I’m tired of using technology
I need you right in front– of me

Lyrics by C. Jackson, J. Timberlake, T. Mosley, N. Hills/Music by Timbaland & Danja

Heavily cut lyrics from an otherwise fairly sexually explicit track… and I do prefer cover by (one-hit-wonder?) artist called Milow, which was quite big, while travelling through Europe in Summer ’09 – don’t think it made it big here. Anyway, for me, the lyrics as is, highlight the fickle, and ephemeral nature of what gets posted on social media – i.e. nothing beats the experience of engaging directly with humans, whether I want to, or (often) not… I will admit to that!

Presumably, a big concern with social media, is that because it is a free-for-all forum; this will inevitably give rise to ‘cyber-bullying’. Sorry to say, that this is understandable, given the clichéd reasons, of people hiding their identity behind the screen, and being empowered in that way, merely by being anonymous, or untrackable, behind their computer screen – i.e. not in the presence of others, or not in the moment. Admittedly though, one is hard-pressed to comprehend how issues (assuming these are negative), can affect Libraries in a bad way. Bad feedback of Library experiences, at best; or possibly stalking of staff, at worst. Computer savvy hackers, with that much time on their hands, can manipulate their way into Library’s respective social media outlets (usual suspects), and possibly do something there, i.e. unleashing ‘viruses’, and other rubbish like that – as I only use PC’s on an as-needs basis, like now, I would not care how to do any of the stuff, no matter the money, or kudos involved. Therefore, my usual gripe about us all ‘becoming slaves to technology’ blah, blah (Can I please ‘illustrate’ this, by including one of my favourite songs of the 1990’s – so portentous – ache so bad for those days before I could turn on computers, and sit here all day… obligatory YouTube video, ’21st Century Digital boy’, by Bad Religion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAPbUXePmig – oh, might not work, because of ‘technical difficulties’)

It was once suggested in Social Media Studies Class, that maybe new(er) upstarts, like Tumblr, might eventually dwindle in popularity, once the ‘oldies’ get on-board – like with FB. I can only assume, it will just become another passing fad, like so many of these sorts of things are – like inevitable cyberspace ‘flotsam/jetsam’. I also equate use of social media, to either jumping on bandwagons, or a form of cyber ‘rent-a-crowd’. I.e. by having so many ‘followers’, and ‘friends’… without knowing whether they really at all care, know, or understand. Main example, of this is the Kony 2012 phenomenon. One can only assume, that masses of people started following this, because it was considered maybe a cool thing to do, i.e. jump on this bandwagon, because some tech guru, Mr Jason Russell got all self-righteous about saving citizens, mainly children, of Africa, from a terrorist warlord running amok in the wildnerness … OK, but since when before, has anyone in the affluent West cared about what happens in Uganda? Well possibly since this explosion of social media, and when things started to ‘trend’, and enabled the massess to jump on any ‘trending’, popular bandwagon, just because they could… without real feeling for it. The definite positive, which no one can deny, is that Mr Russell at least did something to bring this to prominence… and social media has this power – to make us aware, and care, and even for just a little while (like Kony). If one wants to get behind a cause, at least I would want to do it with a meaning… not because friends, or acquaintances are doing it, or recommend it. As one of the bars in the city, has a poster on the wall, saying “‘Like’ like you mean it”.

Oh, and just finally; it is mildly ironic (mildly, because it may not be big issue, yet), that the very fact that Libraries are helpful in promoting literacy; the constant use of social media, and tyring to fit information, in truncated formats, might lead to a form of sub-standard, or complacent literacy. As Australian journalist Mia Freedman indicated in a live ABC audience screening of ‘One Plus one’ (which writer attended, according to Jenna again, has since screened), there is a concern that standards of written journalism has falled a bit, and gone by way-side, since the boom in popularity of ‘quick-fix’ reporting on Internet, and general blogging – although, she heavily blogs herself (http://www.mamamia.com.au/#bfqcUvIRhYqZsOD3.97). Gees, I am such a hypocrite, I haven’t bothered with her blog myself – see, social media does this. Therefore, although this might be wrong approach, I would prefer to use social media in Libraries, merely for objective informational purposes, of very basic, as is level… if you require more detailed information, please come in for a discussion; call us by phone; or send an engaging, open-ended email.