Tag Archives: Social Media

How spontaneously getting involved in a Grassroots Political Campaign helped me discover the most important thing in the world, let me explain

I am going to tell you what the most important thing in the world is in this post, are you ready?  Accordingly, by the time you are done reading this post you will have learned one of the most important concepts that there is to learn in life, it will feel good.  You will be improved and feel positive.  Let me start with by saying, I found this valuable idea by volunteering for a political party, doing grassroots campaign calls and giving surveys in my spare time.  That is where I found this important idea and why I want to share it with you.

I have never been more excited to share something that wasn’t a sales pitch.  Do you ever get this line from people?  I digress…  That is not what this essay is about, it’s about talking with random strangers on the phone about random strangers who may in a sense rule them and getting something actually human out of it.  Our country is divided into how many parties and there are people out there talking on the phone and reading scripts and sharing ideas.  (And people listen!)  Voice interaction, the old calling someone up and saying “Hello, is (person’s name) there?…  Mind answering a few questions???”

Calling, communicating, asking questions, these things leave an impression.  Impressions are called impressions because they they are pressed on the brain, indelibly hard to forget.  (When someone thinks their ideas matter that makes them feel good.)  I give them a name, tell them more names–familiar recognition, and even if they don’t want to speak to me or take the survey, they hear kindness and associate that kindness with me, with that party.  They hear my voice, some moniker that is a very familiar one–like John or Dan, and they remember that encounter at the voting booth.

For starters, I believe that is what this nameless grassroots campaign wants to happen.  I have read a few books on persuasion, and I realize that unforgettable first impression is exactly what they want to happen.  Blank canvas, hello, think, names, ok, yes, goodbye.  However, it can be difficult; cold callers have the hardest jobs out there because voices give away everything.  Nervousness, confidence, snark.  It’s not a Facebook post, it’s an interaction, in real-time.  The campaign manager wants to be blurt out the names as fast as I can, new names, old names, take a survey, etc.  Think on those memorable names.  And after that, I am surprised people say “yes” because I often say “no” to such surveys.

Remember, this is important.  Doing things in your free time for what you believe in is important, whether that be getting your candidate elected or helping to mentor someone in literacy.  Doing a social experiment for science is important, getting into politics or marketing with persuasion is important.  Going above and beyond a Facebook post or an ad-hoc spectacle or holding a sign proves that you realistically want to do something to make change, like, perhaps writing legislature.  (We’ve all been there.)

Sure, we can all make waves in a group, that is impressive as well, yet we can get carried away from what is deep within our hearts as individuals.

I thought about my little social experiment and it doesn’t matter the party, it doesn’t matter the ideas because they are all for political effect; insomuch as Thomas Sowell said about “rent control”, in Basic Economics:  I paraphrase, it’s all hot button issues, that’s it.  But aside from the hot button political issues, in the end the underdog is the ultimate American.  The one that believes in their values when the popular majority throws them out and calls them dogs, doubts them infinitely.  That is the time when believing in yourself and doing what other people call “stupid”, “idiotic” or “wrong” on social media is the most important.

In conclusion, the most important thing is to do what is most important to you, not what’s important to everyone else and what they think about it.  Don’t worry about a sea of vehement passionists screaming accolades so you fall in line, or shaming you so you steer off course.  Stick to your plan.  Believe in your goals.  Believe in yourself.  If you can change the political color of a state, or someone’s mind, and not need to feel endorsed by everyone with their Twitter likes or their Insta-approval then it means that you are doing something right and that is important.  Even hearing “No, I would not like to take your survey…” is important because that person is telling you how they feel and making a point for what matters to them.  That is the most important thing in the world.

More information:  https://ballotpedia.org/Minnesota_elections,_2018

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How Trump’s “Secret Weapon” may have Bought the Election from Facebook for $100 Million Dollars and You just Updated your Facebook Status

Before you read this thesis watch the entire video that I share with you above. Watch it for the information about Facebook and social media, not because you dislike or like a politician, or for politically motivated reasons.

Observe this video from a marketing and social media engineering point of view. That is how the below thesis is posed.  This is in no way a political statement.  This is purely for observational purposes.

Thank you for reading in advance.  Also, you can donate to keep my blog current, and the information relevant.  Any amount helps, even a dollar.  Click the donate button.  You rock!

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Parscale attributed the success of his vast social media presence to using the assistance offered by companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Google. He said that because the Trump campaign intended to spend $100 million on social media, companies in that area were prepared to assist the campaign in using that money effectively.[18]

“The campaign poured money into Facebook, sending thousands of versions of tweaked ads to maximize response. Then it won the presidency by a margin narrow enough that Parscale (and Facebook) can justifiably take credit.”[19]

— Philip Bump, The Washington Post”

Link: Brad Parscale

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The contentious 2016 United States Presidential Election may have been won with a $100 million dollars, a “secret weapon”, and Facebook when used together.  Or it may have been won by any other boilerplate theory out there that can be backed by anyone, by any entity, with any statistics.

Either way, for all intents and purposes, the “secret weapon” in this theory is Brad Parscale, and his tool was/is Facebook.

Perhaps, I want to believe that the 2016 election was won honestly and fairly because I am a thoughtful American citizen and I have hope, but the more I look at the events, the more I see glaring inconsistencies in media stories of Russian Collusion and a general disbelief or ineffective attempt to look at the bigger picture objectively.  Social media played a HUGE role in this particular election, perhaps, as much so, or more, as any outside forces.

I aver, when looking at possibilities, generally we must look at everything, even information that has been overlooked from 10/08/2017 about Brad Parscale’s use of Facebook’s data/advertising tools to amass a successful, though debated, campaign–one which basically won the presidency, putting his candidate in the White House.

Moreover, to me,  the most concerning part of imagining, assessing, or thinking openly that Facebook et al. was used, with money, to command an election in such a way is that people still use the platform religiously every day without question as they cast blame/credit elsewhere.  Perhaps this is being oblivious, or willfully blind.  It can’t be Facebook, right?

Reality check: It definitely can be Facebook.  The reality is an inordinate amount of people are plugged into something (social media) that they wholly do not understand (I am in that boat), and marketers, salespeople, and data analysts are taking full advantage of that reality. (Beknownst, unbeknownst to all.) And how they do that advantageous venture is with huge, huge sums of purposed money.

Perhaps, purposed money and novel strategy, with a “secret weapon”, is what won the 2016 presidential election, along with a special tool of course: Facebook (when utilized by Brad Parscale).  Perhaps there are other entities pulling strings, but Parscale and his efforts warrant consideration, and notation.

Beyond Parscale and social media, the secondary key in this thesis is the $100 million dollars went to marketing–the unprecedentedly complex advertising itself, and the lack of the Clinton campaign to embed Facebook and other social media employees within their campaign offices, as the Trump campaign did.  And this may have swayed the election.  I consider this maneuver to be out of touch in the age of social media.  That’s glaringly foolish, in my opinion.

It’s like going to the World Series and leaving all your big hitters on the bench, extremely odd for a veteran politician…

Now, after these events, it sounds obvious to have key workers from these social media entities within your organization. Have one of the most influential and most recognized companies on your side in the most important race on the planet, possibly.  Don’t leave much to chance. That is not genius, that is obvious. It wasn’t to some, clearly.

Further, not having social media on your side on your account seems very out of touch with reality. Even if you despise Facebook and are not a member of the brand, you have to recognize that it is a powerful tool for connecting people everywhere. For example, I am not on Facebook anymore but I realize it’s marketing potential, (I also realize at Christmastime that my parents and in-laws like to connect with high school friends.  I don’t know why…  I use email).

Bringing it home, the video above is not only astonishing to me, because I am just learning about Brad Parscale, and because of the information it gives on the key marketing tactics used within social media to win an election and manipulate a demographic of people is vast and accurate, but this technology seems potentially dangerous. The scary part in any situation is that money seems to make that happen. If money wanted you to be a modern zombie or a group think solider it would already be happening.  And maybe you wouldn’t know.  You’d just go with it and update your status.  Probably not though, you are smart. 🙂

Accordingly, maybe someday we can better predict the future of everything, that is my prediction for the future.

For what it’s worth, with much of the media linking Parscale to Russia and basically making him look like a Sith lord in  article photos, I think he could certainly be a critical part of understanding the 2016 presidential election, and definitely to harnessing momentum in future elections.  At least his methods are very straightforward, in appearance, and no-nonsense.  Definitely they are of interest.

His use of social media tools to reach an audience with a campaign message has never been done before at such a level, and he has worked on “zero” elections before.

In general, that utilization of resources–if that is what it truly was, is progressive and inspiring to me.  He has been overlooked; and he is right there in front of us.  As is the power of social media, but we have other excuses.  Russia is scary and influenced the election. Trump may have cheated, etc. Any narrative is believable. But look at how many people around you are on Facebook clicking around, social media, exposing themselves to it all.  Marketing is more common than the other alleged threats.  I hope you like this post.

What influence.  What money and focused ideas can buy.

Real Fake Lives: Only 47% of Millennials are Living within Their Means, Social Media a HUGE Factor in Modern Debt Acceptance

I find the hardest thing about being a Millennial in 2018 is realizing that you have to stop living the lie of overspending that our culture promotes to us, that most of my contemporaries are probably assisted into debt and prove it daily, apathetically through social media posts. And this my friends, is a marketing tactic to sell you that it is OK to live on credit and not be accountable for your spending.

Debt is “good” they tell you… sure, think about that debt payment you’ll have to pay for the next umpteen years.  Not so good then.  NO.  But my credit score?  If you don’t have cash don’t buy, any wise financial guru would tell you that.

Those out there spending money to take pictures of their food, those who pretend they have fun with friends they only drink with, those out there buying shit they don’t need, those buying (or worse!) leasing new vehicles, those out there promoting products and platforms for free while they wallow in future debt, oh god, there is not down vote button for this stupidity.  Someone out there is making dollars off of them, sad.

You have to truly realize where you are. Oh, I am a human with flaws?  Oh, I am just carbon like everyone else?  SO why try to act like you aren’t?  You can not afford to put another bar tab on your credit card. You cannot afford to pay gas with a credit line. You cannot go on that vacation and make all your followers jealous.  How will you eat next Tuesday? I had to eat a bean sandwich once: just beans between bread. I am down there.  Are you bean sandwich read?!  If not, keep doing you.

It’s time to realize what a person has to do.  A person has to live free by making themselves free.  Debt is not freedom, debt is a prison.  Each day you work to pay off our debts, you are in chains.  Get out of debt now!  Or just stop reading right here and go scroll social media for hours and forget about it.  It’s all good! 😉

Or: We have to make sacrifices. Get off your phone. I think I can’t live the fake lifestyles that I see anymore. I think I must stop taking in this bullshit. I think I have to become the frugal master.  I think I have to get angry about my debt in order to change my future.  One where I will be debt free and at the beach.  Everyone wants to change things for the better for everyone else but forgets they have to change themselves for the better first.  Don’t stop being philanthropic, but if you don’t have something to give you can’t give.  Think about it.

So, trailing off, I get somewhat acutely disturbed about others unawares debt, the lives they promote that are so costly they couldn’t possibly know. But I don’t care. I realize if most are OK on a sinking ship–which is going very down fast, more lifeboats and options for me. (I am under the philosophy: I better me, I better you.)

Now think, my first sentence was very hard to take, but if you made a penny for every Tweet or Facebook post or Insta scroll, damn, you’d be loaded, and halfway through paying off that credit card or that new phone or that student debt. Now, it’s a bit easier to understand, I hope.  That is why Facebook is rich and you aren’t. Head in outer space floating for likes and affirmation of importance.  You intelligent piece of carbon. Do you have a status update for that?

Millennials, Strive for that Perfect Selfie because You will Never get out of Debt and You Will Never own Your Own Home Responsibly

“The more he identifies with the dominant images of need, the less he understands his own life and his own desires. The spectacle’s estrangement from the acting subject is expressed by the fact that the individual’s gestures are no longer his own; they are the gestures of someone else who represents them to him.”
― Guy DebordThe Society of the Spectacle

“The spectacle is the nightmare of imprisoned modern society which ultimately expresses nothing more than its desire to sleep. The spectacle is the guardian of sleep.”
― Guy DebordThe Society of the Spectacle

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The headline you just read is what I think to myself when I realize I shouldn’t spend money and should save for my future interests, especially when my contemporaries scroll social media and see how others are living large and in charge and strive to be just like them.

(Firstly, social media is an affirmation to spend more money, and waste more time.  Do you have it in you?)

I am pretty sure the people around me are concerned about my one point of obsession, my now goal: paying off all of my debt. My motivation being: Because I am a slave to debtors, credit card companies own me, my student loans own me, I really don’t exist freely…  What keeps me going in this direction:  Good reasons.

Good reasons:  Some day I will own my own house, responsibly–not through some insane mortgage.  Some day I will be out of debt, entirely: zero debt.  Some day I won’t have to work every day to pay my bills, no worries.  I will retire with dignity.  And again, those around me will benefit from my now goals, from my relatively insane efforts, from sacrifices I make.

These sacrifices are easier than the alternative for me, of living in debt for the rest of my life, chipping away at what I one minimum payment, all that high interest at a time.  That is stupid.  That is something that could use distractions!

It’s hard and easy for me to imagine that there is a world out there stranded glaring into their phones at millions of other people acting out their fantasies–Millennials et al., taking photos, images of a luxury lifestyle that is nothing more than made up. IT DOES NOT EXIST.

Imagine if we could get paid for that time spent glaring at other people’s dreams… We’d all be as rich as Hillary Clinton, Jimmy Buffet, Steve Jobs, or Donald Trump.

I really shouldn’t care about the setting or the background or how long it took for another person to get that perfect photo, the perfect selfie, and all those likes, although it worries me. I care, imagine.  That is my philanthropy for the day: caring.

(Your debt is that train in the “perfect selfie” video above, maybe doing the same to you as you read.  Stay off of those tracks that lead you, or the future you, into imminent danger.)

The first thing I think about when I see pictures of people doing AMAZING things is, how much debt does that person actually have, credit cards, student loans, etc.? I know, it’s none of my business, but for science…  Then I wonder, does all that debt add up to contrived happiness, the happiness in that picture, imagines on a screen, unfocused a distracted ephemera of fleeting feeling… Does it come from that?

(A hobby of imagining your existence is entirely different from what it is?  Doing this doesn’t cause change, it avoids it.)

And we compare ourselves to those counterfeit images, those freewheeling fantasies, those nice narrative and salacious story lines… Am I as good as that other person’s selfie?  No, no, I am not… Should I be spending more money, should I be buying into this false pretense?  Do I give a shit?

Then I vanish from social media and that apathetic society that we all pay to join in some way or another. I vanish because we all should and walk back into the deep woods to find our inner animal selves, or into a deep sleep.  Beasts called gentlemen in suits and ties pretending to be anything other than ourselves.

(When we die our Facebook us’s keep on living.  Is that me?  For example, my father died four years ago in June and he unfriended me on Facebook a couple of years after that.  He is virtually still alive, however he is physically dead.  I don’t know if he sleeps anymore.  I cannot visit his grave because my reality does not understand this sort of paradox.  Social media creates dead and living zombies right now.  Imagine.)

So, yes, back to the beginning, you will never get out of debt or own your own home, responsibly–without insane lenders and bad deals, if you keep this up.  That is what I tell myself and then avoiding those distractions becomes very easy for me. You as in me.

Forget your likes, upvotes, retweets, highlights from whatever years ago, virtual memories, Facebook lives, and other people’s selfies, they evoke no artistic value whatsoever (or maybe they do: this mini-essay tho.).  Think about what you owe that credit card company, what you owe in student loans? Try to smile now, make that art, Picasso. Get that photo sing.  Real good job.  Create those American Dreams.

If you want the impossible, you’ll have to do the impossible

If you want the impossible, you’ll have to do the impossible to get it.  Not sit around and diddle, or sit around and post on social media.  Limit these distractions.  Limit all news but the weather.  You don’t need prescription pill commercials nor paid for ideas.  Every day is another day to make it right individually, to attain everything that you want or need in YOUR LIFE.  Sitting here at 5 a.m. on a Saturday, every Saturday, I teach English abroad to make my impossible possible.  I am a dad, human, American.  I have obligations.  There is no questions about it.  I want the impossible.  And the only way to get it is to be realistic, and do the impossible.  If you want something hard work is the key, that shouldn’t be impossible.

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.