ALEXANDRA SHULMAN’S NOTEBOOK: Social media turns us into a bunch of cannibals

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As it was predictable that when Pandora’s box of social media opened, a bubbling swarm of poisonous wasps would be released.

And how different from the ideal, we have been sold for years.

We were told that everyone would have a voice, which would lead to richer and more informed comments.

There would be objective competition to traditional media, often presented as being in the pockets of over-powerful advertisers and owners.

The voice of the people would have no investment in anything other than sharing fair and honest views.

Reality turned out to be a dog-eating dog world where, at least in the fashion and lifestyle realm where I’ve worked, the hundreds of bloggers, influencers, and podcasters often turn out to be. to be cannibals with fierce appetites, each new generation avidly devouring the previous one at the first opportunity.

The recent victims of this situation are two of the first social media success stories: French illustrator, photographer and blogger Garance Dore, and Leandra Medine Cohen, the New Yorker who founded popular fashion site Man Repeller.

The recent victims of this story are one of the first social media success stories – Leandra Medine Cohen, the New Yorker who founded popular fashion site Man Repeller.

I’m not taking any sides in these stacks – what fascinates me is how they illustrate that this supposedly brave new world is by no means purer or nicer than what came before it. In fact the opposite.

Dore, 46, who was a familiar and beloved figure on the fashion circuit, was called out in an article titled “What’s up with fashion sweetheart Garance Dore?” in a small online magazine called Ensemble.

The crime? His seemingly carefree Covid travel itinerary in New Zealand and LA, Scotland and Corsica, plus a recent hesitation post to his 707,000 followers on Instagram.

Next, Medine Cohen gave an interview to fashion designer Recho Omondi’s The Cutting Room Floor, a podcast with a relatively small but engaged audience.

Medine Cohen had to shut down her Man Repeller site last year amid swirling allegations of staff abuse, but in this interview it was the interrogator who found herself the subject of a storm over social networks for making allegedly anti-Semitic remarks, referring to the nose jobs and name. changes, such as the switch from Ralph Lauren to Ralph Lifshitz.

These examples have happened in the fashion world, but they are reflected everywhere on social media.

People who hope to develop a large following have found that aggression increases visitor numbers far more effectively than playing nicely with an audience eager to join an angry crowd that itches to stand out.

Social media can be a wonderful and powerful tool, but the increasingly common practice of so many attacking and harming each other is unnecessary, ugly, uninformed, and extremely destructive.

It takes time to build authority and trust and build a real, lasting business as traditional newspapers and magazines have done for many decades.

New media characters need to be careful about how they use their power. Otherwise, before they know it, they will be seen as the old guard and shot down by the new kids in the neighborhood, who will feel equally angry and wronged by something or the like.

Amber quarantine makes me see red

Suddenly we live in an amber world. How confusing, because of the three colors of traffic lights, amber is the one you never know what to do with. Stop? To go? Who knows? Amber quarantine restrictions, amber weather warnings and last week, most peculiar of all, the first amber extreme heat alerts. Amber is not extreme. That’s the point.

The smile that makes Queen my model

I didn’t expect that I would see the Queen as my role model, but since it’s now the predictable question in every quick interview, I had to find one. And who better?

Because while most recent 95-year-old widows would be forgiven for choosing to limit their activities and pamper themselves in a small world of loved ones, our Queen has never been so out with a big smile and a handshake. .

She was there at the Eden Project for the G7 summit, entertaining the Bidens at Buckingham Palace, laughing at the Windsor Horse Show, on the set of Coronation Street, driving her Range Rover in Sandringham – dressed in cheerful colors, never less than intelligent.

Yes, she has the privilege of money and position. But that doesn’t protect anyone from age and grief. If only we could hope to compete.

The deal will see Prince Harry's memoir released next year - on the Queen's Platinum Jubilee - with the second book to be withheld until after her death

I didn’t expect that I would see the Queen as my role model, but since it’s now the predictable question in every quick interview, I had to find one.

Deluded Dom is so weirdly attractive

Dominic Cummings – megalomaniac, deceived disruptor, avenging colleague, rejected comrade. But also, in his etiolated manner, in a white shirt, with nothing to lose, strangely attractive.

After his crazy interview, I mentioned to someone that I found him strangely convincing. They correctly pointed out that it was only recently that I would have thought he was the devil incarnate for helping lead us to Brexit. I still do.

But then aren’t the devils often the most attractive?

Dominic Cummings - megalomaniac, deceived disruptor, avenging colleague, rejected comrade.  Yet also, in his stale manner, in a white shirt, with nothing to lose, strangely attractive

Dominic Cummings – megalomaniac, deceived disruptor, avenging colleague, rejected comrade. Yet also, in his stale manner, in a white shirt, with nothing to lose, strangely attractive

It’s official … brown bread is really dead

Last week I went looking for a brown bread to serve with butter and shrimp. A box of simple, freshly baked wholemeal flour. Could I find one anywhere? No. Leaven? Oh yes.

Endless sourdough – seed, rye, gluten free, organic. The focaccia, of course. A mellow and malty French poilane, of course.

But a regular, easy-to-slice brown, a cut above a Hovis supermarket, is as endangered as the Checkered Skipper butterfly.

Education Minister needs an art lesson

The past 18 months have proven that you often don’t know what you’re missing out on until you get it back.

Going to Tate Modern to see the brilliant exhibition of Sophie Taeuber-Arp, one of the greatest abstract artists of the 1920s and 1930s, reminded me of how important it is to be able to spend time immersed in the work of another person, to forget the dreary things of the day and leave enriched with their talent and their ideas.

I recommend Education Secretary Gavin Williamson take a look – it might change his mind about pushing his planned 50 percent funding cuts to the arts in our sector from education.

We need future generations of artists as much as we need scientists.

I recommend that Education Secretary Gavin Williamson take a look at Tate Modern.

I recommend that Education Secretary Gavin Williamson take a look at Tate Modern.


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