram “models” posing with danger­ous laxat­ive teas. Blog­gers writ­ing fake articles about their life incor­por­at­ing sales copy about a product they’re supposed to be shil­ling in the article. Basic­ally faking everything about your life because you want to be a walk­ing, talk­ing advert, and any sign of being a real, less than perfect person with actu­al thoughts might scare the advert­isers off.

I’m not doing this to attract advert­isers. The only things for sale here are things I have made. There are no affil­i­ate links (shady market­ing links that earn the writer money when you click on them). I hope I’m not unreal­ist­ic­ally portray­ing my life as being perfect, when it very much is not. The flip side of that is expect­ing pain­ful confes­sion­als, which you’re not getting here either. Just “here’s some­thing inter­est­ing I saw or thought about”. Hope­fully that’s enough? I guess it’s nice to have my own little corner, where things I write about appear in order, and any nasty comments can be removed.

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  1. hi, i was just think­ing about post­ing a comment yester­day on anoth­er post, but some­times i feel like i’m intrud­ing if i don’t know the blog­ger. so i’ll do it anyway now 🙂
    (btw is it possible to post as a word­press account because i didn’t see that option here?)
    take care, nina

  2. I enjoy your blog, and appre­ci­ate the hard work you must put in to main­tain its stand­ard. Hate on the Inter­net? Yes, and from many sides. I think it facil­it­ates more and more people, to commu­nic­ate only with those of simil­ar views, and people can become fanat­ic­al. On my Face­book, it happens to be Guard­i­an fanat­ics, I think that is a fair descrip­tion, attack­ing those they don’t like. Soci­ety as a whole has become more extreme, less live and let live. We need more love for each other, and not always condemn – not forget­ting my own fail­ings helps! Best of luck.

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