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The increasing power of Social Media and the masks we wear

By Melissa Frost

Our morning routine has changed over the last decade from the obligatory visit to the bathroom via flicking on the jug to now booting up our laptops and tablets en route to the loo. We lean over the sink splashing water on our weathered faces as we peer through the mist to view the weariness of the face looking back at us. “What’s been happening over night?” we say to ourselves.

Social Media is a very powerful tool. Baby boomers love Facebook. We never log out. Our laptops and tablets hum from the kitchen benchtop all night or as in my case hum from the floor beside my bed.

Five years ago our Facebook feeds were friends. The daily lives of our Facebook friends. The people we actually knew. Now our feeds are 40% advertising, 40% political and 20% Facebook friends. So to get that human content many of us have turned to Facebook forums and to Facebook activist pages. Political affinity is one-way individuals can connect with each other. One political group I frequent is group number 363770999091. These groups are full of disillusioned Australians. Disillusioned with government. Disillusioned with the right to be heard. These groups give them a voice. Users frequent these groups like their own home. Comfortably walking in and out of rooms enveloped by the familiar surroundings. According to the most recent Facebook data, the average user was “connected to 80 community pages, groups and events.” This is known as audience expansion. Research argues that users reaffirm their sense of self and public identity through the available categories of nationality, gender, ethnicity or religion. Facebook provides a medium where individuals can shape these norms/expectations and signal to others their identification with them. Identifying with a Facebook group affirms or legitimises user’s public choices. This public statement is a small-scale form of activism. Microactivisim.

Microactivism is a growing collective. Organisations such as GetUpI and have had very positive outcomes through the power of social media. The instaneous dissemination of information across the political and activist groups of Facebook is having a very powerful effect on the Australian landscape. There are many examples of political and social change through the power of Facebook microactivism.

Hence why those weary faced baby boomers. Those foot stomping activists of the 70s now reboot the tablet enroute to the loo.


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  1. mark delmege

    some of us still use PC’s (with bigger screens and better grunt)

  2. Matters Not

    Our morning routine has changed

    Really? What’s with this our>? It certainly not my our. So for reasons of conceptual clarity could you please change the collective ‘our’ to the personal ‘my’?

    As for those who invade the (personal) privacy of their offspring via posting images of same, I just shake my head.

    As a matter of interest, why do you have this fascination with the visitation of loos? Is it a ‘fixation’? If so? Then why?

    Personally, it gives me the ‘sh@ts’. Not that I want to ‘dwell’ on that.

  3. mark delmege

    matters you need a laff

    Facebook piss offs:

    1) Men pouting in photos, girls look ridiculous enough, but lads….f*cking stop it.

    2) Girls with Ming from Flash Gordon eyebrows. Eyebrows are meant to deflect water from your eyes, they are NOT supposed to have corners….

    3) People who write billy big bollocks statuses like….”to the man in the shop who just stood on my toe, it’s a good job u had ur kids with u or I’d have knocked u out!” Or “to the woman in the green corsa who cut me up earlier then smiled at me at the lights, it’s a good job the lights changed cos I was gonna get out and kick u square in the minge!”…. Firstly they won’t see that status because you don’t know them, secondly, why are you making out like you’d show any aggression towards them? You clearly said absolutely nothing to them, then ran home to write a status about what you would have done if you had some bollocks….

    4) 30+ year old men describing good things as “sick”… Grow up…

    5) Young people using Americanisms, like.. “We got a cab home and made out..” No mate, you fingered her in a taxi….

    6) “New hair” posts…it’s not f*cking new hair, it’s your same old hair just shorter and laced with chemicals to make it the same colour as whichever pretty celeb you’re trying to copy… And by the way, she looks nice with red hair…you look like a tool.

    7) Overnight nutritionists…I’m glad you recently discovered health and fitness 4 months ago, but knowing that chicken and rice is good clean food, doesn’t mean you should post pics of your 8 prepped meals online every morning and preach how we should all be eating just that. Some of us like pizza thanks! F*ck off!!

    8) People who post updates like “what time does the co-op open?” You clearly have internet access… Google it you f*cking cabbage!!!

    9) THIS!!!! Status: “completely devastated”
    What’s up babe?
    U ok Hun?
    What’s happened?
    “I’ve inboxed you….”
    You nob….that’s all.

    10) Pics of girls legs in the bath, just short of their tuppence…just pack it in, you attention seeking whore. The post isn’t about… “peace at last”… It’s about, “I’m naked and gagging for c**k, inbox me”.

  4. Ricardo29

    Well I can totes relate to this story. Note my hip use of totes! Re Mark’s comment I can only say you have a more colourful newsfeed on your FB page than I do, no-one ever posts me women’s legs in the bath but I got the laugh intended for Matters. By the way I don’t think Melissa has a fascination with loos, just telling it like it is– for her, and for some others of us.

  5. mark delmege

    I guess I should have used an attribution – as this came via a f/b friend
    ‘Simon Scott
    February 5 at 5:21pm · Rainham, United Kingdom’

  6. Jaquix

    Your article resonates – take no notice of Matters Not.

  7. Backyard Bob

    Facebook does indeed give people a voice. It’s just a pity most don’t care how ill-informed or stupid their voice is. I confess I hate the place because it reminds me just how irrational human beings are. But, that’s just me; others love that sort of thing. It’s the new, “It’s better to have an opinion and be wrong than to have no opinion at all!” philosophy. I prefer to be ignorant rather than wrong but it’s all a matter of taste I suppose.

  8. kerri

    Having dinner with friends Saturday night! Discussion turned to an old movie remembered as “The Running Man” no one could remember the actor who played the torturing dentist. I looked online to answer the question. “are you on facebook?” Came one accusation! “we don’t have technology at the table” from the wife of the accuser. “No I am actually looking up the actor who played the dentist but I can’t find it!”
    Worked it out much later on the way home!
    Actor = Laurence Olivier
    Movie = Marathon Man!
    Some baby boomers are too old to internet, let alone remember correctly!
    Matters Not? Take a bex and have a good lie down!

  9. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I like my micro-activism. I like AIMN and Twitter and some others as my outlets. But they are not my only means. I contact pollies and departments and other activists. Everything helps.

  10. Dom Fammartino

    andrew bolt it is so obvious this is a sham its beyond a joke. this is how vile the leftist media is they have no respect for themselves let alone others. people are not stupid and can see straight through this we all have to make a stand right now and show to the world why the stoop to being this low. they will go to any lengths to hide there corrupt ways and deceive the public its a disgrace

  11. dom fammartino

    Gillian Triggs again: All credibility lost—forever and ever…a complete fraud liar and utter disgrace she has destroyed her reputation and needs to step down or be sacked asap. SHE IS A PATHETIC LEFT WING CORRUPT HYPOCRITE OF THE HIGHEST ORDER.
    “GILLIAN Triggs’ position as Human Rights Commission president has become untenable, Coalition MPs said last night, echoing Tony Abbott’s broadside at her children in detention report as a “stitch up’’ and a “blatantly partisan politicised exercise’’.Some people are so full of themselves they lose grasp of reality. Gillan Triggs, if ever she was a smart woman, should stop listening to her socialist supporters who blow fantasy in her ear and show some humility by resigning today. Triggs has no class only the leftie bias, she was shown up at the senate enquiry ,by Scott Morrison on detention centres are the same as Jails,with ARMED GUARDS when in fact when quizzed on this lie she would not back down,but rather asked that we move on, After Morrison had nailed her and her ugly bias, With her history of her own child (and I say in her defence, what would one do if circumstances were the same in our own lives) she should not have gone down this path..The report doesn’t tell who did the abuse to these children, Who performed the abuse. we are suppose to believe these children regressed where do they get this ,they did not know the child before and they may have bed wet always. Pleeeese Triggs get out of our face. Triggs is a pathological and compulsive liar. She was appointed for a fixed 5-year term by Gillard who left her as a land-mine for an incoming coalition government. If they can’t sack her they can always reduce the HRC’s budget to near zero.

  12. Rossleigh

    Gee, Dom, I can’t see how you are upset by lefties when your profile photo is Vladimir Putin!

  13. Rossleigh

    Yes, I know that I shouldn’t throw chips to the seagulls, but it’s such fun to see them scurry after them sometimes!

  14. Michael Taylor

    Dom is such a fine custodian of moral virtue.

  15. Möbius Ecko

    Gotta love right wingers who get so upset and outraged at a single lie or supposed lie whilst ignoring a litany of continuous proven fabrications and corruptions by conservative politicians.

    If their calls to sack liars were held to account then the Liberal Party would have been wiped out decades ago.

  16. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Hear, hear Mobius Ecko.

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