Endless meetings, seminars, powerpoints, flipcharts… they discourage me. I’m a hands-on person, so this joke really has effect on me.
I didn’t use to be like this, but I guess I’ve become cynical? Sometimes I spend most of my 8 working hours in meetings. In most of them I think WHY?!? Are all these long gatherings worth the while or are they, like the joke suggests, mainly for feeling important, chatting about ones’ kids and eating those donuts (we don’t even have donuts). I would say yes, but at this point they don’t ask me.
This morning I participated in a seminar on Intercultural Dialogue and Media at the University of Applied Sciences, Haaga-Helia. (A place worth considering if you want to study a career in English here in Helsinki.) The title seemed promising but unfortunately most of the presentations didn’t offer new any new, interesting information.
One did: Mr. Tapio Varis, Professor Emeritus from University of Tampere specialized in media literacy, intercultural communications and “new humanism”. The PDF of his recent publication Media Literacy and New Humanism is published by UNESCO online. I wish I’d have time to read!
Mr. Varis brought out some interesting and critical points. In his opinion Google, Twitter, Facebook and such are all just a part of a big intelligence spying machine. We, very naïvely, believe that sharing our even intimate thoughts (and photos) in social media increases freedom of expression. Really, we donate our feelings and opinions to big companies, whose main aim is to make money. Somehow the scariest thing is that everyone seems to be happy: us and the companies – at least so far.
Of course it’s not black and white. Twitter etc. have been important for the freedom of information and democracy to the Arab countries these days. And here in Finland Twitter hasn’t even got popular yet! Not like Facebook, at least.
Anyway, you already know these are things, but when you hear them from the mouth of an expert in a convincing way they make you think where all this is leading us…
Despite the worries, I’m addicted to social media. So it would be an interesting human experiment to have a social media celibate: let’s say for a week. That would mean no Twitter, Facebook, Youtube etc. NO sharing at all! Would it be like not existing at all?
Hey I even found The Anti-Social Media blog by Jay Dolan with some cool images!