COM0011-Introduction to Social Media Blog #6-Kanye for Prez?-Keeping up with the newest Kardashian

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My first blog was about my experience seeing Kanye West in concert here at the Bluesfest. Now here I am writing my last blog of the course, just a mere three months later, and Kanye just recently announced his bid for leader of the free world. He told the audience at the MTV music awards that he is running for President of the United States in 2020.   Kim Kardashian would be the first lady.  She is the already the Queen of social media.  It could happen.  Let’s not forget that Ronald Reagan was a two-bit B movie actor who became President and Arnold the Terminator/Mr. Universe became Governor of California.  It’s America.  They like movie stars as their leaders.  

Here are a couple of excerpts from his rambling and incoherent speech in which he mentioned various questionable things among them,

Y’all might be thinking, “I wonder. Did he smoke something before he came out here?” The answer is, “Yes, I rolled up a little something. I knocked the edge off.”

Trying to appeal to the pro marijuana demographic is my guess…but he did seem a little high also.

I’m confident. I believe in myself. We the millennials, bruh. This is a new mentality. We not going to control our kids with brands. 

Kanye West speech

Millennials?  Kanye West was born in June 8th, 1977.  He’s almost as old as me 🙂  He is a Generation Xer by definition yet he proclaims he is one of them.  Why is telling the kids that?  Is he trying to look younger?  Maybe distancing himself from the evil Man?  Trying to fool them? Good luck with that ploy.

Millennials have the lowest levels of social trust at just 19%.  Stats on Millennials  I believe that. I know I helped to raise a generation of doubters and questioners.  I think that is good personally.  I taught my children to ask and seek the truth.  Where it will lead us remains to be seen.

I am a Generation X adult. My children are Millennials.  My son tells me everyone is lying on the internet. Most of the stuff on there is bullshit.  Too much information is not reliable he informs me.  I have also noticed some disturbing things lately about my son.  Things like him being afraid of saying certain words too loud for fear that it is being recorded/videotaped. Him thinking I am the naive or crazy one for not realizing how much we are being documented without our knowledge or permission.  I started to notice video cameras all over the place on my daily jogs.  Much more than I realized until I started looking for them. And saw them everywhere.

Kanye West will never get elected by the Millennial generation.  I think they can see right through his crap.  Or maybe that is why they will elect him President just to watch the spectacle that will ensue.  After all, Kanye is an entertainer.  And they don’t trust the President anyways. Millennials don’t trust anyone

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COM0011-Introduction to Social Media Blog #5-Can social media cure our loneliness?

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We are living in the “age of loneliness” age-of-loneliness-killing-us  More than ever humans face a lack of social support and feel a sense of isolation. This lack of social connection and sense of community in society has been blamed for many of the ills that plague humanity like loneliness and depression.  

The online community has been replacing real community. Some studies have found that social media like Facebook makes us more lonely and less sociable. Facebook unhappy  Another study argues that it makes us happier and more connected.  Facebook happier  So do we need real friends or will Facebook friends fill the void just as well?  Does a thousand Twitter followers make you feel less lonely?  More connected to humanity?  

I know that Facebook allows me to contact or connect with friends I have in foreign countries, relatives and friends that I know I wouldn’t otherwise talk to or be connected to.  Facebook actually helped me to reconnect with many of my friends from childhood including my the first friend I ever had (we were five at the time of the relationship).  Twitter has too has allowed me to connect to people all over the world and in communities that would be difficult to connect with in the past in “real life” are made super easy in the online world.

The opposite of addiction is not sobriety.  It is connection.  This is the latest psychology theory touted by the experts. Addiction Connection  So if all this social media is really making us feel truly connected, we would expect lower addiction rates in the younger generation as result of their high use of social media.  But instead this generation has high addiction rates.  Maybe one small indicator that social media is not connecting us at the core.

I waste a lot of my time on social media reading pointless articles about celebrities and watching videos of goats in pyjamas.  I am passively using the media.  Reading, looking, rarely interacting directly.  Feeling connected in a sense but not really.  A false sense of connection.  Of staying in the now, of trends and knowing what people are talking about.

Connected but alone. Connected through a device. Experiencing no human touch and contact. What are the effects of this on human condition?  What is lacking is the other tactile senses that lend rawness to the human experience.  Smell and especially touch are vital aspects to connection.  Virtual reality and technological connections still can’t replace real human contact. Even the monkey studies showed it.  Harry Harlow Monkey experiments  Physical contact is what we all need and want.

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COM0011-Introduction to Social Media Blog #4-My Passive Voice Speaks-“No Comment.”

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  1. a user response to published content on the Internet, written in a designated “Comments” section, often below the published content:

There were many online comments criticizing the author.

Part of my course participation is to comment on the blogs of my fellow students and writers.  I have to admit I am afraid to comment on blogs.  I really have to go out of my comfort zone to do that.  I am a passive user of social media. I have no problem presenting my writing or my photographs.  I like to view others work and photos also but I do not participate too actively.  A “Like” here.  A retweet there.  But rarely a comment. Out of fear.  Mostly of having my personal opinion known in writing forever.  I know my feelings and beliefs very well and keeping them to myself has never hurt me.  Making them publicly known can and has.

I also am not a big fan of fighting and confrontation and have noticed that a lot of that happens when people comment and make their feelings and opinions known online.  I have seen “comments” turn into the people fighting about grammar used or other non related bullshit.  Having offside arguments that has nothing to do with the original article they were supposed to be commenting on.  

Sometimes comments are disabled. Some articles or websites won’t let the public comment on them.  For fear of offensive material being posted I suspect.  Many people post anonymously and that aids to the offensive factor as people will be more bold and confrontational if their true identity is protected.  There is an entire study and psychology of this online commenting world.  http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/the-psychology-of-online-comments  Can you see why this beginner would wade slowly into the waters of the Ocean of Comments?

I doubt I will become a Commenter as a matter of course.  My main writing focus is to create, not destroy or tear down.  I might offer a “good job” or “ that’s beautiful” once in a while.  That is more my commenting style.  Just because I don’t comment doesn’t mean I haven’t appreciated or understood the article.

I started to read the blogs with making my comments in mind.  Not an objective audience now am I?  I am reading the blog knowing I would have to offer my two cents at the end.  Or I guess my five cents now (at least here in Canada).  What brilliant insight do I have to offer?  What something new can I say that everyone hasn’t already heard before or already know? I have posted a couple of my comments.  Putting my toe in. Still testing the waters.  Any tips or advice is greatly appreciated.

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COM0011-Introduction to Social Media Blog #3 Public Shaming of a Lion Killer

Social media is our modern day forum that is used very effectively for public shaming.  Public shaming is holding people accountable for actions. Actions that the majority disagrees with.  Actions in the past people could hide more easily are now revealed through social media where others can pass judgement.  No longer do we need to stand around and throw tomatoes and eggs at the violator.  We can stay home and post bad reviews and links about them.  I think getting to throw the eggs in person was probably more satisfying but definitely much dirtier.  We are more sanitary in our public shaming in this day and age.

The latest was the Cecil the Lion case.  He was killed this July by an American dentist named Walter Palmer.  There was heavy international coverage of this one event.  It illustrates how you really can’t hide on earth anymore.  We are so connected by the internet and technology.

Even actress Shannen Doherty weighed in on Twitter.  She was disgusted.  Oh no, not Shannen Doherty.  This man must really be a pig.

Shannen Doherty ‏@DohertyShannen Jul 28

this man is disgusting .

#WalterJamesPalmer #CecilTheLion http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3177303/PICTURED-American-dentist-passion-hunting-killed-Cecil-Lion-bow-arrow-Zimbabwe.html …

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Parents dressing their kids up in lion costumes and protesting in front of his house and office.

Yelp reviews of his dentist practice were about his killing of the lion instead.  Used to bully and harass him.

Walt Palmer, go back to Zimbabwe and face the charges like a man. Your victim was a beloved National Treasure, known and loved world-wide.

This guy is a murderer and a major league a**hole!!  It is wrong to kill beautiful, majestic creatures for pleasure.

BEWARE…This dentist is a monster who stalked, tortured, and killed a beautiful lion named Cecil. Cecil had a beautiful family including adorable cubs.

Humans sticking up for animals and being their voice.  It’s easy to get behind shaming related to animals.  People generally like animals more than humans.  The other results of all the attention to Cecil’s fate were tribute memorials and the media showing other animals similar plights thereby giving more attention to this practice.  It also cost a man his career and livelihood and reputation.  Just desserts for violating public opinion some might argue.  Other still want his head for their wall.

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Until the next public shaming.  Until the next person does something that may not be generally viewed as “good”.  And so the next shame campaign begins.  Is shaming a good or a bad thing? Is the general consensus always right?  Mob rule can be a dangerous thing.

COM0011 – Introduction to Social Media-Blog #2-Smile, I’m finally on Instagram.

A picture is worth a thousand words.

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That is what I have always loved about photos.  They communicate in an instant.  So it is only natural that my latest social media profile would be an Instagram account. Laurie Lancaster Instagram

I’ve been an avid photographer for years. I like to capture natural landscapes and urban street art. Especially political or subversive art. Instagram appealed to my photographer side so I figured I would try to get into the action. I kept trying to download it to my laptop.  I didn’t even realize it was a phone app until I finally downloaded to my phone the other day.  I was embarrassed I didn’t know.  The learning curve of social media for me is still uphill.

I decided to document my latest trip. Feeling compelled to be current and communicate it live. I am not real good at that.  Being a writer, I usually like to experience something first and document it later.  The lack of a reliable internet connection in the woods made the experience much less fun.  Instead of relaxing and enjoying the view of the lake or soaking in the outdoor hot tub, I was in the hotel room on my cell phone, trying to get an internet connection to upload my experience and make it current.  Totally missing the point I felt.

I was looking for “pictures” instead of just taking all the beauty in visually.  Would this view look nice?  Does this really capture the essence of the place?  What do I want to show people?  What was I trying to communicate? Half the time I was scanning with the internet view in mind.  A strange way to take in the world visually.

The Instagram demo is young and mainly female.  Most of my followers/friends online fit that profile.  The app is idiot proof.  Just upload the picture from your phone, add a filter and post to Twitter or Facebook.  I loved how simple it is to share my view of  the world.  Instagramming the photo to the world is pretty quick. And they do look pretty.

Why post photos? Why did I feel compelled to have this photo sharing account? To show where I was. Share my experience of it. Show others the beauty of the place.  My good intention set with the first Instagram photo I posted.

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COM0011 – Introduction to Social Media-Blog #1-Does social media make the younger generation hard to impress?

Kanye West fans use their phones to capture the event as day 3 of the RBC Ottawa Bluesfest continues at the Canadian War Museum. Assignment – 121066 Photo taken at 21:47 on July 10. (Wayne Cuddington / Ottawa Citizen)

I saw a bunch of kids looking at the ground in concern. “Had someone fallen?” ” Was there broken glass?” No.  It was someone’s precious phone. The biggest rock star in the world (this month) seemed small on stage. No band. No dancers. Not even a DJ. 25,000 people were squished together in metal cages to see this social media King.  Phones in hand, hardly a cigarette.  The age demographic was 15-25.  Teenagers everywhere. I probably was one of the oldest people there. My daughter was among the crowd. She’s 16. I got her into Kanye West. Subjected her to my CD’s in the car when she was younger.

The Millennial generation, also known as Generation Y, is the first to come of age with cable TV, the Internet and cell phones, so technology is essentially baked into every Millennial’s DNA. In fact, when asked what makes their generation unique, Millennials ranked “Technology Use” first (24%), followed by “Music/Pop Culture” (11%) and “Liberal/Tolerant” (7%). In contrast, Boomers ranked “Work Ethic” as the most defining characteristic of their generation. 

http://www.nielsen.com/content/corporate/us/en/newswire/2014/millennials-technology-social-connection.html

Taking pictures, live tweeting, “all his glory…” videoing, selfie sticks in tow recording the experience is part of their collective reality. They are the generation of videotaped childhoods and instant messaging. Documenting and sharing their experience is natural for them. This is how they are communicating with each other. Sharing their experiences collectively through the visual mediums. A fight was starting to break out. Everyone had their phone out videotaping it as it was unfolding. Wherever you turn things are being recorded.  Awareness of this fact may have led the melee to chill out.  No one wants video evidence of physical assault.  Except maybe the police.

Seeing clearer pictures of things and being closer to the truth made lead to a generation of very critical thinkers. Or maybe all this technology leads people to being blasé due to the huge amounts of information being sent at them constantly.  I’m bored.  I’ve seen it all.  Or at least seen a picture or video on YouTube.  Personal experience counting for less all the time.  However, the visual is only one of the human senses. The lack of stimulation of the other senses may lead these kids to wanting a little more.