Tuesday, June 15, 2010

saving the world one video at a time

I was at a friend's birthday party in a restaurant on Saturday night when an acquaintance sat beside me. After a little inconsequential chitty chat, the topic of Facebook somehow came up and she said something along the lines of, "I don't understand how people can waste their time on that garbage. I think email and Facebook and so on is for lazy people who have no lives and nothing better to do." I was gobsmacked. Fortunately I had only had one beer and had actually been enjoying myself so rather than give in to my (sometimes uncontrollable) desire to elucidate and right a few wrongs via the well-timed application of my acid tongue I just shut my mouth and turned away. The truth is I would have absolutely no idea where to begin. Some battles are not worth fighting.

Sure, I understand and regularly live all the negative aspects of online communication. Yin/yang and all that. And as for Facebook, some use it as a PR platform, others use it for socializing and others use it to play games, which are all fine with me. OK, I'm not exactly a fan of FarmVille and its siblings, and 'hide' its evil tentacles every time it tries to grab me, but I see the value of the other two uses. Those aren't the reasons I keep going back, though. It's the sharing of awesomeness that I love. The day after Kate the dinosaur crammed her opinion down my throat a Facebook friend posted this wonderful speech about the value of understanding the stories of other cultures:

And then today a couple of friends posted this simplified but very compelling look at the fossil fuel issue:

Multiculturalism and the environment are pet topics of mine so naturally I'd respond to these video clips more strongly than those on other issues, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. Rather than moaning on about the injustices of the world and watching the evening news spoonfeed us yet another story that generates fear and anxiety, both these 'thinkers' offer positive solutions. And this one even talks about how people are motivated to accomplish the kinds of change needed as described in the above videos:

Videos do not equal action, but it's a start. So if you're out there saving the world in your busy, important life then you're a goddess, Kate, and I worship you. Are you?


Blogger Melody said...

Perfect post in every way....thanks Andrea

15/6/10 4:34 p.m.  
Blogger andrea said...

Except for the part where YouTube doesn't offer smaller-sized versions of these videos and they overlap my OLD BLOGGER (I spelled it OLD BOOGER the first time - lol) sidebar. I hate it when my needs for hospital corners are foiled!!!

15/6/10 4:47 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I've been vitriolic on the Facebook issue so was not going to say anything.
But...just ahead of this post coming in I had a Facebook message from a friend (North Shore, to boot!) we hadn't heard from in ages.
Yes, it was a lovely, happy, personal update.
But I still hate FB! Why? Well apart from all the horrid stuff that can seep in (talking trojans and wotnots) and all the assinine games, it's a cumbersome platform.
For wed communication I much prefer blogs.
A chacun son gout, mes amis.

15/6/10 4:48 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"web" communication.Rhinovirus affecting typing...

15/6/10 4:49 p.m.  
Blogger andrea said...

Di: The difference is that you've actually thought it through and weighed its value for yourself. You clearly find that its negatives outweight its positives as do many people whose opinions I admire. And I agree with a lot of its 'issues', but I'm an info junkie who enjoys the faster pace it offers. But my favourite FB users? All bloggers!! And trust me, you ain't no Kate. If she 'hates email' then I'm pretty sure she doesn't even know what a blog is and certainly doesn't use FB or the interwebs to edumacate herself! :)

15/6/10 5:47 p.m.  
Blogger p said...

love this post and i agree with it all i'm also trying to bite my tongue now. and i love the solutions ideas rather than cramming all the fear and ugly at us. all the petitions and punishments...i glance at it in irritation. i'd much rather watch something positive than drowning in the endless sea of pessimism.
and i too enjoy the real interaction i have with you and many other artists. i get turned on to so many cool links/ideas/ ways of thinking. glad you are there!

16/6/10 5:57 a.m.  
Anonymous cynthia said...

Good timing - my husband just went underground on FB. He claims he deleted his account, but then after further prodding, confessed that he just "deactivated" it - which means he is not participating but reserves the right to come back at a later date if he so desires. He hates FB, yet asks me for occasional peeks of walls of mutual friends. I know i've felt similarly, and then just choose not to participate for a time being. I've decided that the benefits far outweigh the negatives and I don't do sh*t on farmville. Like most things in life, FB & other social networking sites are what one makes of them - and I find that when I'm more engaged, I have a better experience. I'm also an info junkie - so gotta keep up with the stream.... And another note - not everything meshes with everyone - so to each his/her own, right?

16/6/10 8:28 p.m.  
Blogger andrea said...

I, too, have to take regular breaks from FB and have deactivated a couple of times. Like I said, "I regularly live all the negative aspects of online communication." I didn't really mean to denigrate her choice. I fully applaud one's right to make it and, in the case of someone like Dinahmow, know it was made with full info and thought and not an ounce of aggressiveness. OK, well maybe a little. :) What burns my butt is when people make practical personal choices then pass them off as moral character choices and go the extra mile to make others feel inferior because they happened to make a different choice. In truth, it wasn't the message but the delivery model that I objected to. But if you can *prove* moral superiority then you have every right to deliver it in any way you see fit. (I'm pretty sure your husband doesn't level personal judgement at you for remaining a FB participant.) Trust me, there was no moral superiority to be had in this particular case, heh.

16/6/10 9:31 p.m.  
Blogger Hayden said...

You GO, girl! Love these vids, too. Having virtual friends all over the globe, hearing stories, connecting - it's HUGE.

(not so enthusiastic about deep geo thermal, though. where was the big plant in Europe, shut down because it was implicated in multiple earthquakes? they tried to do one in an unstable area in No. Ca too, and thankfully that one got shut down. Geo-exchange is really interesting, though!)

17/6/10 7:18 a.m.  
Blogger Who you callin' housewife? said...

I am so glad I was lazy and had nothing better to do today. After watching the video of Nigerian author, I feel I have opened and changed in some way.

I have actually learned something today through social media. Lots of things. And I'm ready for some more.

Kate the acquaintance can stick it.

17/6/10 8:29 a.m.  
Blogger andrea said...

Hayden: I always find it a bit weird when someone dismisses soemthing outright in which so many others find positives.

Housewife: I love it when I find soemthing that I have to watch twice just because it's so valuable.

17/6/10 9:10 p.m.  
Blogger sonya said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

19/6/10 3:28 p.m.  
Blogger sonya said...

Unabashedly, I will admit to taking to fb like a duck to water. I really enjoy it and love the connections you gain from people you would never have a connection with otherwise. I have had many wonderful re-connections and met new people too. I love fb but try and keep realistic too. It is an extension of life. Not life itself.
I think it was you, Andrea, who sagely told me that "You get out of facebook, what you put into it!" I think that this is very relevant. Those that give nothing, get nothing and are somehow surprised at the lack of enjoyment. What did they expect??? If it isn't for you then that's fine. Just don't insult my reason for enjoying it.
I don't think I would have been as good at biting my tongue as you.

19/6/10 3:32 p.m.  

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