Friday, April 3, 2015

Award Winning Blogger Mahmoud Salem was the Keynote Speaker at the Social Media Conference at The American University in Cairo

By Mai Maamoun, Nour Ibrahim and Sarah Yasser

     On Tuesday, March 31, Mahmoud Salem, a renowned blogger also known as Sandmonkey, talked about the negative effects of social media on society at the Social Media Conference at The American University in Cairo. “Most importantly, how social media, to be dramatic, will destroy your life,” said Salem at his session titled, “All The Roads Lead to This.” As the keynote speaker, he spoke to a large audience of media students, professors and interested visitors. 

     Salem asked, “What is social about social media anyway?” Social media improves connectedness and linkability, but it also “disrupts the natural social order of things.” It has managed to destroy the concept of leaders. There used to be respect for leaders, like Winston Churchill, but today, Salem reflected, if a political figure sneezes during a speech, people would upload a YouTube video of it which would eventually go viral, make remixes of the sneeze on Soundcloud, and create a hashtag called “The sneeze.” 


     Social media is a disconnected way of dealing with people, “It gives you a way not to really talk to people, but you make announcements,” he explained. For example, Twitter has improved communication by setting a certain character limit. He confessed, “It became really annoying when people call me on the phone now.” 


     Salem currently manages his own digital marketing company. He is most well-known for his blog and tweets under the pseudonym: Sandmonkey. He had managed to write anonymously online between 2006 and 2011 until he decided to uncover who he was in February 2011. 


     In an interview after the session (for the full interview: Soundcloud), Salem said social media is important to “put things into perspective” for users. He had stopped blogging for a while, but he blogs when “things get interesting again.” On his motive, he said, “ The only way for me to deal with the miseries of the world actually, in order not to go insane, is by making it funny.”

10 comments:

  1. i always love reading his tweets

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  2. We love receiving your comments! Please do not hesitate to post any thoughts, comments or questions you have about the coverage or the topic.

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  3. Interesting topic that we could all relate too and great coverage. The way this is written just adds value to the topic making it even more interesting especially with mentioning the most remarkable quotes, attracting the attention of the readers. Also, the main points are clear and easy to understand .

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  4. Actually this is great topic that everyone can relate to nowadays, social media became an essential part of our lives. The selection of the quotes is AMAZING, I can really relate to the one that said: "It became really annoying when people call me on the phone now.” It's as if it describes me!!

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  5. Quite an interesting topic that I think is on the minds of most people nowadays. Loved that question from Salem:"“What is social about social media anyway?”. Good job with the twitter coverage, too!

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  6. Really interesting and enjoyable to listen to, great job!! :)

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