My last blog post talked about social media and the wider issue of technology’s role in our world today. The response to it was revealing.
More people commented on the article than has ever occurred before. Many kind readers e-mailed me, and some chose to reply using social media: the majority were private communications, and, interestingly, no-one was an advocate for Facebook, Twitter and the like – indeed, most comments were strong rejections of all aspects of social media. One or two people rather sadly said they did not like the influence of social media, but that it would be impossible for them to withdraw from it. “The genie is out of the bottle”, someone said. But is it?
In view of the many millions of people who are known to use social media actively, including, I am sure, some readers of my blog who chose to remain silent, I have been wondering, while empathising with you, why so many of you have chosen to resist the call to join what seems to be a mainstream and ubiquitous global activity. It may be that you are wise beyond your knowing.
Even in the few days since writing about the issue, more evidence has come to light about how audaciously and shockingly established institutions like JP Morgan can be hacked. Nowhere is safe, and it is coming to the point whereby everyone who uses online services and social media to any degree is vulnerable to potential theft and, importantly, invasion of privacy. Living in a place where shopping is extremely limited I, like you perhaps, rely sometimes on the services of Amazon and the like, but more and more I think carefully before I do, aware not only of the risks for me, but also in the knowledge that the more I shop virtually, the closer I bring a real shop to closure, hurting real people.
I continue to ponder the value in my continuing to maintain a presence in social media, meanwhile. I have decided to continue to post my blogs there as before for now, but if and how long that continues I do not know. My website and e-mail circulation always are likely to be the main vehicle for them.
An unintended consequence of writing about technology last time was the opportunity to hear from so many of you about what was important to you. I am truly grateful for the time and trouble you took to contact me, and for talking about my work so kindly. Even if, one day, I withdraw from the world of social media, I will never withdraw from you.