The Social Medea

“Child, I have been hearing a lot about this social Medea, something related to phones, laptops, it is the future communication method, it seems. And you… You are always glued to your phone. But what does Medea have to do with all that? Medea! The priestess of the most frightening Greek Goddess of all the Greek mythology, who sends all the misery to the World. But all of you go on and on about the Social Medea, Social Medea…”

“Granny! You need to be more attentive when you listen to the news! It is Social Media!”

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Hi Granny!

These Chinese whispers/telephone has really made me laugh. In reality, there are many articles on how social media is actually devastating, similarly to MedEa, whom you mentioned. However, if employed in a sensible way, social media is quite a convenience for fast and efficient communication.

What is social media?

These are various Internet “spaces” that are located on different addresses (just like people!) Communication happens instantaneously. The same way in which I am sending a SMS and it gets to the recipient, you could send images, videos and audio recordings without any post, any queues. Even Hermes could not dream about such speed (even with his winged sandals).

Let’s take a look at the 4 most popular social media channels:

Facebook. FB. Our lives have become too hectic “Hi, hw r u, brb” (Hi, how are you, be right back). No time could be spared on writing the whole words!
Facebook consists of personal profiles (like social online passports, which we execute to our liking). Through your personal profile you could upload (=put online) pictures. Or “check in” different locations. Similarly to the stamps they used to give you when you were visiting a national tourist attraction. Thanks to Facebook and its “connecting people” feature, I managed to find my classmates from High School as well as keep in touch with my university friends who are dispersed all around the World.

Twitter is another social media channel that I have talked to you about. Please revise here.

I have also explained what LinkedIn is – the professional network which serves as a portfolio and CV in one.
Instagram: This is a website which is mainly oriented to photo sharing. The use of hashtags is obligatory to make the pictures more searchable and well… popular. The unwritten rule here is that the more filters and/or abstract thinking are present in our Instagram pictures, the more likes, shares and comment one will get…

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“I would never swap one of your baby photos even for a thousand Infragrams..”

“It is Instagram, Granny!”

“You are rather accurate when it comes to these new things. But if I ask you to make a filo pastry from scratch… I will sit aside and watch you “refreshing” and “restarting”…”

“Touché, Granny, touché!” 🙂

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The importance of being Earnest

“Hi, Child! I always forget to ask you whether you got a reference letter from your previous job… With a stamp and everything, so you are safe.”

“Hi Granny! No need of a stamp actually. Today I will tell you more about LinkedIn. This is a website with online profiles (like a CV), where you have to list your studies, your present and past work experience; it is also the place where colleagues can recommend you. There is your picture on it, you could take a look at other peoples’profiles and even hunt for a job Lots of companies have a LinkedIn profile. It is where they share firm news. They also hire people based on what their LinkedIn profile says.”

“But why do you call it a ‘profile’ and not full face?”

“It’s like asking why you are saying that you met Grandpa in your stream…”

“I see nothing wrong with that, he was in the same stream…”

“Yes, Granny, but it sounds weird. As if you met in the woods and not in university…I shall carry on: In LinkedIn everyone can recommend everyone for a certain skillset.”

“Who can see that?”

“Everyone to whom you send a link to your personal profile, or who finds you on the Internet. Thus, when you apply for a job, this is your sort of business card with references.”

“So what happens if somebody writes something bad for you? Can you delete it somehow?”

“Similar to the obituary: everyone used to be the perfect husband, there was no unfaithful wife, no father-alcoholic, no mother who used to cook so bad that is it beyond description… In LinkedIn there is not a bad professional! Every reference goes through your approval first before it becomes visible to the rest of the world.”

“It seems to me that this is only favourable to those looking for a job and a bit unfair to those searching for people with real skills. It is important to be earnest in these things…”

“Ah, Granny, good that you are mentioning that. Do you recall Oscar Wilde’s play  “The importance of being earnest”? The word play starts from the very title, as it turns out Earnest is also the name able to win women’s admiration

“So?”

“So why word play is tolerable in literature, in theatre, in flirting, but is not in our online CV?”

“Because you must be responsible and serious! It is not good to lie!”

“Yes, Granny, but they also lie in their job descriptions. I’ll prove it to you!”

Spectacular team: Meaning spectacularly unbearable. As if they are selected with a special test for idiocy. Team meetings often start with some inspiring bullshit from Paolo Coelho (best-case scenario)and end up with Natalia Kobilkina (brimming with wisdom, Cicero’s descendant). 

Intriguing salary: Whereas the only intriguing thing about my salary is the lacking zero at the end… Foreign companies in Sofia have come to the conclusion that they should not pay for our knowledge but for our location… Thus my knowledge costs less in Sofia than in the UK. Fair, eh?

“Opportunity for growth”: Maximum one poorly executes workshop. Meanwhile the only development we become witnesses of, is the love story between colleagues, who hide in such a masterful way, that we all know about them being together…

“Opportunity to freely generate ideas” and here comes the little, invisible font:”As long as these ideas overlap with the greedy, narrow minded boss” (9 out of 10 cases)

“So Granny, let’s not talk about the importance of being Earnest in job hunting. I am Angelina, and this is pretty enough for me. :-)”

Granny smiles here. I know her well, so I am sure she does.

 

What is a blog, Child?

”What is this block, child? Which number?”

It’s a blog, Granny. Blog stands for a letter addressed to many people around the world. Is it not way too extrovert? Perhaps even a little exhibitionist-like? Yep! But who cares? We love to be liked. We are crazy about it! With time less and less people physically come to say “I like this!” But they all give an unambiguous sign. You used to clap to say “well done”. We are much more sophisticated and minimalistic. We just put a big thumb up. Through the computer, yes! Cool, right? So we do not need to put extra time into wording and unnecessary communication! This thumb up is the haiku of all gestures! It just says so much! 

And so this is why I am writing a blog. To let everyone to whoop it up.

I hope this blog will get to where you ARE, as I’d love to carry on chatting to you (or have a tête-à-tête, as you used to say).

Since you went away, many things have changed. You have no idea! So I am going to throw some light. I will be writing to you about all these fancy new terms with which you could not quite happen to meet. This will be the lingo of your grandchildren. In my opinion, the gap, no the void, between the generations has never been larger. History repeats itself, but in a bit more cruel way. One generation takes care of another, so that the new generation learns more and becomes “better”. Interestingly, when it gets “better”, it opposes all the well-known questions (“Have you eaten?”, “When will you come back home?” etc.) with rage. The “better” generation shouts down the care shown from the “not-that-good-generation” by saying: “You understand nothing! I will check when I get there and will Instagram it later.”(Instagram is nothing related to food, Granny. Besides you seeing “gram” in it. I will explain it soon.)

At times I think you did well you went away. I am not sure you would have liked or understood this new world. We are exchanging photos with Mum and Dad via the phone. If you were alive, I would have probably printed them for you. Or would have said: “Oh, leave it, it doesn’t matter, that’s just a groupie we did with some fr on FB.”

I would have probably mocked you from time to time that you know little of the modern jargon. If you knew how to use the Internet, you’d probably send me this:

“To my children:

Never make fun of having to help me with computer stuff. I taught you how to use a spoon.”

#youareverycoolGranny #spoton #lol

If you feel a bit perplexed and you think most of my sentences are spelling mistakes, worry not! This is just a tiny portion of the things that have changed since you are gone. And because of our love, I will help all elderly people who are willing to learn and thus be closer to their children and grandchildren. Technology should not be demonised. It empowers us a lot, if used with the right intentions…and moderately.

I will tell you about the new ways in communication, the attitudes and the relations. When you feel out of place, just ask me here. If you need anything explained, please ask.

I am your digital granddaughter, in good and bad times. In new and old times.

I love you, Granny! Only this hasn’t changed since you went away…