Earlier this year I wrote a piece about resilience and its foundation in resistance.

The more I read and hear about the Wild Wild West of the World Wide Web and the savage swamp that is social media, the more incentive there is to call for a rebellion.

So, come on, get to the ramparts and resist the constant call to live our lives online. To misquote the Daleks from Dr Who: "Resistance is useful."

Growing numbers of young people are already doing that but this message is to ya' all beyond 25 years of age.


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Next time you hear social media corporates say it is all about bringing people together please recall the way it actually stops people talking face to face.

Communication requires dialogue. Txting doesn't count.

Facebook likes are ... like, you know ... like not really like liking unless you have actually met the person and decided that "like" is the word that fits.

Instagram is not real life it is a stage "and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and entrances" (Shakespeare - As You Like It; Act 2).

If that does not give pause for thought then try considering the vast unpaid taxes these corporates are diverting from the countries they do business in. If they were truly bringing communities together they would be putting the money where their mouth is.

How does this resistance thing work?

It means acknowledging the pure commercial motivations of social media and ignoring their beguiling siren call to being online knowing it can lead you into the valley of the trolls, the places where hatred lurks ready to pounce on the unwary.


Resistance means rejecting that contagion called Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) and the anxiety and stress it can provoke.

Twitter is the modern condensed classic version of the cheap novel. It is all characters with no plot.

A txt cannot convey real emotions. It is a one dimensional cut-out with a sharp edge that can cut to the bone.

The txt that announces the break-up, the end of a friendship or a romance provides no context. It cannot register tears, sadness, confusion, honesty or theft -- this is left to the receiver to grapple with and attempt to interpret.

If your eyes are gazing down at the smartphone, the world could go right by without you seeing it pass.

Most of us have seen a group of people out together and noted that they are paying more attention to their phone than each other.

The art of conversation is disappearing as we become side-tracked by the possibility that something might happen and we will not know.

If adults are spending more time on their phones than engaged in conversation with their children then it is no surprise that kids will feel disconnected and more likely to mimic this behaviour and look to connect via their screens.

Resistance means taking time to talk with family, friends and workmates rather than using txt as the default medium.

This a call to the barricades, to encourage rebellion. To resist and take back our sense of self from the corporates who would "like" to profit from their influence in people's lives.

■Terry Sarten (aka Tel) is a writer, musician and social worker - feedback: tgs@inspire.net.nz