A new meaning to sharing

in Features

If there is anything that lockdown and isolation has taught millions of people across the world it’s that the word ‘share’ has taken on a new meaning. Especially in the social media threads where even the most cynical and battle hardened keyboard warriors have mellowed and have either shut up temporarily or put up more forgiving messages across the media platforms.

We may have become more philosophical and engaging, or at least those who dabble in social media threads. Suddenly shooting from the hip and many hostile knee-jerk reaction to posts has given way to a kind of ‘peace brother/sister,’ which harkens back to the sixties era of flower power and summer of love with a generally more chilled view of life, which perhaps was much needed at this time although we didn’t realise it.

Many of us have been guilty of taking everything and everyone for granted and now faced with the dark reality of this global pandemic disseminating our species, we swarm or swim together finding protection in numbers. Because worldwide communication is so advanced and instant it also gives us the ‘instant Karma’ that we seek. Now we are all writers, photographers, poets, beauticians and politicians. That may be a good thing and I hope it lasts until we can rebuild our world again. It keeps our egos fed which like it or not is important.

How many likes, how many views and how many shares to our media posts is a new currency and for some, the breath of life and what they live for. We may all be media ‘influencers’  to a greater or lesser degree but the fact remains that during this crisis we have mostly mellowed and become kinder towards our fellow humans. More power to social platforms and the unseen puppeteers pulling the strings. 

Certainly people of ample means have come down from ivory towers, perhaps being made to feel guilty by the ‘bonhomie’ and solidarity which the rest of us have shown in this crisis. Many of them are now offering their talents and services for free when barely a month ago these generous gestures would have been unthinkable. 

Could you in a month of Sundays have ever imagined that Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber would have sat at his piano to play for us from his hit musicals catalogue in an up close and personal concert perhaps staged in his castle? In another form of music, Chris Martin from ‘Coldplay’ got up one fine morning and took on the challenge to play requests live and chat to fans about how he came up with some of his mega hits, even attempting to play some songs that were clearly rusty.

I was glued to my phone and was engaged with this superstar on a one to one level. Going into the classical genre Welsh soprano Katherine Jenkins did a few ‘front room recitals’ which have also engaged me. There are many such concerts out there worth checking out and indeed our own artists have also been inspiring and generous too in this respect. Tune in to ‘Friday Night Live Keep Safe’ and check out their wonderful offerings.

US Country Rock superstar Keith Urban who is a really accomplished performer and is married to Hollywood A-list actress Nicole Kidman performed a few solo concerts on line, but would you have ever imagined that his famous wife would be his camera person, walk in and out of frame helping him prop up his guitars with her hair done in a bun and barefoot? It’s oddly unthinkable that the idols of red carpets and movies have come down from their pedestals to walk with mere mortals.

This is but one example of how much the world that we knew is changing before our eyes. It’s indeed a wonderful thing to have access to artists that previously would have cost an arm and a leg to see performing under stage lights, are now willing to share their talents and personal insights on our mobile screens half an arm’s length away from our eyes. I wonder how the lucrative Rock concert market is ever going to recover now that we have been spoilt rotten ‘attending’ so many free concerts on line. Have the legends shot themselves in the foot?

Sharing has taken on a new meaning which has nothing to do with generosity and everything to do with being one up on your social media friends. Maybe there is some generosity in the thought that your ‘friends’ ought to benefit from a feel good factor concert or recipes that you might have shared, however it’s the comments that you hope to get back that you’ll be looking out for, after you finish trawling the net for your next ‘find’ to then start ‘sharing’ all over again.

There is however one undeniably good thing that has happened to us with so much time on our hands during lockdown. No matter what daily routines we may have set for ourselves indoors, after three or four weeks now we may have modified or abandoned them (a bad thing), we still have managed to pull together in adversity and closed ranks by using up more screen time and becoming more media friendly in the best sense of the word. There seems to be better empathy and understanding. A new dawn perhaps post CV?

Have you noticed how many new outstanding friend requests you now have? Be generous and after sensible vetting accept them because they will be your new ‘likes’ and also the new candidates for sharing your new discoveries with. We have become more aware of each other and of the need to offer each other support and helpful advice while things are way more difficult ‘out there.’ 

I would be remiss if I were to sign off here without offering the standard and very necessary good advice of ‘Stay safe, stay indoors and help to save lives by doing so.’ Till next time, go and spread ‘likes’ and ‘share’ away your favourite posts because cyber universe is a better place with you in it, so take care until we can enjoy the real world outside our homes/screens again and hopefully not too long from now. Please share this article of course.

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