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Social Media Week: Life doesn't suck

Posted by Russ / February 17, 2012

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There it was. Staring back at me like a dead dog with a leaky eye. 'Life sucks,' the sidewalk told me, its message etched by a finger long ago.

Huh.

As I strolled down Bathurst on my way to my first event for Social Media Week Toronto, this bleak blob of demotivation stayed with me. In some way for some reason, I thought that maybe this could represent the first tweet. Analog, mind you, but its essence and forum was inescapable. So was its pessimism.

But, of course this wasn't the original tweet. What was I thinking? Whoever made the decision to share their pithy enlightenment with a generation of walkers-by probably wasn't thinking that the character count and format of this two-word epistle would be a glowing example of how we would eventually ingest a large part of our media.

Parenthetically, I will state right here that that word 'tweet' is stupid.

But, I digress. Making grand existential statements was not why I was here. I was here to try to make sense of, and maybe learn something from, thousands of people riffling about social media. And I'll tell you... putting my finger on what exactly this entire thing is - a seven-day event that coincides with parallel events in 21 cities worldwide - ain't easy.

I'm just catching the last two days, so the first-hand big picture will evade me. But here it is in a relatively uninformed nutshell: a collection of thousands of experts, academics, professionals, amateurs, and standers-by perpetually hunched with right-angled necks, squinting into a pocket computer. When they look up, they have things to say. They are an educated bunch. I like to believe that many are living their dreams.

There is an aspiration for greater good here. Communication is good. In my mind, anything that puts ideas out there, that makes people think about who we are and why we do things, that forces the hand of creativity,is a fantastic thing.

However, I fear that by drilling down so far into how and why we communicate in such a self-interested fashion only serves to validate our own insecurities about the world we live in.

Did I hear one word about the whole C-30 Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act? No, I didn't. While Vikileaks30 was telling me how much our Public Safety Minister spent on pancakes, I didn't hear word one about how the very crux of our raison-être here was at stake. In this small regard, I have experienced a quiet that says more about our egos than it does of our world.

This cynicism aside, my worry rests on a bed of hope about what could be done. I bit off a chunk of inspiration from everyone I came into contact with - online or otherwise. There is a spirit of possibility, of bigger things. It eases my mind.

The truth is that now, more than ever, we all put ourselves out there. Privacy is almost a thing of the past. I've heard, "embrace it." Toews loves you for it, but for now, I'll go with it.

But, you know... I'm just a guy with some fingers who can wiggle them to make words pop up on a screen. In a digital version, just like the guy who wiggled his fingers into that Bathurst sidewalk.

I wonder about that person. What made them scrawl such a missive? As a boy who knows Montreal a tad better than Toronto, I can't immediately tap into the insight that might shed light on the why. Honestly? Don't care.

So hey... Grumpy Sidewalk. You know why life doesn't suck? Because I fulfilled a childhood dream - a good one, a positive one - and played basketball on a real NBA court as part of the week's events. And it was more than analog or digital.

And no part about dreaming sucks.

Discussion

11 Comments

Ronald / February 18, 2012 at 08:42 am
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And no part about dreaming sucks: http://i.imgur.com/S1whc.png
Russ Cooper / February 18, 2012 at 08:55 am
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What?
gougnotte forniqueuse / June 21, 2014 at 04:53 pm
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Je finirai de regarder ça dans la soirée
Kanchipuram sarees / June 5, 2018 at 10:30 pm
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nice post
golu dolls / June 5, 2018 at 10:30 pm
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nice post
Kanchipuram silk Sarees / July 1, 2018 at 12:30 am
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nice post
golu dolls / July 1, 2018 at 12:30 am
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nice post
kanchipuram Silk / January 8, 2019 at 05:20 am
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Nice post
kanchipuramsarees / January 8, 2019 at 05:20 am
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Nice post
navarathri golu / January 8, 2019 at 05:20 am
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Nice post
herbal powder / January 8, 2019 at 05:21 am
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Nice post

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