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Friday, 5 July 2013

Ghosts of Social Media Future (Guest Post by Eileen MacCallum)

For the next few weeks, my blog is going to feel unloved, as I pack my bags and head for a wifi free zone, but since it's always good to end on a high, this week's post is a real treat by my guest, the copywriting star that is Eileen MacCallum.  You can read more about her at  Enjoy!


One of my favourite pastimes is to imagine which hot SM gizmo currently enthralling us all will be mocked by my kids in twenty – no, make that ten – years time.

Those of us aged 40-plus have witnessed such a massive leap forward in communication methods during our lifetimes.  The giant black-screen-green-text computer monitor I used in my first-ever job (in the 90s) made such a loud humming noise that whenever I called my Dad from work, he knew it was me before I spoke.  These days it’d go straight back to the (online) shop.

The 24/7 me-me-me hail of social media commentary bouncing off our heads wherever we go has taken time to get used to.  The kids have grown up with it; it’s like breathing to them. Many folk from generations older than ours simply refuse.  Never having worked with it, they know they’ll never truly understand it. It’s an add-on they don’t feel they really need.

So which of our Twitter, Facebook or Instagram (and the rest) addictions will be joked about and which remembered fondly? As fondly as the boxy plastic phones of our childhood homes and student flats, dragged into bedrooms in a desperate bid for privacy, cord straining at the socket? It’s almost unthinkable now for us to have to share phones.  Or be unreachable – in a practical rather than, uh, emotional sense obviously.

Back in 2000 I felt quite edgy about getting my first mobile phone because it meant I’d always be contactable.  (My 15 year-old niece once asked me why I call it a mobile. To her it’s just a phone – they’ve always been mobile.) But at the time, I’d just broken up with an overly possessive boyfriend and the horrors of that kind of relationship PLUS constant contact were not to be contemplated. 

But I relented because I’d gone freelance and it was ‘for work’.  Ha. Hahahaha. Everyone knows mobile phones are FOR LIFE. Luckily I didn’t repeat my romantic car crash.

So. What shall I hear? “Oooooh God Mum, you must be the LAST person on earth still tweeting away to yourself!” *Nudges sibling, rolls eyes, pats maternal shoulder pityingly* #loserparent


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