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?

Twitter

Have you been worm-holed? https://bit.ly/3dkO3yM #psychology #wormhole #humancapital #education

facebook

Are your friends and family experiencing wormholes in social media?https://bit.ly/3dkO3yM #psychology #wormhole #humancapital #education

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?

Twitter

Are you prepared for Weaponized Social Media?https://bit.ly/2UKpLHP #socialgood #impact #humanity #education

facebook

Please warn your friends and family of Weaponized Social Media https://bit.ly/2UKpLHP #socialgood #impact #humanity #education

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/

5 Things I’ve Learned from Making Friends through Social Media

Moving to a new city where you don’t know anyone is both thrilling and scary. Thrilling because of the possibilities that a new beginning might bring, and scary because you don’t yet know if you will eventually manage to build a strong support network and thrive in your new environment.  

As a digital native, I have relied heavily on digital technology—more specially dating apps—to meet new people since arriving to Ottawa. Some encounters have proven fruitful, others have proven to be a waste of time. Through my encounters, I have learned that you lose some and you win some. Here are five things I’ve learned from meeting people through social media.

  1. Be ready to tell your life story a gazillion times

    Once you get through the small talk, people will start to ask questions about your personal life online, and again in real life, in an attempt to make conversation. Those, of course, include questions about your decision to trade Toronto, “the best city in Canada”, for good ole’ Ottawa. You will notice after a while that you begin to anticipate and dread those questions every time you chat with someone new. My advice to you: buckle up, answer the damn questions with a smile and quickly change the subject.

  2. Getting ghosted—and ghosting others—is part of the game

    Always err on the side of caution. Don’t get too invested in somebody because as funny and great as you may think they are, they might just cut you off the next day! Don’t take it personal! It’s all part of the game. Whenever you get ghosted, deal with it with finesse and remember what Ariana Grande taught us in 2018: Thank U, Next. If you are having a hard time coping with getting ghosted, I suggest you pick up a copy of The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck.  

  3. Show up ready to do all the talking

    It’s super easy to come across as a different person online. The person you are chatting with online might seem to be super outgoing, social and talkative… but once you meet them in real life, you realize they are anything but! They have their mouth zipped shut and you can’t seem to get more than a few words out of them. But don’t fret! If you want to get up and leave, I understand. After all, your time is a precious commodity. If you don’t want to be rude, especially if like me, you are gay and acknowledge that all gays are somehow connected, be a class act and stay an hour or so. Remember you are a star and they came out to see you. After a few times, you will realize that talking to a wall can count as an opportunity to sharpen your social skills.

  4. Make sure your intentions are known

    People use social apps for different reasons and the most common one is to find a relationship. I find it important to make your intentions known from the get-go to avoid any compromising situation. It has happened that other people have gotten the impression that I wanted more than friendship from them simply on the basis that we met on a dating appand needless to say, things between us got awkward. So be upfront! it’s going to save you a lot of time down the road!

  5. Don’t get lost in the shuffle

    If you are serious about making lasting relationships, you have to learn to take the initiative. You have to remember that meeting someone online is less organic than say, befriending your classmate who you see a few times a week at school. After the initial encounter, decide if you would like to see them again and if you two are a good fit. If yes, make it known by sending a text telling them you had a good time and would like to hang out again. Or add them on Instagram so you can keep up with them. Don’t wait too long to reach out, the train might leave the station without you.

If you too have used social media to meet new people, tell me about your experience. 🙂

True story: How I found my dream job using Facebook

Growing up I had always dreamt of wearing the uniform. Later I developed a passion for photography. Upon graduating college, I scored my ultimate dream job: I was a military photographer.

I had been working up the ranks in the military for about 10 years and my next promotion meant that I would need to move and become a manager. That also meant I would not do what I enjoyed the most in my job anymore; taking pictures. Our family was now well established in Gatineau/Ottawa and we had no desire to move. Conclusion: I had to transition to civilian life and find myself a job. Easier said than done in my field.

Sgt Serge Gouin

Portrait of myself before I retired. Photo credit: DND

I started my process by taking a course offered by the military called “career transition workshop”. They taught us how to build our resume, use our network and how to explore the hidden job market.

Our instructor was fantastic. The one thing he told us that struck me the most was about using our network:

“The biggest mistake people tend to do is hiding that they are looking for a job, by fear of having their current employer finding out or to have opportunities taken away from you by a friend or colleagues also looking out”.

I decided I would give Facebook a try and publish a post with my intentions. I wanted to do it in a manner that would open the discussion, be respectful and most of all would not break the relationship I had with my employer in case I would change my mind or the process would take a while.

Screen Shot Facebook

Screen capture from my Facebook post to activate my network

I was nervous and excited at the same time to reveal this news to the world. It really felt like a coming out.

At first, people were curious and asked questions, which is totally normal. Then about a day later, I received a private message from a friend I had gone to photography school with. I had not seen/talked to for almost 10 years! She was going on maternity leave and said she could get me in touch with her manager to see if I could take over her spot while she was away. Perfect timing! Awesome!

Two interviews and a security clearance process later, I finally retired from the stability of a 20 year contract for a 9 month adventure in a temporary position. I was committed to this transition and even if that was a huge risk on my end, this was the first step in the direction I wanted to be going. A few months later they posted my dream job internally and as a temporary employee, I was allowed to apply for it. I landed my second permanent photographer’s position of my career within the federal government, but this time as a civilian. This meant no more moves or promotion, unless I apply for them, and I would still be taking pictures in a federal government organization.

That was exactly what our teacher had told us. Not all job are posted and this one was definitely hidden. Obviously, there is a lot more than Facebook involved in this process, but to this day I still feel that it was the one thing that made it all work.

Taking a selfie during the North American Leaders' Summit (NALS)

Photo by Chris Roussakis

Since then Facebook now has a job search feature that might help, but the real power of Facebook comes from your network.

What would your dream job be? What kind of risk would you be ready to face to get it?

 

 

Facebook Logo    True story: How I found my dream job using Facebook https://bit.ly/2DhsbHN

 

Twitter Symbol    True story: How I found my dream job using Facebook https://bit.ly/2DhsbHN

Do You Trust Me?

Trust and Personal Branding

I’m continuing on the theme of personal branding as it is something I find incredibly fascinating.  So we now know that personal branding is how we market ourselves in order to improve our image or career prospects (Mike Wood in Entrepreneur – Why Personal Branding Must be Your First Focus).  Within the definition though is an implicit understanding that we are only showing our best side and not the whole picture.  Logically this makes sense, and whether or in person or online we wouldn’t introduce ourselves as great at meeting new people but terrible at driving.  Or I’m a terrible cook but hey, I’m really great at designing websites!  We need to put our best selves forward otherwise it’s imaginable that no one would really get anywhere in life.

Within corporate branding we are asked to trust companies with every advertisement and purchase.  We need to believe that the product will do what it says as we always have options to go elsewhere.  Therefore corporations spend vast sums of money coming up with the slogans and advertisements which convince us to trust us.  The following commercial by Geico is a perfect example of this:

Within the commercial they even discuss how important trust is with a brand.  It is impossible to think of a brand that has not promised something whether it is safety, health, beauty, longevity or simply a better life.

With personal branding it is logical to think therefore that part of the image we must build is one of trust in ourselves.  If we admit that we are not being completely being honest though, how can anyone trust our personal branding?

I think I’m back to my conclusion from my first blog, that there is a middle ground, although I think this one has a pinch of salt on it.  Much in the same way we may buy in to the cereal that promises to help us lose weight we realise that this will only be successful as a part of a combination of factors including exercise and eating healthy otherwise.  Perhaps the formula for a healthy personal brand is one that is truth combined with a healthy pinch of believability.

  Click here to find out more about truth in personal branding.

   Not too sure how much you should reveal within your personal branding?  Click here to find out more about truth in personal branding.

Blog #2 – This conversation isn’t about you

I, along with much of the Internet, love John Oliver. I love his acerbic approach to current affairs commentary, and I wish I could channel my own indignation and frustration as articulately as he does (see also: Samantha Bee. She is a fiery goddess, and I want to be her best friend and borrow all of her clothes.)

So I was happy last night to find that a “Last Week Tonight” clip that united my pleasure in watching him with providing fodder for another blog topic!

WATCH John Oliver: Corporations on Twitter  [WARNING: Video includes some potty language and one reference to a sex toy]

For the tl;dw (too long; didn’t watch) crowd, in the clip Oliver provides several examples of companies that have improperly latched on to internet trends or online conversations. These examples reinforce the idea that companies should not feel the need to take part in every conversation online. If something doesn’t support your brand, or deliver value to your consumer or client base, it’s okay to stay out of it. There is a good possibility that by trying to jump on a viral bandwagon that has nothing to do with you, just so that you seem “with-it”, you risk diluting your message or hurting your bottom line.

The wrong platform

The same goes for determining which platforms to use when you’re first venturing out into bringing yourself or your business online. Sure – buy or register for the naming rights on different social media platforms so that you protect your brand/your identity from being used by someone else. But, as explained in 12 Tips for Integrating Social Media into Your Marketing Strategy, if the medium doesn’t make sense for what you’re trying to do, then don’t use it. For example, yes, Snapchat is relatively new and gets a fair amount of attention, but maybe it makes more sense for you to be delivering your content via longer-form podcasts instead.

A Message from the Government of Canada: “Hey, kids! We’re hip!”

As a public servant working in communications, it has been interesting to see how the acceptance and use of social media in government has progressed in the last ten years or so. At the start of my career, social media was viewed by many officials as an unwelcome challenge to a department’s narrative, and resources weren’t allocated to having staff who could respond quickly to feedback coming in.

Over time, I found that there came a greater willingness to engage in social media, but the understanding of the different platforms still wasn’t really there – it was “hey, people are talking about Youtube thing, so we should be on there. Make something Youtube.” A step forward, but still lacking in strategic thinking. There wasn’t always a clear answer to the question of what officials hoped to accomplish by getting on a platform that had some buzz.

Now, strategy and willingness are more closely linked, though I would argue that the frequency of posting is still a challenge for some departments.

Now I’m curious…

I’m curious – have any of you encountered any tone-deaf posts from any people or companies that you follow that have led to you dropping them? Also, do any of you currently follow a government department online? If so, what made you decide they were worth following? Have you tried to engage with them directly, and what has the response time been like?

Sources: The 7 Risks of Social Media https://blog.dashburst.com/social-media-risks/

Social Media Trends for 2016

As we head into a new year, social media will continue to evolve. New trends will pop up: some will hit and other may fizzle out. Here are a few that are expected to take hold.

Monitoring

Businesses will spend much more time listening and monitoring their social media in the upcoming year. While many businesses have the “talking” part down, more and more will be keeping an eye on their monitoring tools. This is key to the success of a B2C company.

Reading

Facebook’s Instant Articles will have a huge effect on how people consume their news. Instant Articles are available through the Facebook smart phone app and make it much easier and faster to access articles than traditional links to news sites. Already, hundreds of publishers have signed on to Instant Articles, including the Economist and the Washington Post.

Shopping

Social shopping will take off. Users will be able to make purchases online without leaving their feeds. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram have all installed in-line buy buttons to provide the convenience of online shopping for their users. Social media shopping will find its feet and social commerce will slowly become a reality.

 

What social media trends do you predict for 2016?

Embrace our World of Social Media but let us not forget – Pencil and Paper!

I have learned a great deal and embraced the world of Social Media. The worldwide connections it makes, to my beloved friends and family with in an instant of logging in to my favored Facebook site, and the increased awareness it has brought to our customers at work. Just within the last few months, applying a few more techniques to our Social Media pages at work has increased our online community and has increased sales and future sales due to being on-line in front of the right customers, at the right time!
There are so many tools attached to Social Media applications. We have our Smart Phones, Laptops, Tablets, mini Tablets, Desktops, Apple watches, Samsung Watches, Google Glasses!! We have access to homework apps to solve our problems, map quest apps to solve our direction issues to the new ski resort, essay apps to help write our report, etc. Before I being a trip, a new purchase, a new project, I start with a note pad and a pencil, and ask – what do I think? Before any other app can provide advice, let’s make sure we are still using our own thoughts, creations, and understanding and allow our brains to be “pro-active” instead of just “reactive”.
Embrace our ingenious world of Social Media and all its wonders, but please remember and use our basics:

– Pencil and Paper
– Paper Map and Compass
– Problem Solving skills – bridge is blocked – which way is the quickest detour?
– Deductive Reasoning – Forward thinking – If I do this, what are the effects?

bigstock-Critical-Thinking
We all need to learn and practice survival skills whether we are traveling to school, work, around the world or trying to find a new restaurant. Some quick thinking skills, cannot be provided through an “App”.
Pick a new hiking trail and challenge yourself – well before the sun goes down – and use a map and compass to navigate your way. Pack snacks, and safety gear you may need, bring your well charged phone – just in case – but rely on your own problem solving and paper map to guide your way through the trails. Let your senses guide you! Then when you arrive home, Blog about your experience on Social Media! Your friends and family will ask to join you on your next adventure and it can become a regular activity, and a new Blog Site for you and your family’s adventures.Hiking Trail
So what am expressing with all this? Even with all our new epic futuristic technology like Apple watches, reminding us to stretch and buy a power bar, and Google Glasses, make sure you know how to navigate around your world. Make sure we all learn and remember how to navigate around our world when the network is down, when our phone dies, when the GPS fails, and make sure you can confidently grab a paper map and blaze your own trail! 🙂