The Dangerous Realities of Social Media

The 21st century phenomenon known as social media has swept and dominated the online mindset, along with polluting our daily lives and starting some questionable trends… ice bucket challenge anyone?

Not to have a social media account of some variety, or to be informed at the click of a button every 5 seconds of current goings-on, would make you out of touch, old and just why?

Why would you not engage with millions, wait, billions of people over the globe and connect in some small way to help make the world a better place? I can think of a dozen reasons. But wait, what’s that calling in the background? It’s not the chant of the crowd that changes anything, it is what that crowd does to the outsiders.

A dangerous, cult like reality has dawned on society over the last 10 years. Although prior to 2010 there was still the issues of online fraud, bullying and death threats, the recent decade has seen these issues amplified and made worse by the obsession with constant media and information in take. Hunchbacks abound as they slog to the local shop to pay with their phone. Who are They? The ones with little conscious thought of reality, to anything beyond the screen, so doped up on insensitivity and mind numbing tweets that not less than a terabyte could enter their minds at any given moment.

Hunchbacks abound as they slog to the local shop to pay with their phone

People suffer from fatigue at various levels. People suffer headaches, backaches among other pains. People can have emotional breakdowns. People can become mentally fatigued. People can suffer sleep loss.

When someone ignores the symptoms, they can develop into something far more serious. I suspect this is what is happening with chronic social media users. I use the term ‘chronic’ because the average daily user of social media will spend on average 109 minutes a day on it, according to statistics from 2020 (https://www.statista.com/statistics/507378/average-daily-media-use-in-the-united-kingdom-uk/). Average daily time using the internet on any device was a whopping 386 minutes. I think we can make an assumption, something accepted as true (https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/assumption) that most people spend too much time using a digital device and too much time engaging… or should I say absorbing useless information from social media.

To what end though? We are only aware of a small percentage of online social media users who were subject to torment and abuse for prolonged periods when the news shows it. A lot of people are quite public, so to speak, about wanting to commit suicide and end up posting highly disturbing content on their social media pages, which can result in help being given, but not unusually will the social media site simply remove the content and nothing more is done. It cries out in large bold letters that suicide is a public health crisis which could not simply be fixed by removing the suicidal content of its depressed users from the internet. If you want to read more about the correlation between suicide and social media check out this: (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3477910/).

There has been suggestions in the not so long ago past that social media can lead to obsessive behaviour, depression, anxiety and a number of other conditions. Conditions expanded, radical groups (https://www.internetmatters.org/hub/expert-opinion/radicalisation-of-young-people-through-social-media/) use these friend sites to create and target young, sometimes angry and impressionable teens and children into becoming a part of their extremist groups. One example is the fairly recent case of Maysa – real name withheld – who was first contacted through social media (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/nov/26/radicalisation-islam-isis-maysa-not-thinking-my-thoughts-not-myself). The initial contact quickly led to radical life changes, behaviour changes and general out of the ordinary goings on with the youngster. It was developing into a real life radicalisation, the young girl being ‘given’ a ‘phone and sim card’ to keep secret, with which she received the communications from the group. The even more recent cases that we don’t here about, highlight that more needs doing in regulating social media sites, rather than allowing extremist content or profiles.

Another issue that is overlooked is the idea that social media users can be anonymous. I do not believe that true anonymity exists online. You cannot for example make a fake name Facebook profile, as you need your number and email to verify your identity. YouTube is a little easier to navigate, but you now require a Google account to use a YouTube account. The companies still know the I.P address you registered from, they know your email and possibly your phone number, you may have uploaded pictures. Whatever information you give them, they keep and they use. This is also at risk of being hacked. Individual sites have become victim of such attacks, like the Adult Friend Finder 2016 breach, which saw 412 million accounts exposed. If you follow the rabbit, you will find blackmail somewhere along the line.

If you follow the rabbit, you will find blackmail somewhere along the line.

My point is not quite made yet. The invention of the social media trend. The sheep obeying the master, just as the sites intended them to do. They cannot fathom disobeying the digital code or the demands that seemingly random users place on them. A snake pit where the prey is in no shape to be trying to escape, just to accept its fate. If and when the trend emerges, so will those desperately seeking that elusive 200 followers, or subscribers, or those exhaustingly pursuing the dopamine highs of likes and comments (https://www.businessinsider.com/what-happens-to-your-brain-like-instagram-dopamine-2017-3?r=US&IR=T). Dangerous past trends, which have been miraculously branded as ‘safe’ just because the social media consensus is so, doesn’ tmean it is. Take the ice bucket challenge, just say its for a good cause and that will eradicate the risks. Take the recent dry scooping trend, people have posted videos so it must be safe right? What about the ice cream challenge, open that store tub, lick the ice cream and return to freezer… ******* seriously? The choking game, the boiling water challenge…must I struggle on, the idiocy is unbearable.

Being in this constant stimulation state cannot be healthy. Endlessly seeking a rush, or dopamine hit, a small wave of comfort is not how humans should live. It creates a competitive and dangerous world. A world where people will fight, even kill to be the best, the most liked, the biggest social media icon. Why? That hit, the rush, the thrill. Once they come back down to earth, the reality punches them so hard that it can resemble a mental breakdown. That’s called withdrawal. (https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-11-abstinence-social-media-symptoms.html) Even brief week long periods of abstinence from social media was enough to induce symptoms like boredom, and a sense of peer pressure to return, along with reduced mood, or unhappiness.

… reality punches them so hard that it can resemble a mental breakdown

I think I have got across my point. The systemic and epidemic usage of social media in the UK, among other countries, is at a critical point. Users have become drones who are being fed information that they believe they asked for, when in reality the social platform dictates your behaviour, and sneaky and intelligent advertisements can also dictate what you do offline as well along with buying habits.

If the world doesn’t want to walk straight into the fiery pit of hell that is artificial intelligence taking over, then this is what they could start to do:

  1. Start socialising

I don’t mean online. It’s okay to do it occasionally I guess, the issue is chronic and daily use where the usage becomes a habit which you cannot live without. I’m guilty of it, but I now only use WordPress and Twitter, and that is really the extent of my online interaction. I do watch YouTube, but I don’t personally consider that as dangerous as other sites, simply because you don’t need an account to use it.

Develop social skills or improve your existing skills by having real, sober, present and real conversations in person with other people. Do not use your phone, do not refer to the internet. Try abstaining from your mobile in the morning on the train or bus, or wherever you are in public and observe people. You will start to realise just how many people on that train are on their mobiles, sat in silence, scrolling absolute nonsense which they couldn’t care less about, yet are only doing so they don’t have to interact with anyone. I really, really don’t get this.

  1. Think for yourself

If you don’t start to form opinions for yourself, and you are already using smart phone and social media at 10, then you will grow up with a completely and utterly different perspective of the world. A viewpoint dictated by algorithm and code, where the news becomes your go to because you can’t get your ‘fix’ without that devastating ‘action’. The same applies to adults. Again I am guilty of this, of letting the internet and social media ‘news’ dictate how I feel and how I see the world.

These are the 2 best tips I can give to myself, and I wouldn’t tell you about them if I didn’t follow them myself. It’s hard to give up on something that is used by billions, is part of daily life, is rammed down our hungry throats and which will persecute you if you do not use it.

You have the strength.

Check out my article – part 2 of 2

The first article was published last week. Now, they have decided to proceed, today, with publishing the second. They are relatively small compared to what I would write on my own site. They said they had to split into 2 because it was quite dense, I suppose they have to appeal to students who want a 2 minute read. You got it.

I was invited to write some articles for Simply Law and after accepting was informed that I could contribute as much as I liked. The plan was to publish 3 articles from October to December… So, not a lot really! It helps to boost your cv if you have published articles, and that is a big point gainer in my eyes. Any aspiring law student, lawyer, solicitor or barrister should be keen to get at least 1 article published. I have yet to submit anything to Legal Cheek, but intend to submit something this coming November. Next month. Legal Cheek is a harsh website in terms of comments, so anything that is published could be burned, but it will be seen by a lot of people too.

As mentioned previous, this is similar to my ‘rough cut guide to student productivity’ published 11 October ’21on my ‘journey into law’ page. I have blogged a few times with an emphasis on productivity, a little known article on my articles page called ‘Top tips to boost productivity’ was published way WAY back in March 2017!

Enjoy!

Bound for the stars

One day, in the future, a future that many cannot see or comprehend, human kind sits unknowingly on the brink of extinction. One of us seeks to depart the earth, find a home, and save the human race.

The leaders stand tall on their pedestals, chanting their agenda into microphones for brainwashed nations to hear through their televisions.

Life goes on… we vote, we work, and we pay. We pay each and everyday. Without a clue, the calender is counting down, we have little time left.

Do you have your chips? Do you have your passes? Have you managed to upload aunt Sally to the server yet?

Comes crashing through space time, comes to our view, we feel the world quake.

All attention to the skies

all attention on the robotic minds

all attention on the end of time…

One by one, sheep slowly drift into the ships,

those who can see

can feel

the fear

the rage

of the ones left behind

of the ones who would not be subject to tormentors of time

The day has come

when the whole world would no longer stand as one

or be seen to be lying behind the lies

subdued by existential denial…

… Now they depart for the stars

loads of them are beating hearts

thinking minds

minds eye

can see a golden room

as the rock draws near

human kind no longer has any fear

obliterated from the record

no record of the damage

no memory of the events…

stuck in space,

wondering why

they had to tell so many lies

why the passes

and why all those little planets made of gases

environmental overload, oh no,

toxic food waste, oh no

just bad luck, oh no

let’s be all we can be

among the stars

behind the wall

of the tyrannical disguise

It draws to the end

and we can see

through smoke and fire

that angels are real

that alien men

were the first

to save us

that we were ticking

through time

like stagnant bots

becoming nothing but desire and desperation

in the voices of thousands of lost souls

yet we left the better half back to rot

in the core of the earth

from nothing but greed

but came light

sound madeth the world

sound made the stars

we still cannot figure out

who we are…

… we arrive. We have lost and found hope, through years of travel, of pain. There is a blue horizon, and lakes and trees, we can already smell the freshly grown daises. Behold our future.

Check out my article – part 1 of 2

Please find my article below.

They decided to split it into 2 posts. I am fairly happy they reached out, although my contributions seem meager, they still provide great reading for law students

Simply Law is a great site for law students. The staff are welcoming and friendly.

Take me back, to a time when things were alright.

When things used to be calm

When the storm has passed overhead and left you settled in the sheets

Where the sun would warm your face, when the day would give you a big embrace

take me back

I recall

how do we feel now?

are we lingering at all?

longing for more

and being me

senseless

regardless of fault

when the times were alright.

Thanks for reading.

I have had an article approved for publishing on a law focused site. The article talks about an average day for me and gives some tips for law students.

I believe it will be live tomorrow. I will post a link to it when I receive it, but I would appreciate if any interested persons would go ahead and read it. Some of it is similar to my rought cut guide to student productivity.

🙂

A suggested video for you:

I want to share this video I watched earlier tonight. When I initially clicked it, it was because I was interested in the Favela in the well known city of Rio De Janeiro and the vlogger has popped up before as a recommendation.

I got through about 10 minutes and it became clear that the video was about to showcase a day in the life of a vendor on the local beach. I am sharing because it was extremely well delivered and gets across a lot of important information which people should be aware of. It is also a little saddening. I am sorry, but I feel like this kind of journalism is the best. You won’t see any national news or tv channel doing this. The most they do is a documentary which will likely focus on danger, death, guns, drugs, violence and prositution.

If you watch this and think that having decent clothing and a mobile make you well off, and that there is no sympathy to be had, think again. The prices are different in south America, the goods are different and a lot are fake brands, which means poorer quality. Having a phone now is easy given the wide and varying amounts of makes and prices.

It felt like watching more than an hour of film, and the video just goes over. I think you will be enthralled by how interesting these types of vlogs are. I enjoy a lot of foreign youtube movies, by travelers. Mostly because it makes me appreciative of my own life and keeps me motivated.

Here:

Genesis ~ The Last Domino! – Manchester Arena

A brilliant show, fronted by music legend icon Phil Collins and bandmates Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks, this has to be one of the best concerts since touring became a thing, and one of the most memorable farewell tours I have ever witnessed.

After letting the events of the 24th September settle in, I’m back with a full review of the show! I want to share with you my feelings and what songs I enjoyed the most. Let’s not forget that these men are old and yet, they put on a show that young people can enjoy too. I also have some pictures of from my seat.

After being delayed from December 2020 to April 2021, and then pushed back to September 2021, I really was holding onto my seat in terms of seeing the show. There was a lot of variables that could have seen it cancelled. A member could have perished, the woke community could have considered it sexist to have an all male band on stage, the government could have imposed a crackdown upside down around town again.

Originally meant to attend with my dad as I know he liked Genesis as much as I do, unfortunately he passed last August so I went with somebody else. But I was proud of the concert that had been put on, they performed all of my favourite songs, I mean that, all of them, minus one, but in hindsight, it was out of place.

The show started later than expected, starting at just gone 9pm due to technical difficulties because a generator wasn’t working.

The setlist was this:

  • Behind the Lines, Duke’s end
  • Turn it on again
  • Mama
  • Land of confusion – excellent video to accompany
  • Home by the sea
  • Second Home by the sea – great video, played well
  • Fading lights (first two verses)
  • The cinema show (second half )
  • Afterglow
  • That’s all
  • The lamb lies down on broadway
  • Follow you, follow me
  • SET 2:
  • Duchess
  • No son of mine
  • Firth of fifth (second half instrumental part only) – really glad they did this albeit not all of it
  • I know what I like (In you wardrobe) including stagnation snippet – glad they included this
  • Domino – the highlight of the show in terms of music, video and lighting effects, a farewell to the world from Genesis
  • Throwing it all away
  • Tonight, tonight, tonight – one of my favourites, gritty
  • Invisible touch – everyone in the stadium seemed to go bananas for this, maybe they only knew 1 song… this one?
  • ENCORE:
  • I can’t dance – great, except they really can’t dance now they are so old
  • Dancing with the moonlit knight (first verse) one of my favourites from Selling England by the Pound
  • The Carpet Crawlers

There was no break and the show played for 2 hours and 40 minutes. I didn’t want it to end. It was a magical experience. Without the lights and video and all the effects then it would have been half as great. Phil did a great job singing at his age and given his health conditions, sadly not being able to play the drums, although his son did an almighty fine job of it.

This show meant a lot to a considerable amount of people including me. It was a brilliant way to send themselves off, to bid farewell to a huge fanbase. They had more tour dates in the UK, but for me, the Manchester show will be the last show. After being mesmerised by politically relevant and gritty video on land of confusion, to the emotionally charged and powerful home by the sea, to a trip back in time to firth of fifth, tonight, tonight, tonight, and then the incredible crescendo of the beautiful DOMINO, it was magnificent. They may have made more money than they need, but it was worth it.

I had incredible seats too. I was set right next to the stage and the sound quality from the position was excellent. I also had the pleasure of seeing the band coming on and off stage first too, again, a real ‘fan’ experience. It was clear prior to the show starting that some had VIP tickets, but from looking at them, and I mean this in the most sincere way, they looked like spoilt college fund kids, I never saw anyone looking over 30 come from that back stage. Probably because all the old fans can’t afford those tickets, and the youngsters don’t really like the music, they just like the attention they get on social media for posting the pictures. Oh well, I know what I like.

The one song that still divides me is Duchess. I do like the song, it has a good anthem, but it is an overall dark song and has messages within that some may or may not recognise. Going back to the days when Phil Collins had a beard and used a long coat in those shady videos. Tonight, tonight, tonight, one of the more endearing songs from the band, is of the dangerous nightlife amongst the Hollywood streets. Back in the 90’s it was really dangerous, never mind now. Back then police response times were non existent because crime was so high in those particular areas. It could apply to anywhere though, but Genesis chose California, and have shot a few videos there.

What song did I want to hear? I really wanted In Too Deep. It was a pivotal song from Genesis, coming from them at a time of great change, when they went from famous infamous. The Invisible Touch album was extremely well received and it produced some of the more recognisable songs from the group.

Best selling album? That would be Selling England by the pound. For good reason too. This has to be a melody of rich progressive tones which articulate a fanciful story. Can you believe I first heard this around 21 years ago? It had already been out for years!

It is sad to see bands saying goodbye, but this show had an uplifting feeling, making me want to watch it forever. That is not possible, but the memories will be with me forever. Thank you Genesis for coming together for a final tour and satisfying us fans.

This is a tour for true fans, and true fans will love it. Go watch it on youtube already!

You get 1 photo, enjoy.