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Modern life and the era of social media

It’s Sunday morning and so, as usual, I’ll share my thoughts with you. I’m feeling my age a bit. I was brought up in a different era. It was, where I live, an industrial era. One filled with black smoke and the sounds of heavy industry. I remember the steam trains of the Great Western Railway and the Midland Red buses that went to Dudley and beyond. I remember the enormous cooling towers of Ocker Hill Power Station and the giant industrial complexes that employed thousands of people. That all changed when bands like the Beatles taught us that music could earn more money than metal bashing and the world changed forever. It heralded a new era of electronic domination, an era of computers and eventually, an era of social media.

art in an era of social media

The era of social media

Blogging is part of the era of social media and so is Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Instagram. Yes, I am on all of them and you can earn quite a good living promoting things on social media. One of my many Facebook friends has gained a university degree in social media and another has changed from teaching English as an English professor to teaching social media. A lot of people dismiss it as some new phenomenon that isn’t important. They said the same about the Beatles but that quickly changed when the money started flowing and they were soon invited to Downing Street. Buckingham Palace followed when they were awarded OBE’s. I remember pirate radio when it was broadcast from Radio Caroline, on a ship somewhere. Progress couldn’t be held back. The revolution in music became official and Radio One was born. I re-tuned radios so they would pick up Radio Luxembourg in the old days and now I’m really into social media, blogging and computers in general. Young people can earn quite a good living if they can do social media promotions but few really understand the ins and outs of social media. There are a few tricks to learn and do’s and don’ts. Content is king according to the social media gurus and that is true but engagement is important as well. Many don’t understand suggestion, alignment, associations and personalisation. I think the President of the United States understands some of the principles, he has made good use of Twitter and is now using email to promote his cause. He doesn’t seem so good with Facebook but most people tend to favour one medium over the others. I tend to favour Facebook and blogging but I am trying to get into Instagram and Twitter and I am using Pinterest more and more.

Promotions

You can promote just about anything using social media. I admin a local history page and a Business Improvement District page as well as one for the friend’s group of Brunswick Park.   Today’s picture is one I have in the local art gallery and I promote things sometimes for the gallery and the local library through the history page which now has 6,800 likes and followers. I also have a couple of accounts on Twitter. This is a brave new world just like pop music was when I was young. I often wonder where it will all lead.

Disruption

Anyway, what do you think of my picture? Asking a question, even a rhetorical one is engaging with the user and that is important. That is why social media is different to one sided forms of media. Social media is interactive and I think that in the future it will become even more interactive. People and their thoughts and their ideas will become more important. The people governing us are often said to be ‘out of touch’ and that is where disruption can change the whole way that game of politics is played. Donald Trump has disrupted politics in America and Jeremy Corbyn has done the same in the UK. Nigel Farage has been a disrupting influence in Europe and has facilitated change. Social media is about disruption and challenging the status quo. In my case, it is also about recognising and adapting to disruptive influences too.

The era of change

The era of social media is also the era of change when conventions are disrupted and new ideas burst forth.We shouldn’t cling too tightly to the old ideas, we need to be flexible and accept that change is inevitable. We have to reject the Luddite view that robots will cost jobs. As robots and automation do tasks much better than humans, we have to also realise that human warm cannot be emulated by a robot. No matter how genuine a robot is programmed to sound, they cannot emulate the body language of a human being. We need people to care about us and the shop worker who says ‘have a nice day’ and the robot that mimics that message as we touch a video screen doesn’t provoke the same emotional engagement as a human being. You have to be genuine and honest to really engage with people. That is the future, people need to learn how to care about each other again and then we will see real engagement and a powerful new era of social media. Imagine if big employers checked out Facebook profiles and Twitter accounts looking for genuinely nice people. Imagine if a new era of social media emerged where being a genuinely nice person was a great job qualification.

That’s it for this week. What a ramble! I went over 900 words. I only usually manage 5 or 600. If you like my ideas you can follow this blog and receive emails each time I post just enter your email address at the top of the page or follow me on Twitter and click the links. You can also find links on the Zillion Ideas Facebook page. If you enjoyed this post, why not check out my photography post too?

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