This week on my Ms. Creant blog, I show how our social media walls can reveal a great deal about what we are feeling.
FYI: There were 3001 when I posted this. LOL
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. . .
When we are old enough to grasp the idea, we are told we have free will which allows us to make our own choices, BUT by that point we have already spent years being indoctrinated into the beliefs of our parents, the culture of our forefathers, and the society in which we live. All too often, the beliefs imparted to us by these three influences are not in agreement. This creates uncertainty in an individual who is trying to establish an identity of their own, BUT their emerging identity is not their own. It was supplied to them by those who disseminate INFORMATION from a position of authority who we are told we should respect. Parents, religious leaders, educators, doctors, the Internet, the media, and government leaders all influence the thoughts of young minds that are trying to establish for themselves what is true, BUT truth is a fallacy and nobody tells us this. There are things currently thought to be true which are passed along to us, BUT there are few real truths which we are privy to.
If we were to teach this simple idea globally, we would end the dark age which has been with our current incarnation of humanity for the last five thousand years. The age of enlightenment, that so many of us crave, begins with a fundamental shift in what we are willing to accept as being true from all the other flawed humans who disseminate information to us.
To reach an age of enlightenment we must develop a heightened awareness which means we must see things as they are, and not as we would like them to be. Our propensity for denial, and our dismissive nature that was taught to us, must be replaced with open-mindedness and deep rational thought.
Our parents were flawed, BUT we usually did not begin to see this until many years passed where we clung to every word they spoke. The INFORMATION they supplied us with helped to form our earliest beliefs. Most of us begin to see that our parents make mistakes, get their facts wrong at times, and are hypocritical at least occasionally. This creates a modicum of skepticism in our young minds the next time they lecture us about something they believe to be important. Our uncertainty began at home.
Religions are flawed because almost all of them have abandoned or corrupted—through interpretation and rationalizations—the good messages of their prophet(s). Most of the top twelve most popular religions have leaders who are a part of a system which is designed to profit from our fear of the unknown. They never give back as much as they receive, and some are wealthy beyond imagination. Many actively promote division from those who do not believe exactly as they do and sexism; while the worst endorse racism and violence or advocate ownership of weapons of violence. They supply us with INFORMATION which we are told to accept without question to prove we are faithful. Many of our beliefs came from a childhood which included religious indoctrination, BUT when we begin to see hypocrisy and inequality within our house of worship, it creates uncertainty that can lead to a crisis of faith in us. If this has happened to you, all you need to do is get back to basics. We are all completely capable of understanding messages of peace and love spoken by the prophets of every religion. We do not need a religious leader to explain peace and love to us. We do not have to be sheep led by a shepherd in order to be believers.
Our education systems are flawed and getting worse. We know this is due to budgetary cutbacks, which are seemingly always on the rise, BUT there are also teachers who believe they have the right to impart their flawed personal beliefs to their students. Many of our beliefs are created by our early years spent in school before the age where we could see a teacher as just another flawed human. Textbooks are out of date and academia is slow to advance new findings, however unimpeachable, which challenge long held beliefs. Students are required to absorb and regurgitate this questionable INFORMATION, learning only to accept or reject facts based on an authoritative source without ever thinking about alternative possibilities or delving deeper into the topic. Uncertainty is created when students find out what they were taught is no longer true. Indoctrination is alive and well in higher education too, where new INFORMATION must be approved for publication by peers who are afraid of upsetting those who fund research. Knowledge is completely controlled by those who supply funding. It appears the so-called elites wish to create and maintain a knowledge gap between what they know and what we are allowed to know. This would explain the budgetary cutbacks in public education. A stupid populace is more easily led. Do not cling too tightly to facts you were given in school. My 1960’s era Encyclopedia Britannica is only good for its old book smell, its ability to flatten a curled piece of paper, and a good laugh when researching anything scientific.
People with credentials are flawed. If doctors were perfect, there would be no need for malpractice insurance. Fact: According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), medical negligence is the third leading cause of death in the U.S.—right behind heart disease and cancer. In 2012, over $3 billion was spent in medical malpractice payouts. So unless your doctor graduated at the top of his or her class and possesses an eidetic memory, they are flawed; despite the air of arrogance their indoctrination taught them to exhibit. For the sake of your health and that of your family, you need to be uncertain of the INFORMATION you receive. Whether you are dealing with a M.D. or a PHD working with genetically modified organisms, vaccines or cancer treatments, you cannot completely believe what they have to say until you verify who signs their paychecks.
The Internet is a good thing—the last bastion of truth—it cannot be flawed . . . right? If this were so, why did the military industrial complex a.k.a DARPA give us a billion dollar system free of charge? Fact: The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Defense in charge of development of emerging technologies for use by the military. Digital communications are a way for you to be known and compartmentalized by all manner of databases that are available to a host of security agencies. These agencies want to know everything about everyone; especially problem children like me who would undermine their authority if we only knew how. The primary purpose of the Internet, aside from creating yet another distraction to tie up the populace, is to create doubt through disinformation practices. By spreading uncertainty, the public puppets controlled by the-powers-that-be create anxiety and fear in the majority of the indoctrinated sheep living within any country. If one thousand scientists say global warming is real, the puppeteers, who wish to maintain the status quo, can put up their own bought-and-paid-for findings to create doubt. Where there is doubt, there will be endless debate without resolution in the on-line community, and the powers-that-be achieve their goal of maintaining the status quo. Did you know smart phones, computers, and smart TV’s are not necessarily off when you power down? It has been proven you can still be tracked, listened to or even watched when these devices are off. Cover cameras and disconnect your Internet cable when not in use. Just how much of your personal information is stored? Buy a new smart phone and magically all your old photos will arrive to your new phone. “The cloud” contains everything you ever communicated or shared on-line. The Internet is a means of controlling INFORMATION to keep sweeping change from happening.
The media creates uncertainty by supplying INFORMATION that is flawed. It is often poorly sourced, poorly researched, poorly fact checked, and fake news items are becoming more and more frequent. News stories which do not further the agenda of the-powers-that-be are no longer considered “newsworthy”. Omission of INFORMATION is their primary means of manipulation and control of the thoughts reaching a populace. They spread stories perpetuating fear, anxiety, and even hate twenty-four hours a day, because a frightened anxious populace is easier to manipulate into sanctioning retaliatory violence, preemptive violence or even a declaration of all out war. We no longer are shown the destruction our countries military forces are inflicting on less militarily capable countries, and we are never shown civilian targets that were destroyed based on military intelligence INFORMATION.
There is a great deal of uncertainty created by the leaders of most countries these days. Many of these world leaders are exceedingly flawed, and some overtly show off just how damaged they are. Our democracies are not completely dead. We hold elections. We appear to have a choice of parties. The leaders change frequently. Politicians are, technically speaking, duly elected to lead a party, BUT they are approved and nominated by people within the party with influence a.k.a. special interest groups and the-powers-that-be. As divided as our primary liberal and conservative elements seem to be, they do have one thing in common. They are both equally backed by the-powers-that-be representatives working inside each party. The title of government leader is now a misnomer because the faces we associate with leadership are just marionettes.
The 26th U.S. president, Theodore Roosevelt made this statement about the secret government stating, “”Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people.””
It appears the-powers-that-be existed before America ramped up for production of weapons in WWII creating the military industrial complex.
Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us in his 1961 speech: “”In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”” “”We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.””
We should have taught this in schools, BUT the-powers-that-be did not want this. In 2017, we now take everything for granted and our citizenry is oblivious and being dumbed down.
Just two years later JFK would be assassinated. Some say he was killed because he wanted to create a more transparent government with oversight.
The Washington Post reported a black budget of “$52.6 billion was set aside for operations in fiscal year 2013. The CIA, NSA and National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) receive more than 68 percent of the black budget. The National Geo-spatial Intelligence Program’s (NGP) budget has grown over 100 percent since 2004.”
A black budget covers expenses related to military research and covert operations, often without government oversight. The figures shown do not factor in corporate and private money invested in black projects beyond the intelligence agency arena and into space and technology. Some projections are as high as 1.3 trillion dollars—this represents +/- 30% of the entire US economy. The-powers-that-be take from the citizens of the US and other Western countries and then tell us to f@ck off when we want to know how OUR money is being spent. They cite matters of national security to make us go away.
Ethan Wolff-Mann wrote in time.com’s Money Section in an article titled: 7 Amazing Things America Could Have Bought Instead of a $1.45 Trillion Jet: “The F-35 project has been one of the most expensive military projects in history, and will cost upwards of $1.45 trillion by the time it’s over.”
It was this article that prompted this long winded journey. Canada had signed up to purchase this plane even though it does not have the speed or range to be an effective interceptor, nor does it feature the dual engines needed for reliable arctic patrol work. I questioned why Canada had even entertained it, aside from its F/A designation. We need a new multi-role fighter but the F35 is not it. My journey began by asking: Just who is capable of exerting enough pressure for us to make such a bad purchase? Fortunately, our current administration scrapped the F35 purchase, for the time being at least. There is absolutely nothing about this plane which justifies a number in the trillions. We must ask:
In 2008, Barack Obama promised the most transparent administration in U.S. history. “No more secrecy,” he said. “That is a commitment that I make to you.”
Jun 2, 2015 – The USA Freedom Act is modified and signed by President Barack Obama. It essentially continued the Patriot Act which empowered the the secret keepers a.k.a. the FIVE intelligence gatherers and their TWELVE “active” partners to do what they do without being bothered by the administration.
Prior to being elected on Oct 20, 2015, Justin Trudeau promises to repeal ‘problematic elements’ of surveillance Bill C-51.
June 2017, The “anti-terrorism” legislation which resulted in huge protests, petitions, and condemnation from academics, remains in place while discussions take place over the summer.
It appears that both North American leaders ran out of leash when it came to confronting the-powers-that-be about secrecy and intelligence gathering matters.
Who are their masters? I am still working that out for myself, BUT we can definitely begin with the heads of:
They support and wish to maintain a patriarchy which has existed for at least 3000 years.
I find it both hilarious and disturbing that despite this massive effort to allegedly keep the populace safe, we are less safe than ever before. It leads one to believe they are not spending our tax dollars on security at all, and possibly, it is these agencies themselves that are creating security threats to justify their existence.
(Hint: I do like some of the dot connections made by some of the more intelligent conspiracy theorists, but I am still resistant to alien overlords as the answer. 😀 )
I research things, often historical in nature, to piece together a portion of a very big puzzle. By asking big questions like: Who are we? Where do we come from? What is our history? The few truths you find allow you to view only a tiny piece of the immense puzzle. You can guess at what the complete puzzle shows, but that just makes you a conspiracy theorist. Instead, find what factual accounts you can from good sources, and let them lead you not to a rigid belief, but to a possibility which inspires others to pick up where you left off.