Visit my relationships blog for a definitive answer.
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.
Just as with the Trumpeter winning the US presidency, an attack in my hometown of Toronto required me to take some time to process my thoughts before I would weigh in on this latest example of extremism. Thankfully, there is no religious indoctrination associated with this incident which killed ten and injured thirteen. I have flogged that dead horse enough over the years anyway. No, this one is truly “new”, and would require some research on my part. By “new”, I mean a new take on a 5000 year old idea; men should rule and be the masters of all that is in their domain. What I found bothers me more than Trump and his bandits. So let’s take a look at the latest scourge reaped by our downward spiral in parenting and education.
misogyny – a hatred of women
In my book I toyed with misogyny while exploring my emotional damage from past relationships and coming to terms with how I feel about women, North American culture, and humanity as a whole. It started as a humorous idiot’s guide to manhood for my nephews, but it became something else . . . a complete instruction manual for life as a decent human. Sadly, I did not know how few men read such books when I wrote it. They are conditioned to appear as though they have it all figured out－causing most to actually believe they do. North American culture is of course an oxymoron as few of its citizens are cultured by definition.
cultured – having or showing good education, tastes, and manners
I will not give the perpetrator of the attack any mention other than to say it is doubtful he is sane. When something horrific happens close to home people want to know why and it is here where things become dark, murky, and disturbing. There are known to be approximately 40,000 others like him out there who share similar beliefs. They call themselves Incels.
Incel – a person who thinks of themself as being involuntarily celibate
When trying to imagine the membership of this group, one would naturally think of unfortunate individuals with deformities or who were disfigured in some way; thereby limiting their chances of attracting a romantic partner. However, this does not appear to be the case.
The following excerpt is from an article by By Rebecca Jennings published on Racked.com which gives you a sense of what they are about.
Incels see women as either “Stacys,” who are hyperfeminine, attractive, and unattainable and who only date “Chads” (muscular, popular men who are presumed to sleep with lots of women), or “Beckys,” the “average” woman. Women in general are also referred to in dehumanizing terms such as “femoids” or “FHOs (Female Humanoid Organism).”
Allegedly, these are nerds, geeks, dorks, dweebs etc. who have been publicly shamed and bullied to such an extent they are now stigmatized, leaving them socially awkward and incapable of engaging effectively with women they desire. They apparently use math to support their contention they only have a shot with the castoffs of the Chads. They think this is wrong and unfair.
Nerds, geeks, dorks, and dweebs are typically smart. Smart people know how to research to find a course of action which solves a problem. I have been called a nerd and a geek, mostly because I read and spend time in libraries, but it was time well spent. I did the work. I LEARNED. I understand women, human behavior, and our society which makes me very interesting to a Stacy who is tired of Chad’s shit. The more you learn, the more aware you become which leads to personal growth and change
They were ill-prepared for life. Sadly, they have formed an online group where they denigrate what they want the most－women. It is a support group gone wrong.
I object to them believing themselves to be nerds. A nerd is far more than a sci-fi enthusiast, gamer or comic book collector. These guys are pretenders; and just as their feeble minds did with women, they missed yet another point entirely.
THEY do not know how to stimulate a woman’s erogenous center.
THEY do not know where that is.
THEY do not care and are too lazy to find out.
THEY equate real women with their rubber porn star vagina sex toy.
THEY think women are just a collection of holes for their pleasure.
THEY do not respect women because they were never taught this.
THEY believe women won’t pick up on their misogynistic vibe.
THEY think they are superior to women.
THEY believe they should be entitled to any woman they wish.
I do pity them though. It’s not all their fault. Poor genetics, bad parenting, a low quality education, and unresolved emotional scars all combined to make them what they are.
At best, Incels are throwing the world’s biggest pity party and of course none of it is their fault. They are not happy with natural selection, nor are they willing to improve themselves in order to get in the game. Essentially, they are damaged and lazy with entitlement issues. In the worst cases, as with the Toronto incident, dangerous sociopaths are in their midst being primed for action.
Before a lynch mob of pissed off parental units forms, I will give you an out. You do the best you can with what your society and your influences gave you. Your parents, your role models, and your teachers only prepared you to work within the confines of your society. None of them ever suggested you could do or be more than you are, because they themselves were a product of the same dangerous idea which has kept human growth in check for +/- 166 generations. The idea that change is not worth the effort because it will not last is a primary component of the defeatist mentality which the vast majority of humans share.
Parents create a Mini Me—a little person who ends up possessing all the same attitudes, behavioral patterns, fears, anxieties, hopes, and dreams as the people who raised them. A parent who believes changing the world is impossible, creates a child who will not make an effort in that direction. A parent who never took the road less traveled will not endorse that road for their child, and unless the child has a rebellious streak in them, the child will not explore beyond what they have been CONDITIONED to be curious about. A parent with an incomplete education will not fully understand the value of a well rounded education so they will not teach their child the value of learning to learn. A religiously indoctrinated parent will allow their children to be indoctrinated to teach them morality, but this just teaches the child to put all hope for mankind in the hands of some deity rather than striving to make a difference in the world themselves.
Conspiracy theorists will tell you it is all a part of a plan created by the elites to give the average human just enough to keep us from participating in their overthrow. If they were smart enough to continually execute this plan for so many generations, they would also be smart enough to know that the house of cards they have built is about to collapse within the next two generations.
Stories of huge hairy bad smelling apelike creatures are told all over the world in remote areas. In North America, we mostly call them Bigfoot, or Sasquatch as they are known to some ancient native peoples. In snowy mountain ranges as far away as Tibet, they are called Yeti or Abominable Snowmen.
These creatures are always eight to ten feet tall, super strong, known for throwing rocks, and are capable of driving humans out of their territory—even humans with guns, it is said. Apparently they have a nasty pungent odour, and make high pitched blood-curdling screams certain to make your blood run cold.
Living in Central or Northern Ontario in Canada, means you live among the local wildlife. You get used to birds waking at dawn; the fish feeding on the glassy lake leaving little dorsal fin waves, as well as those creating a surface splash and the ever expanding rings in the calm water to mark their location.
The crack of dawn is most likely your last chance to see larger animals as they go into hiding deep in the woods as man gets busy with his day. Around here, deer, foxes, rabbits, and even moose are commonly seen at this time of the morning.
During the day—not in tourist season—the lake is a playground for aquatic mammals like otters, mink, and weasels; water foul like ducks, geese, and loons, as well as reptiles like frogs and snakes.
But at night, BIG DANGEROUS THINGS are on the prowl. ‘Lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my.’ . . . well lynx, and bobcats, and bears at least, with the unproven claims of cougars. Wolves and coyotes should not be forgotten either; nor should potential attackers from above like bats and owls that feed mostly at night. NIGHT-TIME IS WHEN HUMANS SHOULD BE INSIDE. WANDERING OFF ALONE AT NIGHT IS NEVER A GOOD IDEA.
On weekends, from May to October, the number of humans in the area can swell by a multiplication factor of ten or more. Where there are many humans, there is little wildlife, so you are safer, but never totally safe. YOU MUST BE CAUTIOUS; ALWAYS AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS; especially when you are camping out in the wilderness and NIGHT COMES.
If you go deep into the forest, or are here after tourist season, you can have unexplained encounters with wildlife or something FAR WORSE, and they usually happen when you are ALONE IN THE DARKNESS.
It was 9:30 at night and THE AIR WAS DEADLY STILL; meaning there was no wind to stop me from hearing everything. I live up here year-round so I am used to most of the sounds of the wilderness. There was a clear sky with a half-moon casting DARK SHADOWS EVERYWHERE.
SUDDENLY, in the blackness, I heard a loud KER-PLOOSH, and a splash like the sound of giant boulders being thrown into the lake in front of me. I WAS FROZEN WITH FEAR. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up because THIS HAD HAPPENED TO ME BEFORE.
My first thought was it could be a bear going after a fish. But only seconds later it happened again. The sound of these huge boulders hitting the water told me no human or bear could lift them and be throwing them into the lake so fast and so far. This was obviously A HUGE INTELLIGENT CREATURE that did not want me around.
It was time to HIDE INSIDE until whatever it was went away or CAME TO GET ME. I was lucky this time as it decided to go away. I survived the night to tell this tale.
A few years ago, I went fishing in the evening on a little secluded lake without any cottages on it. The fishing was good so I did not want to leave, EVEN THOUGH IT WAS GETTING DARK. I built a big campfire at the edge of the lake so I could see better, and the fire is said to keep wildlife from coming too close.
I was concerned about bears being attracted to the fish I had caught and eaten. I did not have a toothbrush with me, and I had heard stories of people being attacked by bears because THEY HAD NOT BRUSHED THEIR TEETH. It is said the bears could smell their breath.
It was a moonless night. I could not even see my car parked just a few steps away. Everything became very quiet as though something had scared the birds and frogs into hiding. It was TOO QUIET; EERILY QUIET.
In the BLACKNESS, just past where my fishing line disappeared into nothingness, I heard something HUGE hit the water with a loud KER-PLOOSH! Although it did not splash me, it sounded very close. I was the only human for miles around, and it seemed like something was throwing giant boulders almost all the way across the lake . . . and this thing, whatever it was, did not seem to be afraid of fire.
I told myself to calm down because a really big fish could have charged out of the water to try and catch a low flying bat or dragonfly which could cause such a sound when it landed back in the water.
But then it happened again. Now I was SCARED. I did not want to fish anymore. I reeled in as fast as I could, picked up the fish I had caught, and ran for the car. The boulders were landing every few seconds now, SO THERE HAD TO BE MORE THAN ONE CREATURE throwing them. Whatever it was, it could have the container of bait I left behind on the beach.
After frantically trying to find the door-handle, I quickly threw all my stuff, including the fish, inside the car; then I got in and closed the door as fast as I could. There was no time to put things away in the trunk. It was then I had a thought: If these THINGS could throw giant boulders across a lake, then they could destroy a car if they attacked with smaller boulders that would fly farther.
There was a big problem. I couldn’t just leave and speed away. I HAD NOT PUT MY CAMPFIRE OUT. I would have to go BACK OUT THERE.
I searched the car’s glove box for a flashlight and turned it on, only to see a dim light because the batteries were weak. It would have to do. A dim flashlight is better than NO FLASHLIGHT. I got out of the car, shining the flashlight around at all the nearby trees, but it was too weak to light up the area. I quickly retrieved a bucket from the trunk intended to transport the fish now lying on the passenger floor of my car. Nervously, I proceeded to make my way back down to the water’s edge, and BACK INTO RANGE OF THE BOULDER-THROWING CREATURES.
It was quiet again; too quiet; DEAD QUIET.
Just as I had completely doused the fire, THE NEXT ATTACK COMMENCED, but now the splashes sounded even closer than before, and I was SPLASHED as the boulders continued to land in the water. Whatever it was, it had moved in closer, now the fire was out. I ran for the car and tripped on a tree-root dropping the flash-light. IT WENT OUT!
IN TOTAL BLACKNESS, I had to feel my way ahead; back to the relative safety of the car. If I wandered off the road into the wilderness, I could be LOST FOREVER. I expected to feel a giant fur-covered CREATURE in front of me blocking my path, but instead I banged my knee on the bumper of the car. I felt my way along the side of the car and found the door-handle. I quickly got in and drove away; never to return to that lake again AT NIGHT. I survived to tell this tale.
I had just moved from the city into a friend’s cabin while waiting to get a place of my own. His cabin was on a lake without any neighbors. It was a long drive on a winding dirt road just to get to a highway, and longer still to find people if YOU WERE IN TROUBLE.
I was getting used to living like people did in the 1800’s. I carried in wood for the fire. I brought water in from the lake for washing, and I was catching fish for dinner right off the dock.
The dock is where this terrifying story took place. Bigfoot would not be throwing boulders from across a lake as in the previous two stories. No, this time he would be RIGHT BEHIND ME; waiting for me on the beach while I was TRAPPED ON THE DOCK.
As the sun set, the fishing from the dock was really good; I was catching a fish with almost every cast. It quickly became DARK AND FOGGY; a dense soupy fog had rolled in but the fish were still biting. I was having fun SO I STAYED OUT LONGER THAN I SHOULD HAVE. That was my mistake.
Because the fog was so thick and close, I could not even see the shore behind me. I might as well have been adrift on a raft in the fog. That is what it felt like. Later, I would wish I was afloat on a raft, and not near shore.
My first WARNING SIGN was the sound of crashing trees up in the hills behind the cabin. I thought it was probably a moose, and kept on fishing. My second WARNING SIGN was the sound of a large animal exhaling and then it made a snorting sound. I was convinced it was a moose or maybe a bear so I stayed quiet hoping it would wander off. My third warning SCARED ME TO DEATH. It was a blood-curdling scream followed by a high pitched YIKE, YIKE, YIKE; which sounded like it came from the cabin.
So there I was, with whatever it was, between me and the safety of the cabin. I was TRAPPED ON THE DOCK with nowhere to go except into the cold lake. I knew I would not last long in the frigid waters of spring WITHOUT A LIFEJACKET—a lifejacket I never thought I’d need.
I had a flash-light in my tackle box which I thought might warn off this CREATURE if it continued to come after me. In the dense fog, the flash-light beam came to a stop about six feet or two metres away. I worked my way slowly down the dock, hearing every creak of the old boards with each step. I WAS STOPPED DEAD IN MY TRACKS after only a few steps by an awful smell. It was like the smell of honey but not so sweet or nice. It was a sickly-sweet smell which seemed to be all around me, just hanging in the fog. THEN THE WORST HAPPENED. The dock boards nearest the shore started to creak with me standing still. IT WAS COMING FOR ME!
I did the only thing I could think of. I tried to communicate with the creature by screaming as loud as I could and following it with YIKE, YIKE, YIKE. Before too long, the smell went away. I CAREFULLY made my way back to the cabin and safety. I guess I had said the right thing in its own language. He, she, or it never returned. I survived to tell this tale.
Being scared can be fun because it’s exciting. A good story lets our imaginations go to work to make you feel like you are in the story . . . and sometimes a scary story can get the better of us causing our imaginations to runs wild. This is why reading is so much fun. Stories help you use your imagination to entertain yourself. When we encounter something new that we do not understand, we are naturally a little afraid of it. Even grown-ups do this. When it is dark, we can no longer see so we pay more attention to what we hear. Everything seems louder, bigger and closer. It goes back to the time of cave-dwelling humans when there really were giant creatures trying to get them. Those early people learned when to fight, and when to run and hide. This instinct is still with us to this day.
While startled and leaving after the KER-PLOOSH sounds began , mostly because it would scare the fish away, the writer looked up what he had heard at the library and found out beavers do this when you are too close to their lodge.
In the last story, a moose came through the forest crashing trees.
WE ARE ONLY AFRAID OF THINGS WE DO NOT UNDERSTAND, whether it is animals or people.
Please do not help to make your children live in fear. There are trying times ahead for future generations and we must stop passing irrational fears along to our children.
HAVING RESPECT FOR THE POWER OF NATURE IS PRUDENT.