What I've learnt just by being shamed on social media... maybe slightly philosophical sorry!

posted 24 Jun 2011, 07:30 by Sweet As Social Media   [ updated 24 Jun 2011, 11:46 by Jess Maher ]

(ADVANCED WARNING: Firstly, to whom ever is responsible for how we get dealt things in life, thank you. If you refer to that 'person' as God, I mean no offense to you, if I have turned you off with mention of that word then please pretend you never saw it and continue to read-this is by no means a religious rant. However it may appear somewhat of a philosophical one, it was not my intention and I apologize in advance) 

Debbie Mayo-Smith is a writer for the NZ Herald, she is also a book writer and I am sure many other things in life-however that is both irrelevant to my point, and it was not how i noticed this 'story' so to speak. The story was entitled, "Are Facebook business pages worth the effort?" which was written so well by Debbie that I almost feel for one of the tricks I constantly remind others online to be wary of, and that is- making a judgement call on something you KNOW you don't know everything about! So what am I talking about you may as... well you can check out Debbie's article and more specifically the comments that inspired my writing this post in the first place here http://www.nzherald.co.nz/technology/news/article.cfm?c_id=5&objectid=10734041 So please let me continue, I am myself on Twitter and Facebook and everything else and noticed, while busy focusing of course on whatever it was i was trying to do at the time, that there was a little bit of a drama going down online as far as i could tell. (this was another blog post about it here http://socialmedianz.com/opinion2/2011/06/24/facebook-business-pages-totally-worth-it-if-you-do-it-right/)  

You see i have both an iPad and as my mother would be more than willing to remind you, i also lack what she and many others in society may consider a "real job". So whilst I was sitting there, tweeting from the odd 5 or 6 accounts i have accumulated over time and added to the app on my iPad, which I haven't yet consequentially deleted them... And I noticed a common thread- which doesn't happen very often. So when it does happen, generally, you know its got to be something pretty decent that has occurred. Not having any idea of what was going on, and being that I consciously and openly accepted that fact, I thought to myself, "you can I ask that will be able to tell me the goss?" so to speak. And you see that when I was reminded of a funny thing in life, a thing that makes social media seem separate or different to normal media and at the same time, the reason it should remain that way. See I was then thinking, I will just ask someone for the back-story as it is difficult to be sharp on social media streams when it's all about timeliness, given the power behind the main stream media's, which I have also come to appreciate and more importantly I think, respect it for this week.  

See powerful things in life, say like the ocean, they often can be not only beautiful and magical as we all know. But they can also, at times, be very scary or even perplex us.  And even for the most hardened surfers in life, who have seen it all and know, well pretty much 'everything', they never forget that the waves they ride, their mastery in life, is not up to them to decide the context or the wave they'll get, they just ride it. Make an informed decision, and you can get better at picking them, but if that's the only choice you get, then there's only so much you can do. And they remember this because they have to. They play Russian roulette with their lives the more they improve at their calling. And the only reason the best surfers out there are able to continue, to still do what they do and not be dead for it yet, is because they respect and never forget the power of the ocean behind them, pushing that wave that they can ride to shore.
See I too, much like those who have since been *shamed* on 'social media forums', think it is a little harsh for her to type cast and ostracize a whole industry which she may think she know much more about that she is willing to admit.. But you see unlike either of these two opposing ends of the spectrum taken by each side in the debate, I don't believe things most always result in having to chose a side on this oversize metaphorical pendulum. There is a lot of grey in life, it's not always just black and white. I also think, now this is really where I probably differ more than the two outlined above, but I am not afraid of being wrong, or at least I try not to be.

So in saying that, against all of my own very reasonable advice to children about talking to others online (http://www.sweetasyouth.Tumblr.com), I accept that I am only human and as such am going to f*ck it up sometimes. My parents had always told me that you should never be afraid of taking risk, of putting myself out there even if it meant I might be hassled for it later or for playing it too safe in life... But my dad was my everything in my mind, he and I were more alike than I ever realized until he died last year and now he's not here anymore... well, I know what he would have said, but its not quite the same as having someone tell you, or even having someone ask you the question so you can say it. And I understand that probably has a lot to do with how I tend to just perceive things really differently to some people... 

But I personally have been living and breathing this "social media" scene since I did my dissertation for postgraduate research back in 2009. And being that I certainly don't feel like I "belong" in the corporate, schmoozey world where i seem to so easily be able to slip in and out off, nor do I want to be. I think that's thanks to my childhood training in part at least and also of course to the swanky private schools I attended. However, my parents, unlike the parents of many of my friends and other people whom I did feel a sense of "belonging" with when I was the age of say, for example the girl in the youtube video below for example... see while the "other parents" of the school community all played by one set of rules, it seems my parents had thrown out that rule book and constructed something completely different! Something truly unique and beautiful in its own way, with a whole different set of rules and conditions and even limitations for life. 

But its like my Dad, he was the keeper of that rule book, and it wasn't just my families either... and since he's gone and no one can talk to him anymore, they need reassurance of what they once read in that rule book... And while I am so much like my dad, I am of course also like my mum, and a product of my conditioned training in life... and hey, why not I think I can also claim to being just me! And while I do use twitter, I can't really fit "who I am" into 140 characters nor do I try to... I know how full on I can be in life, you seriously would believe me if you had known him, but the reason I know I can be full on is because I accept I am at least half of my Dad's genes and trust me, that guy was a whole new level of full on than I am... well at least normally... at the moment, I just can't seem to get anyone to listen to me cause they think I can't possibly be handling my Dad's death this well considering the context and that I must just be crazy....

So back to the point of my post again after all of that! Sorry that I am yet again talking about my dead father (which I know is always a bummer in the "likes" and forwarding sense anyway) but you know what I've learned, that timing really is everything in the social media game, its about reacting quickly and pushing the boundaries combined with the ability to follow through of course but that's always been secondary in my mind- I think more importantly than that for the "rest of the world" of course, I think our inability to admit our mistakes is what is what may be fueling an angst driven, violent and angry youth appear to be rising up against the masses and this time there isn't even the need for a George Grey or other menace figure, we have shifted the blame to a new level, now it is technology that we don't understand. 

Come on people, look past your own short shortsightedness here, and even that of your parents if you don't know what I am talking about... this is cycles of behavior and since the dawn of time, people have been making order of the chaotic universe - the youth push and the elders push them back down. I am only telling you this and am willing to say it as now my  Dad is not here in a very surreal sense also, I almost feel liberated as I did when my family first moved overseas and I was still at school... However unlike the cocky and arrogant seventeen year old I have to admit to being... I feel it in a very real but some how abstract way now... ironically though in a way that I think may make me better understand these digital natives though I do have to say.,..  But because I am willing to look like a dick to prove my point- I have copied and pasted for you my initial comment response to Debbie's article below- just for a laugh!! 

"Here's a novel idea, just to chuck it out there, but why don't-just for a second, we all take our heads out of our own arse's a... I mean I think your work is great Debbie, as a a "young twenty something social media enthusiast who raves on etc etc as you put it, I have to tell you the flip side of this for a second. For the last 3 years, I have been researching, learning, playing and working in this "social media" space, and I've got to say, I think you may have missed a few things, but first I also should congratulate you at least for getting some parts right and at least bring...."