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Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Love Social Media

I listen to the Today Programme on Radio 4 most mornings. I don't know why because most of the time the presenters are led by their corporate guests around the radio dance floor in an American Smooth of a shuffle in which corporate Britain (political and business wings) soft-steps its destructive profiteering lies into the hearts and minds of a million bleary-eyed morning-malleable numbskulls. I'm one of them.

But George Monbiot put it so much better in this article in yesterday's Guardian, so this is what he said...

For example, for five days every week the BBC’s Today programme starts with a  business report in which only insiders are interviewed. They are treated with a deference otherwise reserved for God on Thought for the Day. There’s even a slot called Friday Boss, in which the programme’s usual rules of engagement are set aside and its reporters grovel before the corporate idol. Imagine the outcry if Today had a segment called Friday Trade Unionist or Friday Corporate Critic.
This, in my view, is a much graver breach of BBC guidelines than giving unchallenged airtime to one political party but not others, as the bosses are the people who possess real power: those, in other words, whom the BBC has the greatest duty to accost. Research conducted by the Cardiff school of journalism shows that business representatives now receive 11% of airtime on the BBC’s 6 o’clock news (this has risen from 7% in 2007), while trade unionists receive 0.6% (which has fallen from 1.4%)(14). Balance? Impartiality? The BBC puts a match to its principles every day.
And where, beyond the Green Party, Plaid Cymru, a few ageing Labour backbenchers, is the political resistance? After the article I wrote last week, about the grave threat the transatlantic trade and investment partnership presents to parliamentary sovereignty and democratic choice(15), several correspondents asked me what response there has been from the Labour party. It’s easy to answer: nothing.

I was moaning to my wife about social media at the weekend; how addictive it is with all those little tweets and likes and stats and the like - a million little serotonin hits that are as addictive as Jetpack Joyride and Spider Solitaire (I'm a simple man with simple tastes, so simple I had to get myself banned from going on those games. Still think about them though - 5 on the 6, J on the Q....).

But then she said, "what are you talking about. You have an amazing community of people out there. That is your community. You see new work that you love and admire, you're always talking about these amazing photographers and their ways of working and you talk about it and write about it and get inspired by it. It gives you hope."

And she was right. It was a counterbalance to things like the Today Programme and the voices that I read and hear are counterbalances to the hypocrisy and greed evident on the Today Programme. So even though Hope is a terrible thing in its way, she was right. So in a bid to up the negativity ratio, thank you to all the people on Blogs, on Twitter, on Facebook, on every last shitty 0.7-second-attention span corner of the internet - if you're not a mouthpiece for the corporate world, if you're not spouting hatred and bile, if you're using it Right and sending out a message of goodness and love, God Bless you one and all.


Rajiv said...

Great post Colin. And by the way thank you for continuing to blog :-)

Deborah Parkin Photography said...

I have been meaning to comment on this post for a while - not that I have anything to say about Radio 4 but the social media aspect.
I have a love/hate relationship with it - I think the love/hate is probably aimed at myself more than the medium itself. I do hate the fact that it can be addictive - I must stress 'can' - because ultimately it's up to me whether I spend my day seeing how many likes my work got - (thankfully, after a good talking to myself, I have outgrown that phase) - or whether I go & do something more useful with my day. What SM has allowed for me is the chance to share my work & grow as a photographer. When I left uni (I was doing a part time photography degree) because of family reasons, I felt very isolated, living here in a small rural town with very young children - SM allowed me to engage with other photographers & although I never had major ambitions it has introduced me to a world that I would have never known if it was for being on the internet. I would have never exhibited or been published because I would never had the confidence to push myself forward in person or had the money to travel to things such as ParisPhoto or the numerous portfolio reviews. Even getting to London is expensive & not easy to fit around family .. so in this sense it has been useful.
However, there is a downside - I have come across the odd psycho who is hell bent on success at whatever costs. I have learnt that it's a very competitive world & I went into this rather naively. But I have learnt that despite us thinking SM is something removed from our lives - it can actually take over - especially when something horrible happens.
But saying that .. I have met some great people in person - because of SM & if I get the right balance of making sure I have a life outside of it & switch off from the egos & bullshit - then I am happy to be here.

colin pantall said...

Thanks Deb. Yes love hate really sums it up. As well as linking up with people - and I do think there is a little social media that I feel part of (more than some of the real photography worlds I am part of - sometimes/often), I like it for stating my case and reminding myself of what really matters.

That's what this post is about.


The problem is I do like it for being positive but sometimes I do want a bit of reality to creep in. How to manage the Jeckyl and Hyde nature of it all - but I have that in life anyway.

Social Media Services said...

Technology makes people farther and gadgets closer.

Quite a cursed era that we are in.