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Social Media Misconception

In the early days, before the millennium, internet was reserved for a privileged few. We used faxes and sent important information via that marvellous invention.The desktop computer only made its appearance in the mid 80’s and cell phones came about in the late 1990’s. So technology really made some leaps and bounds in the latter part of the 20th century. In all of these great moves, there were wonderful advances in medicine and where it counted. But it also created a generation of people who have no general knowledge but profess to have an opinion about everything. The number of followers is more important than the content. Social media rules our lives as does the internet.Our new generation has little or no social skills and is unable to carry on a conversation that does not include Facebook, Twitter, instagram et al. They text rather than call so the warmth in their voice is overshadowed bya sentence with capital letters, demanding your attention. Their anger is displayed through emoticons and you are shunned by being blocked. So no chance of any reconciliations. Mistakes in public, are used as evidence in a court case and hence no opportunity to shake hands and move on.When I was younger, you played sport, you made a mistake once, and you proudly displayed your country or province colours.

Nowdays, both the stadium and the shirts, display sponsors details and those supporters that sat in the rain, empty stadiums and supported their teams through losses and wins, are excluded from international games as the prices of the tickets are prohibitive since the TV rights take precedence. The players, who once could play for the love of the sport, now have referees with ear pieces, third umpires and make mistakes from the field, the TV on the top of the field, and are screened and prescreened for ever more.Now it is all about ratings, sponsorship and money. No longer is there a love for entertainment or simple travel. Everyone is a travel expert. Everyone is a reviewer so the establishment or activity has no option but to be labelled “1 star”. All of us make mistakes, all our staff have a bad day. However, social media has now allowed everyone to be labelled and small businesses do not stand a chance against this wave of faceless comments.I remember having to do a school project and in doing so, I had to use reference books. So if I had to do a project on rats, I had the opportunity of learning about so many things while on the road to finding Rat. I could learn how roads were built, how the Roman Empire was destroyed, why pyramids were triangles. P, Q and R were always in the same book. These days you have the internet and it goes straight to all the variations of Rat – movies, people, mentions and it takes longer to find what you looking for than it did in a book.Selling was through an on the road sales person that visited clients from a Monday to a Friday and clients and sales people became friends that lasted years.There was a face to a name and a telephone message on return through the sales admin as to what the next order would be. People bought from people. Today we buy on the internet and its delivered to the house. I love to wander through the shops and talk to promoters who tell me a bit about their products and themselves depending on how chatty they are. I have breakfast or lunch depending on the time of day, by simply taking time to go through the store.People are so isolated that they go to the store to chat to the staff because often they have no one at home and this is an outing to see and talk to another human being.31

Social media and the internet has given and taken all in the same breath. It has given us the opportunity to find a lost child quickly but took away the chance to touch another human being. It gave us knowledge to change a tyre but no longer does a kind person stop to help. We now can get deliveries guaranteed to our door but also put your dinner online.Journalists are now an endangered species as everyone is a writer. Unscrupulous online companies pay people to plagerize your work by changing words or sentences so it doesn’t read the same.Bloggers are a dime a dozen and if there is more than one follower, bloggers now have the right to know everything there is to know about any given subject.There are adverts online that encourage people to become free travellers. Hospitality is one of the biggest employers in the world and why should they give a blogger a free holiday? How will they pay the staff and for the upkeep of the property.And in closing, if you are a company that needs as much publicity as possible,why not support those who support you by once in a while paying for an advert or editorial. Then you will find yourself with loads of online and social media support as the media support each other. A free hot dog and a ticket still means paying for parking, petrol and time online to post what is required


Geniene Preston is a writer and freelance columnist. With opinions reserved as hers, she writes for Get It Magazine as well as Blue Monkey Magazine. She also writes online for various publications.

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