Tag Archives: Facebook

A response to Charlene Smith’s #RUReferenceList Facebook post

This post is written from a position of deep respect. I have followed Charlene Smith’s writing and activism for years, and have nothing but admiration for her. Her work has revolutionised the way hospitals treat rape survivors and she has been instrumental in getting antiretrovirals administered after sexual assaults. Her writing has helped thousands of…

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Dear Facebook, colour me unimpressed

On Saturday night I logged onto Facebook and noticed a curious pattern. Several of my friends (and people that Facebook tells me are my friends) had begun changing their profile pictures to a filtered version corresponding with France’s national flag colours: “Show your support for the people of Paris by temporarily updating your profile picture…

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Facebook helps restore our humanity (at times)

I am 52 and come from a generation where one can be bewildered by, and dismissive of, the proliferation of instantly accessible information (not knowledge, there are important differences) online. This is often in my hand or in my pocket in the form of my Android. However, I use the social media to my advantage,…

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Parents, think before you post photos of your kids

I’m at an age where several of my fellow millennials are in the full flush of parenthood. My social media feeds are filled with photos and videos of babies and toddlers doing what babies and toddlers do. Of course, not everyone is happy when this happens. The German police released a statement on Facebook last…

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The illusions of Facebook

At the recent South African Communication Association conference at the Afda campus in Cape Town I was astonished at the level of naïveté about the use of Facebook on the part of academics and students alike. On the one hand there were those who regard it as a mere tool for communicating with friends and…

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Heroes all: EFF and the honourable Julius Malema

This is how social media images of a country inform one’s perceptions, and then stick like glue in this instant-info “Gutenberg Galaxy” of ours. You scroll through Google News, Facebook and Twitter, and powerful impressions of countries impinge on your subconscious without you being able to question them. Then you “form” an unmediated and indelible…

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Trying to describe South Africa without ‘overkill’

The novel I am writing has its opening scene in Cape Town on the day Mandela was released from prison. This manuscript is my project for the masters degree in creative writing programme at Auckland University in New Zealand. My protagonist, Ruth, is a young South African, and Chinese in appearance. She does not know, among…

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EFF/DA/ANC/Agang: Same mess, different party

“Power belongs to the people until they vote, then they are represented.” This is the time of pledges and hope. A time when misogynists are promising to uphold women’s rights, homophobes championing LGBTI rights, racists speaking about the struggle and xenophobes talking Pan-Africanism. A time when you realise who really shares your views and who…

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On voluntary tech servitude

I’m one of the many Android users who recently installed the Blackberry Messenger (BBM) application on their phone. Big deal. Doing this as I did, however, on the day Germany and Brazil were introducing a draft resolution on the Right to Privacy in the Digital Age at the UN General Assembly, I found myself confronting…

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Beeld’s irresponsible journalism leads to irresponsible conversation

Let’s talk about the front page of the Beeld newspaper today and the way journalists need to be held accountable for the kind of conversation they inspire. The cover story in the paper is about a father who was upset about the relationship his daughter was having — he then went ahead and shot his…

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