Posts Tagged facebook
For the past few years I have been witnessing a steadily increasing torrent of ePetitions making their way into my inbox. Now don’t get me wrong; they are not spam and I have personally invited them to tempt me with their good causes, pressing issues and downright travesty. However, I now find myself a little concerned that if we collectively sign too many, we could initiate the effect of dulling the keen-edged weapon that is the internet petition.
A few years ago, any politician, CEO, media mogul or ignorant bastard would have been gob-smacked to find a petition dropped into their laps (digitally speaking) that was signed by hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people. Consequently, it would have been very likely that whoever the petition was aimed at, be it a government or a misbehaving corporation, would have been pretty unnerved to find their dodgy dealings have attracted the attention of so many and galvanised them into action – albeit the small action of filling in a box and clicking send. At this point of its life, the ePetition is a very powerful tool.
It occurred to me just the other day, though, that by signing all of the petitions sent to me, I may soon found myself sitting on a lonely forgotten mountainside with that kid ; you know, the one who kept shouting, “Wolf! Wolf!”
Over the past year I have signed ePetitions on tar sands, the Amazon, protecting the bees, Syrian atrocities (twice), climate change, the NHS, plastic bags, energy prices, bankers bonuses, fracking, ousting Jeremy Hunt, saving the Rhino, saving this and saving that. I’m a true armchair activist, which of course is fine, but where I’ve previously thought I may be doing some good (ePetitions have been proved to work in the past), I may also need to get a little more picky if that do-gooding is to continue.
Of course ePetitions are a great way of sharing an issue that needs addressing and they will still make people sit up and take notice, plus the fact that the bad guys know that so many of us know what they are up to is wonderful.
However, with all the ePetitions in circulation and people signing everything (like I used to) it won’t be long before 500,000 signatures can be simply brushed aside by the people we’re attempting to influence.
I don’t think that ePetitions should stop; not at all. I just think that those of us who do like to take action by right clicking should spare a thought for the on-going potency of these petitions. It would be very easy for them to loose their muscle if we over-use them. In a way, the biggest enemy of the ePetition is (ironically) it’s biggest advantage: the ease with which one can sign them. I have cookies on my computer so that whenever I decide to sign by filling in my email, all I have to do is push ‘g’ and then send. The rest is done for me. Perhaps if we had to undergo a little more work to get these things signed, then we would only sign the stuff that really matters to us.
Failing that, and since coming to the realisation that signing every ePetition that finds its way to my inbox may not be for the best, I have now designed my own personal hierarchy for ePetitions (designed being a very loose word here):
If it’s something I don’t really care about – delete.
If it’s something I care about, but don’t feel strongly enough to sign – spare a thought, delete.
If it’s something I care and feel strongly about – sign.
If I feel it’s imperative that the issue is fixed now – sign and share on facebook and twitter.
If you like, please feel free to follow my easy four-step guide to not dulling the edge of the ePetition and then carry on signing what you feel you must while protecting the integrity of this potentially very powerful tool. Once this is spent, finding another such device to influence the untouchables may take years, so let’s preserve this one while we still can. Thanks.
If you have anything to say on this article, or indeed anything raised in The Green Review, please join the discussion on the facebook page. The more contentious the better…
Oh, and just in case you are wondering; there isn’t in fact a petition to sign here, I just used that in the title to try and attract your attention, but you can say something in the comments box if you’d like. If I get more than 3 comments, I may just change the world…
It seems to me that the tirade of sanctimonious – and sometimes sickening – posts on facebook is getting heavier of late. Not only do these really irritate me, but I also fail to see the point of them.
To give you some examples of what has annoyed me recently, try these:
The first one was a picture of what was obviously a very late aborted baby laying in the hands of a surgeon. Yes a very sad picture, but did I want to come across that while looking through my facebook timeline? No. I bloody well didn’t. The oddest thing about this was that the person who shared it was commenting “this is horrible picture and shouldn’t be on facebook”. Well don’t hit the flippin’ share button then!
The second picture was (yet another) one of these animal cruelty pictures. This time it looked as if a dog had a really nasty injury to its mouth and there was blood everywhere. Thanks for that – just what I wanted to see, especially as my 7-year old was looking over my shoulder.
Apart from the fact that these pictures really annoy me, I also have to ask; do the people posting them, sharing them and making some self-righteous comment about then actually know the provenance of these photos? Do they know where they come from? Was the baby aborted to save the mother, who subsequently then had to suffer the virtual loss of a child? Was the baby aborted because it was already dead? Was this photo picked up from a medical journal or a memo circulated to paediatric surgeons? Is the picture a fake?
In the photo of the dog I noticed that the background didn’t seem to be that of a domestic home, due to the clinical-looking wall and ceiling tiles. Also the dog had a nice big full bowl of food – not a usual practice for animal abusers. Maybe this was an animal hospital and the dog had a wound that had reopened? Maybe the dog had fallen? Who knows? Again, I wonder if the picture is either fake or taken out of context.
What I do know is that people should perhaps engage their brains before they jump on the social bandwagon and start condemning something they actually know diddly squat about.
If you are a person who loves to share these types of picture, think about this: Perhaps these animal abuse photos are actually designed to be circulated around the Internet by the abusers themselves and by re-posting them you may be actually supporting what you think you are condemning. Perhaps the animals are abused for the very reason these photos can be taken. There are sick people out there who do thrive on the instant “fame” such actions can result in: “I put this picture out on facebook and it got shared 100,000 times…” Think about it.
Do these re-posters live by morals that are above the rest of us?
I admit that I will re-post environmental articles that I feel may be of interest to others or that I feel strongly about. But at least I can say that I make every effort that is feasible to live a sustainable life (apart from the amount of travelling I do, but that’s for work and also something I’m trying to change). My point is: these people who are so shocked at pictures of animal cruelty, are they vegetarians? Do they eat organic meat? Do they know where their meat comes from and that the livestock is kept in conditions that do not invoke any suffering? Do they worry about palm oil and the effect that has on wildlife around the world? Maybe some do – but not many.
When I post something up on facebook, I keep it clean and I would definitely not want to shock someone with anything I post. Besides, shock tactics have rarely been proven to work.
Additionally, these pictures are not informing me of something I’m ignorant to. I know late abortions are happening, I know animals are mistreated. I don’t need nasty pictures on facebook to remind me of this.
If all of these photos came with a link to donate to a relevant charity, a petition to lobby the government or some other means of making them relevant and useful, then fair enough. But the majority of them don’t. They are just sad people wallowing in a sad world they feel they must impose on the rest of us.
I could pull a million sick photos off the Internet and circulate them around my social media networks, but why would I want to. Why do others want to?
It reminds me of a video I watched when I was younger that showed people dying in a multitude of different ways. The intro to this video said something like “we have brought you this film because we want you to see the futility of killing”, or some other crap along those lines. What they should have said was, “we bring you this video because you’re sick bastards who enjoy watching others die, but we can’t actually say that, so we have to pretend this is for pious reasons instead”. What a load of nonsense.
If there was no harm in circulating these photos, then fair enough, but many people look at facebook with their kids in the room, or are just looking to connect with friends or find a funny little youtube clip to watch.
I will admit that I am as fascinated by the macabre as the next man and that when a BBC News reporter says, “some of the scenes you about to witness may be disturbing”, I feel even more compelled to watch. But that’s my choice and I get warned beforehand. Having nasty photos sprung on me when I’m just looking for some facebook funnies isn’t… well… funny.
Re-post this is you agree… Blagh!
If you have anything to say on this article, or indeed anything raised in The Green Review, please join the discussion on our facebook page. The more contentious the better… (and no dodgy photos please)
With the death of Steve Jobs yesterday, it was surprising to see so many negative comments aimed not only at the man himself, but also questioning the amount of praise heaped on the him. Why is this? What has he done to these people?
The thing I can’t understand is why people appear to begrudge him not only his success, but also fail to see the massive impact that he had, not just in the technology/media sectors, but also in the wider environs of society itself. Admittedly, he didn’t cure cancer (obviously) and Apple wasn’t without its own controversy, but you must be blind to not see how far he pushed the digital revolution and thus the way many of us live our lives today.
Steve Jobs gave us the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad; all of which became outright market leaders and the technology for others to emulate. These integral components are partly responsible for fuelling the digital revolution that we are so privileged to be living through today. Not to mention his role in the creation of Pixar, iTunes, the mouse and the Macintosh computer.
Some people were on facebook and twitter yesterday saying that all we have lost is a man who drove consumerism and just wanted to sell us stuff. Well, duh! Hello? That’s what businessmen do isn’t it? He wasn’t Ghandi or the Dalai Lama – he was out to make money and did so with diamond encrusted cherries on the top. What I find ironic here, though, is that many of these people were using their iPhones to post these messages.
Is this the end of the innovation? I hope not
A concern for me about Steve Job’s death is that we have lost a true visionary; a man who gave us what we wanted before we even knew we wanted it. His audacious decisions to hold back certain features on new products and his meticulous focus on exactly how he wanted things done were not only legendary among the industry, but also helped Apple make more money than the US government.
As far as IT is concerned, Apple’s biggest rival, Microsoft, only seems capable of copying Apple on everything that it does: Windows is still just playing catch-up with MacOS, and the Microsoft stores are exact copies of the Apple store model (with some extra comfy sofas admittedly). While there’s nothing wrong with this, I just hope that Job’s mantle at Apple can be carried forward by his team and we will continue to witness the originality in concept and design we’re now so used to from the Californian company – at least until someone else can step up to the plate and take us further forward.
Don’t get me wrong here; I love Apple products, but only because they work so well (and look so cool). If they are usurped by another company, I am not so much of an Apple loyalist that I won’t go for a better product if they do end up taking their eye off the ball. I just hope the new ideas will continue to flow from somewhere.
Apple is currently the second biggest company in the world, behind only Exxon-Mobile. This would never have been achieved without the charismatic, inventive, forward-looking CEO at their helm. Let’s hope we will continue to witness the levels of innovation we have seen over the last decade and are not entering a dark period of lack of imagination.
RIP Mr Jobs; you will be missed (but not too much I hope).
If you have anything to say on this article, or indeed anything raised in The Green Review, then do join the discussion on the facebook page. The more contentious the better please…