If It's Not Recorded On Social Media Did It Really Happen?

14/08/2014 16:52 | Updated 22 May 2015

If it's not recorded on Social Media did it really happen?

"People photograph everything and nothing – no interaction is deemed to have actually happened unless somebody has a picture of it," he said.

He added: "I think that is odd and I think it's so odd I think it might actually be starting to alter the way we think about each other and the way we think about general day-to-day social interaction."

This is a quote from Hugh Laurie talking to BBC Radio 4′s Desert Island Discs. I thought it was a really interesting comment and chimes specifically with something I've been thinking about quite a bit recently.

How we see ourselves and how we see others has been fundamentally transformed beyond recognition in just a few short years. Nothing is validated unless it is recorded in some way and posted on some form of social media. If there's no record on social media then it clearly didn't exist or have any value seems to be the motto to live by presently.

There are positives and negatives to this clearly. On the one hand, people can be more empowered to get their messages across whatever they may be, and blogging falls into this category. I've talked before about journalism and reporting and what it means today in a world where everyone is free to comment here. Don't get me wrong, clearly I like technology and I love the freedom that it allows.

But it seems to me that the use of technology can be misapplied, misunderstood or simply used as an excuse for behaviour that would never have been accepted if it were put across in 'old fashioned' ways, like speaking face to face with someone for example.

Comments, views and opinions are valid clearly, but they still need to be moderated with the idea that everything said in the public domain must be accounted for-in other words think before you communicate freely.

There have been many, many times I've cringed at situations some have found themselves in, which could have been avoided if they'd simply thought before hitting 'send' or 'tweet'.

My biggest bugbear in communication terms at the moment is how the world of spamming has taken a new turn in this communication age. First it was junk mail, then we had cold calling which developed into spam emails and now it's segued into what I call pimp posts. I for one have never ever responded to junk mail - it goes straight in the bin. Ditto for cold calling - I hang up because I am not interested and do not want to get drawn into a conversation. I hate being rude but previous experience has taught me to be just that. Likewise with spam emails, they are instantly deleted. I will never trust complete strangers trying to sell me stuff that I don't want. If I wanted it, I'd be out there researching it and talking to people I trust.

Now we seem to have moved on to these so called (by me) pestering posts. This is where you are inundated with post after post trying to sell you something. Half the time they don't even bother trying to hide the fact that it's basically an advert.

The posts may well be from individuals (or individuals working for large organisations) but there's nothing individual or unique about the content. Why would I spend time reading it! I don't know who you are, am not remotely interested and it just gets deleted. Why do people do it? Why have they ever done it. Who buys these things? Surely it can't be a cheap option to send out mass marketing without targeting your audience?

To me, communication is and always has been key. Whether you're speaking, writing, signing, reading or listening (a much undervalued communication skill in my view), getting your message across is what matters.

Obviously this can be done in many ways, especially with social media at everyone's fingertips, but that shouldn't affect the quality of what is being said and recorded should it?

A mum of two children aged 2 and 6, who is learning that it's never too late to give things a go.

Blogs at: Red Peffer

Twitter: @redpeffer


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