By Hans Ebert

She said it. Someone young and an “influencer” like Selena Gomez finally said what some of us “oldsters” have been saying about social media for quite some time: How it cannot be a good place, especially for young minds to go and where they believe everything they read. It’s often the worst “home schooling” in these very troubled times. It’s no bridge over troubled waters. It’s often quicksand.

Many don’t know better. This is, after all, one of the first stops in their life. Their “grounding”. They really do believe everything they read- anything and everything from total strangers who are “experts” on everything. Celebrities who are unaware of the influence they have over their fans. Or simply don’t care. It’s nothing personal, it’s just business.

The generation Selena Gomez talks about and where “haters” once got the better of her, caused Ed Sheeran to close down his Twitter account etc etc wouldn’t know real photographs from badly Photoshopped people with six packs, eight packs, fully packed and rippling with muscles plus longer, slimmer legs, hourglass figures, bigger boobs and absolutely perfect complexion. And those are just the men.

The cynicism many baby boomers carry with them after discovering that there really wasn’t a dream, but more of a nightmare despite the explosion of music and creativity and huge social changes of the Sixties, are things unknown to them. Most were born rocking in the free online world to “beatz” where everything is for the taking- for free. And where that old expression known as “Keeping it real” has zero meaning anymore. Fake is acceptable. Fake Is the new reality. It’s a parents worst nightmare as they have no control over this new’s often online crack.

Struggling and pretty average musicians who I know have more “followers” and people “liking” them than Jesus did. And we all know what happened to him.

Why do these people crave for more of everything? They think it buys instant fame. It’s all about getting whatever there is around- quicker and in bigger doses. And because it’s free, it’s inhaled until the mind has lost what are priorities.

When everything is a priority, nothing is. It’s all equal parts silly putty but never knowing what else lurks there. The wrong something could even tip some over the edge.

It comes back to what Selena Gomez has said about social media being terrible for her generation.

Know what? Social media is often the cause of mental problems for EVERY generation. It’s highly addictive and creeps up on you without one even knowing it. And to worsen matters, comes “motivational” quotes- on social media- to “help” those cope with any fallout because of social media.

One has to wonder how popular “Game Of Thrones” would have been without social media. Of “Carpool Karaoke”.

Now we’re moving into the area of marketing. The effectiveness of social media for businesses, when and where cleverly used.

Kendall and Kylie Jenner, the Kardashians and other showbiz personalities are businesses. They’re brands for sale. Offer their management enough money and they’re yours. Are they good role models? Ever tried keeping up with the Kardashians?

There’s nothing really wrong here. Stars have always been popular. Today, they’re known as Key Opinion Leaders because of the numbers game where they’re way out in front. Think of that term: Key Opinion Leaders. Yeezy is a Key Opinion Leader. And every Kardashian.

So, instead of People, Us or Tiger Beat or whatever magazine that once sold celebritydom, there’s now the far more cost effective and immediate Instagram.

It really has now come down to Instagram. Facebook has grown up. And grown old. Twitter is largely for those who don’t have time for enjoying reading and writing.

Ever seen some of the spelling and grammar on Twitter? Guess trying to say something intelligent in 140 words or less comes easily to those who have absolutely no idea between “you’re” and “your”, “there” and “they’re”. And these are forty and fifty year olds. The supposedly “more experienced” and “educated” generation who are suddenly communicating with each other as if they’ve had a lobotomy. Or become part of The Night Of The Living Dead and The Children Of The Corn.

So we’re now all in this mosh pit of clutter together. This giant soufflé of nothingness where, depending on one’s lifestyle, online becomes real time and nothing of any significance gets done or shines through.

It’s where the tail wags the dog. It’s Strawberry Fields Forever, but a place where nothing is real and full of Nowhere People where many have allowed themselves to go and lose themselves in often the angst and stupidity of it all.

There’s very little humour on, for example, Twitter. It’s where some take themselves and who they might think of themselves as being way too seriously. And though many of us know this, we continue to go there and join the rabble rousers..

At lunch the other day, at the next table, there were two visiting businessmen in Hong Kong talking about how it’s been difficult for their companies to sell people on buying 5G phones. How it’s a pricing problem, but how the upside is that it can provide even more information even faster.

Everything is about being first with the news and competitiveness to be seen as being a “leader”.

It’s complete bollocks. But it’s what’s been sold extremely effectively. It’s like Fagin asking those street urchins to do his bidding. And which many of today’s online urchins do without thinking. Maybe they’ve never known to think.

There’s gotta be individual thinking. Why am I on social media? It helps create awareness for my businesses. Does it work? Yes and no. Depends on the relevance of content and not “followers”. These “followers” can be bought. And if they don’t result in sales or reaching those who can help sales and this awareness…

Ellen DeGeneres, especially, uses Instagram exceptionally well and always brings in some much needed positivity to an often angry birds world. Many can learn about how to use this delivery platform for good and the image of their brand. They can also be inspired to do things to help the world. Or themselves. Little things mean a lot.

If there’s a problem, it’s when those not invited to your online party crash it. There’s nothing to keep them out. It’s part of the deal. It’s what’s been inherited. The trolls. The deadbeats.

So though Selena Gomez laments about the ills that social media has wrought on her generation, it’s also taken those not ever wanting to go for the ride over hill and over dale and where when one looks back at what’s been accomplished at the end of the day, they see absolutely nothing.

It cannot continue like this. And just maybe, more and more people, like Selena Gomez, are finally growing up no matter how old they might be. Social media can be a good place. It’s quickly, however, become a bad place where one is judged by the company they keep.

#socialmedia #selenagomez #Ellen #Ellendegeneres #KendallJenner #Instagram #Instafame #fakenews