(Image from the late, lamented ‘asbo jesus‘ https://asbojesus.wordpress.com/about/)
I haven’t blogged for ages.
I keep meaning to start again, but there is always something to do that I let preclude the time for writing and reflection.
Sometimes that ‘something’ is social media; it is easy to react in shorter bursts than to take time to think. I am going to return to longer periods of thought this year- I ‘need’ to- but until I do here are 10 ‘rules for social media that I hope will guide me this year:-
1: Everyone who advances an opinion is a human being before their thoughts were ever converted into a datastream. Much as I may not like their opinions, they are not a ‘snowflake’/ ‘fascist’/ ‘scum’ (add your own insult). Ditto anyone famous, however much I may dislike them. Try and critique their performance and not them. If you must call someone a ‘dick’ say it to a friend and not the world.
2: If I walk into a party and there are small huddles everywhere it seems like a waste of time if I just spend the evening with my huddle. If you are on social media, make it social; comment sometimes on someone’s post/tweet you don’t know that well. Some of the more advanced folks try and talk to people that they don’t know or who are not part of their social circle in real life as well…
3: Silos are best for grain, not for life. I am broadly left wing (and hypocritical with it). My facebook/twitter list includes (sometimes uneasily) a spread of people/newsfeeds across the political spectrum and the faith/non faith spectrum. I’m tempted to restrict it, but I feel that I’d learn little.
4: My personal belief is that social media is developing a nastier undercurrent in society. Perhaps it just encourages disembodied rage, but either way, hate, fear, and racist posts seem to be growing. Many of us see that and chose to ignore it. My view is that silence is almost worse than agreeing with it. Say something! But do it with grace and calmness and remember (1).
5: I like your family photos. They remind me that there is a beautiful world and beautiful people out there. I also love your family stories: they often make me smile and sing. I don’t, however, like to read a constant diet of your untrammelled wealth and how everything is fantastic in your world. We all have to curate our image; don’t buff yours up to a blinding sheen.
6: Check your sources– if someone posts something that is too good to be true it isn’t. No one is giving away 300 ipads that are surplus to requirements or giving away 500 luxury mobile homes. (By the way, illegal immigrants don’t get £30,000 a week and Muslims don’t want to ban Easter either). Would that there was a search machine called, say, Google that we could check things like that, instead of posting it ‘to check if it is true’ or ‘you can’t be too careful’.
7: Have fun– the world is sometimes bleak; comment on that- you wouldn’t be real if you didn’t. However, an unremitting diet about Trump is evil, Corbyn is incompetent, Diane Abbott is stupid (funny how so many middle aged white men share memes about that…) and Theresa May is satan is…incredibly dull. Use a bit of irony, some humour (and try not to make it self serving or attacking people weaker than you) and some nice stuff. We only draw breath for three score years and 10: keep it balanced.
8:If you are Christian, try not to be a dick about it. Share your faith, but also your doubts, look like you enjoy life more than you tut disapprovingly at it. Also: have a hinterland or it just looks like you are a one trick pony- ‘preaching to the choir’ is seductive but you just end up getting approval from those like you. The same applies about politics or any interest that grabs your life.
9: There is a thing called ‘outside’ and there are ‘books’. There are also ‘people’. You should perhaps major on those: particularly when you get worked up about anything online.
10: I like lists with ’10’ things in.