Remember chatroulette? Does anybody still go on there? Chatroulette was/is the best illustration i can think of, of the real essence of social media. Somebody had an idea, and the idea was to connect, with anyone and everyone. Anywhere in the world (with an internet connection). For a little while, it was great! People used it to talk to random strangers, do creative things, post silly pictures and little vignettes of random art and music.
Then very quickly, it degenerated to being an endless stream of close ups of wanking.
Now. Keep that image in mind (eurgh), and go look at twitter. Endless wanking by endless wankers. It could have been great, same as facebook and myspace could have been, but very very quickly it became the place that people went to argue with those they considered stupid. There is a lot of good information and insight on there but it's buried
in that place where the 'wisdom of the crowd' becomes the mentality of
Whether its the american god-botherer conveniently ignoring the fact that the 'science' they're being so sneery at created the very machine they're using to condemn it, or the fundamentalist atheist reminding them of that fact, twitter (other social media services are available) has become a place where people go to look for a fight.
So, best to stay away then? Ah. But since writing the first bit of this and then saving it as a draft while i tried to think of a last paragraph, i must admit, dear reader, i have gone back onto twitter. Who knows, perhaps in all the shouting and mayhem, there can be something beautiful, something freer, more like the web was supposed to be.
Or maybe its just the jeremey kyle show in 140 characters or less.
Still, only one way to find out... #plungingin