Posts Tagged ‘roland joffe’

More than 50 years ago the great American broadcaster Edward R Murrow declared that television (not religion) was becoming the opium of the people. He despaired at the passivity of viewers and the poor quality of programming.

A lot of mainstream media attention today focuses on what it sees as the banality of social media chatter, about LOLZ and OMG and videos of cats, and how the internet demeans us as a species. But I Reckon it’s a bit more complicated than that.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good cat video, and this is an outstanding cat video (or at least, a video about cat videos).

But instead of caring how many followers I have, my social media experiences are now about self-expression and wanting other people to recognise that. Why on earth would anyone write a blog except for attention, approval and recognition? I love it when someone I respect retweets me. Only a few days ago the excellent film critic Nigel Floyd replied to a witty comment I’d made on one of his posts (at least I thought it was witty, and it must have at least piqued his interest!).

We all want to be liked, and social media now provides with ample means to get the ‘positive strokes’ we might need. See how funny I can be tweeting on #cheesefilms or while watching #BBCQT. See how clever I am in my blog posts and film reviews. Look! I’m following really hip/cool/clever people and I can share/plagiarise their thoughts. Look at my beautiful pictures on Instagram, cast your eyes in wonder over my lovely Pinterest boards…

(I’m not on Pinterest, but the rest of those are true)

westonbirt arboretum blossoms instagram

Look, filtered and everything!

Getting affirmation from the twitterati or from friends and colleagues is great fun, and it becomes almost addictive. I’m disappointed if I post something on this blog only to find barely anyone reads it (IDIOTS! They don’t know what they’re missing!). Contrary to appearances these things don’t write themselves. But I come back again for more, because the dopamine effect I get when it does ‘work’ is a fantastic feeling. And

I’ve written about that ‘high’ some more on my company’s very excellent marketing blog here.

Of course, social attention-seeking can backfire on the vain…

A few weeks ago I was notified that I was being followed by @rolandjoffe, the famous film director of some outstanding Oscar-winning films, especially The Mission and The Killing Fields. This came as quite a surprise, and I kind of fell for it. I followed his account without checking much, only to receive a Direct Message hours later…

roland joffe tweet


On further inspection it seems that Mr Joffe rarely, if ever, tweets. I was followed (almost certainly) not by him, but by production staff, or studio marketing interns seeking out people who tweet about films a lot. It was nothing personal, purely a marketing strategy. I could and probably should have guessed that in advance. But then that’s the power of the dopamine…


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