Friday, 8 September 2017

The perils of social media.

We live in a funny age. Funny peculiar not funny amusing. Results of votes and elections in the last year or so appear to have convinced some people that it's perfectly okay to make racist comments (and sometimes actions) in public where in the past it was just not acceptable. Pretty soon it will be socially acceptable to call out to people you pass on the street remarks about their size, their looks and what you think of the clothes they wear!

One sphere where this already takes place is social media. MPs and public figures, especially female ones, receive a prodigious amount of abuse on social media. Not just comments about their opinions but about their looks, their clothes and their lifestyle, often with threats attached. And yet it seems that it's increasingly hard to succeed in the big wide world without being involved in social media, having your own twitter account and a load of followers.

I heard someone on the radio this morning saying how much fun twitter is, what good company it is if you travel a lot and are often alone in a hotel room. How odd. I wonder what is wrong with reading a book. How do I survive without twitter and Instagram. I saybthis somewhat tongue-in-cheek since I regularly post on Facebook but I am told that Facebook is seriously passé!

One offshoot of this absolute-right-to-say-whatever-springs-into-your-head is that the loony fringe, particularly the loony religious fringe, gets more of a hearing. I read that a number of Christian leaders in the United States are finding people to blame for the extreme weather they have been having. When these reports talk about "Christian leaders" they don't mean the Pope or any archbishops of different branches of Christianity. No, they mean the evangelical Christians who have their own radio stations and regular followers.

The latest example of this is Minister Kevin Swanson who has blamed LGBT people for causing Hurricane Harvey. He maintains that Houston has suffered because the city sinned by having a "very, very aggressively pro-homosexual mayor." “Jesus sends the message home, unless Americans repent, unless Houston repents, unless New Orleans repents, they will all likewise perish,” he told his radio show. “That is the message that the Lord Jesus Christ is sending home right now to America.”

I wish I knew how to influence the weather in that way.

Another thing I have been hearing about is the increasing popularity of houseplants. Who knew? It's another social media thing. People like to take pictures of them and put them out into the wider world via Instagram. One man on the radio said he had 81 plants in his house. Just think of the time it must take to water all these. And where does he put them all? How many flat surfaces suitable for plants can one house have. Most popular are succulents apparently. They make the best pictures! Crazy world!

Now, if you really want to look at some good photos, follow this link to some excellent and interesting pictures of Barcelona architecture.

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