And KABLAM there it is – night-time.

You’re sitting there as usual, in your undies, playing around on Instagram and posting at the ideal time according to the Audience tab on your Insights (I’ll save you the trouble; it’ll show a spike at 9pm unless it’s Sunday). You look wistfully outside for the chirping birds and couch-to-5k-ers but instead, you just see a reflection of your dribbling face – because there’s no light out there except for the faint visual throbbing of the BMW-down-the-road’s hazards after that fat grey cat’s jumped on it again.

Then you notice the car’s alarm sounding, a sound you’d tuned out of hearing in 1996, and suddenly you realise despite being JUST 9pm it’s probably post-dusk and the Summer is hinting it wants to close the shop.

What this all means is that it’s late August; time for the July-ish social summary.

Here’s what happened since June-ish:

Facebook, almost certainly the most popular social network on a planet called Earth, has apparently approached some big banks in the US to see if it can learn more about its users by knowing what they do with their banking. Facebook’s defence to the Wall Street Journal’s allegations was simply that people were “opting in” to connect Messenger (part of Facebook) to their bank accounts. What would Facebook do with that info? – That’s a very different question from what they COULD do… But they’re gonna be under a lot of scrutiny for sure.

Facebook also learned a valuable lesson about language – chiefly that the word “selemat” in Indonesia changes its meaning depending on the context. In most cases it means something similar to ‘congratulations’ and so Facebook decided to trigger uses of “selemat” with a lovely barrage of celebratory balloons and confetti. Oh, the joy! The thing is, in other contexts, it means ’unhurt’ or ‘survive’. So when there’s a disaster (like a 6.9 Richter-botherer which took over 130 lives, for example) and local residents are posting their hope that people aren’t dying, Facebook inadvertently started celebrating. 

More care and attention, perhaps, and maybe a native speaker would have spotted that potential embarrassment in good time…

On Twitter (and on Facebook, as they’re involved yet again) a load of ‘fake’ news hoodlums have been identified and quashed. Mainly based in Iran and Russia, these accounts were purportedly only there to spread more fakeness than a plastic surgeon in LA. 

It shows the networks are (finally?) taking more responsibility to make sure its users are protected from fakery and only see the real stuff (Twitter and Facebook, I mean, not the plastic surgery).

On Instagram, the Stories continue to grow, but the uptake of the ‘questions’ feature has dwindled as predicted. But Stories themselves are strong – but is it because they show dubiously frequent snippets of awesome? How sustainable is this? This ain’t real life… In a quote from Olivia Ovenden “Once I’d seen how visible the con was I saw it in everything” – which basically summarises the lies we’re telling people that we’re living.

And the thing about lies, about being fake, is that the social networks don’t like it. Does that mean they’ll begin to class unrealistic social life portrayals as fake news? No, probably not, but think about that for a bit when you look at your old schoolmates’ Stories… they’re probably not as cool as you think they are. I’m not. My Story guy is way cooler than the real me.

“And finally, what about Vero?” I hear you ask… LOL, no. No I don’t. 

Take care and see you next time for more of whatever this is.

xxx

ps When I said the “fat grey cat” I was being insensitive and lying to make you smile.

I feel ashamed of making out it was something it wasn’t, just to add more explain-y words to my description.

It wasn’t a “fat grey cat” at all, no. It was a chav.

 

 

 

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