Social Media good or bad for South Leeds?


So never have I felt as old as I do right now. At 32 I guess that’s not a good thing.

pintComment logo 1One of the things I simply don’t get is how the negative aspects of social media are influencing some of our youth and adults. I am actually really glad that we didn’t have things like Facebook and Twitter when I was at high school, even though now as an adult, I rely on such social media from a professional perspective. OK so I am also a bit nosey too… and now and then I tag my sister, who lives in Brisbane, into the odd family pic or to show off my giant Yorkshire puddings to make her jealous and miss home. I’m nice like that!

But I honestly think that the four ‘Neck-Nomination’ deaths has been the icing on the cake for me.

The Neck-Nomination (or NekNomination) game involves participants filming themselves downing a pint of alcohol, often a mixture of spirits and nominating someone to continue the game, and posting the video on Facebook or YouTube.

Participants are often dared to outdo the exploits of those who nominated them, taking this challenge to whole new level.

I have heard some horrendous stories from friends and co-workers of footage they have seen. I don’t have a strong enough stomach to even contemplate watching something like this, or to be frank the spare 30 seconds of my life to waste on something so pointless.

One person told me of a friend she has who was called into see their Manager at work, as he had been made aware of footage on his Facebook page. He was told to remove it, which he did. However he then added it to YouTube so his employer wouldn’t know. Seriously why would you do that? Is this really the right way to get attention, or your five minutes of fame?

I work within South Leeds with many volunteers of all ages, and I am really keen to champion our residents having great opportunities in the area they live. I feel strongly that we have so many resources available, many of which are FREE which I would hope would promote the talent we have in the area in a positive way.

I spoke to one South Leeds resident Aisha Latif who is only 15 and already gives up some of her free time to volunteer.

“Volunteering helps you to become more confident and help your community whilst meeting new people. I have been a volunteer at St Andrews Beavers for about 5 months now. I originally joined through the Duke of Edinburgh award from school. But I will continue volunteering even when I have completed my Duke of Edinburgh award.

“Volunteering is an important thing to do because it will help you to get into a routine for when you start a job and many employers look to find employees with volunteering in their CV’s because it shows you are committed to helping and improving your community. A lot of jobs come from volunteering at first too.”

Now I am not for one moment suggesting that everyone rushes out to become a Scout Leader. However when competition for jobs, career opportunities and university places is so competitive and mental health issues amongst our youth and adults is on the increase should we not be looking at positive ways for people to get engaged with their community and peers?

If you volunteer or carry out an activity within the local area which has had a positive influence on your life please tell us about it in the Comments below. Lets share the great things happening on our doorstep.

Signing off now to get a drink – nope not a pint of vodka or beech, an Umbongo! Hey it’s not rock’n’roll but I like it! And it’s not likely to kill me…. I hope!

3 Replies to “Social Media good or bad for South Leeds?”

  1. As a company we use social media heavily to promote our Leeds driveway business. However on the other side I am a father of 3, with the oldest being 14. These silly dares over the social channels is petrifying for me and his mother as he is highly impressionable, we completely agree that we are glad social media did not exist when we were that age.

    I know bullying happens a great deal at well at my sons school, but on the other hand a job my business got from Facebook paid for his Christmas ps4.

    I have not gone very far to answering your question, if i could make the social channels for professional use only i would i think

  2. Perhaps there are four related things going on here!?!

    A combination (1) of drinking too much, the fact (2) that social media are instantaneous and everyone can be (3) (and many want to be) famous for 15 minutes can combine to disastrous effect. Too many people – especially young people drinking – too much alcohol has been a problem for many years and has been increasing as alcohol has become progressively cheaper in real terms. The solution is obvious – introduce alcohol pricing but politically is not seen as a vote winner. The proposal to introduce this measure in Scotland is currently being challenged in the courts.

    There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with social media. Although they can encourage a lot of trivial communication and self absorption they can also be used to spread knowledge and open up information. Mind you, I do wonder about the benefits of Twitter – it’s always struck me that the name of this is a good clue to its value.

    There is something wrong about a society where people aspire to fame, as if that is of real value in itself. My school’s motto was ‘Rather of use than fame’ which I can remember thinking was pretty dirge like. Well, it is but it’s also true! Volunteering is a great way of being of use and strangely can provide the volunteer with a lot more benefits than costs. Certainly some of the things I have most enjoyed and most learned from have come from doing things as a volunteer. In addition, as Nicola points out it can often be a route in to a job. When I had a paid job and was responsible for interviewing people for employment one of the things I looked for was what voluntary experience did the applicant have and today I would guess that’s become even more important.

  3. Reading your article has made me think of the gap that as a parent we are always trying to close with Social Media but we are always 2 steps behind. When i was a kid we had no Internet or “smart phone” so anything that happened was word of mouth and more than likely an urban myth. But this was safe as it dint really promote us as children to try anything out of the ordinary especially the silly drinking games that you have highlighted in your piece. In our household the children do have access to social media but we are very cautious of what this entails. I think Social Media is a great tool for advertising and gauging public opinion and getting a voice out there but the downside is the exposure to the latest thing which is the drinking games.A very informative piece that tips the scales on both sides as to the good and bad.

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