Many years ago, when at school, the idea of debates and discussion were common in the sixth form, even to the extent of having a debating society. They were good fun, and perhaps were our first form of social interaction and a way of influencing how others’ thought?
For those who were aspirational, they could go a stage further and head off with a soap box (to stand on) to Speakers Corner by Hyde Park, London.
Now, whilst Speakers Corner was great, today anyone and everyone can be their own broadcaster whether through the medium of a blog and newsletter such as this or by creating a video and uploading to You Tube or Vimeo and create a social media following. You don’t need to be skilled, since a mobile phone will do the job for you.
In fact there are some people, who will record anything and everything in the hope of creating something similar to Charlie bit my finger, which now generates a six figure income from advertisers.
Now that really is the power of social media.
There are however downsides to this prevalence of moving pictures and that is the fact too many people fail to communicate by word and deed; is the fabric of society being destroyed with easy social comment such as through, video, twitter and facebook?
That has got to be a fear, since the younger generation are being starved of social interaction and learning to have conversations. What is more frightening still is the fact that teenagers are being stabbed on the streets of London for failing to respect someone by looking at them in the wrong way.
We all laughed at Little Britain and the characters within, but humour such as this is only a reflection on society today, previously Monty Python and That Was The Week That Was did the same too. Is this the sort of society we want, where everyone is out for themselves and what they can take?
There has been much written in political circles about the Tory Back to Work programme; cost about £5 billion so far and created so few jobs, in fact less than the average prior to the scheme starting, that some are openly doubting the sanity of our politicians and their support for the United Kingdom. Is the coalition really working for the betterment of us all?
What are truly inspiring though are the many entrepreneurs who in the face of too much legislation create their own businesses and at the same time, play their part in regenerating their locale by providing hope for others. These are the true wealth creators.
So is the support of independent traders a debate worth having, or should we simply hide ourselves behind our computers and continue with social media interaction and online purchases, which generates money for the few rather than the majority?
Laurence Lowne is the owner of Combyne Group based in London and working countrywide, helping people and businesses to control their utility costs through a range of award-winning services.