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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.
Physicists are directed by mathematics which seemingly contain a logical consistency within the formulae. They then attempt to prove their theoretical ideas. Lately, they have had some successes.
For the last 5500 years since Mesopotamia, the most brilliant minds pitched the wealthiest people around, usually kings and religious leaders, and played on their FEARS; promising them answers to impossible questions in return for MONEY.
Paranoid governments fear the other inhabitants of Earth and will pay anything to the person who can offer SECURITY. I guaranty if you can show you are close to being able to put an energy shield over the USA, you will quickly have incredible amounts of money raining down on your head.
It is summer, and with this season comes the clicking of flip-flops. A young girl who could actually run in hers inspired this writer to attempt to motivate the scientific community to make a serious study of this bizarre phenomenon.
Early man learned that foot protection meant he could hunt and gather in places where others feared injury. He could walk on jagged rocks, and fish in coral shallows just by wrapping his feet in the skins of the animals he hunted.
He learned successful hunting strategies:
Women were probably once equal to their mates thousands of years ago when humans were migrating to warmer climates following their food supply. They most likely went hunting and gathering with their mate for mutual advantage. Simply, a pair could hunt better than an individual.
That would all come later.
(This is also about how some academics spin a tale; often on the flimsiest early evidence.)
In most cases, the men of the time did notice that their mate could not lift as big a stone as they could. There were other differences too. The biggest being that for about three moons, after three seasons together, her belly swelled causing her to not want to travel or hunt until she produced a new little hunter. These new hunters were too noisy to take hunting until many moons had passed.
On some hunting trips, Oog would also notice his hunting partner was looking for prey where he would not think to look. She would stop to smell the prey often near brightly coloured flowers. She would stop and watch brightly coloured flying insects to learn their secrets. She would stop and listen to noises made by a brightly coloured bird. Oog knew SHE WAS INDEED IN TOUCH WITH POWERFUL MAGIC which was beyond his understanding.
Oog would hunt alone most of the time now, and was not travelling as far as they once did prior to the little hunters. He would arrive back at the cave to find that his hunting partner had been busy. There were hides covering the ground in the cave and she would make him take off his foot-wrappings before he could walk on them—especially when it had been raining. She had brought the brightly coloured flowers into the cave to attract prey so that Oog would not have to travel so far to find food. SHE WAS WISE so he complied with her wishes.
One particular day in Oog’s memory, he returned to the cave to find his hunting partner wearing something other than foot-wrappings on her feet. She had scraped fallen tree branches on rocks until she had made two small wooden planks the size of her feet. Then she had taken the tip of her spear and spun it until she had made two holes in each plank. Finally she tied strips of hide through the holes creating a loop that was just big enough for her big toe. As she walked they slapped the bottom of her feet and made a clacking sound that was surely designed to ward off dangerous animals. Why else would she have gone to all this trouble? With the top of her feet exposed they were not warm, but now she could walk over the sharpest coral for hours without cutting through the new foot protectors. Oog decided this was why she did it, and IT WAS A GOOD THING.
A short time later, she had applied the juices of a plant to her wooden foot protectors making them brightly coloured so her feet would be camouflaged when she hunted in the fields of flowers she spent so much time in. Oog thought he must be the most fortunate hunter of all time to have a hunting partner AS SMART AS HIS. He asked her to make him a pair.
Some moons later she presented him with a set of his own. He put them on and immediately noticed that stepping on a small stone no longer hurt his foot. He squeezed her affectionately as SHE OBVIOUSLY CARED SO MUCH ABOUT HIM that she was trying to take his pain away.
He could not wait to go hunting with them on his feet.
At the earliest light, Oog put on his footwear and attempted to run after the prey in the flowery field. After only his second stride, the wooden plank of his right foot caught a tree root which tripped him up and caused him to fall hard to the ground.
His big toe was bleeding.
Undaunted, and shaking off the pain in his big toe, Oog began to stalk the prey much more slowly being careful not to make the clacking sound associated with his new foot protection. He sneaked up on many prey birds that day, and had the most successful hunt ever. His amazing hunting partner had forced him to become a stealthier hunter, and it had worked. Oog was beaming with pride in his hunt, and IN HIS SELECTION OF A SUCH AN AMAZING MATE. It was at that instant a sabre-toothed tiger attacked and killed him. It seems the killer cat had been following the blood trail from his injured big toe.
Oog’s widowed hunting partner would soon find another mate to wear the flip-flops, named Ugg. He would later die at the base of a cliff after losing his footing on some loose stones and falling to his death.
Years later, some tribesmen in a hunting party would stumble across Ugg’s skeletonized remains and remove his unusual footwear. The flip-flops were well-preserved by the colour applied to the wood. The hunting party, upon returning to the village, would present them to their tribal chief who would wear them proudly. His warriors would have their mates make them some as well, to emulate and honour their great chief.
They began to lose many battles after that, and they knew not why. Eventually, all the warriors were gone and the victors took the women of the village as slaves and mates. These women knew how to make flip-flops, and they did not like their conquerors.
Skip ahead 40,000 years to our modern times.
Women continue to love them, and some men still attempt to use them—especially now that they come with bottle openers built into their soles.
The flip-flop related fatalities continue as well.
Today, thanks to fashion magazines, yearly changes to seasonal colours drive up the quantity of flip-flops you will find stored throughout your house. Your mate will tell you some needed replacing because of wear while others were needed to keep up with colour trends, but the collection can grow by as much as ten pairs per year and rarely are any parted with.
Similarly, flats, pumps, runners, boots, and the close relative to the flip-flop: the sandal, all apparently require the same upgrading and storage process to await their eventual return to fashionability.
Statistics indicate the average woman owns 21 pairs of footwear. I guess I know above average women. A study also shows women also usually own 9 pairs of shoes that were purchased for a singular occasion, and these too must be stored for years as a keepsake to remember the event.
From the data collected we can establish the following:
We must stop this threat.
My book talks of relationships, health, life, biology, philosophy, sociology, theology, genetics—even physics, as well as HOW WOMEN CAN BE YOUR UNDOING.
Have a good flip-flop-free week.
I have absolutely no idea if the formula says anything at all, but would it not be amazing if in the moment I was writing this the universe spoke to me. I just took a Fourier equation and plugged in the numbers 21 and 9 and then added a well known sorority.