Thursday, 23 January 2020

On bookmarks, tweeting and becoming an influencer!

In my time I have used a variety of things as bookmarks: bus, tram and train tickets, the slip of paper from the automatic book-borrowing machine at the library, post-it notes folded so that the sticky bit is inside, and even on occasion proper bookmarks bought from a museum or art gallery shop. I fact I have one on a shelf upstairs with a bit of a Sorolla painting on it. I am somewhat reluctant to use it in case I lose it.

However, I have never yet used an item of food.

A librarian at the University of Liverpool has apparently discovered a cheese slice in between the pages of a book. Judging by the photo she posted the cheese slice was still wrapped in cellophane but even so it’s rather a gross thing to put between the pages of your novel or text book. In the modern way, the librarian tweeted about this and almost instantly the tweet was shared 200,000 times. Inevitably the tweet led to a lot of very bad cheesy joke! I can’t help feeling that those 200,000 people should be doing something more productive with their time, but this is the way of the world at present.

I even read this morning an article suggesting that Harry and Meghan should become “influencers”, one of the modern ways of earning a living. Meghan was already an influencer when she met Harry, so I read, and as such could help Harry get going. There have always been influencers, of course, although they were not known by such a name. Women copied the hairstyles of the famous. And the humble headscarf was given a new lease of life because Jackie Kennedy wore it tied in a particular way. Nobody made a living out of it though.

There was a warning for Harry in the article. As time passes, the writer suggested, and the immediacy of their fame fade, Harry might become the man who stands in the corner at high society parties, the one people point out and identify as “the bloke who used to be a member of the royal family”. But you never know, somebody might establish a group on Facebook, or some other social media thing, for followers of withdrawn members of the British royal family. It could even be extended to include members of other countries’ royal families, HRHs who have lost their titles or lost their way!

On Facebook I am regularly invited to join various groups but I am picky. I have, however, joined a group of fans of the singer/song writer James Taylor. Someone posted a comment about the fact that she has been driving along with her teenage granddaughters listening to James Taylor singing Carole King’s “You’ve got a friend”. Everyone in the car, including the 14 year old, knew all the words to the song. As I have commented before, it’s a hard act to follow. Have all the good songs already been written? Well, I expect there are masses of young people, avidly listening to singers I have never heard of, who would tell me that is not so.

My daughter tells me that the teenagers referred to above would have heard “You’ve got a friend” in one of the Toy Story films. Not convinced! I am pretty sure that at the time Toy Story was popular people were not downloading films and playing them over and over, as seems to happen now. 

Evidence of that is the way both my smallest granddaughters can not only sing the songs from a range of Disney animations but can quote the dialogue verbatim!!

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