Twitter tweeting titivates, teases, tempts and troubles
’m just not sure any more, that communication is all that it can, and should be, because I’m slowly developing a cynicism about whether much of the communication we are involved in, is genuinely worthwhile or effective.
That giant of ancient Greek philosophy, the originator of much that established ‘rules’ of societies, was Plato, and he once said, “Wise men speak, because they have something to say, where fools speak, because they have to say something,” indicating very long ago that those who have less to say are probably those most worth listening to. We should also be wary of those who talk too much I guess, as one of my old mates used to say, “We should be wary of those who are profligate with words, coz they’re probably economical with the truth.”
And within those few lines, lies the basis of my concern over the effectiveness of communication, not only within the newer generation, but across our societies and our world. It’s not a new boldness or informality that is promoting, or allowing the increasingly aggressive, almost irrational behaviour of our world’s leaders and leading businessmen, making anti-social and genuinely uncivilised behaviour ‘par for the course’ today. It is the first steps in the deconstruction of society, as was so adroitly established all those years ago.
The concepts of crime and punishment, cultured, culturally aware, human rights based societies took so long to establish, and so many people, nameless, ordinary people perished in the names of rights, responsibilities and mankind, let alone the historical figures such as Lincoln, Gandhi and Mandela, to name just a few, but today I fear we are lacking role models to aspire to, to be proud of, and to respect.
The absolute and genuinely respectable exception, not only for his words, but his deeds, has of course been His Majesty Sultan Qaboos.
You see, it doesn’t matter how good, or how effective someone is, the global media aren’t interested in good, they are only interested in controversial. Half of the world’s news headlines today are about ‘fake news.’ Really? No, that term was simply an invention designed to distract and escape, there’s no such thing as fake news any more, but a growing realization and recognition, that all of a sudden fake news isn’t needed anymore because the increasingly irrational behaviour and pronouncements of leading businessmen, politicians, and those we look to for leadership, is tipping us over the edge.
Me, I blame twitter. Well not just twitter, that’s a bit unfair, but I firmly believe that the rise, the somewhat ungoverned and heady rise of social media in such a short time has led people to feel that they are bulletproof. I mean, is it acceptable to say something unkind about someone in social media, delete it a couple of hours later, and take the view that it was “never said” therefore. “I deleted it,” is hardly the same as “I never said it,” is it? And we all know that words are heard, but their tone, manner and intent hold the real message, and there is as much in the silences, as the words.
I dunno. Is it just me, or do you too yearn for the days when your world leaders and idols may not have been perfect, but refrained from irresponsibility, even irrationality? Thomas Jefferson said, “When you’re angry, count to ten before you speak, and if you’re very angry, count to a hundred.” I’m sure he is tut, tutting on high when he sees what the phenomenon has wrought in recent years. Honesty and integrity are not simply requirements of each of us, but our communication, and our societies, and without them, we live in a much more savage garden.
We all know that words are heard, but their tone, manner and intent hold the real message, and there is as much in the silences, as the words