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The Playground Of Social Media (Or - How Easy It Is To Get Involved In Small Things Which Can Make A Big Difference)
I don't know how you found out who wanted to join in your games when you were in Primary School but the Primary School I went to had a brilliant method.  It was brilliant because it was almost stupidly simple.

One person would walk around the playground with their arms stretched out at either side and shout, "All in who wants to play...", (they would insert the name of the game they wished to play).  One by one people would join them and the shout would get louder - until the required number of people had joined their group.

The next thing was to decide who would be first in the game (especially if it was a game of tig - or tag - or any other game that required one person to be "it").  This was done by "putting your foot in" (literally putting your foot into a circle so the "winner" can be decided by a process of rhyming elimination one by one).

Why am I telling you all this???

I am slowly coming to the conclusion that Twitter runs along the same lines.  However, there is no walking around shouting, "All in", etc, or "putting your foot in".

Twitter seems to be a place where anybody and everybody can either start a conversation or join in a conversation and (as long as they are not being abusive or committing what one of my Twitter friends called "Crimes Against Intelligence") they are quite free to drop in and out as they want to.

Twitter also seems to be where proper protests can start.  If you have a bugbear about something - put it on Twitter and 9 times out of 10 someone else will take up your protest.  If you are really lucky you will either find a famous person who is interested in your protest or you will be able to direct your protest at the correct person straightaway.

Facebook is a bit different - in fact - if I didn't have friends or relations who I contact mainly through Facebook I would close my account and forget about it.

It is not the fact that some people appear to insist on telling everybody on Facebook about every single thing they get up to in their life that I have a problem with.

What I do have a problem with about Facebook is the temptation to turn it into a kind of "alternative reality" - you can do a lot of things on Facebook that you wouldn't be able to get away with in "real life".

This is best summed up by the "joke" - which started on Facebook before someone posted it onto Twitter - about someone interrupting private conversations to pass comment on them, and giving people "thumbs up" if they liked what was said.  The 'Punchline' is "I now have four people following me - two Police Officers, one Private Detective and a Psychiatrist".

Social Media has its good side and its bad side.

The good side (for me at least) is when you find people who are willing to enter debates on subjects which end up educating you.  Or you can find a cause which is close to your heart and find a group which welcomes your opinions.

The bad side is when people seem to gang up on you for no reason.

Some of the issues I have written about on this blog came as a result of conversations I have had with people on "Social Media" - for example - the Police, Mental Health (Cyberbullying), petition about people losing their benefits if they stay in hospital for over 28 days, etc.

Other things I have seen on Social Media (but I have not shared with you) just gave me a different perspective on life.  Seeing someone else's life (even if it is just a momentary glimpse of it) can have a profound impact on you if you let it.

I have found some incredibly brave people on Social Media - and they don't realise how brave and strong they really are.

The only thing I really wish I could make happen is to transfer the feelings I get from Twitter and Facebook into real life - particularly the sense of community spirit among people who really share a belief in a cause.  Even when it seems the cause is a lost hope before they start.

So - All in who wants to transfer the community spirit from Twitter into real life!!! (And - no - you don't have to put your feet in for this one - just try to do your bit where you are!!!)


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