By Hans Ebert

If it wasn’t for the fact that it’s part of my job responsibilities and being paid quite nicely to be part of it, I would just press delete and detonate my presence on social media. And more and more, it’s all too obvious that I am not the only one considering doing this.

Friends are closing their Facebook and Twitter accounts as the initial thrill is gone. Seeing way too many nobodies trying to be somebody when no one cares is aggro no one needs in an already aggressive world getting angrier and full of hate every day. Keyboard warriors forcing themselves to be heard above the rest of the din don’t help.

Where do all the lonely people come from? Seemingly from social media. And you wonder why music is so shite today except for a handful of shining examples like Tash Sultana? Why? A lack of focus on priorities and actually making the time to discover, understand and respect all the greatness that’s come before which just might be the inspiration needed to create and produce something as good as possible rather than the pointless act of self promotion- self promotion where a few friends press the “like” button just to be polite without even listening to whatever they’re supposed to hear.

As a friend in music in Melbourne mentioned the other day, “Don’t these people know about overkill and just how desperate they look?” Not when the blinkers are on, possums. Few question what they’re putting out there and how some things should remain personal.

Sure, on Facebook, for example, there are friends from back in the day worth catching up with along with some gems worth sharing, especially all those pages with rare videos by the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Queen, the Stones, the great Jazz performers etc and, once in a while, coming across for the first time a brilliant young female rock guitarist like Yana from Russia.

Invading one’s privacy to all this, however, no matter how hard one tries to avoid them, are social media’s Great Pontificators. When one actually knows some of these people and their limited knowledge of what they’re pontificating about, it’s tough to take. And gawd forbid, if you were to swim against the tide and either point out where they’ve got it wrong or show complete disinterest in what “news” they keep hurling your way, be prepared to be taken to task. Hell hath no fury like a social media Pontificator scorned.

Getting “blocked” on Twitter is something one often wears like a badge of honour as there’s every chance that you’ve tired of the onslaught of self-promotional clutter. In a similar way, blocking or “unfriending” people happens because no one’s invited them to your party and they’ve crashed it armed with their warped thinking. This is when one reaches that Get A Life moment.

There’s something else happening that few can’t see unless knowing someone working for Facebook or Twitter who’ll provide you with the data that shows most on these platforms are actually those on the “mature” side and those playing for very big stakes: politics and global domination.

Industries desperately trying to reach the youth market better get real. With those millennials wanting their own space and dropping out from being part of this fake world and second life, one has to wonder that when something is “trending”, who’s it “trending” with? Is all this “trending” a case of monkey see, monkey do and weak minds desperately wanting to be seen as being part of whatever is, well “trending”? Loneliness is a fragile place.

It’s probably a major reason why we’re surrounded by mediocrity with many placing way too much emphasis on achieving “success” on social media as opposed to working damn hard to being appreciated in the real world where one comes face to face with reality and honesty and deal with whatever hand one is dealt.

Who also knows how social media affects those fragile minds caught up in the loneliness of constant clutter? What effect does it have on society and how much damage is this constant “sharing” of bad news doing when so many with no first hand knowledge of right from wrong and fake from real believe everything they read and decide to get involved? And how might they get involved? Could it glamourise violence and reduce it to an everyday occurrence? Could it be seen as a shortcut to being noticed and damn the consequences?

When Andy Warhol predicted that one day everyone will have their fifteen minutes of fame, no one could predict what has been allowed to happen.

From a personal point of view, social media can become too much of a good thing. It can easily sneak up on life like any self destructive drug. It can become part of your life, live in your dreams and invite in those armed only with great negativity- those faceless online bogeymen and women with some new bitter pill to swallow.

#socialmedia #facebook #twitter #alfranken #yana #beatles #tashsultana #seanparker

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