Top 10 Things I Learned In My Years On Facebook or How Many “Friends” Can I Lose In One Post?

FYI: There were 3001 when I posted this. LOL

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“Live and learn.”

Conservatively, I estimate I “invested” 1400 hours of my life into Facebook over the past four years which is 500 hours more than it took to produce my book. Let that sink in a moment. I have dwelled on this for some time now. It is because of this significant amount of time that I did not just delete my Facebook account when the final straw arrived. I was close though. For better or worse, there is a legacy we leave behind on Facebook for our “friends”, if not the general public. However, if you posted as I did in a willy-nilly devil-may-care sort of way, you will spend days trying to clean it all up in order to leave a “best of” collection of posts worth scrolling before saying your final farewell. Be prepared for Facebook to “limit” your profile and page(s), a.k.a. putting you in Facebook jail, when you attempt such radical changes.

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1) Some people are not who they claim to be.

I am not talking about authors writing under pen names - which is absolutely necessary to avoid harassment - I am talking about people with multiple online personas. Don’t make the mistake of PROJECTING your level of integrity or values, a.k.a. honesty, discretion, and honour onto people you meet. It will bite you every time.

You can protect yourself by using a free deep web search at: pipl.com.

If aliases appear, search each one. If you know multiple locations where they have lived, search each city by each alias. It could take a while to compile all the data, and you should prepare yourself as the results can be nothing less than staggering. Look for, and even search, relatives, known associates, and phone numbers to confirm the site has not made an error. There are pay sites starting from $2.00 that generate a full report including criminal activities. You might want to consider one of these if you are in deep with someone you met online. May your god be kind with what you find.

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2) Don’t be naïve.

If you look up naïve in the dictionary, I’m sure you will see my picture there. I viewed joining the author communities on social media as an opportunity to connect with bright, engaging, open-minded seekers of wisdom . . . kindred spirits who would share thoughts as pen pals would, only using modern technology. Overall, nothing could be farther from the truth. Yes, you will encounter a few worthwhile decent types, but in a game where we count followers in the thousands, they represent a minuscule percentage.

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3) “Haste makes waste.”

I remember being excited about making “friends” on Facebook when I first started out. So excited in fact, I would send friend requests to anyone who had the words author or writer on their profile. Back then, the prevailing theory suggested the key to success was a numbers game; the one with the biggest following would get a publishing deal. People were actually buying followers 10,000 at a time. I didn’t buy into this. I viewed social media as a popularity contest which does not translate into book sales ─ the equivalent to putting flyers in your neighbor’s mailboxes. I have yet to see data which is convincing enough to see it any other way. If I knew better, I would have cultivated relationships with influencers, readers of my genre, publishers, publicists, agents, reviewers, and bloggers ─ all the people I did not have as “friends” but who might have made a difference to the success achieved by my book. Had I known then what I know now, my friends list would look very different than it does today.

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4) Cocaine would have been a better choice.

If you are going to choose an addiction, social media is the worst possible choice. THERE IS NO HIGH, and the more time you spend on social media the less happy you become. Anyone who has read my book, knows I am anti-escapist regardless of whether the high is produced naturally or artificially. Regular cocaine users know the drug has a diminishing return. The high is never as good as the first time they tried it unless they increase the quantity used; and the more they use, the more frequent their cravings become until it affects their lives. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no hypocrite. I let my demons out for an occasional stroll, but I pick my poisons carefully to ensure that none take charge of my life. Social media hooks us on being connected and never being alone. It is dangerous because humans must be alone in order to think, learn, and grow. Social media stagnates the mind and, Facebook at least, seems bent on depressing the populace. Endless distractions thwart creativity and productivity. If you: feel obligated to post on social media; look in regularly for comments on posts; have never turned off Messenger or notifications or your device, then you should pick different poisons for a while until you get a handle on the monkey on your back.

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5) I kept my promise.

I used my Facebook profile page as a playground where I could share multiple aspects of my personality. This allowed me a place to vent . . . and vent I did; or more correctly, am continuing to do here in what will become my last post to Facebook. Early on I promised the real me would be on display at all times to my “friends”. The people on my friends list did not get an artificial construct or watered down perfect illusion of who I am. Nope, they got the full Monte, or at least as much Monte as Facebook would allow. My inner bad boy posted what little nudity Facebook community standards would tolerate for two reasons: Firstly, I am a rebel who sees freedoms dying faster than the planet is losing species; and secondly, nothing in the world is more beautiful to me than the female form. I shared my sense of humour as well, even when I knew it might be crossing someone’s line every now and then. I also shared my philosophies, and those from others which resonated within me, in what I now see as a futile effort to awaken the sleeping oblivious sheeple. The proof is in the likes. There were next to none. Recently, I wanted to find out if I was out of Facebook jail so I posted: ‘Somebody, anybody, tell me if you can see me.’ This post got more attention than a year’s worth of meaningful posts, and at the same time, it made a sad statement on the superficiality of the average Facebook user.

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6) “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”

As an author, I should have divided my time equally between Goodreads, twitter, and Facebook because Goodreads has proven itself to put your books in front of readers, and unlike Facebook, you can reach out to everyone and anyone on twitter. Time is the one thing you can never get more of and it does not allow do-overs. Spend yours wisely.

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7) Nazi hamsters! WTF?

Fuckerberg, and the Nazis in the shadows behind him, are using facebook for data collection on each and every one of us, as are most of the major corporations in Silicon Valley. The difference is Facebook knows far more about us than Google, and possibly even the makers of our devices and the companies that supply operating systems as long as they do not breach their published privacy policies which most have already been caught doing. Facebook considers EVERYTHING you share to be their property. This includes Messenger. Yup, your selfies and home-made porn videos are all sitting in a data farm somewhere and you can never truly delete them. They lured us away from My Space with the promise of something better. A promise which was never kept right from the beginning. Their endless adjustments to the algorithm, have severely limited our outreach to readers while they stayed busy categorizing and compartmentalizing us into something reminiscent of a box filled with hamsters where everyone is climbing all over each other. Good luck. I’m out.

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8) Let’s see Facebook for what it is: a societal manipulation site.

That doesn’t have the same innocuous ring to it as social media site, does it. In my time on Facebook, I have been appalled by posts in my News Feed ranging from animal cruelty to the shooting of an unarmed man by police, with a far too great number of others in between. Were they fake news as with the Trumpeter’s election campaigners who mysteriously showed up only to disappear shortly after the election? We can never know. What is clear however, is we are affected, influenced, and manipulated by what we see and hear in all forms of media. Worst of all, we become desensitized to atrocious human behavior and I believe this is NO ACCIDENT; but where they are intentionally herding the minds of the sheeple. When three billion users worldwide have been programmed to no longer give a shit about life, the world can easily fall into anarchy. On that day, the frightened sheeple will willingly turn over the last of their freedoms for safety. The single biggest difference between other forms of media and Facebook is there are no restrictions placed on what Facebook is allowed to broadcast. Facebook can do what they want with the get-out-of-jail-free-card of being a social media platform not responsible for the content created by users. There is no Editor In Chief to hold accountable for what is thrust before our eyes. Facebook’s new take on morality is not for me. It shouldn’t be for you either.

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9) Some people make it bearable.

If I look at my years on Facebook as I would my life, there are some parallels. I have a few regrets but there was also a great deal of laughter. There were a handful of people who made the time spent on Facebook almost seem worthwhile. I hope they keep in touch. There were also some standouts who stepped up when it really mattered, and they have my deepest gratitude.

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10) Facebook is what you make of it.

If you are just an individual who wants to keep tabs on people you already know in the real world, or if you want to find people you have lost touch with, then have at it while being VERY cautious of what you post or message to people. Keep your circle small and be wary of people you have not met in person when they send you a friend request. If you have the misfortune of being a writer who is following conventional wisdom, a.k.a. forced kicking and screaming into the social media spotlight as I was, then things will be tougher. Absorb and retain the previous 1800 words and I will leave you with the immortal words of my favorite Zen master: ‘Mind what you have learned; save you it can.’ – Yoda.

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Rationalizations: What To Do When The Internet Is Down

First thing this morning my neighbor sent a text to inform me the Internet is still down, but they claim to be working on it. Apparently a major cable was cut last evening leaving our entire area without service.

Thanks for the update., I thought to myself as I ran my morning self-diagnostics to see if I was fully functional before getting out of bed. I worked out yesterday so you never know. Out of HABIT I turned on my computer anyway and headed to the coffee-maker.

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As I stood in the kitchen waiting for The Nectar Of Awakening (© 2019 E. A. Barker LOL), I pondered the importance of the Internet to him because he is a well-to-do guy who loves his toys. His home is run by Google and he likes his fully-automated lifestyle, and I don’t think he likes it when I speak of the potential for abuse of the users privacy. He only has his phone now. All that is good in his life has perished. Perhaps this is why he sent this out of character early text which woke me from some badly needed sleep.

Coffee in hand, I sat down on the couch and drank the entire over-sized first mug while staring blankly at the Windows start up screen. The only thought I can recall during this semi-conscious period was: They chose a nice shade of blue.

What will I do this morning? Maybe go for a walk? Too cold. Read? Eyes still too sleepy and brain not receptive to input. Write something? There it is. But what? We’ll wing it.

Anyone who reads my crap knows of my contempt for the Internet and my fervent belief that it is a mind control weapon employed against the oblivious masses in the final stages of our enslavement. Yet, it has also become a part of my ROUTINE to have my coffee while scrolling twitter and chatting with online friends.

It was not always this way. I remember having a satisfying life before all this book writing nonsense took over.

Here is an example of RATIONALIZATIONS running wild:

I RATIONALIZED this CHANGE IN MY BEHAVIOR by TELLING MYSELF this was necessary to launch and promote my book. I further RATIONALIZED I should continue promoting my work beyond the one year period I had originally planned for as there were still occasional requests for interviews and the like coming in. I continued my RATIONALIZATION to stay on social media because we were entering the peak selling season. That’s no time to quit. My latest RATIONALIZATION, after almost four years since I first appeared on social media, is I now have a handful of people whose words and thoughts I enjoy. It would be wrong to abandon them.

Or would it?

A flaw in my thinking just made itself known on mug three. I am PROJECTING my character traits onto them; people I have never met. I ass-u-me they share my values: morality; ethics; scruples; sense of decency etc., when in truth, I really have little hard evidence to support the mental picture of them I have created in my mind. It is hard enough to discover the TRUE NATURE of people we meet in real life, without compounding the problem by believing what we see or are told through an electronic medium.

Recent─all too public events─began with provocative hurtful posts which I could have been spared from seeing. I retaliated. That was wrong. The enraged are not in touch with rational thought. Things escalated from there into a tangled mess of unimagined proportions. If you witnessed any of it, my apologies. I now have first-hand knowledge of the gossips, spies, stalkers, trolls, and double agents we have all heard about when chatting about facebook dramas.

I am disgusted on many levels by many things, but mostly for allowing myself to be temporarily lowered into The Pit Of The Petty (© 2019 E. A. Barker LOL) where the worst parts of humanity reside.

Unchecked RATIONALIZATIONS can lead to DEMONIZATION or even DELUSION.

I am only guilty of the first two. I plead temporary insanity. I have and continue to work hard to be fully conscious and self-aware, and I pride myself on my ability to stay grounded in reality. This heightens your powers of perception so you can see things for what they are, and not how you would like them to be. However, this trait will not be considered endearing to anyone who lives in a fantasy world of imagined futures. Normally, I am so good at this people have called me a mind reader, or suggested I have them under surveillance, or even that I can predict the future. In truth, once you have really explored WHO YOU ARE and wrestled your demons into submission─with only occasional escape attempts─you are given a gift of heightened sensitivity which is composed mostly of sympathy, empathy, and compassion. Some call this being loving or caring; I just call them good people.

Humans like to think of themselves as complex creatures when in fact most human behavior is transparent and predictable to the few of us who bother to know ourselves. Once you know the best and worst you are capable of, and even though your self-control can slip at times, you can make shockingly accurate assessments of people as well as predictions of behavior and consequences.

To the superficial and narcissistic, life will always be a mysterious sequence of tragic events. They create petty RATIONALIZATIONS of their abhorrent behavior with statements like: “The heart wants what the heart wants.” or “We are only human.” or “They told me to do it.”. . .

Every single one of the seven billion souls on this planet are capable of moving beyond this most basic form of existence. I sincerely hope the readers of this will be some of those who do.

This was the second time I became embroiled in a facebook drama. There won’t be a third. Farewell facebook friends and followers. It was quite an experience which I can no longer RATIONALIZE.

Keep in touch by email if you like.

My Current Attitude Towards Facebook and Other Pointless Endeavours Summed Up in a Single Photo.

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I love Iron Man and many of the other Marvel films.

The appeal is obvious—aside from wishing we were genius billionaire philanthropists—there are times when we wish we could take matters into our own hands; to be a lone gun-slinger, dispensing our own brand of justice or seeking retribution. Alas, until “civilization” slides a little farther into the abyss, or we have nothing left to lose, we must  settle for watching others wreak vengeance in film and video games; living vicariously through them. But oh how we wish sometimes. . .

Greatest Hits Volume 1: Thoughts for Thinkers & Seekers

Put a tweet in your kid’s lunchbox.

They tell me young people will only read memes or short posts of 500 words or less so I decided to give them a “best of” package of last year’s tweets. Please feel free to share any which stir something within you.
1x ignorence

4x phil

5x giving

6x books

7x humans

9x behaviour

10x insight

11x change

12x truths

14x dangers

15x lies

16x teaching

18x learning

19x truth

22x control

23x therapy

24x growth

25x role models

26x self

27x happiness

28x collective

29x readers

30x big brother

31x news

32x self

33x touch others

34x library bookstore

36x polarization

37x positivity

38x change edu

39x politics media

40x reading empathy

42x narcisists

43x happiness self

44x grounded

45x facts

46x internet influence

47x internet freedom

48x social media

49x obliviousness

51x change evil

52x active

53x political corr

54x edu

56x earth

57x open minds

58x happiness

59x knowledge expectations

61x self control

63x patterns

67x reading

68x awareness

71x knowledge happiness

72x self

The Holiday Vibe

I knew I would be spending Christmas time away from family and friends this year but I was very determined to FEEL festive. I started playing Christmas music and posting nothing but holiday related things on Facebook. I rejected thoughts of posting about serious topics in favor of spreading some laughter and joy.

IT WORKED! I got the Christmas spirit or the holiday bug, whichever you prefer, and I did not have to buy or receive gifts in the traditional sense to achieve this state of hope, wellbeing, and willingness to smile at strangers.

I awoke this morning thinking about all the children who would be excited about Santa’s visit and how they would either wake their parents or creep quietly to the tree to see what was under it. I forced myself to dwell on the POSITIVE.

For those readers who do not know me, I am more aware than most about the plight of humans around the globe–especially children. I know there are many who did not have this experience this morning, but for today at least, I will not dwell on this as I do during the other fifty or so weeks of the year.

This is not an act of selfishness, but one of self-preservation. Your spirit, soul or chakra, whichever you prefer, can become tired and you need to take some time occasionally to recharge it. Some do this through religious practices while others explore their spiritual side through the development of a personal philosophy of life–whatever works. The key is to acknowledge that you have this part of you, and to listen carefully to it in this world full of craziness which is designed to test this part of you.

Early this morning, I went outside for some fresh air just as a woman was passing by walking her dog on the sidewalk out front . She looked at me and said, “Merry Christmas.” I smiled and returned those same words back to her. Both our days will be better because of this moment. This is the KEY which we need all people everywhere to get back in touch with.

RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS CAN CHANGE THE WORLD but you have to be aware of them when they are happening, and acknowledge each and every one of them.

This chance meeting created a moment of clarity within me which I will share with everyone here.

This “Christian” holiday which has its roots in Pagan rituals, need not be yet another reason for division, because the FEELING of joy to the world and goodwill toward all humans is a global, if not universal constant. The FEELING transcends the labels we mere humans use in our feeble attempts to quantify, understand, and compartmentalize everything in and outside of this world. The FEELING of Christmas will fade only when we let the evildoers of the world engage us and affect us. This does not mean you can live inside a bubble of obliviousness and remain happy in there–quite the opposite in fact–you must go out into the real world to influence it with the VIBE you project.

The evildoers on the planet are a dedicated group who work really hard to spread NEGATIVITY in the form of lies, hate, deceit and propaganda to illicit a response that will give rise to fear. Only our worry and fears can lead us into violent conflicts–something they know all to well.

In 2017, those of us around the world who want peace, freedom, and security for all people, need to start anew to beat them at their own game. Smiling and wishing people well, no matter what the circumstance or how difficult it is, will undo them because of their lust for attention. Self-important egotists are shattered when they discover they no longer have an audience. Let’s turn off their media. Let’s disengage from their debates which are just another form of conflict which only serves them. Their use of these tools has conditioned us to believe we live in a state of perpetual conflict which is simply not true unless we allow it.

FEELING, carrying, and spreading peace and joy is a CHOICE which does not have to be reserved just for the holiday season, and it is the most powerful weapon ever created to wage a war against war.

To all who wish for Peace on Earth, just show goodwill toward men.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year; Saint Nicholas Day; Fiesta of Our Lady of Guadalupe; St. Lucia Day; Hanukkah; Three Kings Day/Epiphany; Boxing Day; Kwanzaa; Omisoka; Yule; Saturnalia–whichever you prefer–we are not so different.

I know I had previously posted that I probably would not be writing again until the New Year but let’s just say the spirit moved me.

My book:

Ms. Creant: The Wrong Doers!

Life With Women: The Long-Awaited Instruction Manual

This book was created for everyone, from young adults to seniors. It was written from a male’s point of view, speaking to men who are endlessly struggling to understand the opposite sex. For women, this is a fascinating journey inside the male psyche. The book gives a young reader a glimpse of the future, with a recommended timeline for key life events. Mature readers, who have already experienced much of what is discussed in the book, should come away with a new-found understanding, and perhaps even closure. Ms. Creant is a controversial, entertaining, yet informative look at everything that influences human behaviour including: relationships, life, health, biology, philosophy, sociology, theology, politics, genetics—even physics. E. A. Barker shares twenty-four “inappropriate” stories of life with women. The author based these stories of women behaving badly on his real life experiences, spanning four decades of his search for an ideal partner. The lessons taken away from the book will serve to help readers make better choices, become more aware, grow, and change—at any stage of life.

ISBNs

978-1-77302-134-8 (8×10 Large Print Hardcover)

978-1-77302-132-4 (8×10 Large Print Paperback)

978-1-77302-133-1 (eBook)

Amazon US ➜ http://tinyurl.com/hpdbjtp
Amazon CA ➜ http://tinyurl.com/jxa7zab
Amazon AU ➜ http://tinyurl.com/zhufwl6
Amazon UK ➜ http://tinyurl.com/jnrp9dn
Smashwords ➜ http://tinyurl.com/grxg5sv
B&N ➜ http://tinyurl.com/j9murlr
Kobo ➜ http://tinyurl.com/je2ytyp
itunes ➜ http://tinyurl.com/h47zplv
Indigo ➜ http://tinyurl.com/jye4q5m

https://www.facebook.com/MsCreantTheWrongDoers/

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/58727166-e-a-barker

 

Blog 20: Words for a broken-hearted young man.

Here is why I did not say these things but instead wrote them for you. I wrote this so that it could be READ. I believe we retain only 20% of what we hear; 50% of what we read and 80% of what we write. This is why I encourage students to apply themselves in school and develop their note-making skills. My intended target for this article should benefit even though he is having a tough time emotionally.

A teenager that I know was devastated by a girl that ended their seven month relationship. As usual, as it is with many men, he was blind-sided but he did confess that he FELT that there was something wrong. She seemed different for a week leading up to the breakup. He had relationships end before without this level of suffering. It was not the first time that he was involved in a sexual relationship. He believes that this traumatic life event requires answers to achieve closure. (His words.)

Question: So why did this one gut him?

Answer: She became his SIGNIFICANT other.

She HELPED him find an educational path that would lead to his dream career and ENCOURAGED him to pursue it. She TAUGHT him that hard work in school pays off, as she is an honor student with many options heading into university. She GAVE love to him; even if it was for a short time.

She made him grow and strive to be better.

Instead of grieving for your lost relationship, THANK HER for being an important part of your life and walk away with your head held high- cherishing the memories.

This is what a REAL MAN does and IT IS NOT EASY.

It is also a great way to make her question her decision.

You may be tempted later to be vindictive. You may wish to inflict as much pain on her as she created in you. These days, guys post sexy pictures of their ex-girlfriends or ex-wives on the internet. This is an immature response that says that you are not yet a man.

REAL MEN do not do this.

Guys, especially young ones, often do not understand what it is to be a REAL MAN. Some think that because they had SEX they are a man. Most think that because they have reached an AGE where they can quit school, leave home, drive, drink, vote, work and live independently that they are men. Others think that because they PROVIDE they are a man. Many believe that because they are ENGAGED OR MARRIED they are a man. Still others think that because they HAVE A CHILD with a woman that they are a man.

Being a REAL MAN is not these things.

Being a REAL MAN means that you LEARNED about yourself and life as you did these things.

After a few decades of ATTEMPTING to be one myself, I have this to share with you my young Padawan learner.

  • A real man does things that make him loved by many. He realizes HE IS LOVED by many people so the loss of one, no matter how significant, is not the end of his world.
  • A real man recognizes that nothing lasts forever. He is GRATEFUL for the women that chose to spend their time with him and the joy they helped him to experience.
  • A real man is AWARE that life is challenging and meeting those challenges head-on is what gives him his strength.
  • A real man FACES HIS FEARS. He does not hide from them even though he is afraid.
  • A real man develops an INNER STRENGTH that allows him continue his life alone, if need be. He is comfortable and content in his own skin and to be on his own. He does not need others to enjoy life.
  • A real man knows that EVERY DAY IS PRECIOUS and does not waste his days on a temporarily broken heart or the person that damaged it.
  • A real man SEEKS KNOWLEDGE and new experiences because they give us understanding. You are not born a wise man. Wisdom is what you collect in your life’s journey.
  • A real man LISTENS more than he talks. He takes in what others say; absorbs the meaning of their words and asks for clarification before deciding to voice his opinion.
  • A real man does not ESCAPE HIS REALITY through booze, drugs, gambling or gaming. A lifestyle that includes these is counterproductive to all of the above. Escape into music, books, art, sports, travel and films as they are far less damaging and supply opportunities to expand your awareness.
  • A real man knows that HIS WORD MEANS EVERYTHING. If he makes a commitment, he will move heaven and earth to make certain he honours his word. His word is his bond. A handshake is his contract.
  • A real man understands that HIS HAPPINESS IS UP TO HIM. No one can give him happiness or take it away. Happiness is something that comes from within. Happiness is something he chooses to make a part of his everyday life.

 

My book:

Ms. Creant: The Wrong Doers!

Life with Women: the long awaited instruction manual.

Talks of relationships, health, life, biology, philosophy, sociology, theology, genetics- even physics as well as THE AUTHOR’S MISGUIDED ATTEMPTS TO BE A REAL MAN.

Hug someone with a broken heart.

E. A.