Cleaning out my (digital) closet

What with one thing and another (but mainly one thing), I’ve spent less time on social media over the past few months.

That’s no bad thing: social media was becoming an increasingly unpleasant place to spend time (and continues to do so), and so I don’t feel that I’m missing out on anything particularly worthwhile. What has also changed, however, is that I haven’t been tidying up my social media accounts as often as usual.

Some digital housekeeping is called for.

There’s an awful lot out there, but I’m happy to limit myself to just a few different apps, and each of those requires me to take a different approach with regard to keeping things in order.

Instagram: Find me at instagram.com/6000coza

It does seem that I’m rubbish at following people on The ‘Gram. I like many of the photos that I see from people I have already followed, but I never seem to get round to following new people. This must change, and following new followers is probably one of the best ways to start to do it. I’ll be playing catch up over the next week or so in this regard, and if your name is in there, I’ll be seeing you(r photos) real soon.

Twitter: Hi, I’m @6000

For me, the most useful and entertaining of all of the social media platforms. And also one of the most toxic. Again, I do follow new people on here, but I have rules. I need some connection, some relevance. Perhaps they live in SA, like Sheffield, enjoy playing with their drone (careful now), or suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune in also owning a beagle. I can like to sympathise.
Good, interesting, decent, sane people are quite hard to find on Twitter, but I think I’ve done ok in my choices so far. I don’t find it difficult to drop people if they get on my tits, though. My rule is “Three Strikes And You’re Out – Or Just One If I’m Feeling Particularly Irritable”. Actually, I just made that up, but I might give it a go.

Facebook: The blog is here: https://www.facebook.com/6000coza/

Things I use Facebook for:
1. Sharing new blog posts.
2. Marvelling at the number of people who will have their Brand New Excess Stock Audi Q7 in “white, please”.
3. Looking at pics of snakes and birds, photos of Sheffield and drone videos.

Things I don’t use Facebook for:
1. Everything else.

My Facebook won’t need much updating because I haven’t done anything with it in years anyway. It just sits there and I wander in occasionally and then usually wish I hadn’t.
Still, every new blog post on here is shared on there, so hit me up and don’t miss out.

Flickr: I put my photos here.

Is Flickr “social media”? I think that they’d quite like it to be. I use it to share my photographs and look at other people’s photographs. I don’t communicate with anyone on there. There are other, better apps for that sort of thing (see above). Still, if you show me yours, I’ll show you mine. Stop sniggering at the back!
(Note to self: a blog about the new changes to Flickr is required.)

Youtube: It’s for videos.

Is Youtube “social media”? I think that they’d quite like it to be. I use it to look at other people’s videos. I mean, I do have some videos uploaded on there, but I don’t actually expect people to look at them. I do follow some trashy accounts on Youtube though, and so a spring clean is required.

That’s it for me. No Snapchat or Linkedin. No Tumblr or Tinder. No Periscope, Plurk or Twitch.
And certainly no MySpace or FriendsReunited. Those were the days…

So as I said, I’m going to make an effort to tidy things up a bit. In the meantime, please feel free to follow me on any of the links above and I’ll endeavour to be equally and reciprocally social. 🙂

Good idea

Social media doesn’t have to be destructive and horrible.

It’s not social media’s fault that it’s destructive and horrible, though.
It’s the people on social media that are the problem.

I think that’s why most everyone on Twitter decided to share this thought from Roger Cooper. Very much the written version of this infamous comic that I’ve upset several (or more) people on Facebook with.

And yes, he spelled ‘Avocado’ incorrectly, and messed up the past participle of ‘to manage’, but if you were one of the thousands of people who messaged him to point that out, you’re part of the problem.

Instagram breaks flower farm

Humans are weird things. We get carried away in the weirdest way about the weirdest things. Canadian sunflower farms, for example.

The Canadian sunflower farm in question belongs to Marlene Bogle and her family. They open up their farm to the public for a few days every now and again. This year, things went bad.

It started mildly enough. The Bogles opened up their farm to photographers on July 20, charging $7.50 an adult. They had done the same thing three years ago, with a few hundred visitors providing a modest boost to their main business of farming sunflower, corn, millet, oats and barley, as well as selling various kinds of birdseed from their big red barn, which remains open for business.

I’ve never been to the Bogle’s sunflower farm, but I’m finding it easy to imagine the scene: Peaceful, tranquil, sunlight filtering through the trees, the gentle sound of children’s laughter echoing across fields of beautiful sunflowers.

“Everyone was laughing and having fun,” says Barry Bogle, of that first week. “Then all of Toronto showed up.”

Oops.

The apocalypse arrived on Saturday, the 28th. A few pictures of people posing among the roughly 1.4 million sunflowers had gone viral on Instagram. Cars began rolling up the driveway at 5:45 a.m. “We knew then something was up,” says Barry, who called Hamilton police for help.

I can’t do justice to the carnage that followed, save by copying and pasting the Globe and Mail’s description from the link above (oh, ok… or here, if you can’t be arsed to scroll back up) which I’m not going to do.

The sunflower is a notoriously fragile crop. If the lower leaves are damaged, the plant becomes far less resistant to drought and disease. The Bogles won’t know the extent of the damage until they harvest the plants in late September or early October.

“I used to love these flowers,” says Marlene, waving a Tesla away from the driveway. “Now I can’t stand ’em.”

Our (their?) obsession with Instagram has broken a sunflower farm. It’s ruined a good, healthy, educational family day out simply because we are narcissists and are desperate for instant gratification, more LIKES than the next person and some sort of transient security through affirmation of our petty content.

Humans are weird things. Really weird.

My Instagram

I get quite a few requests for details of my Instagram account, despite it being linked to just over there on the right.

Anyway, here it is, along with a few other of my accounts you might want to follow:

My Instagram
My Flickr
My Twitter
My Facebook
My Youtube

And a couple of my Spotify playlists:

inspired by 6
just another indie/britpop playlist

I look forward to record (no pun intended) numbers of listeners.

 

Please feel free to add me on your social network(s) of choice.
Unless you’ve had enough of me already; in which case, why are you still reading this?

Dam Mischief

I was a bit naughty yesterday, but I’m not sorry. Everyone should be a bit naughty every now and again. I’m not advocating murder or anything. Nothing illegal. Just a bit of mischief, which harms no-one and which keeps your heart young.

As ever with a big news story in the modern era, everyone wants to be the first to share the latest developments and fresh angles. There’s a certain gratification to be found in being the one to tell your friends about the breaking news you have just read. They didn’t know. You informed them. You’re the man (or woman). Noddy badge of honour time.

The water crisis is dominating the news here at the moment, as it has monotonously for several months now. There are no new angles anymore. Even Helen Zille’s tweets are only generating transient, short-lived outrage.

Still, when I put out this tweet yesterday, I was rather surprised when people quickly shared it.

Several people remarked on it and shared it, often with a sad emoji, because it clearly doesn’t look like a major reservoir feeding a city of 4 million people should.

Of course, that’s because it’s actually a picture of Mars.

This composite image looking toward the higher regions of Mount Sharp was taken on September 9, 2015, by NASA’s Curiosity rover. In the foreground — about 2 miles (3 kilometers) from the rover — is a long ridge teeming with hematite, an iron oxide. Just beyond is an undulating plain rich in clay minerals. And just beyond that are a multitude of rounded buttes, all high in sulfate minerals.

So, no. This isn’t Theewaterskloof dam “from the Villiersdorp road”. It’s another planet about 55 million kilometres away.

Still, there are some similarities:

The changing mineralogy in these layers of Mount Sharp suggests a changing environment in early Mars, though all involve exposure to water billions of years ago. Further back in the image are striking, light-toned cliffs in rock that may have formed in drier times and now is heavily eroded by winds.

This was never meant to be a social experiment. I lobbed it up there as a bit of a joke. Perhaps naively, I expected everyone to see it exactly for what it was. Instead, there were only a couple of engagements which suggested that*. The remainder simply clicked the Retweet button apparently without even thinking.

I’ve learned something from this, but I suspect I might be just about alone in that.

 

* One of them was from Jonathan Meyer**
** He’s very anxious for me to point that out to you