Sometimes saying nothing on social media would be a stronger message than saying everything. Let me explain.
As of last night, people watching the popular ITV show I’m A Celebrity have been “treated” to the sight of our former Health Secretary, and still-sitting MP, Matt Hancock entering the jungle. Needless to say, emotions are high on this one. To recap he was the Health Secretary that saw us through the pandemic, well. . . until the story broke that he had not adhered to any of the social distancing rules that he’d been enforcing on us, and instead had used his free time to have an affair. Add to that list his appalling record of sending infected, vulnerable people into care homes without testing them first during the height of the pandemic, resulting in countless deaths, or his shocking record of contracts for his mates around not-fit-for-purpose PPE, and you’ve definitely got a polarising figure there.
In fact, the only unifying thing in Mr Hancock’s favour is that all sides of the lockdown argument appear to have an issue with him. Now given the polarity of the world right now, that is some claim to fame.
Of course, all kudos here goes to ITV who produce I’m A Celebrity. Their only objective is to get people to watch and engage in their show, and boy have they done that. No doubt Hancock’s fee will be dwarfed by the amount of engagement his arrival has gifted them.
So as people go online to rant and rave – remember, if you really want to show your annoyance, say nothing and switch off, otherwise you’re simply being played.
This then brings me to twittergate and the outrage over Elon Musk taking over the Twittersphere. Reading everybody’s concerns, anger etc has really got me thinking. Somehow we all seem to claim our chosen social media platforms as our own – yet of course in reality we are just pawns in an organisation’s business model. Is twitter any more dangerous today than it was a month ago – in truth I don’t know. For years it’s been a growing toxic swamp of disinformation, that we inhabit for our own selfish reasons. We use it connect, to inform, to entertain, to raise awareness, to vent. . . the list goes on.
In our industry, we use it to find jobs, promote our shows, promote ourselves, raise our profiles, and to connect. Interesting then reading some high-profile celebrity names boldly announcing their departure as they opt into one of the less developed social streams. Mastodon is proving popular as is Counter Social. As people leave they wave back to the Twittersphere telling us what it’s like on the other side. Talk about the grass being greener – I mean why didn’t everybody move over before? Of course, the euphoria of finding a new social media channel will eventually disappear when everybody realises the awful truth. It is “us” that makes the toxic atmosphere, not the channel. It is “we” who need to be kinder, and it is within all of our power to do so.