Tag Archives: Social Media

The best time to deactivate your Facebook account is now

 

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Perhaps, over the years, American society has found a disconnect with being connected. This goes beyond the scope of the human and technology relationship, especially when plugging in disconnects us more and more from reality. We have created avatars of ourselves on platforms that get paid to have us there. Our pictures and our likes and our posts and our art are free advertisements, and you should get paid for what you do, really, and you should hold those that profit off of your media accountable.

The lens of what we see through our eyes is a special and unique one, true to us. Our voice through an instant platforms give us a sense of being, a sense of place in a connected world. Our art shared and receiving likes gives us a sense of importance. Our lens of focus is enacted and descrying those interactions. One, a sense, that like wine, gathers new notes and qualities throughout the years. We see things as we like to see them. The media we post about ourselves does not actually reflect who we are but who we want to become.

And that is the assumption, that the platform is pure and innocent–something that we can create ourselves as we imagine ourselves on. We see pictures and posts and ideas and politics and these change our minds assumed unobscured. All of these ideas are brought to us through and unnatural lens, a lens paid for by lobbyists, or political parties, or foreign governments, or massive corporations. If Facebook is where you get your news, then your news is skewed by the aforementioned; your idea is formed through the lens of capitalism, of marketing to your demographic.

This is all a bit scary when we realize objective observation is a made up idea of which you cannot understand beyond the thoughts in your head, this relates to Facebook. Especially then, in that framework, language is rooted in history making it not your unique idea: your words on not your words. (You don’t think in made up languages; perhaps you think in English, Spanish, or German) Further, take recently, Facebook announced they were paid by Russia to place ads on their platform; therefore, everything is touched by everything and related. Had this transaction been carried out by a politician it would have been a deplorable offense. Because we are part of it, through social media, we are accountable and involved. Accomplice. The CEO of Facebook admitted this, the idea of taking money to place ads. Said “we” would work harder at vetting these messages. That is all of us and our words.

Furthermore, if the message of these real advertisements is out there with “fake news” how is one to get beyond that? We are fake people living in a fake world. The toilet paper you buy, because of the advertisement you witnessed on Facebook, reinforces the reality of the “fake news” story, making it present real in a skewed lens. It may seem like a fallacy but the shampoo you bought is real, the ad you saw for that product was real, making the news story you saw exist in that same genre: in a realistic hue. Or visa versa, the political ad you saw on Facebook was fake but the news was actually real. How much research did you put into finding out the truth of both? At least you know the shampoo works. I say, share that headline, it’s from CNN.

The lens we think in is through social media, like language, it is not our own, and that media is owned by someone else, by a capitalistic entity. Our language, art, media, comments and posts are dictated by a media that sets you within a certain category, living within a framework designed and restricted by others. Go outside of this category allotment and face banishment, hatred, expulsion, and unsavory marks at your character, image, or likeness. Stay within it and you become homogeneous, enjoyed by others, there is a sense of worth, community. But is that worth real or contrived? Is that worth valuable when you realize you are a pawn for marketers, and a company which may have swung an election, may have profited off of your existence?

If you want to move beyond this compromised platform, now is the time to unplug, deactivate as I have. End your Facebook account for the idea that you are outside of the box. I feel a bit outside of that square because I did it. The story of my deactivation: Facebook had a class-action lawsuit against them (Fraley vs. Facebook) because they used my likeness without my permission, and the likeness of 150,000 unaware others. I, well we, became an ironic advertisement we knew nothing about. I struggled with the deactivation, had to download all my photos again but eventually I succeeded. I feel much better not being in something presumed innocent but exists as something entirely different, while totally accepted as the former.

Facebook presents as simple, transparent, honest, easy, thoughtful, and benevolent. Many media outlets use Facebook, push accounts and stories. Newspapers have Facebook pages, we get stories from Facebook; a summer back Facebook Live started a social media movement. Those movements are latent effects, the manifest effect is the profits. What you might not understand is that visibility is lucrative to companies. These entities are making money off of ads–ads which might be bought by foreign governments, to trick you to buy something or to carry on with some contemporary idea. They want you to see it through their lens, the lens that profits for them, the lens of distraction and complacence.

Social media, in theory, may be a great idea, we are brought closer to places, people, and things we love, we get information immediately, we are privy to every detail. Or we are privy to the details entities allow us to see. That is so easy. So easy, why change? Well, when the platform crashes and everything you own on that platform is compromised–which is nothing, you will have nothing to show for it. Someone else will: their loss. That is why the time is now to deactivate and live your life free of the lens you forces upon yourself. Free to say and think what you mean outside of the capitalistic realm presented. Imagine not needing a CEO to align you with your thoughts. Plug into your new-old platform: real-life.

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Turn off, tune out: how the media creates the problems their pharmaceutical commercials claim they can cure, just ask your doctor


I had’t thought about it much until my phone broke. Bullshit black-screen of death… I had no phone, I had nothing… Or so I thought, well, most would think this. I might have been wrong. It was great. And getting my phone back a week or so ago makes me want that no-phone situation back again.

The reason for that is the news, the constant reaching in my pocket to find my screen. Inevitably, now, I will be on my phone, pull something up, google search something and see hatred disguised as necessary, as justice. I will scan a newspaper website and I will find something like hate-ads that ask me to find these people and hate them too, ironically for hating.

The concept of turn off, tune out–or whatever catchphrase it was is nothing new. (I am sure I want to get away like everyone else. They could actually fake me in videos now.) In fact, it’s probably very old. It doesn’t matter. But try it. Shut the phone off. Just the phone. Watch a movie and take a walk. Maybe shut the television off too.

We could scroll Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, Instagram for hours but we still find ourselves in the same place: sitting between up and down, looking for what’s next, constantly moving towards the end–if that is even possible. I don’t know. I think of how stupid it must feel to craft a post that would appease everyone that is in my friend group and those who are in my friend group who I don’t give a shit about… I wonder… Does this jive with my ideology? Or is it fake?

And the conclusion hit me today. I walked into a dark office in the afternoon and ran into someone who couldn’t believe the world news and how everything was internal struggle and meltdown, go figure. It was too much. The whole world was ending certainly.

Ah… but not here I thought. The world in this quiet dark office was very pleasant, nothing to bother anyone. Even the lights weren’t offensive and people weren’t playing music outside. It was fine. I told my friend I laughed at the nightly news; every new day was a new catastrophic drama-fest meltdown stoked by advertisements and distractionism. Something unreal.

And I calmed. Maybe I should add turn off the local news to the list. They are sponsored by something as well. There are hosts that will never get fired because of what they say they are, honest. There are stories that will never get covered because of what others say they are, different. And we can agree. Still, there is that button you can touch. Turn it off and take a much needed breath of air and just think for once.

Posting obvious information on neighborhood social networking service found to give community members generally good vibes

Though their presence hasn’t made quite as much of an impact globally as crafting an obvious Facebook post, posting obvious information and content on neighborhood social networking services has been found to give community members generally good vibes, and has been known to impact people positively, progressively, for the common good of the immediate neighborhood and its awareness.

Recently, an American consumer relations information website study of a random sample of various individuals from diverse community neighborhood social networking services of North America, in and around the greater Midwest, has found that posting obvious informational information, and content that may seem obvious, ironically, somewhat vaguely, is found to give positive feelings of relation to those reading said obvious posts.

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, if it weren’t for these community members posting and contributing on neighborhood social networking services rather than on their Facebooks, the neighborhoods where they reside, and hibernate, wouldn’t be nearly as enlightened or relevant. Posts relating to trash day delays, urban gardening, space heater dangers, zero waste initiatives, cutting cable, dog poisonings, grown from seed plants, and package thefts would not reach a local audience with such tangible impact.

So, rest assured, when you receive 10 – 15 email updates in your inbox in one day from those Next door, it is for a good cause, one which gives your community the feel of a progressive and positive environment, all from the relative safety of the internet, cathartically through persons on a couch or a futon. These notifications are not nuisances, they are paramount, and proven to spread good feelings far and wide on your block. It is time we thank those who share common sense as if it were a new scientific breakthrough, and keep the good vibes alive, one obvious adage at a time.

Online Petitions (as Pennies in a Wishing Well)

“Everything that is beautiful and noble is a product of reason and calculation.” -Charles Baudelaire

St Paul, MN- In my opinion, petitioning everything we find disagreeable on the internet, that takes place in the United States of America, is like posting a new status on Facebook, or any other social media platform, it becomes useless.  To me, this action does very little, because those forums are monitored and controlled, like throwing a penny into a wishing well–it takes the intention out of the actor’s perception, it takes the accountability out of the petitioner’s (wisher’s) hands and puts the issue in a free fall of liquidity, placing the issue on something larger and misunderstood.  I guess I miss the reason, intention, and calculation of speaking to deaf ears.

Petitioning so visibly against matters on social media creates the same sort of sentiment that one sees when one throws a penny into a wishing well. The shiny object, the cent, goes away from our observation and into certain darkness.  The viewer of this spectacle finds that the actor in this setting has hope, has promise, has a wish with meaning. The penny falls and that is that. There is that nugget of hope left at the bottom of a wishing well. Accordingly, the petition is sent out, put forth, and left on the interwebs away from those with the ability to make change, and there it sits.  (I will attest that these petitions seem a spectacle for the mainstream media to make pennies off of as well, generating a story, while stoking a teasing interest.)

In relation to this metaphor, I aver we do something different for change, instead of a spectacle for others, we create a spectacle for ourselves.  Instead of casting a penny away, as an idea, or as a concern for a concept by writing or signing a petition, that may or may not get seen by eyes with authority and the ability to create change, one must, perhaps, write legislature, or run for office themselves; make the change they desire by becoming this change. Create the change you want by following your wishes or petitions to the top, to the office you aspire to. So often ideas become clouded by group-think and the initial principal becomes diluted, creating very little change.  With an individual seeing this principal through to fruition, those outside forces may be hampered.

The real matter at hand with petitions and pennies, perhaps, may be the level of accountability the person doing the signing, or throwing, or writing cares to do and be responsible for. We sign things all the time, this act is commonplace autonomous. I sign for coffee, I sign for sandwiches, I sign for others, I sign for packages, and I sign for beer. You do too!  How is this any different in a serious way, signing for something that is entirely important or unimportant to me? (Is changing the system important to you?  And how important?)  I find in order for change it must be a step above that kind of signing, a bit more convoluted, this giving up autonomy and comfort for belief.

Signing a petition on the internet for something you believe wholeheartedly may feel good.  You may feel you have done your part, but what part? Does this signing lack fervor though?  And how much will that well-meant signature do? To make change there must be the same amount of initiative or action or motivation as in the thought that caused it. Putting a status update on social media takes a few clicks, signing your signature is a swipe of the wrist–conditioning at this point–perhaps, neither of these actions are revolutionary (singularly alone). With them, there is only a wish and an idea thrown away, as the penny in the wishing well.  So how important is your status update or your signature for petitioning change in comparison to every other one placed in a universe of texts and signatures?

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On the video at the top of this essay, and the “Faithless Elector” movement (I didn’t watch it, the thumbnail was nice.  So I used it.) Further, we knew about the electoral college and how it worked many years ago, perhaps it is as old as the American republic.  I will cite, as John C. Dvorak of the No Agenda Podcast pointed out, where some of the inspiration for my piece comes, and I paraphrase–I hope I do justice, change the system, change the law!  Again, I paraphrase, but the gist is there.  Change the way we do things, the system, and change the law.  Hear more from him at No Agenda Podcast.  And if you perceive me wrong, I guess I am witnessing the forest for the trees, I am missing their timber.  Change may take more effort than an online trend, spectacle, or people holding well-made signs.

Facebook to Charge Money for Photo Removal

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A friend of mine told me of his issues with removing photos from Facebook. Apparently there is a pilot program/agency being implemented to the social media site. The program/agency consists of an entity charging money to remove your unwanted photos from Facebook. Perhaps I am introducing The Facebook Photo Removal Services. Here is his story.

Events:

I didn’t like the pictures I found on Facebook. It was sort of embarrassing, and it could affect me and the position I hold at work. I needed to take them down. I am a dishwasher at a restaurant in an old area of town, I usually get no respect. My manager tells me I don’t know how to use proper English, and that I am not allowed to speak Spanish in the kitchen. Most of my coworkers are foreign. This is a tragedy because most of those in the kitchen are unlicensed employees. I think of these images of me online, people click them, like them, comment on them, share them, and I am judged. I am not fluent in Spanish. So we say nothing.

The other day while scrolling, I found a picture of me holding some knives on Facebook. I was in a kitchen, I was red-eyed drunk, and I was looking rude. I tried to take them down, a new notice came up. I was unfamiliar with this notice. It said Facebook owns the rights to all of my pictures, -all content rather, from whenever I started my life on Facebook, and the only way to get my photos back, or down, or offline, would be to buy them from Facebook the corporation directly. This is true. I guess Facebook had changed since I first created my account.

You see, if I had more money (a better job), I could afford to buy these pictures, my pictures. I could save my life. I could get a better job. I would have a brighter future. These photos are ruining me. I had no control over what the photos looked like and how they portrayed me. I mean, my selfies, they were art. They really showed the who I was, and am. This tragedy is catching up to me. My Facebook friends have become my adversaries. These photos are powerful. I find it hard to handle because I could not present myself how I wanted other people to see me. In real life (IRL), I may be complex and flawed, but here was my chance to be simple and easy, desired. I am a drunk. I am a loser. I am single. And above all I am unsuccessful. I don’t want those photos out there, online, for millions to peruse. They may see the real me.

I think about this now. The price tag on these pictures, which I voluntarily post on social media are going to cost me more than two paychecks. I don’t have enough money to take them down. I wish I had thought about what I was posting on Facebook. I really do. Now the debt collectors call, now my manager questions. The waitress brings my credit cards back with a look fake empathy: it was declined she says… I fake astonishment: Really?! I cannot take these photos down, photos of me failing, stuck in my head. I wish I had not done this… No one thinks, I don’t think. Why?!

Today I took out a Payday loan to afford this Facebook service. You know, the convenient and fair lenders who reside in the non-sketchy part of town? -Something like that. These are nice when you have no money and need to remove certain pictures from your Facebook page. I really wish I had thought about what I was posting on Facebook. I wish they would have told me that there would be a price to pay for these images one day. I now, not including my students loans ($80,000.00 +), am about $5,000.00 + in side-debt. Side-debt is debt you accrue through regular everyday activity, it was necessary. Stuff like antidepressants, beer, whisky, Facebook Photo Removal Services, and condoms. I needed this money, absolutely. I also needed these photos removed, it was a drunken night like last week.

I think of money as the most important thing to me, aside from my image. I hurt my hands washing dishes; they are cut and bleed and blister and turn red. My image is in jeopardy. People will see these photos and they will think things of me. The other day my manager called, she is a pink heavyset drunk with greasy hair, always tied back taut, she yells a lot. Once she saw me naked. I think she yells a lot because she gets yelled at a lot, and told she is nothing. She does nothing about this. I think she is in a violent relationship, they both smile a lot. Next time I work I am to come directly to her office to discuss some “new discoveries” that my boss had found recently. I was not expecting the call. It was rather late at night. I go in tomorrow morning around 10:00am.

The friendly and helpful people at Facebook Photo Removal Services took my money and now I wait. Of course I have to wait. These things take time. There is a process to Facebook photo removal, naturally. My check has to clear, they have to take money from my bank account, and then some of their staff will select the picture and remove it. They work one at a time. It is a process thing. I understand. Though, I can upload a whole photo album to Facebook in less than three minutes, this removal process has taken three weeks. The results were average.

Payday Loans have been calling more too. I am the not good kind of popular. I have deferred on my student loan payments, once again, and still the photos are not removed. Also, since this time more people have posted questionable photos of me online, on Facebook and other social media. I receive emails telling me of these updates. The money, the clicks, the notifications, and the conversation with my boss, they are all real things. I walked into her office and she told me my check would be a week later than expected, maybe, and that I did not get the promotion I had asked for, though I will have the opportunity to train someone new for the job I so wanted. I am given this opportunity. Thanks… If only this conversation was about the photos.

After the photo scare, the discussion with my manager, and thinking it over in her office, I had to ask her something. I asked her for a raise. She looked at me confused. She could lose it at any moment, I mean this quiet rage. She kept her cool and said my name. She told me it is not feasible. She also told me I knew where the door was. I walked out of her office. I said it was silly under my breath, she said what?! I walked out and put my sweat-stained uniform on; what was white had turned yellow. We only got one shirt.

What I would say to someone posting online is: this is your life. Everything you post is part of you, forever. It is your virtual footprint. You will pay for it as any action. I have applied for numerous jobs, they see my photos, new photos of the same event, and I am told this each time: Thank you for applying to this position. We have decided to go a different route. Please try again in the future. Best wishes. If only I could contact Google and get them to block-out my name. No images would show up. I have setup a plan with Facebook Photo Removal Services now, I pay monthly, where they take photos down (for a price), to protect my person. My future is at stake here. The importance of this entity is beyond quantifying.

I realize now that I am plugged in. I love my job. I am concerned about photos, people taking pictures, and uploading them. The reason is is because of the cost. The monthly payments surpass my student loan payments, which I don’t make anymore. –Hey! Uncle Sam is trillions of dollars in debt, what’s my debt compared to that. Whole countries function in debt, though they don’t work shit jobs, wasting their time, killing their bodies, while paying corporations to not do things to them, perhaps. I think I should collect taxes too. This extortion is reality though. And what I realized while secretly speaking to my co-worker in broken Spanish the other day, while eating some prime rib ends, was that I shouldn’t complain. We all steal things. Facebook steals reality, and charges you to take it down. I steal meat and words with my peers. Emilio said he crossed the border to come here to work this job to pay for his family in Mexico. He loved it. I agreed. So, I picked up a new phrase, picture that, I couldn’t complain. I smiled as sweet fat sluiced down my face. This kitchen was warm. I told him: I think we can be Facebook friends now.

Minnesota bars and restaurants to manually disable cellphone reception in order to counteract the lack of general interest in society

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Monday, September 15th. In a surprise move the MBARA has decided to run a test trial of a new, clandestine program that will limit, and otherwise completely restrict cellphone reception in all Minneapolis bars and restaurants. Starting this week, and throughout the upcoming weekend, locals with “important phone calls” to make, “email checks ” to have, and “status updates” posts, will be completely out of range within their favorite establishments.

The MBARA (Minnesota Bar and Restaurant Association, similar to MMBA) has decided, like their sister sect, to limit the use of cellphone service in local businesses; while limiting the freedoms of American citizens by outdated law, akin to Sunday Sales Restrictions. This trail comes on the heels of public outcry over lack of attention in those dining rooms of your proxy. “People just don’t seem to care about those around them anymore.” says an unreliable stranger. Recently, establishments have cited a lack of conversation at the table due to excessive “selfies”, “updates”, and in general “scrolling”, of social media hotbeds by patrons in attendance.

This decision to act by law has been in the process for some time; initially, when pay phones inhibited restaurant goers of meaningful conversation, duels, and wagon races, back in the 1700’s. The lack of conversation, viz-a-viz, has been a growing epidemic of recent, brought on by smartphones, tablets, and the vanity crisis facing the human race, specifically Americans.

The MBARA is staunch in their stance against people’s freedoms when it comes to being shut-off in a social setting, and liquor sales. With this law they have one objective, that being: all people within a restaurant- or otherwise social, setting, should engage with those in their presence, or have no option to do such activity at all. “Human contact and communication is of the utmost importance; it conveys ideas, histories, and cultures.” says Barb Toto. The increase in personal smart devices has rendered a society of able bodied individuals irrelevant in the age of technology, undermining its tact and thought process at the most basic level.

Minnesota Legislators have agreed with restricting citizen’s rights in the past, with Sunday Sales Restrictions in Minnesota, proper. Now is the time again. If this test trial goes well, prepare to shut-off and be in a “dead zone”, everywhere, whenever you enter your favorite bar and restaurant, it is high time we all brush up on our in-person social skills. The MBARA wants people conversing and laughing aloud in bars and restaurants, not just on social media, and that should be the law.