Be richer, smarter, sexier, and more . . .

. . . gullible to clickbait.

As a self-described pop-culture junky I do tend to read a variety of social media that targets an audience with a fondness for the sensational. However, over the past few years, I have noticed more and more clickbait articles that always leave me feeling a little bit not right.

So what does clickbait mean? According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary it is “something (such as a headline) designed to make readers want to click on a hyperlink especially when the link leads to content of dubious value or interest.”

With that in mind, I think I can safely say we have all encountered headlines on our Facebook timelines. Look what I found today.

Sure, I am tempted to look at photos that prove being a woman these days is tough. Don’t I know it! And now I want that affirmation. Show me those pictures!

However, digging deeper and reading a great article entitled Clickbait Tactics Do More Harm Than Good, I learned that

  • humans are suckers for a tasty sounding headline
  • clickbait
    • really is a form of advertising
    • tactics are often used to increase engagement numbers

So yes, you are being used for advertising. When I follow the link, sure I get a chuckle but I am also bombarded with ad upon ad. Some may fit with me (I guess I could buy groceries from food basics?). Others not so much (Dell EMC: hum. You’ve lost me).

So, I guess it is just best to be aware. Don’t believe everything you see online. After all, fake news is another topic I just don’t even want to think about! The article above is from almost two years ago and indicated that Facebook was trying to put a stop to such advertising. But, it doesn’t seem to be quite working.

Tell me about some of your more memorable clickbait experiences!

Clickbait gulliable #richer #smarter #sexier http://bit.ly/2SN32dz

Clickbait gulliable: be richer, smarter . . . http://bit.ly/2SN32dz

Social media and the sincere apology

Over the past few weeks I had the experience of upsetting someone at work during a phone conversation. Yes, by phone. After the call, I realized that I had upset this person and tried numerous times to call and apologize.

Sadly, this person was too upset by my actions to respond. Eventually this person’s boss contacted me to let me know I had upset this person (please know: I am actually very fond of this person and I normally have a good relationship with them). My first instinct was a great big “Duh. I know. I have been trying to apologize”. But I was also terribly upset, and frankly ashamed, that I had upset this person. This is not who I thought I was. But it got me thinking.

In the age of social media: where has the sincere apology gone? A true, “I’m sorry I didn’t mean that”?

Sure, your package is mis-delivered or lost. You receive poor service. Someone cuts you off while you are biking. So you complain. But, if you get an apology, how sincere is the response? Businesses live in fear of poor reviews. But being sorry is flat out just being sorry. And in the world of social media, people are quick to vent their upset. Don’t get me wrong: sometimes organizations deserve it, but often this means we are more likely to do the same to regular human beings we know closely, somewhat, or only on social media. In any of those scenarios, they are still human beings.

I encourage you to read an article by Suzanne Alyssa Andrew in The Walrus on Social Media, Online Accountability, and the Meaning of an Apology (Follow her on Twitter). While interviewing Matt Cahill, a psychotherapist, he reflects on Sarah Schulman’s book Conflict is Not Abuse. In Schulman’s book, she maintains “… that people are increasingly conflating conflict with threats, so instead of listening, negotiation, and resolution, we get an enormous smokescreen under which people can feel justified in denying any wrongdoing. In other words, you start by calling out a misunderstanding or disagreement and wind up having to defend yourself from a terrible accusation.”

So, saying sorry doesn’t always come as easily as it does for Justin Bieber. And it also involves egos on both sides. And that’s just a bad place. Especially on social media.

Source: YouTube (https://youtu.be/6MXPCQt1eEA)

My response to my inappropriate behaviour was a bit shocking. I was initially sad I had upset someone, but when called on it: I was sick to my stomach that I had hurt someone, AND also upset that they were unable to speak up for themselves and open the door to an apology when someone is trying to give one.

Could it be possible that social media has made apologies not matter?

Did social media kill the sincere apology? http://bit.ly/38rzEPA

Social media: The end of the sincere apology http://bit.ly/38rzEPA

Meditate: Take a break from social media

Module 3 reminded us why social media matters. And the impact that it had on our society. For those of us of a certain age, we can remember when social media, the internet, and email wasn’t a thing. When you sent a letter (by mail!) and received mail that was not a bill. It does lead me to ponder the “good old days”, when you could disconnect and spend time doing nothing. And really doing nothing.

Is nothing a good thing? Why yes. Apparently their are surprising benefits of doing nothing. They include being more:

Meditation
  • creative
  • productive
  • kinder

(New Idea, 2018)

Image from Pexels.

All that sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? Apparently taking time out makes you an all-round better human being! But this is hard: We have all experienced that stress, for lack of a better word, when you feel like you cannot take time out and simply do nothing. I don’t think this should be how we live. Sure social media is a great tool, but it is also taking over our lives more each day. We all need time to step back, away from all our devices (and family) and simply breathe.

A mere 146 days ago I decided to take my own daily break and started meditating. Every day I take anywhere from 3 to 15 minutes for myself and simply breathe. It shocks me to write that 3 minute number. I wish I made more time, but I don’t always. Sure, on a good day I have 15 minutes, but sometimes I don’t. I have learned that it is okay: I am doing the best I can. And I am taking some time to make myself a calmer, more centered human being. I am a work in process, but I am doing it.

Image from the headspace app

With regular use, meditation brings you to a calmer, more relaxed place. It forces you to disconnect and take some time for yourself. I use Headspace, but there are lots of options out there. Some are free, some are not. Of course, Oprah Magazine (yes, from the queen of them all), offers up suggestions on the The Best Meditation Apps to Help With Anxiety. This is a great place to start.

This is where the social media’s tools and calmness converge. Go. Do it now.

Poll designed using crowdsignal.com

_____________________

New Idea. (2018, March 8). The surprising benefits of doing nothing: A little downtime can bring about many rewards. Retrieved from https://www.newidea.com.au/the-surprising-benefits-of-doing-nothing

Meditate: Take a break from social media http://bit.ly/2GPvgh6

Take a #break from #socialmedia w #meditation #calm http://bit.ly/2GPvgh6

Are mommy bloggers real?

Jamaica fun
Photo: R. Koomas

I admit I don’t get blogging. I understand what it is, I think, but have never really felt compelled to share “me” with others in such a format. However, I have always been pretty impressed with those who do. Over the past few years, I have discovered that mommy bloggers seem to be a thing. I didn’t know this until I became a mother and started midnight googling about crazy kid-related concerns.

Most recently, while in Jamaica I spent an evening searching out lice removal. Because when you go to Jamaica for a week of sun you always want to bring lice with you: it 100% adds to the fun! (The joys of a five-year-old) So, having experienced it, I’m not so scared of lice anymore, but I am 100% intimidated by mommy bloggers. Yep, you tumble upon them when searching out lice remedies.  They aren’t official sources of information, like Ottawa Public Health, but they can add to your adventures with hopefully humour, and no judgement. Thank you Scary Mommy

This got me thinking: are mommy bloggers real? Recently at my work we have tried to tap into influencers that are mommy bloggers, and I’ve discovered they seem to be mostly real people, and they don’t come cheap. Apparently there are women out there are making some fast coin blogging about their “lives.” So, I’ve been researching this thing called mommy bloggers (and don’t get me wrong, there are dad bloggers too). The Canadian Internet Registration Authority recently shared the 12 Canadian parenting blogger you should follow; I haven’t heard of a single one of them! But they exist and I have to assume they are out to make money, or at least get some free stuff. Because why else spend time sitting on your computer writing when you could be hiding more effectively from your kids? 

Thanks to CBC (who doesn’t love CBC?) I’ve discovered that parents are making money writing about their parenting experiences. But, according to this article, the more money you make, the less authentic you may become. And then, I have to say you are no longer real. Because the whole point is to be “you” and tell “your” story. 

So I guess, in my opinion, mommy bloggers who are making a living off of telling their stories are not really real anymore. Yep, I just wrote that. They do sell their souls. Some more than others. But then, by me writing this, am I on the way to being a mommy blogger? Would I toss my hat in the ring for some extra money? As I reach for the lice comb tonight, I think I just might. . .

Now tell me what you think of mommy bloggers: because they may not be real, but they aren’t going away.

Facebook: Mommy bloggers are making money off their lives, but are they real?

Twitter: Mommy bloggers r real? #bloglife