For my first “Fill in the blank: Social media helped me, I can answer. It helped me find an old friend who is fighting cancer.
Let me explain.
Last week whilst scrolling through FB, my buddy and former music biz colleague Bob Roper, posted this meme:
Now, Sam Kinison was one of the funniest performers on the planet back in the mid-80’s-early 90’s. He was what was known as a shock comic, or an insult comic. His best friend and fellow comedian, Carl Labove, was a friend of mine. Bob’s post reminded of the fact that I hadn’t thought of either of them in years.
Sam and Carl were also known as the ‘Outlaws of Comedy’. Sam’s iconic screams were so over the top he made a name for himself, carved out his own niche. He was fortunate to catch the eye of Rodney Dangerfield, who was very supportive. Rodney gave Sam his first big break with an appearance in his 1986 film “Back to School”. He also did stints on Saturday Night Live and Late Night with David Letterman. His star was rising. Carl is also very talented, although by hitching himself to Sam, he tended to have to stay in the shadows. But make no mistake, Carl is very funny too.
When Sam and Carl would play gigs in Toronto, we would always find time to hang out together. Hijinx and all-nighters would ensue. They were awesome guys, and hey, if I could make some of the funniest comics on the planet laugh, well, what can I say, it was all very cool.
So, I posted the following comment on Bob’s page:
I loved Sam Kinison and he died so tragically and too young. He would always come to my place in the Beaches and hang out when he was in town. His friend Carl LaBove was a good friend of mine too, and survived the car crash that took Sam’s life. But oh the laughs and good times we had together! Sam was a really, really sweet guy, completely different off stage. How he didn’t blow his voice with all that screaming, I don’t know! Thanks for the memory Bob.
As I mentioned in my FB post, Sam tragically died in a car accident on the way from LA to Vegas for a show. Carl was in the car with him and Sam’s new wife. They were hit by a drunk driver. Carl and Sam’s wife survived their injuries, Sam died on the scene.
In an effort to find out where Carl was these days, I thought I’d do a little online research. I found a 2013 article about him that brought some shocking news. It seems that Carl’s daughter was actually fathered by his deceased, and so he thought, best friend. Shocking, to say the least.
I kept digging and then found out some sad news. Carl has been battling cancer.
But, thanks to social media, Carl’s friend and fellow comic, Dan Pasternack launched a Go Fund Me campaign to raise money to help pay for Carl’s medical bills. I made a donation (thanks to social media).
I kept digging some more because I couldn’t seem to find a way to contact Carl. But thanks to social media, I found Dan Pasternack on Facebook and sent him a note through Messenger. He kindly replied that he had forwarded my message along to Carl and that Carl was going to reach out to me.
I’m still waiting to hear back from Carl. I haven’t heard his voice in years, but I’m sure the time will melt away and we’ll share a few laughs once again.
Thank you, social media. If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t have been able to find an old friend in his time of need. I hope to offer him some comfort and love. Maybe I can put a smile on his face too.
I look forward to reading your answers to my fill in the blank question today.
According to dictionary.com(2020), the term ‘cosplay’ means “the art or practice of wearing costumes to portray characters from fiction, especially from manga, animation, and science fiction”. For some (like myself) it is a creative hobby that occurs once or twice a year, while for others it is their way of life. Thanks to the rise of social media, those dedicated cosplayers can now make a living off of their passion in a way that not a lot of other people can say they do.
Cosplayers would spend months and many hours working on their cosplay to debut it at a convention. To show everyone their love for the character they decided to cosplay as. However, thanks to social media they can now showcase not only the finished product at any time but also the creative process that goes into each cosplay. That is much more intensive than you would think!
Thanks to sites like Instagram, YouTube,Facebook and Twitter, cosplayers from all over the world can easily create large fanbases. The more followers you get the more money the cosplayer can make and therefore the better quality their cosplays can become and then the cycle repeats.
Most cosplayers focus on one or two characters when they are first starting and become well known for those characters before they branch out. For example, one of my favourite male cosplayers Phil Mizuno had his starting point as Bakugou Katsuki from Boku No Hero Academia/My Hero Academia before he started branching off into other characters. Note: yes, everything in the photo below was handmade!
With the popularity of Comic-Con’s and other conventions throughout the world, cosplay has become more accepted and mainstream. If you are popular enough you may even be asked to appear as a cosplay guest at conventions and your fans will come from far and wide to get a photo with you. They are celebrities in their own right. Syfy even created a show ‘Cosplay Melee’bringing in the best of the best to create intricate cosplays in a competitive environment.
Thanks to social media cosplay has become less labelled as something only ‘nerds’ enjoy. In reality, dressing up on Halloween is a form of cosplay that everyone is actively encouraged to participate in! Cosplay is the freedom to be creative and show your love for what you enjoy, no matter if it is anime, movies, books or video games!
If you could cosplay as any character, who would you cosplay as? I’m posting one of my recent cosplay’s below to show that you can become anyone you want. Her name is Lacus Clyne from an anime called ‘Gundam SEED’ and she is a Captain of a warship.
Facebook – Ever wonder how social media works hand in hand with cosplayers? Find out in my new blog ‘The Rise Of Cosplay” https://bit.ly/3n34c1V
Twitter – “The Rise Of Cosplay” will tell you everything you need to know about social media & cosplay https://bit.ly/3n34c1V
The stories we hear our parents or grandparents tell of romantic meetings and love stories are not something common within our time. Of course, in their time there was also heartbreak, cheating and bad endings too; but it didn’t have the power of social media behind it. Dating apps like Tinder, Grindr, Bumble and Ashley Madison (to name a few) are all perfect examples of how social interaction online, is teaching our society that sex, love and personal interaction is disposable. They create the notion that within five minutes there is access to twenty more women/men who are DTF (Down to F*ck for anyone who wasn’t sure) or looking for a “relationship”.
Does online dating/social media effect everyone?
My opinion, no it doesn’t happen to be a part of everyones dating stigma. Why? Well not everyone enjoys continually having someone speak to them for 2 weeks, go on a few dates-and then vanish into oblivion with no explanation or inclination; also known as “ghosting”. As a 25 year old who does tend to use social media a lot, I have dabbled in the online dating; as I’m also from a small town, making it difficult to meet people you didn’t go to high school with! My overall experience has been mostly sh*t ,for a lack of a better word. Married men, creepy men, those who have no understanding of social cues and I could truly go on but I won’t.But there has also been people I never would have entertained if it wasn’t for social media.
Though it effects me or did, it surely isn’t an issue for every woman/man; because some people still do prefer the old fashioned way of meeting someone organically. I always enjoy meeting these people because as much as I’d like to be one of them, I do not have the patience to sit at a bar and hope someone comes up to me… or go to a church bbq and be the girl in the cute dress he can’t take his eyes off of. I’m busy, and currently dating is at a back-burner stage in my life, as well as being ghosted… who even decided to come up with a term for that?! I’m curious to know how other students feel on online relationships/dating sites, because it can be a true mess of emotions and time wasting crap-but I’m sure also good things have come from it too.
Who is to blame?
Do we blame the creators of these apps? Ourselves? Our society? Without true investigation and knowledge it’s hard to know who started the overwhelming addiction of online dating. Evolving from an online chat group into swiping right to tell someone you’re interested-based on a pun filled quote and a picture of him with his dog?! What… happened to us. I blame the creators partly for playing science lab on our human psyche- but also us for allowing ourselves to let a guy who quotes “#wastehertime/girls quoting #wastehistime… get us so interested. I’m not saying we knew this would happen or that we consciously make these decisions to swipe right; but at some point we are humans and we can make the choice to turn the tables. Check out this piece relating to the controversy over who is to blame-https://theconversation.com/dont-blame-dating-apps-for-your-terrible-love-life-132935, they discuss not blaming the apps but more so changing the way we socialize; and learning to adapt to that.
So the be all, end all question… Is it worth it? To me, yes and no…I have met a lot of people I probably never would have met otherwise in my life. Though they may not have become boyfriends or the “one”, they still hold a special spot in my mind and heart. The only negative aspect I really could do without is people using these dating resources as a sex tool. We’re all human, we all need it or want it; but also being able to have a normal day to day conversation would also be satisfactory. Unsolicited nudes can take a backseat please!
Below, I linked a video from Joe Santagato a YouTube all star- regarding online dating profiles, that really made me laugh(warning there is some explicit language!). In the comments share YOUR online dating stories, or experiences with us!
The weekend of June 13th was the third annual Shield and Bow festival. Or at least it would have been if there were not a global pandemic.
Shield and Bow is a weekend for persons who identify with womanhood. It uses the weekend explore feminine themes based in spirituality as well as practicality, blending ritual and ceremony with a laid-back weekend to relax.
Normally this event takes place on the 100 acre pagan-owned and operated Raven’s Knoll Campground. However due to the global pandemic and life-as-we-know-it on pause, the Shield and Bow Festival, has had to pivot, like many events. The organizers had to make a decision; cancel or bring the festival online.
Founder and lead-organizer Allison McCuaig (and close friend of mine) choose not to cancel and instead bring the programming online. After many months of planning, spreadsheets and creating documents. Shield and Bow was able to take place via Facebook groups and a professional Zoom account.
Shield and Bow is a weekend for us as people 16+ who identify with womanhood. It is a celebration of our chosen identity, driven by commitment to community and offered by the Sisters for their sisters! We hope you can join us online June 12th, 13th and 14th 2020.
Upon registering for the event each attendee was mailed out a personal card with a strip of fabric for their entry bracelets, and a tarot card. This is a Shield and Bow tradition known as your “homework”. Not only did you have to research the cards meaning, but also what your personal/inner work would be for the year.
Programming started on Friday evening, with attendees tuning in to the password protected room to join a welcoming ritual. The ritual included grounding and centering (a common practice in various pagan paths to prepare yourself for ritual space) and each participant shared a little bit about themselves as well as lighting a candle, another level of connection. Albeit through a screen you knew each woman had a candle lit in her home.
As a pre-cursor to the festival each woman was able to send photos to the “Shield Wall” posted to Facebook and Instagram. Women discussed what it being a warrior meant to them, be it in motherhood or in a gentler way.
Saturday and Sunday were filled with workshops spaced out every few hours including topics like:
Fight Like a Girl – a self defense course
Death and Taxes – how to guide on taxes and creating a will
Self- Blessing Ritual
Ancestor Rattle making
Bardic- women shared songs, stories, jokes and poetry
Saturday evening held the feast. Usually when we are in the woods of the Knoll we come together and share dishes, decorate the halls and all sit at the same table. This virtual event invited us to bring our plates and tune into Zoom to chat and connect. During the feast Goddesses and feminine concepts are honored. Women spoke on the divine feminine, honored missing and murdered Indigenous women, and discussed goddess such as Artemis and Bridget.
While this event really differed from the norm of being out in the woods, connecting with your sisters, enjoying a feast together and dancing and laughing around a fire, there was a chance here for a genuine connection and a sharing of space. Although there were challenges, being so far apart from one another and being behind a screen. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to come together in this virtual way. It was clear that this was desperatley needed by many.
It poses the question of how will we adapt our spiritual practice? How will we come together and create shared experiences in this uncertain time? Although it’s not perfect I really believe these stolen moments; the late night zoom chats, sharing of photos and vulnerability on social media, of lighting a candle in the dark together at home, are going to sustain us and keep us through to the other side of this crisis.
Until this crisis is over, all we can do is adapt, light that candle and pray.
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?
Two of the major things in things in this course that I have gotten very excited about learning have been the development of better and better networks as I talked about in the last blog post, but here is the other one; development of the web itself. In today’s final blog post for COM0011 – Introduction to Social Media, I would like to talk a little bit about the evolution of the web itself, through the phases of Web 1.0, 2.0 and the future of Web 3.0. Huge shoutout to this article from GeeksforGeeks.org which will be also added to the bibliography of this post where you can get more information on this topic.
These are the earliest days of the internet. From basically 1994 when the internet was first launched, until around 2004 when social media sites started popping up, these were the types of sites that you dealt with. The main things to take away from the early days of the internet is the fact that most of the pages were pretty static (not changing), there were no pop-ups or ads of any kind because in a lot of places advertising on sites in the 1990s was illegal, and there were not a lot of people creating anything online, mostly just people consuming the content from the internet, looking things up, reading them, and then moving on.
This is our current age, as of 2004 we have been living in the evolving Web 2.0 world where there are not only far more sites, but far more sites that focus on user-generated content. It is what is known as the “participative web”, the one where sites like YouTube (seen in image below), Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and many more thrive. The Web 2.0 era is also one about having the ability to access as much of the same content no matter where you are looking at it and consuming it. On your desktop at home? No problem, Laptop in a café? No issues at all! On your phone in the bathroom? It is still there and still available for you to access in some way.
I do understand that there are some applications like TikTok that may be mobile only, but the main point is that even with that, tablet or smartphone, it is still accessible to the same degree, whereas Web 1.0 sites would have had to be built for mobile which many were not.
The future! Web 3.0 will revolutionize the way that we use the internet. Right now, we want to find something on the web we will get to Google (or if your mad Bing) and search for it as standard and it will draw up a list of the most visited sites that respond to the query in question. Web 3.0 plans to use what is called the “Semantic Web” and make Googling things a thing of the past by turning the ENTIRE WEB into an infinite database and we will be able to search for what is necessary and what we want to find, without the need for search engines or SEO for our sites. User behavior will be monitored by AI online to guide us to the places we tend to visit and bring us safely to the new places online when searching for something. It is still in the works, but it is rather interesting to think about the future of the web! Let me know in the comments section what you think about the move from the past to now, and do you remember the 90s internet? How does that shape up versus now? Let me know! I have always wondered what came next after the internet…maybe this is what actually happens…it evolves!
Thanks for the read!
Social Media Posts
Facebook: The Past, Present and Future of the Net (Web 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0) Check out this blog post on my WordPress site where I discuss how the interfaces online have changed, super fascinating to think how far we have come since the beginning days of the internet! (https://bit.ly/3fA0WX9)
Twitter: The Past, Present and Future of the Net! From Web 1.0 all the way to the future in Web 3.0, the internet has changed a lot since the earliest of days! Check out my #WordPress post about this on my blog! (https://bit.ly/3fA0WX9)
Think back to the first phone that you had…was it a flip phone? Blackberry with a sliding keyboard or maybe you were lucky and your first one had a nice touch screen on it? I just want to take a minute to discuss many of the changes to the smart communication channels that I have noticed over the years. From the 2G networks of the 90s all the way to the 5G networks of the 2020s and beyond (including some of the things that I have heard about 6G which should be arriving c. 2030). This Wikipedia Article talks about the different currently existing mobile phone generations and gives a good recap of everything I am going to talk about, and this video from Brightside on YouTube gives great predictions for the future with 6G.
Starting all the way back in the 1980s 1G cellular networks were used as ways of finally allowing phones to travel. Prior to that there was not such thing as cellphones. This gave birth to the age that exists now. Its signals were analog versus the ones from 2G networks that came about in the early 1990s. Texting also starting to come into play with later 2G networks as flip phones and early full keyboard phones began to emerge within the decade and texting originally consisted of what was called T9 (Texting on 9 Keys) which is the kind of thing done with flip phones (we all have probably experienced that…), until the full keyboard phones changed that. There were extraordinarily little in the way of applications with phones really only serving base functionality.
3G came into being in 1998 as the world of texting began to explode. This was the first network that also allowed for internet connection and kilobyte download speeds as the internet was now available on many devices. This is the age of the Pom Pilot (and also the age where we would be scared to accidentally hit the browser button on our flip phones out of fear for the massive data costs) where touch screens were beginning to come more and more into style and physical keyboards were having their heyday. 4G then arrived in 2008 and it completely changed the game.
The 4th Generation of mobile networks now allowed for megabyte download speeds, and with those larger data caps from cell providers and of course now the sending of picture and video messages was taking off. During this era too there was a growth in usage of social media on phones, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and so many more also emerged on the mobile scene during this generation. In 2013 4G-LTE was introduced and with it even faster download speeds (10s of megabytes per second) and with that there would come and increase in the usage of streaming services and video viewing through mobile devices. Even though 4G is the most recently completed generation of technology, most of the products that we are still using in mid-2020 have only a 4G modem in them, and that is what brings us to the current generation of technology and the future!
Current Network and Future Network Predictions
5G, which emerged in late 2018 and is set for mass worldwide adoption by 2021 is the current generation of technology. The big thing with 5G is now that streaming has taken off and how smartphones have now become the norm, networks are going to be needed with faster speeds in order to keep up with all of the downloading and uploading that will be done with them. 5G allows now for us to use Gigabyte download speeds, which are 1000x faster than the previous 4G megabyte networks. Buffering and video loading will be a thing of the past, as average download speeds in 2010 were only around 2-5mb/second and now they will be around 2-5gb/second when on wireless connection. 5G is coming, (and no it is not a cause of the Coronavirus) and it will be an exciting world to be in when all of our devices will have the ability to properly connect to the network and get its full potential (as I predict around 2023-2025).
Looking towards the future, the video linked here (as it was also above), is a video from the YouTube channel called Brightspace, posted in February 2020, where they are talking about what the future 6G network (set for a 2030 release) will probably look like, and what cellphones of the NEXT decade will look like. Terabyte download speeds of 2-5tb/second on wireless (equal to downloading 250, 2 hour long 4k movies in 2 seconds) will theoretically be possible (since it is was the natural progression of things will be looking like), and that is some amazing stuff. Go and check it out!
Thank you for the read, and if I can leave you thinking just a little bit more about how far we have come, let me know in the comments of this post, what was your first cellphone and what is your current one? How has your usage of the cellphone you have now changed over the years as you went from a cell to a smartphone and finally how excited are you for what the future is bringing? I am super excited! Check out the video I linked, it will really get you thinking!
Social Media Posts
Facebook: The Evolution of Mobile Networks is quite an interesting and thought provoking topic. I know that it is something that I think about quite a lot, check out my blog post linked below that covers everything from the 1G networks of the 1980s all the way to the 6G network of the 2030s! https://bit.ly/2N0aize
Twitter: The Evolution of Mobile Networks, check out my #Wordpress blog post that discusses the change in mobile networks from the 1G networks of the 1980s all the way to the networks of today and beyond! https://bit.ly/2N0aize
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.”
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:
Astroturfing: Imitation grassroots movements used to sway the public.
Clickbait: Sensationalized headlines appealing to existing biases.
Propaganda Laundering: Focusing on the release of media reports rather than the actual story.
Distraction by Major Events: Using major events to distract public from priority issues.
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.
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?
140 characters, then eventually becoming 280 characters. That is all that Twitter allocated for us to be able to say what we want to say. Though over the 14 years since Twitter launched in 2006 it has changed quite a bit, the fundamentals remain the same; quick snippets of news, sports, politics or insights into people’s lives. Twitter is not really for those who are too young to appreciate it I feel. I tried several times as a teenager to sign up for and appreciate Twitter, but I just could not since it is not “fun” or bright and full of games and whatnot like Facebook was for me back in the day. Here is the thing though, times have now changed, I have now grown up and as I said I my last post on the COM0011 blog, I got off Facebook in 2019 and with that I have a renewed interest in Twitter. I got myself back on the platform in 2019, and it is now my main usage platform. With my account having about 180 followers and over 8200 tweets since I started it up in March of 2019, I can safely say that I get quite a lot of daily usage out of it. The main thing that I want to outline in this post is just what it is about Twitter that makes it the best platform for anyone to be using in 2020 (in my opinion)!
Twitter Threads – This is certainly something you do not see or need on Facebook or other similar platforms that do not limit the number of characters that you can post about. Sure, every site during the current Web 2.0 era has some sort of comment section, but Twitter threads are far more interactive. Due to the limited number of characters (280) sometimes in order to finish off a full post we need to post 2 or more tweets attached to a specific one using the little plus button on the bottom right when making a thread. These are far more interactive because you can respond to each message, not just the whole thing. Ever read a long post and kind of lose the meaning of it because it was very much a TL; DR (Too Long; Didn’t Read) level post? Well with Tweet threads the worry of that happening is very minimal. Everything is broken up into more digestible chunks. Love it!
Simplistic Trending – Facebook removed their “Trending News” back in 2016 because too many users were complaining that the news that was being shown was from too many “Liberal” news sources. That was to me one of the beginnings of the current downfall of Facebook (that and the things mentioned in the previous post). Twitter on the other hand does not care about people who dislike certain news sources. If it is trending as a major story or even because many of the people either that I follow or that are in my near by area are tweeting about this thing, it will be on the trending page. The Twitter trends page is also quite simple. 20 of the top trending tags or news stories all arranged in a list with some of them having articles attached to the trending so that that can be the first thing clicked or tapped on so we can be caught up as to what is going on.
Hootsuite – Many sites do not have 3rd party addons to help with their experiences when it comes to the user interface. I have to say that where Facebook kind of falters with not having too many of these, Twitter has quite a few, but my favourite (and yes technically Facebook can be used through this as well, it was built with Twitter in mind) is Hootsuite! This app can allow for users to see all of their tweets in a curated feed, but also allow you to schedule posts to be posted later. Think of a great article to post about for tomorrow, but worry that you may forget? Never fear, just Hootsuite it! You can set the date and time and just like that Hootsuite will post it for you at exactly that time. Super convenient!
Twitter may not be fun or flashy, and certainly not something that I recommend that younger people use, but it is certainly the king of my online usage since it is just so simple to use and simplistic to maintain. It also does not ask for tons of intrusive details when creating your profile. So, there is also no worry about revealing too much information about yourself to the public!
Thank you for reading and see you all in the next post!
Hootsuite Inc. (2020). Social Media Marketing & Management Dashboard. Retrieved June 04, 2020, from https://hootsuite.com/
Promotionals (Facebook and Twitter)
Facebook: Why Twitter is King of Social Media in 2020 – Opinion. Come and read about why it is that I use Twitter the most as we are beginning this new decade! (Link would be inserted)
Twitter: Why Twitter is King of Social Media in 2020 – Opinion (Link from Bt.ly) What is it about Twitter that just makes it THE BEST SOCIAL (in my opinion) in 2020?!
2009-2019 – That is the timeline for my time on Facebook. Facebook was originally seen as the best way to keep in touch with people all over the place. I had people from the 3 different Elementary Schools I had gone to, people from the cadet program who were all over the country, and then eventually people from the 3 High Schools that I ended up going to, and College. Facebook for me for quite a while was the hub, the place to be on, the place to join groups, meet like-minded people and the place that also verified if your relationship status was “Facebook Official” which I bought into as a teen and young adult as something that validated me. I genuinely thought that having all of those “friends” meant something real, but the truth is that come near the end, around 2018-2019, Facebook started making me stressed out more than anything.
In 2015 Facebook added an “On This Day” feature and though for me it started off rather well, that feature was the one thing that really started to take me out of the platform. Reminding me of things that I really did not want to be reminded of; past friendships that were no more, former relationships and other pictures that I will admit (because I am weird) that I did not want deleted, but that I just did not want shoved in my face. I would have been okay being reminded of these things on my own terms, when I wanted to look at them, but not from Facebook shoving them in my face every, single day. I know that it may sound silly, but that, coupled with the fact that Facebook made it really easy for people I did not want in my life to contact and find me (even when blocked) just made me feel vulnerable on the platform. Bad experiences from people who were nothing but toxic, overloading myself with fake friends in order to gain an inflated sense of self worth and Facebook contributed to all of this.
I have to say, even with all of the people posting all over my timeline, I never felt more alone than I did in the final days of me using that platform.
I left Facebook because I wanted to leave all of the crap behind. I left Facebook because I want to leave all of the fakeness behind. Facebook also sold out data to Cambridge Analytica in 2016 for the sake of the 2016 Presidential Election, which I know doesn’t effect us but still, which tells me that if a company as gross and underhanded as Facebook would go and do that without telling us, change their platform to make it more “conservative friendly” when they got rid of the trending news (because people complained it was always too leftist), and they were trending away from really wanting to sell to desktop users (I just liked the games better on desktop), the platform was not going to be for me anymore. It has more than outlived its usefulness and I know one of the few things that was keeping me to the platform that I had been on since I was 13 was mainly the fact that I had a 6 year old account (I had about 7 accounts during the time that I was on the platform) and that I had a few people that I could only contact on that platform.
What allowed me to rid myself of the demon that was Facebook was realizing that there are enough people running in the circles who have my number and if they wanted to talk to me they could message me or call me and with that I deleted the platform.
It has now been almost a year, 2019 was a huge rebrand for me on Social Media platforms. I deleted my 6-year-old Facebook page, deleted my 5-year-old Instagram page with over 2700+ photos, made a new Snapchat and YouTube Channel along with a brand-new Twitch account and Twitter. All of which is going really strong now and I feel a lot more connected to.
Facebook is fake, at least the rest of it has more integrity to not lie to my face.
Thank you all for reading, I also have an essay that I wrote on why I left Facebook from back in 2019 on my website. Check the hyperlink to go a little more in depth on this topic!
Social Media Posts:
Twitter: A Blog post about why I left Facebook is much detail! Check it out on #Wordpress at the link below! (Link would then be inserted here)
Facebook: A Blog post I made talking about why I left Facebook. Come on over and check it out on WordPress at the link below! (Link would then be inserted here)