By Hans Ebert

Be selective. Be very selective. That’s one thing that’s becoming more and more clear every day. These days I don’t know anyone who’s not on some form of social media. This is probably where one has to be the most selective what with all its links, and tags and likes and comments, childish politics, paranoia, and, of course, emojis.

The world today almost speaks in forked tongue emojis. Whereas Twitter has reduced the art of conversation to 140 words or less, emojis have taken over even thinking about being a wordsmith. What for, when one is not being selective in who we choose to communicate? Just give a thumbs up emoji for the sake of “social media etiquette” and move on.

This, sadly, is how many in the world communicate today. And we wonder what’s gone wrong with society? When the “president” of the United States of America communicates “bigly” through Twitter, what the hell does this say about the state of the world and its fragile united state of minds?

What does any of this dumbing down of the world mean? Gawd knows, but it’s probably why songs have become two half assed lines pounded into submission and with beats making up the bulk of the “conversation”.

Through me not keeping my eye on the ball- and my iPhone- I recently found myself back on Facebook after a ten year break- and which needed over twenty attempts by my live-in at the time to help me break free from those useless and often ridiculous ties that bind.

Though good to catch up with a few old friends, there remain all those old sensitivities and rivalries and pettiness and more keyboard warriors out to make social media as unsociable as possible.

If being on Facebook is so fraught with sensitivities why bother to be on it? Make a phone call on Face Time or WhatsApp. By being on Facebook, you’ve made your bed, so lie in it. And if it’s too public and becomes a bloody drama, close it shut and move on, because there’s always going to be something there that you’re not going to like, or take personally. It comes with this territory called “social media”. Has anyone read some of the comments on YouTube these days? Why go to watch a music video only to tear the artist apart?

Meanwhile, my Ovation acoustic sits there alone. Inviting, but alone. I was recently by a friend asked how often I play it and when was the last time I had written a complete song. I really couldn’t remember. She persisted by asking how much time I spend on social media everyday. And while I tap danced around it being part of my job and how I get paid for it etc, she went for the jugular by asking exactly how many hours is spent “on my job” compared to actually creating something worthwhile, and which I own. Something personally fulfilling as opposed to trying to be everyone’s “friend” when way too often, there are no “friends” there. Just faceless names with nothing much to say.

Yes, be selective. Me? I’ll write what’s on my mind here and through my music. Time to communicate by first picking up my Ovation.

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