Wednesday October 17th 2018

SOCIAL MEDIA – what is it (and why should I care) ?

My Digital Culture Manifesto v1.2

Version one was written for my blog a year ago. I’ve changed very little, despite the comings and goings of Buzz, Wave, Google Instant, New Twitter, You Tube possibly live streaming very soon: because these are basic principles. Get your thinking straight, and the rest will follow.

Digital Culture is not the way of the future: it is the way of the present.

There’s no point debating whether or not digital culture is a good thing, whether or not social media is turning us all anti-social, or, the silliest question of all, whether or not we should engage with it. It’s happening. It’s here. People are doing it. You’re doing it right now. The only question should be HOW are we engaging with it?

Social Media is about interacting with society in all forms, not just about socialising.

I am tired of people assuming that if I am busy on Facebook or Twitter or even YouTube I can’t possibly be working. If you keep social media separate from your work, you are keeping a vast audience away from your work. Your choice: but don’t judge mine.

Get to know the world you’re living in.

It is now very common for people to know their online “neighbours” better than their real neighbours; to spend more time on facebook than face to face with their love ones. If you were visiting a new country, you’d probably buy a Rough Guide – I suggest you do the same for social media. If you don’t use Twitter properly, you might as well not be
using it at all. If you don’t understand who reads blogs, don’t blog. If you can’t justify why something should be online, it probably shouldn’t be. Don’t just do it because you can. Please. We learned that the hard way
with Flash.

A good workman never blames his tools.

Because that’s what social media is. An amazing set of tools. They can be dangerous in the wrong hands. But if you understand them, they can work for you. They are not an end point, or a solution. They are something you can learn to use.

If you can’t think of anything good to say, don’t say anything.

We don’t need any more whining and whinging. We all know shit things happen online. Unless you have a solution, keep quiet. If your favourite free site or software crashes, turn off your computer and go outside for a little. We lived without Gmail for centuries, we can live without it for another hour.

Shut up already about the digital divide.

Technology didn’t cause the divide. And what exactly would be better? Technology bridges more divides than most other things I can think of. It’s certainly better than fixed line telephones. Or postcards.

Don’t be afraid to think for yourself.

Guess what – when you grow up, you get to make your own decisions. Sometimes people make bad ones. That sucks. And then we deal with the consequences. We cannot control the internet – just ask the US government. But why do we so desperately want to? What’s so terrifying about people making their own choices? Because, fundamentally, I believe we are all more good than evil. So for every internet paedophile out there, there’s five people trying to hunt them down and stop them.

As I’ve said above, the internet is just a tool, to be used however people
choose. Choose wisely.

Share. Open your hands. Stop hoarding your knowledge, your information, your expertise, your secrets. It’s time to give in and give out to the rest of the world. Call it Open Source, call it Creative Commons, call it madness if you want, it’s the way the world is evolving, which brings me to my final point:

Biologically and theoretically speaking, culture spreads, grows, changes, evolves, adapts. We can’t stop it. We can only hang on for the ride.

So that being said I reserve the right to change my manifesto again tomorrow. Feel free to add suggestions and improvements. Or you’ll find me on Facebook, @karenjeynes, on skype at karenjeynes_sa on Google
Wave, or just about anywhere these days.

2 Comments for “SOCIAL MEDIA – what is it (and why should I care) ?”

  • Everson Luhanga says:

    Hi Beth, I have liked your site so much. One can only acquire more knowledge if you go out look, listen,observe and think. Its nice to see and visit your website. One can really earn much knowledge upon visiting it. I am really happy to part of the ride. Everson Luhanga


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