Applying the rules of real life to the internet

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Saw a saying today that went somewhat like this:
“The last time I had faith in the news was when it was with Huey Lewis”

Hate to say it, but there’s more truth to that saying than most people realize.

If people were to look for the true definition of what it means to be passive aggressive, they wouldn’t have to look any farther than the social media app they have on their phones.
Social media, not too unlike our federal government, is designed in such a way so-as to keep the populous at each others throats.

Social media algorithms are somewhat of an affront to the general public at large in that not only are these written to insult the intelligence of the average human as a general rule, they are also chocked full of narcissistic, micro-agressive, and passive-aggressive data points.

Social media isn’t designed to solve problems, people are, and it’s the social media that actively, through algorithm, prevents any meaningful solutions to be had through public discourse on the platform.

Throughout the years, I’ve never been one to look at shows like Jerry Springer, Morton Downey Jr., Oprah, or Dr. Phil. These shows pretty much laid the groundwork for the modern social media we see today, both in business and advertising models.

I’ve never really ever entertained the thought of purchasing that tabloid that was on the rack at the grocery store check out stand — I’ve never looked at soap operas either.

With this all being said so far, you might find yourself asking. “Alan, how can you say this? Are you not on the social media platforms too? Do you not engage?”

My answer would be yes to those questions — Though I might have “seen” the tabloids on the checkout stand, I never bought in to what they were selling. My social media activity is about as much as that, and I have all of my social media posts to back me up on this. I can look at cartoons all day long, but I’d only have a problem if I thought all of those cartoons were real.

When I was a kid, my Mom use to say that soap operas were written for the mentality of a 12 year old. As I’ve gotten older over the years, I’ve pretty much come to realize that Mom was right.

Stopped looking at many of the news sites (tap or click image to enlarge)

Whenever I fire up my PC, the first thing I look at is the weather. Then I go over any tech support requests I might have for the hosting/web development services I offer. After that, I venture in to the Twitters to look at the latest outrage of the day. It could quite literally be hours before I venture over to the news. I start with local/regional, and then, if I’ve had enough coffee by then, I’ll look at the national level news.

I usually go into the news sites already knowing that genuine journalism has been dead in this nation for years.
All we have now are the National Inquirers, the Jerry Springers, and the soap operas, so there isn’t anything about it that surprises or shocks me … modern American news is pretty predictable, what with all of it’s so-called hot takes and gotchas.

I don’t bookmark social media or the news. I don’t make it a point to ever wanting to remember or to otherwise continue where I might have left off the day before. My browser is set up in such a way that starts each day brand new. You know, sort of like how real life is in that every day is a brand new day. Whenever I close my browser, all that had gone on in that particular session is erased from the history by default. On the following day, I have to enter the URL and login all over again and I’m fine with that.

Accepting the opinions of others (tap or click image to enlarge)

I love to engage with people. Engagement is what makes the world go ’round. It’s always nice to meet folks who might think differently than I do, because different thoughts, opinions, and ideas are what helps to cause us to remain grounded and focused as we forge our way throughout the course of the day.

I make my friends on Twitter in much the same way as I make my friends in the real world — One at a time, and slowly.
I mean, making 500 friends in one day in real life is absurd. Making 500 friends in one day on Twitter is equally absurd .. this is when you go from living real life to going all off into some fantasy land.

What’s up with these so-called social media influencers … I mean, WTF is that all about anyway? I don’t have the time for big egos.
Met Garth Brooks in Missoula one year and the guy was a total ass. Sure, the concert was good and all, but his inability to actually engage was telling. Even with one on one it was a fail. Meeting people who might supposedly be famous or rather well known in the social circles is usually just the average blow. They’re so wrapped up in themselves that there wouldn’t ever be a chance on any kind of meaningful dialogue or engagement, so why bother? The noise that these guys create is deafening. I very politely dismiss these so-called social media influencers. Their follower count is so high, and things are so loud, that I’d bet they’d never notice the fact that I wasn’t even there.

I like to engage, and I like to visit with real people. My follower count on Twitter is a reflection of that.

I’m just not in to all of the hype. I look at the news only occasionally. I don’t bookmark things that others might see as important. I keep all of the social media and the news completely off of my phone, and my browser deletes cache and cookies after every session.

I don’t mind that some of my friends might go all off in various different directions — This is what makes my friends so much fun to be around. I mean, having friends that did everything the exact same way you did, having the exact same thoughts and opinions as you wouldn’t be that much fun. I mean, anybody that can stand in front of the mirror can accomplish the same thing as that anyway. I already know what I look like, so lets jump on out there and see what everyone else looks like.

In my experience, applying the rules of real life to the internet has been a rather interesting and often times rewarding experience for me.

Not buying into the hype is pretty much the order of the day around here. The internet can be an extremely useful tool if you’re in to staying grounded and focused.

In closing, I’ll say that the future may not be as bright for social media or main stream news as some people might think.
Everyone overreacts and overgeneralizes on the social media, and the news exploits that and fuels their sales with paranoia that is statistically insignificant.
I’m inclined to think that things can only go on so long before natural course correction occurs.
We may today be looking at the beginnings of that course correction.

sourced – Facebook’s Dark Pattern Design, Public Relations and Internal Work Culture

What Twitter’s changes mean for news organizations

Thanks for the read.

Happy Trails

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