It was great to see a fab bunch of people turn out for the Monkeys Tweetup last Friday as part of Social Media Week London. The Drunken Monkey did us proud with delicious Dim Sum and beer. And the weather was unseasonably gorgeous, enabling a hearty group of us to brave the 40 minute walk from Tuttle Club in Kings Cross to deepest Shoreditch, with only a handful getting *lost* on the way.

The idea behind the Tweetup was to have an informal discussion around one of the themes of Monkeys with Typewriters: the anthropology of social media – and its longer term impact on people, society and culture.

Dedicated hardcore

In true swot style, I’d prepared ten open-ended questions or pointers for debate the night before. But the acoustics were dire and at first there were far too many people – around 25 or so – to have a single, structured, conversation.

So I started off posting the questions on Twitter so that people could chat in small groups. Hmmm. That was sort of successful. Then – luckily – the free bar ran out. Random people politely made their excuses and left. The dedicated hardcore remained!

I’d love to post the lively, convoluted discussion that commenced. Unfortunately my note-taking was non-existent and it being a Friday afternoon, the weekend and toddler have intervened and it’s only now (Weds) that I’m trying to recall exactly what happened.

Social evolution?

A few points stuck in my mind: Nic Butler made a lovely one all about (cultural) memes – social networks accelerate communication and therefore social development/ evolution. Re changing values, Alison Wheeler said it used to be the haves and the have nots, now we’re seeing people relate in terms of the dos and the do nots. Love that!

Keri Hudson said she felt people around her age (20) are much more into sharing everything than previous generations (partly as a result of social tools). There was one Angry Young Man who made some great acerbic observations but left (Angrily) before I got his name.

Big thanks…

To everyone who came along. Especially to those above, plus Anke HolstDocumentally, Patrick Hadfield, Ben Walker, James Governor, Bill Reyn and the others whose names I didn’t get, for staying long after the free beer had gone. And last but not least Kat McMann for brightening my day after a long time no see!

Read about the Monkeys with Typewriters book launch

Photo: Charles Deluvio on Unsplash