Saturday, July 12, 2014

Unfollowing: The Real Power of Social Media

Daryl Hannah posted a wonderfully sad, gentle, soft and salving video to her Facebook feed.   How do I know it was herself and not Team Daryl?   I asked and she replied quite quickly:  "There is no Team Daryl Hannah. xo"  Just that.  Sweet and with a kiss.   Perfect.

 Then there is Bette Midler.  She posts to her own page instead of having Team Bette do it. Or if she does, she's fooling me well enough to keep it entertaining or makes me think, And that is why she stays in my feed. The cause posts are ok. Those are passions and shared passions are essential to conversation.  It doesn't matter that she doesn't speak directly to me.  She is an a-lister with limited time and hundreds of thousands of fans.   I get that.   It matters that her posts are her voice, her thoughts,  It matters that she respects us enough not to fool us to advance a cause or sell a t-shirt or even an album.  I don't care that she does that as long as she does that.

I've begun to unfollow the celebrities who have Team Zeds, the professional social media experts who post for them, build their brand, sell their bric a brac and otherwise try to create an illusion of involvement, of engagement, of caring.   I am fatigued by the marketing, the shallow engagements, the little dismissives, the big frauds who consume attention and offer cotton candy comforts.   Enough.

This is a conversational medium. The a-listers who get that know if they don't actually communicate, if they let Team Zed do it, then maybe they don't need fans. And that turns us into consumers. Same as TV. And that turns my feed into a street lamp covered with old band posters. The best hope for changing or healing or offering a bit of comfort in daunting times is smart people having smart conversations because choosing who chooses our choices is the ultimate surrender of our power to another, not quite love because that surrenders our selves, but certainly a choice to be made passionately.

Daryl and Bette stay on my feed.  I am grateful they are offering their unique passionate points of view.   So it's a privilege to share a sweet, sad gentle song in which a genuine person sings backup, Daryl Hannah.   She is a Seyfert: a rare kind galaxy because at it's center instead of a void, there is a glowing heart. 

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