Tag Archives: Social Media

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?

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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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Thank you for reading, remember to donate to my cause. My cause is writing and sharing my personal opinions and ideas, these are my own. Hit the donate button, and if you enjoy what you have read, please share my works on social media (ironic, I understand). TS_

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.