I went away on holiday recently to the wild open spaces of South West Wales but before going I had been reminiscing about how life had been much simpler in the late 70s and 80s when I grew up. For once there was broad agreement on this point from Mrs B, in particular how the role of media and news have changed massively while of course the internet itself revolutionised the speed and availability of information beyond all recognition. It’s definitely not all for the better…
I only have so much head space, and I definitely don’t need half of the world’s baggage, general noise, latte and breakfast photography, pet adventures, general mishaps and life stories loaded onto me. Then of course there’s the spite, endless petty comments, spineless nasty trolling from feeble jealous types who never achieved anything with their lives and the never ending competition of oneupmanship. Almost as nauseating is the continuous predictable back-slapping sycophant set who love everything, disagree with nothing but demand to be loved back. It’s become boring, humans are humans and all this social media definitely isn’t that sociable at all. Other views apply but I wonder if Twitter will soon burn itself out all by itself.
‘Comparison is the thief of joy’ my daughter said to me a couple of years back – something she picked up at school, but whoever said that to her was dead right and it’s stuck with me. Better not look so much any more. Mrs B and I had a bet – delete Facebook, Twitter, anything ‘chat related’ for the entirety of our holiday and try and enjoy the simpler things in life again, wind it back to 1985 and take a real holiday. Honestly I didn’t think it would last but I did it, I killed my Twitter account (I deleted Facebook a couple of years ago) but in the back of my mind thought I’d soon turn it back on. I even deleted my LinkedIn account – I’ve never really understood what that represents either and for whose benefit that is. Are we all just following a procession of other people’s less than brilliant ideas, filling our lives with pointless crap? It does seem so.
What happened next was interesting however; I was following just under 100 people on Twitter but over 1500 were following me – a grand total of 4 of those people contacted me over the next few days but it was no surprise who those were, frankly I’m amazed anyone noticed I had deleted my account at all. And that’s the point – what exactly is the point? Suddenly all of these social media relationships felt incredibly plastic, plastic beyond belief. Why were all these people following me? What was the value of any of it? They certainly haven’t tried to contact me since – I’m starting to wonder if they were all just electronic bots… Far from thinking I needed to switch my Twitter account back on, it’s given me a big reality check – who are mediums like Twitter really for and exactly WHAT is it all for? Well I no longer really care but gloaters and trolls can however rejoice safe in their self obsessed world of individual greatness because I won’t be going back.
I’m not saying that I didn’t contribute in my time on Twitter. Perhaps I attracted so many trolls because I spoke my mind and never took fools for anything other than what they were. I imagine the three people left who eventually find this post will probably think all of this sounds incredibly bitter. It isn’t intended to be – I’ve just woken up to the pointlessness of it all. Instead I’m back to the early days of my photography which comprises a website and a Flickr stream. Want to speak to me? Then contact me through my website or write something on Flickr like we all used to do. For now I’m going to let my photography do the talking again.