Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Social Media - The Revenge

One good thing about kids leaving is that you get to raid their bedrooms for, well anything you fancy really. FOW 1's room is not much good tbh because I am not that into Wolverine or the Red Hot Chilli Peppers but FOW2's bedroom - that is an Aladdin's Cave of stuff. It's mostly books although there is some nice nail varnish and a couple of more than acceptable scarves. I also have a winter coat to try on as the suede one I had my eye on from Tesco is sold out unless you fancy a size 8. (I may fancy it but I will never see it again.)
Anyway - back to the books. This is a salutary tale, mainly about social media and the trolling that goes on there. It's not so much about the famous ones - you know - where people can threatened with rape because they do something terrible like wanting a picture of a Suffragette on a five pound note. It's about people who made actual mistakes - remember the girl who was disrespectful in Arlington Cemetery? She had death threats, and lost her job - couldn't leave the house. Ronson compares this to the days of the stocks when people were dragged into the town square to be publicly humiliated for whatever they had done. 
Twitter is a scary place but I have comforted myself with the knowledge that as a nobody, I am unlikely to attract any attention. It seems that this is not true. One ill-advised Tweet or one stupid photo can bring the might of the entire Internet down on your head. They can make the sort of threats that, were they made directly to you in the street, you could ring the police and they would send two burly police constables round immediately. (If there were any constables left)
This makes me sound like I am 104 but sometimes, when I hear about people planning to behead people in the street or public shaming becoming a thing again or people using children as their own personal slaves, I do wonder how far we are progressing. I mean, I rarely throw the toilet waste out of upstairs windows I know and rickets is all but eliminated in Plymouth but it seems there are sometimes when we have barely moved on at all.

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