Thinking of travelling to Eastern Ontario? You must read about:

Thinking of travelling to Eastern Ontario? You must read about:

Dinosaurs, Jesus, Pizza
travel to Eastern Ontario from Toronto and or Ottawa
Image By Matthew Lightstorm

What do dinosaurs, Jesus and pizza have in common? All three were part of my great staycation during a one day trip to Eastern Ontario. During these pandemic times, who says you can’t find excitement, spirituality and good food all in one day? The idea of this adventure stemmed from an old bookmark of an apparition of Mother Mary which was reported to have occurred sometime in the 90’s on the Greensides’ Farm in Marmora, Ontario. I had always found the phenomena of apparitions interesting, not only for their spiritual value but also because of their intrigue of the unknown. School aged family members loved the idea of visiting a drive-thru dinosaur park along the way, but people of all ages can also enjoy the indoor reptile zoo.

This is a great day trip for anyone travelling from Toronto or Ottawa and can also be incorporated into a longer vacation as there are many fascinating things to explore in this area. Driving from Toronto, our first main attraction within the first 90 minutes was the drive-thru Dinosaur park located in the small town of Indian River.

Indian River Reptile & Dinosaur Park

Indian River, Ontario, https://reptileanddinosaurpark.org
Indian River Reptile & Dinosaur Park
Vacation
Image By Matthew Lightstorm

The Indian River Reptile & Dinosaur Park is the best drive-thru park adventure I have ever experienced anywhere in Ontario. It took about 30 minutes to drive through the whole park with over 50 life-like dinosaur exhibits on display. The kids and adults loved the self-guided tour where there were many opportunities to take close up pictures of our favourite dinosaurs. There are plenty of things to do at this place including shopping in the gift shop for reptile memorabilia, checking out the enormous collection of live reptiles, and also outdoor mini golf.

Greensides’ Farm

We continued to travel east along Highway 7 for about 30 minutes to reach our next destination of Greensides’ Farm located in Marmora, Ontario, but not before we took note of the wonderful scenic towns of Norwood and Havelock–where we stopped for a quick Tim Horton’s coffee. We eventually reached Greensides’ Farm and were greeted by a few patrons who directed us along a path, which led us through a beautiful walk with the Stations of the Cross honouring Jesus; which eventually led us to the top of a hill where a shrine had been built to honour the appearance of Mother Mary. At the shrine we said a few prayers for our family member who had recently passed away and paid tribute to the message of Jesus with the hope that world peace could be achieved one day.

Greensides' Farm, Marmora, Ontario, 
Religious Retreat, Mother Mary, Stations of the Cross, Jesus, Christian, Spiritual, Vacation
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Greensides+Farm/@44.4941182,-77.6320185,16z/data=!4m12!1m6!3m5!1s0x0:0xea6ae73844b3bafe!2sGreensides+Farm!8m2!3d44.4938886!4d-77.633027!3m4!1s0x0:0xea6ae73844b3bafe!8m2!3d44.4938886!4d-77.633027
Image By Matthew Lightstorm

Theo’s Pizzeria

Of course, after all the walking and hiking at Greensides’ Farm, we were ready to devour just about anything, but we were also very careful not to just settle for a mediocre meal. We had made the long journey and rightfully so, we thought that we should make an effort to find a most suitable establishment to eat great food. Our 10 minute online search led us to Theo’s Pizzeria which was conveniently located 4 minutes from the farm in the centre of the town of Marmora. (We also made a note that there is a scenic Marmora Mine to visit next time we are travelling to the area.) We arrived at Theo’s Pizzeria with great enthusiasm and were thrilled with all of the unique menu items. We ordered burgers, Hawaiian pizza, sweet potato fries, gourmet dipping sauces and the rest was a food extravaganza of flavour and delight. Best of all, looking through the large glass window into this quiet little town, made the food experience that much cozier and pleasurable.

Theo's Pizza, Marmora, Ontario, Pizza, Pizzeria, Food, Vacation, Cozy, Casual Dining, Take-Out
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Theos+Pizzeria/@44.4823661,-77.6831537,17z/data=!4m22!1m16!4m15!1m6!1m2!1s0x4cd35b34ceb69bdd:0x7b0393d97c237532!2sTheos+Pizzeria,+20+Forsyth+St,+Marmora,+ON+K0K+2M0!2m2!1d-77.6826149!2d44.4834966!1m6!1m2!1s0x4cd34574e32f496f:0xea6ae73844b3bafe!2sGreensides+Farm,+15+Greenside+Ln,+Marmora,+ON+K0K+2M0!2m2!1d-77.633027!2d44.4938886!3e0!3m4!1s0x4cd35b34ceb69bdd:0x7b0393d97c237532!8m2!3d44.4834966!4d-77.6826149
Image By Matthew Lightstorm

Next time you’re looking to do something closer to home and off the beaten track, think about taking the ultimate day tour in Eastern Ontario–Dinosaurs, Jesus and Pizza. Sometimes we can be pleasantly surprised by the hidden gems we find along the journey and the vacation begins to unfold in ways unexpected. Let us know what you think about our travel stories and how you can relate with your new discoveries while travelling?

Tell Your Story: A Personal Reflection of a Digital Communication Course

Image by Matthew Lightstorm

The weblog or blog has to do a good job of telling a story to keep the audience coming back for more. As we’ve heard before, that there are common elements to each story such as the hook, the line, and the sinker; each story has a unique core. To capture the hearts and minds of the readers, we have to find creative ways to deliver this message. The story has to give the reader what they expect it will offer. I consider myself an ordinary writer. I can place the words on the screen with little effort, but without a core direction the words are meaningless and the story falls flat. The extraordinary happens when we can provoke an emotion among the readers. Like walking along a shoreline, we can focus on each wave and the kind of energy it releases or we can focus on all the energy around us and how it is interconnected. Similarly, writers can work from different depths of field; a shallow view or a deeper view, or even alternate between the two in the same story. There are many analogies we can use to describe a digital story. Some have compared writing a story to a piece of cloth and how it is woven making all the difference. Also, juxtaposition plays the role of tying various subjects in the story together; such as the story of this post that juxtaposes the experience of the course with its examples. Perhaps, the best analogy is when you take that perfect picture. The background is just right and it complements the foreground beautifully. Conversely, we would not want to ruin the perfect picture with a an element that should not be there. In the same token, the reader must see that the words and subjects are true to its core; without overpromising or underdelivering. The truth is that I love writing about anything and making it come to life. We try to make our stories monumental and transcendent for future readers. Lastly, if I told you I listened to the bubbles in the water as the plane flew overhead; would it bring you closer to the heart of this story?

Matthew Lightstorm © 2020

COM0015 Blog Post 1: Tools and Sources

Image by Matthew Lightstorm © 2020

The 101 Basics to Social Media Tools and Sources for Business

The socialsphere universe is vast and for many businesses new to social media the thought of where to start can be quite overwhelming. We use social media tools to monitor, listen, and to gain a better understanding of our audience. If we are new to social media we will want to start with the tools that are more likely to help us find our audience.

Start with the three Er’s for Tools:

Twitter: Twitter is a great tool to finding the current conversation surrounding your product or service. For, example if you are in the business of selling power tools you can quickly find the latest hashtags which companies are using to advertise their new power tool. Whatever, the latest news might be it will surely be found on the largest microblogging site in the world. Once you find the topics central to your listening and monitoring strategy you will want to take a deeper dive into the blogosphere.

Tumblr: While taking note of the latest conversation and buzz words found through Twitter, using a blogging platform like Tumblr can provide you with a deeper depth of field to a topic. You will find enthusiasts or professionals posting their content and from there, a better understanding of your audience may begin to emerge.

Feeder: While finding your important sources of information through various social media blogs, microblogs and websites; Feeder (known as a popular RSS feed platform) allows you to consolidate these feeds from various sources giving you a stream of information that is easy to sift through. Having headlines stream rather than visiting each individual site to find interesting news–saves time and allows you to scan through information on a frequent basis while also adding alerts for specific content.

Finding your favourite news sources:

As you carefully explore the socialsphere you will find that some sources are better than others. Whatever the topic of interest might be for your business it is important to find its top news source. For global economic news I include @TheEconomist in my feed. For the latest news on new movies I include @TwitterMovies in my feed. Likewise, more specific topics may require niche sources of information that might live in niche communities. Some of these communities might already exist as large groups while others communities are fragmented across many social media networks. A good example of a large organized niche community social site is sewist.com for anyone in the business of sewing. (I was unable to find a large niche community for power tools but a few blog sites on Tumblr offered insight on specific power tool topics such as gardening power tools. )

Finding your audience and listening:

There are literally hundreds of popular social media networking sites along with hundreds of niche communities from which to find your audience. Once you find the right social media tools and sources your next step is to listen to your audience. Businesses will find the value in the information they collect, whether it’s used to monitor their audience feedback, execute a marketing campaign or getting to know their audience better.

Additional Resources:

The social media landscape is getting larger everyday. The following link from Influencer Marketing Hub website provides a great view of some of the most popular social media sites for 2021: https://influencermarketinghub.com/social-media-sites/

Matthew Lightstorm © 2020

COM0014 – Blog #7: A Personal Reflection Story of a Digital Communication Course

Image by Matthew Lightstorm

The weblog or blog has to do a good job of telling a story to keep the audience coming back for more. As we’ve heard before, that there are common elements to each story such as the hook, the line, and the sinker; each story has a unique core. To capture the hearts and minds of the readers, we have to find creative ways to deliver this message. The story has to give the reader what they expect it will offer. I consider myself an ordinary writer. I can place the words on the screen with little effort, but without a core direction the words are meaningless and the story falls flat. The extraordinary happens when we can provoke an emotion among the readers. Like walking along a shoreline, we can focus on each wave and the kind of energy it releases or we can focus on all the energy around us and how it is interconnected. Similarly, writers can work from different depths of field; a shallow view or a deeper view, or even alternate between the two in the same story. There are many analogies we can use to describe a digital story. Some have compared writing a story to a piece of cloth and how it is woven making all the difference. Also, juxtaposition plays the role of tying various subjects in the story together; such as the story of this post that juxtaposes the experience of the course with its examples. Perhaps, the best analogy is when you take that perfect picture. The background is just right and it complements the foreground beautifully. Conversely, we would not want to ruin the perfect picture with a an element that should not be there. In the same token, the reader must see that the words and subjects are true to its core; without overpromising or underdelivering. The truth is that I love writing about anything and making it come to life. We try to make our stories monumental and transcendent for future readers. Lastly, if I told you I listened to the bubbles in the water as the plane flew overhead; would it bring you closer to the heart of this story?

Matthew Lightstorm © 2020

COM0014 – Blog #6: The (OR) Organic Renaissance Story

COM0014 – Blog #6: The (OR) Organic Renaissance Story

Image By Matthew Lightstorm

I must have been a truth seeker since birth, questioning everything around me since I can recall from the age of three or four. Early on, I learned that there are many sides to a story. Human life is wonderful and complicated. For many years I tried searching for the answers that would establish some basic universal truth to all things. Is it possible? After all, it is a complex world with so many perspectives. Is there a philosophy out there that can reduce the amount of noise from untruths and keep us grounded to something real? When I came across the word organic many years ago, it meant very little. I thought it might just be another catch term to sell something. The actual etymology of the word organic derives from the latin word organicus which means “serving as a means or instrument” while the renaissance derives from the latin word renasci which means “be born again, rise again, reappear, be renewed.” So, over the years of analyzing and questioning all things, I began to apply more meaning to these two terms. While everyone is debating over what is true or not true or how things appear to be; there has to be some universal truth. Organic Renaissance began resonating to me more and more. You see, if something allows you to wake up and realize that you’ve made a good choice and as a result it sets you on a good path, is it not an instrument of being renewed? A simple example would be the concept of sleeping verses staying awake. We often see advertising monetize on the human habit of staying up late through ads suggestive of late night habits. In reality we know that there is a universal truth to sleeping and that it’s good at any time of day in order to refresh your being. Your body let’s you know when you should sleep. Adrenaline keeps you awake. Ask yourself what activities stimulate adrenaline in the body? Why is there so much advertising about coffee? Nothing should override sleep unless a lion is attacking you in your cave. You get it now? Organic Renaissance is what happens when you find that goodness in life. Can you debate that food grown in organic soil is better than food grown in contaminated soil? Would Jesus have agreed to the idea of Organic Renaissance? The journey of Organic Renaissance is to make sense of the world in a world that makes little sense at all and when we give it the OR label we are saying this is undoubtedly good for me. All things that give you a feeling of being an instrument of being reborn to a new truth are part of the OR. There are plenty of us like-minded OR thinkers that are determined to find the truth that makes good sense.

Matthew Lightstorm © 2020

Sources:

https://www.etymonline.com/word/organic

COM0014 – Blog #3: Smart Parents and Smart Kids buy Generic Building Blocks and Not their Brand Name Predecessors

COM0014 – Blog #3: Smart Parents and Smart Kids buy Generic Building Blocks and Not their Brand Name Predecessors

My audience is parents of kids who are in the market for purchasing building bricks. Parents with young kids are busy people and don’t have a lot of time to make decisions because they are mostly busy working to pay for an expensive life. Parents with young children will be more cash strapped than they were before they had kids and will be more receptive to language that appeals to the pocket book. The language must be direct and the proposition must be made in the headline. An image conveying the idea in the headline, as well as some links, will be sufficient to allow the audience to absorb the information with little effort. A personal story or example will also serve as a powerful way to drive the point home. The following example will show how we are letting parents know that buying generic building bricks can be a better choice than buying brand name building bricks.

Smart Parents and Smart Kids buy Generic Building Blocks and Not their Brand Name Predecessors.

Building Bricks, Audience, Parents, Kids, Saving, Money, Smart, Creative, Learning Toys
Image by Matthew Lightstorm

Why buy the brand name building bricks when they cost 2-3 times as much as generic building bricks? In my experience, kids will play with both types of bricks with equal enthusiasm because eventually they invoke their own creativity. The pretty picture on the brand name building bricks is sensationalized and short lived. After building what is in the picture, what do you do next? Therein, lies the answer; you begin to modify and create according to your imagination. I did not mention the name of the brand names for fear of reprisal, but you know who they are. Some companies market the pants off of every single children’s movie and their characters to sell more of their toys! I don’t believe toy manufacturers are just asking for a small royalty of 5-10%, but more likely a 100%-200% profit margin on each box sold.

The average kid that is interested in building bricks will likely spend an average of $500 on these creative learning toys in their lifetime. If the end goal is to have more bricks to build more creations, then why settle for less bricks at a higher cost? A month ago I was shopping for building bricks for my niece and found that a 900 piece brand name building brick set was priced at $130. This particular set was not associated with any movie characters. I then decided to look at generic building brick sets and found that a similar set made up of 1000 pieces was selling for $49. When I did the math it worked out that the brand name comparable set was priced 265% higher than the generic brand set. Moreover, when looking at movie character sets, the prices quickly escalated between 400-600% higher in price.

So what’s the final deal? The deal is that $500 dollars spent on generic building bricks gives you the equivalent of approximately 10,000 pieces, which if otherwise spent on a brand name would cost the equivalent of anywhere from $1325 to $3000. So, next time you are in the market for purchasing building blocks consider how many bricks your dollars are buying and factor in how much it will cost you to give those kids a free range of creativity with as many bricks as possible. Smarter kids build more with more bricks and smarter parents pay less for those bricks–thats the bottom line! Check out these fantastic generic building bricks I found on Amazon.

COM0014 – Blog #2: Bing Bang Boom–Story Telling

COM0014 – Blog #2: Bing Bang Boom–Story Telling

Image By Matthew Lightstorm

You can do it in whatever style you want, but you need to follow the basics of story telling. You need to be close to them, but not too close. You need a little suspense to lead them in, but not too much to get them lost. Imagine you are sitting by the fire and the audience has your attention.

Bing

The Bing is that initial ringing sound you hear that draws your attention. You know you hear that bing when your head turns, or something pulls you in, to read more. You are by the camp fire with a full moon and you want to tell your audience a blood-curdling story. You want to lead your audience into the story to ensure that you have their full attention. You may start by telling them, “I never told anyone this story about how I came across a dead body.” Or you may not want to tell them the ending right away and start with something alluding like, “I never wanted to know what it felt like to see a dead body.” You may choose to tell your story from the first person, second person, or third person, but the further removed you are from the story the less personal it becomes. You may also consider that you can make it personal in the second and third person by being a party or witness to the story.

Bang

The Bang is that sudden loud noise that makes everyone jump. The body of the story comes to life; just as a dead body in a horror story might awaken. All the surrounding details of how life after death are made possible in the supernatural, may convince the reader of the plausibility. The logic and facts used to convince the audience are just as important as how you convey them through your writing style. Perhaps, you will add that, “the government had been testing human cells in their ability to reverse their state of apoptosis or cell death–as you may have learned in Grade 10 biology.” Anything is possible when you begin to change the audience’s point of view and create the idea of new possibilities.

Boom

The Boom is the final act in the story that finally allows the entire story to come to some kind of conclusion and leaves the audience with some kind of closure or open-ended idea for more possibilities. Using the example of the camp fire horror story, the boom is the part of the story that just shocks the pants off your readers. Assuming the lead was catchy enough and the body was believable, the audience is now waiting for the final verdict–however shocking it might be. The boom needs to follow the same logic as the story and not introduce any new evidence; but more like an unfolding of all the facts. In the end, “behind the gates of the abandoned mine the government had contracted to use the grounds as an experiment to test its new reverse-cell-apoptosis drug on unclaimed bodies with decomposition profiles of less than 10 days.” My uncle worked at the facility as a janitor and was only privy to certain details. What happens to all the successful risen bodies after the story is entirely up to the reader’s imagination. After the story, the reader might even feel compelled to look up the word “apoptosis reversal” even if this is just a story about writing stories. Knowing what your audience expects from your content, making your point of view clear and applying the elements of good form and style, are the fundamentals of telling a story–whether fiction or reality. In view of Blog 2, it was a story about a story for the purpose of writing about writing and whether you believe it to be true or not; it would have left an indelible mark in the deep synapses of your mind.

Thinking of travelling to Eastern Ontario? You must read about:

Thinking of travelling to Eastern Ontario? You must read about:

Dinosaurs, Jesus, Pizza
travel to Eastern Ontario from Toronto and or Ottawa
Image By Matthew Lightstorm

What do dinosaurs, Jesus and pizza have in common? All three were part of my great staycation during a one day trip to Eastern Ontario. During these pandemic times, who says you can’t find excitement, spirituality and good food all in one day? The idea of this adventure stemmed from an old bookmark of an apparition of Mother Mary which was reported to have occurred sometime in the 90’s on the Greensides’ Farm in Marmora, Ontario. I had always found the phenomena of apparitions interesting, not only for their spiritual value but also because of their intrigue of the unknown. School aged family members loved the idea of visiting a drive-thru dinosaur park along the way, but people of all ages can also enjoy the indoor reptile zoo.

This is a great day trip for anyone travelling from Toronto or Ottawa and can also be incorporated into a longer vacation as there are many fascinating things to explore in this area. Driving from Toronto, our first main attraction within the first 90 minutes was the drive-thru Dinosaur park located in the small town of Indian River.

Indian River Reptile & Dinosaur Park

Indian River, Ontario, https://reptileanddinosaurpark.org
Indian River Reptile & Dinosaur Park
Vacation
Image By Matthew Lightstorm

The Indian River Reptile & Dinosaur Park is the best drive-thru park adventure I have ever experienced anywhere in Ontario. It took about 30 minutes to drive through the whole park with over 50 life-like dinosaur exhibits on display. The kids and adults loved the self-guided tour where there were many opportunities to take close up pictures of our favourite dinosaurs. There are plenty of things to do at this place including shopping in the gift shop for reptile memorabilia, checking out the enormous collection of live reptiles, and also outdoor mini golf.

Greensides’ Farm

We continued to travel east along Highway 7 for about 30 minutes to reach our next destination of Greensides’ Farm located in Marmora, Ontario, but not before we took note of the wonderful scenic towns of Norwood and Havelock–where we stopped for a quick Tim Horton’s coffee. We eventually reached Greensides’ Farm and were greeted by a few patrons who directed us along a path, which led us through a beautiful walk with the Stations of the Cross honouring Jesus; which eventually led us to the top of a hill where a shrine had been built to honour the appearance of Mother Mary. At the shrine we said a few prayers for our family member who had recently passed away and paid tribute to the message of Jesus with the hope that world peace could be achieved one day.

Greensides' Farm, Marmora, Ontario, 
Religious Retreat, Mother Mary, Stations of the Cross, Jesus, Christian, Spiritual, Vacation
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Greensides+Farm/@44.4941182,-77.6320185,16z/data=!4m12!1m6!3m5!1s0x0:0xea6ae73844b3bafe!2sGreensides+Farm!8m2!3d44.4938886!4d-77.633027!3m4!1s0x0:0xea6ae73844b3bafe!8m2!3d44.4938886!4d-77.633027
Image By Matthew Lightstorm

Theo’s Pizzeria

Of course, after all the walking and hiking at Greensides’ Farm, we were ready to devour just about anything, but we were also very careful not to just settle for a mediocre meal. We had made the long journey and rightfully so, we thought that we should make an effort to find a most suitable establishment to eat great food. Our 10 minute online search led us to Theo’s Pizzeria which was conveniently located 4 minutes from the farm in the centre of the town of Marmora. (We also made a note that there is a scenic Marmora Mine to visit next time we are travelling to the area.) We arrived at Theo’s Pizzeria with great enthusiasm and were thrilled with all of the unique menu items. We ordered burgers, Hawaiian pizza, sweet potato fries, gourmet dipping sauces and the rest was a food extravaganza of flavour and delight. Best of all, looking through the large glass window into this quiet little town, made the food experience that much cozier and pleasurable.

Theo's Pizza, Marmora, Ontario, Pizza, Pizzeria, Food, Vacation, Cozy, Casual Dining, Take-Out
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Theos+Pizzeria/@44.4823661,-77.6831537,17z/data=!4m22!1m16!4m15!1m6!1m2!1s0x4cd35b34ceb69bdd:0x7b0393d97c237532!2sTheos+Pizzeria,+20+Forsyth+St,+Marmora,+ON+K0K+2M0!2m2!1d-77.6826149!2d44.4834966!1m6!1m2!1s0x4cd34574e32f496f:0xea6ae73844b3bafe!2sGreensides+Farm,+15+Greenside+Ln,+Marmora,+ON+K0K+2M0!2m2!1d-77.633027!2d44.4938886!3e0!3m4!1s0x4cd35b34ceb69bdd:0x7b0393d97c237532!8m2!3d44.4834966!4d-77.6826149
Image By Matthew Lightstorm

Next time you’re looking to do something closer to home and off the beaten track, think about taking the ultimate day tour in Eastern Ontario–Dinosaurs, Jesus and Pizza. Sometimes we can be pleasantly surprised by the hidden gems we find along the journey and the vacation begins to unfold in ways unexpected. Let us know what you think about our travel stories and how you can relate with your new discoveries while travelling?

Wormhole happen to you?

Wormhole happen to you?

Image By Matthew Lightstorm

An interesting concept comes to mind when I think of social media and physics. Einstein theorized that wormholes are two points in time that can either shorten travel or expand travel. The two points can be as close as a few meters or as distant as light years away. While the theory is normally reserved to space travel, in travelling through two points of time; I believe I experienced a wormhole in real life—many times.

I think many others may have experienced the same phenomena that I’ve experienced. I never thought to talk about it, because it’s one of those things that you realize is happening unobtrusively and is not easy to explain.

The first time I experienced this phenomenon was when I was 21 years old. I was driving up north from Toronto to Sauble beach. Normally, the trip would take no less than 2.5 hours. I’m not sure what it was about the drive that day, I just remember it was May and it was about an hour before sunset. The interior of the modest car I was driving was shaped like the inside of a spaceship cockpit, but in no way did this have any relevance to the wormhole theory. The CD player was set to autoplay. The album was a compilation of the best classical music, including Vivaldi, Bach, Mozart, Chopin, and Beethoven— to name a few. As I began my journey, I got comfortable, set the cruise control and let the calm music play in the background as I enjoyed driving through the country roads. The CD might have played 4 times over. I am not sure how many times it must have played over. Surely, when I arrived, the time shown on my clock was right where it should have been; about 2.5 hours later. There was something mysterious that happened and I knew without any doubt that those 2.5 hours of time travel did not equate to 2.5 hours. That time and space I travelled through were definitely shortened, but not in a way that was measurable. I felt the time that transpired was in fact closer to 1 hour.

So why did the duration of my time spent in the car feel like 1 hour? What made my perception of time feel shorter? While it sounds utterly absurd to think that this is in anyway related to space travel, there are a few merits to this theory. In a metaphorical sense, can we not say that we travel though time when we get from point A to point B in a short amount of time? Why do 10 minutes in an unpleasant situation seem like an eternity, while 2 hours spent with your best friend might seem like only a few minutes at the moment you have to say goodbye?

Is the mind really aware of what a length of time feels like? What is the feeling of time? Can you touch time? Can you feel time? Can you create time? Can you see time? Can you hear time? Can you interact with time? The answer is no. We accept that time exists because of the constructs of physical space. So our physical space tells us that time is ticking. The sun is setting, so time must be passing by. But if we separate our awareness of our physical space from our awareness of our subconscious mind; we begin to experience time in an entirely different way. The mind’s perception of time is entirely changed when we stop counting and begin engaging with things not from this world.

The wormhole is a metaphor for expansion and contraction of the subconscious mind. When engaged on social media we can sometimes spend 4 hours on something and never realize the amount of time that has passed. Does the subconscious mind not make us aware that time is ticking? Yet when exposed to troubling news on social media, that shakes our very core, we are suddenly aware of every minute detail of that short videoclip. While we watch that short social video clip, all of our collected fears, emotions, beliefs and ideologies flash before our mind’s eye; playing an even shorter internal video relative to the short video clip of awful news. If our internal mind’s eye video could be extracted, what would it unpack for us? Perhaps, we would find a tightly packed suitcase of every subconscious second in our lives.

I am not a psychologist, but my sheer arrogance precedes me. Perhaps our natural defence mechanism warns us that what we are watching is so disturbing, that our subconscious mind expands time to compress all of these thoughts into a short clip. Maybe it does so in order to take immediate action or as in the case with social media; we switch the channel or face more anguish. Conversely, when there are good vibes coming towards us, we engage in a positive way and our mind allows us to flow that information for hours on end, without any special subconscious short clip warnings. I am sure if I was a psychologist I would have used the terms flight or fight response and stress to explain this process. But I am a strong believer that the best new breakthroughs come from those that have no prior exposure to the field. So, coming to terms with what is really happening to us when we enter these wormholes, is understanding that we are being worm-holed while using social media.

When the feedback is positive; we enter a positive feedback loop, we begin to engage even more and feel pleasure while doing it repeatedly. On the other hand if the feedback is negative, we begin to feel badly and seek ways to stop the ill feeling. While Freud might be rolling in his grave reading my nonsense, I still stand to gain from leaning on my wormhole psychology theory. I say that because many of the privileged psychology theorists of old, had wild preposterous theories; yet we still in many ways today, have the same prevailing structures in place, allowing for the same lunacy to prevail. Moreover, if good theories are worth exploring then why are they not in the mainstream education? I am not attacking the educational process, but I am questioning why social media is not a greater part of the education process. The power of millions to think about a better model, might offer a better treatment than a handful of intellectuals. Not to mention the industry motivated funding to institutions, which often exclude intelligent non-monetizable solutions.

Social media has the power to change the way we view psychology, in that we may develop a non-traditional branch of psychology like alternative-psychology. The alternative psychology might seek to resolve issues without the use of medicine and cognitive therapies; but rather by looking at our perceptions and feelings in an entirely different way. The wormhole might explain two thirds of the psychological conditions caused by exposure to media. Next time you are on social media, ask yourself if your wormhole is contracting or expanding? If it is contracting, you are gaining perceived time; your subconscious mind is allowing those 4 hours on your favourite topic to seem like 10 minutes. The mind is telling you to go ahead without any warning, to proceed with confidence, and enjoy. If the wormhole is otherwise expanding, then time is feeling longer than it is and suddenly the trauma sets in. The mind is telling you to stop, do not go any further, and a flash of all your deep relevant subconscious thoughts ensues. Perhaps, one day, psychology problems can be solved by people understanding how the mind works, from non-traditional perspectives. Perhaps, millions of us contributing our human capital potential together, will prove to be the largest experiment to replace previously indoctrinated solutions.

Would you ever watch a film or read a book adaptation of this wormhole story or idea? Perhaps an elaborated story of the wormhole thought expansion and contraction theory related to mind control; or even, a global awareness of the wormhole thinking phenomena, and how it shares a symbiotic relationship with social media?

Have you ever experienced a feeling of a wormhole, and if so, what happened?

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Social Media is Weaponized

Social Media is Weaponized

Social media is weaponized for some entities, and linguistic manipulation is at the heart of the weapon. You may wonder how this is possible. It appears that humans are easily fooled by how they interpret communication. Communication experts are keen on the many linguistic techniques and methods applied to manipulate the masses.

Should we trust that our most protected organizations, corporations, and institutions, have our best interests at heart?

Perhaps, these entities are the ones that should be held to the highest level of linguistic scrutiny. It almost appears that we are in the rock ages of this process; with no regulation in sight on what words actually mean when delivered to the masses.

Orwell wrote that political language, “is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”

Linguistic Manipulation:

The art of linguistic manipulation today, has since been mastered far beyond the imagination of George Orwell’s 1984.

In the book the Juggler of Notre Dame, the clergy man asks his bishop, “May I smoke while praying?” In response, he receives a definitive no. Later, another clergyman asks the bishop, “May I pray while I smoke, and the bishop replies, “it is fine to pray at anytime.”

Positioning of words changes meaning and effect by emphasizing an act or a subject. The subject of an act can be easily switched to the act of a subject. These statements are related to the same thing but they both have different meanings. The facts can remain the same but the disposition of the words can subtly sway your perception of what is actually happening.

How does Social Media Affect Human Life?

One of the most important subjects known to humans, is human life. Who might have thought that human life can be such an important subject? It is certainly written in Section 7 of our Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, in plain english, “Everyone has the right to life.”

Jacques Ellul writes that “public opinion can only express itself through channels which are provided by the mass media of communication – without which there could be no propaganda.” When we consider that social media has millions of channels of influence, it is easy to see that public opinions can vary. 

With human life being at the top of the list of priorities in our Canadian Charter, one has to wonder why cleaning the earth of toxic chemicals and homelessness is not trending everyday on the top 10 list!

So, we need to ask ourselves, if we are not hearing about the things that really matter, then what are we hearing about on a daily basis, which forms the consensus of public opinion? The answer is likely manipulation. We are being told what is important to human life and not what in reality is capital to human life. 

It is important to recognize techniques used to subject you to the daily propaganda warfare. The last thing you want, is to realize that you have been slowly subliminally programmed to agree with everything that is disguised as public opinion. 

Five Social Media Manipulation Techniques

The following are just a few of many manipulation techniques used on social media:

  1. Astroturfing: Imitation grassroots movements used to sway the public.
  2. Clickbait: Sensationalized headlines appealing to existing biases.
  3. Propaganda Laundering: Focusing on the release of media reports rather than the actual story.
  4. Distraction by Major Events: Using major events to distract public from priority issues.
  5. Straw Man Fallacy: Making a statement appear false by referencing a similar but weaker example.

The Race against the Social Media Manipulation Bomb

Social media companies like Twitter have recently taken big steps to counter propaganda meant to manipulate public opinion. A recent headline, on THE HILL, read, Twitter deletes over 170,000 accounts tied to Chinese propaganda efforts.” This along with many other propaganda takedowns and newly introduced tools, are making Twitter a formidable social media company to help form truthful public opinion. We will need more time to see just how Twitter and other social media companies will be able to democratize public opinion and help save human life on earth.

Future Outlook

A recent article on Mashable, reported that Twitter was exploring crowdsourced fact checking as a way to address misinformation, which would rely on community moderators to make determinations on posted content. This would sound like a great solution, with the exception that the public would need transparency on the political inclinations of the assigned moderators. The stakes are very high for those that stand to lose against politically stacked moderators. The further we consider the implications of moderators for Twitter content, the more we realize that the social media company is taking the shape of an elected government; where we may need to elect local moderators to address the interests of the Twitter community. We must also consider how public opinion might take shape without the lens of the propaganda cultivators. We may find that people are more likely to assemble themselves quite differently if they could have fair and democratic access to public opinion. While the world contends with the real threat of a weaponized social media landscape; we are running out of time to save human life on our planet earth. Are you ready to join the good fight?

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Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politics_and_the_English_Language

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nineteen_Eighty-Four

https://bit.ly/37Farlf (Juggler of Notre Dame)

https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/Const/page-15.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacques_Ellul

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_opinion

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_media

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Media_manipulation

https://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/502371-twitter-deletes-over-170000-accounts-tied-to-chinese-propaganda-efforts

https://blog.twitter.com/en_us/topics/company/2020/information-operations-june-2020.html

https://mashable.com/article/twitter-community-fact-checking-tool/