Skip to main content

Socially conditioned not to complain?

Image: source
So, I've been playing around with the Beta version of Google+ for a few days now, and I like it for the most part.  I like that, like Twitter, you can follow people without them having to follow you back. I like that I can group all my Friends into Circles of "Close friends", "Acquaintences", "Bloggers", "School mums" and so on. I love that I can enter my interests on Sparks and have a bunch of interesting articles and blog posts listed for me to browse and share with my various Circles, and I love that in the future - when I have a webcam (that isn't shoved into a box because I can't figure out how to use it properly) - I will also be able to the Hangout with friends online via video conferencing - especially any family who might be up for that!

This will all be a boon to students for getting work done or discussing tutorial topics and so on in the near future because they'll be able to add their entire class in a Circle then Hangout together to discuss stuff without having to pay for coffee!!! Being an external student is set to be a lot less isolating!

Oh and virtual writing groups! No more will a writer need to be close to other writers to have a writer's group and reading out and get feedback on their writing!!! The possibilities!

BUT

image: source
Yes, I'm going to be paranoid about something...

Google+ also doesn't have a button for not liking stuff.

On Facebook you can "like" people's status updates and shared items (photos, videos and other links). On Google+ you "+1" things you like.

Facebook doesn't have a "dislike" button despite millions of users requesting one, and Google+ has not offered a "-1" button either.

At first glance you might think, "Well, "dislike"ing or "-1"ing might be used to bully people"... Yes, in the wrong hand any tool might be used to bully people.

Image: source
The thing is, often, status updates, videos and so on are about people sharing the shitty parts of life as well, and to "like" something like that doesn't work. This got me thinking...

What if not having a "dislike" button or a "-1" is actually about the old adage "If you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all". We all heard it as children, and for the most part it was meant to teach us to be uplifting, positive and friendly, HOWEVER, it also teaches us not to speak up when we're unhappy about something...

Is social media conditioning people to ignore that which makes them feel bad? Are we being conditioned to be silent about inequity, atrocities, and discrimination? If we can't "dislike" or "-1" things that offend us or upset us, are we being conditioned not to consider those things anymore because we're meant to be positive and fun all the time?

Image: source
Most of my friends won't be silenced on issues that affront them, so I'm not sure this form of social conditioning is penetrating - yet, but the internet is still young and Facebook and Google+ (and doubtlessly there will be others) are just getting off the ground in real terms - so maybe it will make a bigger impact on the next generation, many of whom (in our society, that is) were using a mouse long before they ever discovered crayons...

I think it is important we remain conscious of our right to dissent. The world is definitely not all icecream and lollipops and while it is nice to escape to a place where everyone is your "friend" (and if they're not you can just "unfriend" them with the click of a button), social media is a great place to share ideas and to do so properly we have be able to not only agree with those ideas but also disagree with them.

Comments

thanks for your great perspective on google +.

is will this send me over the edge, or is it something necessary?
Sif said…
It's certainly not necessary yet - a lot of people are very comfortable with Facebook and won't want to change social media or use both at the same time (they're similar enough that there would be a lot of redundancy using both).

I suspect Facebook won't tarry in adding elements similar to what Google+ is offering.

Also, a lot of smartphone apps have built upload features for Facebook and Twitter, so Google+ must make itself relevant enough for program writers to write for it as well.

So, I think you'll have plenty of time to see if your friends start taking up Google+ and dropping out of Facebook. For now, I'm keeping my options open.
Thanks luv! I appreciate your time and thoughts very much!

Popular posts from this blog

12 Things Happy People Do Differently - a self-reflection...

A few days ago a Facebook friend posted the above poster on her wall. I believe she got these points from this blog which she enjoys reading, and the bloggers on the Marc and Angel Hack Life blog derived their discussion of these points from this book, available on Amazon - you're welcome! I have to admit, I haven't read the blog or the book I've just mentioned but wanted my readers to have access to the sources of the poster for their own reflective purposes.
The New Year will be upon us in but a few days and I thought this a great opportunity to do a little personal assessment on how I'm playing the happy game. I'm often not very happy at all - I don't need to be happy all the time, let me just say that up front - I personally believe that life is a balancing act and those who seek euphoria often will also often feel desolation because in all things there must be balance. The great riches of the few on this planet come at the personal cost of the many as is …

The symbolism of elephants...

Just recently I've been seeing and noticing elephants everywhere!

A few weeks ago I saw the Samsung Elephant Ad, and watching that led me to watching a video with an elephant painting (seriously, you have to watch it to believe it!).

Then last night the boys told me they were having a free dress day at school to raise money for 'Mali the Elephant' - who turned out to be a paper maché statue which the children will paint and then show around the council before it comes back to the school to stand outside the performing arts room.

Then this morning I followed a link from Twitter to Toushka Lee's blog and read this post about an elephant orphanage in Sri Lanka.

This morning the Grumpy Old Man did another driving test and unfortunately didn't pass. We've booked his next test and are looking forward to that now. About ten minutes before he walked in the door I saw this poster on Facebook...


At the time, I didn't know if the Grumpy Old Man had been successful or …

Do you have low self-esteem?

I don't.

I used to think I did, but having met several people who really do have low self-esteem, I've now come to realise I actually have low confidence (and note I don't say low self-confidence, but more on that later), and that is a different breed of animal all together.

I was having a chat with a friend the other day about people who constantly put themselves down. If you are a participant in social media you might be aware of this kind of person. Everyone is smarter than them, prettier than them, more motivated, better organised, or has greater talent than them. It goes further, some of these people are not at all opposed to running themselves down to others with comments like, 'I'm so fat' (and not in a proud, fat acceptance way, but in a negative, self-loathing kind of way), or 'I'm stupid' or 'I'm ugly'.

Some people are just fishing for compliments, of course, but the ones who persist; the ones who simply cannot take a complimen…