Friday, March 4, 2016

National Day of Unplugging 2016


http://nationaldayofunplugging.com/  - March 4th (sundown) to March 5th (sundown)

Think you can take a whole day off from your gadgets and precious Facebook?  Let's see if you got what it takes.  Emergency calls are Okay, but maybe use the rotary phone in the back bedroom instead, k?

It's just one day.  One lousy day!

Friday, February 19, 2016

You Are More Than Your Gadgets


Take some time out today, away from gadgets and the noise of it all to enjoy the world around you.  Do something to develop yourself and make yourself a better person.  You will not regret spending time in nature, with family, or bettering yourself.  But a day wasted in front of a phone or computer, randomly surfing the net or trolling YouTube?  You'll probably one day regret that.  

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Spoken Word Video: Can We Auto-Correct Humanity?





This is a powerful video about how "connected" we are.  Or are we?  Share this one with your friends.  I guarantee this will give them something to think about.

Also, take part in the National Day of Unplugging on March 4th to March 5th.  Think about why you might want to unplug (family, goals, friends, your own development, free your mind, etc.).

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

What Ever Happened to Myspace Tom?


Sometimes some of my readers send me an interesting article that they would like to have featured on this website.  One such article that was sent to me is the story of the man that many of you may have, at one time, been well acquainted with, but have let slip from your mind.  That man is "Myspace Tom."

I am sure many of you have interesting memories of Myspace.  Depending on how one defines "social network," this was probably my first.  I made a Myspace back when I was in college, maybe about nine or ten years ago now.  And, to be honest, I found that much of the same drama that exists on Facebook was on Myspace.  Myspace was the first place for many to really show off their lives and brag about their accomplishments en mass on the internet.  It was a place to write in detail about what we did, to show off our food, and to make complete and utter fools out of ourselves (just like we do on Facebook). Many of us were young, and for some, Myspace was our training wheels for (a)social media.

Most of Myspace's users were younger people.  And I found that for most, once Facebook started becoming big, many of us left Myspace and never looked back.

But, what happened to the man who created it all?  I am sure many of you remember that iconic picture of Tom with the white shirt and that crazy look in his eye.  Did he, too, get sucked into Facebook and (a)social media, or is he doing something else with his life?  He is no longer the big cheese behind Myspace.   In fact, according to Wikipedia, "Myspace was sold to News Corp in 2005 for $580 million and in June 2011, Specific Media Group and Justin Timberlake jointly purchased the company for approximately $35 million."  In short, Tom has come into quite a bit of money.



I am sure Tom's life is one of envy for many.  What is more interesting is the fact that Tom has created quite a life for myself out in the real world.

http://www.dailydot.com/technology/hate-myspace-tom/
Anderson doesn’t appear to have been swept up in the behavior his platform exacerbated. How should Anderson be allowed to live so carefree when he singlehandedly helped usher in the era of friendship established by meaningless connections on the Internet?
That's right, Tom has seemed to escape from the confines of a life spent on the (a)social media that he helped create.  He is living a life that many of us, on (a)social media dream of.  A life that seems, for many of us, unattainable.  It is quite ironic that one of the people who created this world of digital friendships and "connections" between people is now no longer a part of it.  

To be honest, I am quite happy for him.  Myspace is pretty much dead now.  It exists, but it no longer has the appeal and pull that Facebook has.  To me, Myspace was part genius on Tom's part, and it was him, and not Zuckerberg, that really got the whole thing up and going.  It would have been nice if it all ended with Myspace.   When comparing my perceptions of Tom and Zuckerberg, Tom seems more of a quiet person who goes on with his life, and Zuckerberg seems like he is on a mission to make the entire world suck on the teat of (a)social media, destroying every iota of privacy that exists in the world.  Myspace never existed to "connect the entire world" or to make the world, in some warped way, a "better place for everyone."  I can not wrap my head around how every person being on Facebook makes the world a better place.  Kudos to you Tom for getting away from that and going outside and seeing the world.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Has Facebook Caused More Fighting Amongst Families?



Lately I have watched as members of my family have become antagonistic towards each other and I have wondered why this is the case.  I have read comments from other people on this blog throughout the years as they mention their families competing, bragging, asserting their views, fighting and arguing on Facebook and I can not help but wonder if the site that was supposed to make the world a "more connected place" is actually causing more strife between family members.  Is Facebook causing families and friends to actually dislike each other instead of brining people close together?  I strongly believe so.

There are many ways in which Facebook is detrimental for a person.  Recently I wrote that there are ways in which Facebook makes people feel miserable.  When people feel miserable they oftentimes lash out on others.  They look for a fight, so to speak.  When people are posting about how wonderful their life is on the internet and others are feeling bad about their own life, jealousy will emerge.  When people are enraged about current events or things out of their own control, they will fight over political ideas.  When people feel that they are not accepted by another, they lash out.   In short, families become entwined in the kind of fighting that did not really exist in the same public and easily accessible way before the internet.

Don't get me wrong, families have always fought.  I can remember during my youth seeing my parents and their siblings argue from time to time.  Yet, the arguments did not continue online.  And rarely were those arguments made manifest for a hundred or more people to see and take sides on.

I look at my family now and see a broken and fragmented family full of people who have "taken sides" on issues as the fight unfolds on Facebook, or as I have begun calling it as of late, "Favebook."  I have seen one of my wife's siblings pretty much disown her sister's husband because of his views on Obama.  I have seen people become angry if others do not agree with their political or religious views, removing them from their friends list.  Others state that they should be able to state what they want on their wall and nobody should be able to question what is said.  Does this not sound like tyranny to you?  Of course fights are going to emerge when these things happen.


Recently one of my family members was bated with a political post, and once he commented, a huge fight erupted.  A couple of days after loads of comments from various people who both knew him and some who have never met him, he was unfriended and paraded as a jerk for the rest of the family to see. It is sad to see such a pointless argument turn into a family feud just because someone does not agree with one's self-important political views.  

Thanksgiving is coming upon the United States very soon and I look at my family and see that many are having it separately this year.  In years past, the family would come together for a day when differences were set aside and where people gave thanks for the things that they have in life.  Now, I see that differences are not set aside, they are left right there for everyone on Facebook to see.  Now the topic becomes what was said and done on Facebook.  There is a reminder of how much one does not like another family member right when that other person checks their Facebook page.  And they check it quite often.

Do you really expect that Facebook is good for families and relationships when:
1.  People are obsessed with their own political views and are used to arguing with anyone who disagrees?
2.  People and family members are ultra competitive with each other and parade all their accomplishments in front of everyone else?
3.  People compare how they raise their children?
4.  People unfriend others when they do wrong and use Facebook as a weapon?
5.  When "Favebook" becomes a way for people to exclude others from events and from their lives.
6.  Where personal fights are made public and people start to take sides?

It is no secret that Facebook causes people to become angry with each other.  It is to be expected that the anger will eventually seep into our closest relationships.  When a person gets done telling "a liberal" or "a conservative" how stupid their views are and then notices that their brother has the same views, there is no doubt that there may be family arguments.   Furthermore, what is said can be seen years later as posts do not disappear unless deleted.  That means that the old feelings can re-emerge.

Many people are going to say "that does not sound like my family" or that "I am different.  I can handle Facebook."  Is that true?  Are you just telling yourself that?  Has your family really gotten along as well with Facebook?  Has the constant barrage of political posts and angry news articles really brought you closer together as a family?  Have the members of your family not become jealous when you were talking about that huge promotion at work while others were busy trying to fight the government for an unemployment check?  Do you find yourself wondering if something that someone said on Facebook is really something passive aggressive and meant towards you?  If not, congratulations.

Facebook is an addiction.  People think that they have to be on it or that they are not a good person.  I know some people who are not on Facebook and they are doing themselves a favor.  Many hate the drama and do not want to be pulled into it.  Others crave some type of peace in their lives.  Facebook does not do much good for anyone, especially once the urge to "assert your all-important views" becomes too strong.  And, when you tell the world that they can not disagree with your views, there is a problem.  Do yourself a huge favor and remove it immediately.  You do not need to be a part of a site that is destroying relationships and families daily.  

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Facebook's Herd Mentality: Regarding the Attacks on Paris



I, like many others, have noticed a type of "herd mentality" that exists on Facebook before the Paris attacks.  However, I write this post now as this herd mentality is extremely pronounced.

I do not need to say that the attacks on Paris were sickening to me.  I have been following and speaking out to people against ISIS for quite a while (mostly on deaf ears.  While others were busy posting about Kim Davis and the Clock Boy, I was baffled by why people were not saying anything about ISIS, focusing their lives on largely pointless issues.  Now that ISIS has attacked France, I am told that Facebook is awash in people's profile picture being changed to a French tricolor.  It is great that people are supporting the French people in this (but they need real support).  However, I can not help but wonder where this support was when other attacks happened, most notably the very recent airline crash that took place in Egypt.  Yet, the Egypt crash that killed over two hundred Russians was totally ignored by most on Facebook.  Why is this?

One user retorted:
"The French supported us during our 9/11 terrorist attack by hundreds standing around a us flag. This was a terrorist attack by the group we are at war with, and so those are the main two reasons I changed mine....plus facebook had it as an option on my timeline. I think it's great for everyone in Paris to get on and see all of the support of their flag standing everywhere, all over the world. We stand together through this."
I wonder, is this why we started calling French fries "freedom fries" after 9/11?  Yes, there was a lot of French hate in the media after 9/11, but many do not want to recall that now.  The truth is, that people on Facebook seem to act in tandem.  Facebook has a way of making people think as one big and sometimes dumb group.  Certain news stories get the spotlight (clock boy) and other bigger, more important stories (such as the attacks in Beirut) get ignored.  Conspiracy theories regarding Obama or Donald Trump are more important to many than anything that is going on in the world that tear lives and people apart.  

I do not want to seem unsympathetic to France or the French, and I hope that you do not think I am.  I think that there are better ways to show that you care about humanity or stand with those who have been attacked than changing your picture on Facebook.  Such an act of self-aggrandizing does nothing for the world at all.  In fact, you might as well just reach your hand around and pat yourself on the back for being so culturally aware on your profile before going off your all-important political views on Islam or sharing pictures of your latest meal.



One interesting tidbit about the France attacks was that, at first, it seemed that there was a lot of unity on Facebook.  Now, Facebook is full of arguments over what should be done regarding ISIS, refugees, and other points that armchair political strategists feel the need to debate behind their phones and computers.  You may have that tricolor as your Facebook image, but behind that glow, you are still wasting your time on one of the biggest time suckers in existence.  Facebook wants you to think that you are doing something in support of the terror that happened in France, but the truth is, if you were to log off Facebook and never show yourself on that site again, France (or the world) would not be any worse off.  If you want to show real support on the war against ISIS, start caring about every human, no matter where they are from, who are hurt by this vile organization.  Mourn not just for the French, but for all those who have died by the hands of these people.  Don't let Facebook tell you who you should be in solidarity with.  It's time you move away from the herd mentality that exists on Facebook and start thinking for yourself.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Using Facebook as a Weapon



Facebook is advertised as the chain that links people and societies together.  Mark Zuckerburg, Facebook's big cheese, claims that the website exists to "create a more connected world."  To me, Facebook (and other (a)social media) are websites that end up sucking people's time from their lives, leaving them with negative thoughts of jealousy, anger, sadness, and regret.  However, there is another sinister side to Facebook that I have not talked too much about.  It is an important aspect of Facebook that has caused great damage in many lives.  I have seen it firsthand in my own life.  It is using Facebook as a weapon.  Below I will discuss a few ways in which Facebook is used as a weapon.  I may have left something out.  If you see something that should be added, or if you want to share your own experiences, please leave a comment.

Unfriending People

Relationships and friends are vitally important to Facebook users.  (a)social media would not exist without all the online "connections" that exist between people.  Yet, sometimes people get angry at others, or do not agree with their views and, as a result, punish them.  This is most often done by unfriending the person.

Unfriending oftentimes is used to send a strong message to the other person.  It's a message that states that the person is angry at you and has acted on that anger.  It is a message that states that you did something wrong and that you should be sorry.  The wrong could be anything - minor or major.  It could be a differing political view, your religious views, or the fact that you said something wrong on Facebook (which is a real danger since many people have no personal filter when it comes to writing on Facebook).  It could be that that the person just does not like you.  It could be that the person wants to control you.  No matter what reason it is, if you are using Facebook as a form of punishment, you might want to think about the maturity of such an action.

I have unfriended people before when I was a Facebook user.  I tried to do it in a way that they would not notice it.  I do not like to hurt others.  There are legitimate reasons to remove a person as a friend on (a)social media.  For example, if you do not know that person well and there is no real relationship, you might as well move on.  However, even when fighting with a person over a personal view, should you remove them?  I think that when the friendship seems totally irreconcilable, then it's time to say goodbye.  Yet, the truth is, I see too many people unfriend a person to friend them a few days later and pretend nothing happened.  It ends up looking and feeling awkward.  It is a waste of time.

As a Facebook user, you are bound to be a part of the "friend and unfriend merry-go-round" that is part of the Facebook culture.  Historically it has never been normal to be exposed to every political view and every aspect of all of your friends and acquaintances lives.   Some stuff is made public on the internet that is really none of my business and I should have never known about a person.  And, I am sure that I said some things that were better kept between me and my family (or just to myself).  The truth is, we talk far too much on Facebook, and that talking gets us into serious trouble more often than not.

Liking One Person's Posts and Ignoring Another's

Some people use the like button as a weapon.  Some will like every post but yours or ignore your posts on purpose.  I have seen people that would like every one of another person's pictures.  Hundreds of pictures.  Almost each and every one.  Yet, this person rarely liked anything that another person that was related to her.  It caused some jealousy issues and made that other person feel left out.  This blatant favoritism can be used as a weapon to control another.  It is an issue that many deal with.  If you are dealing with this in your own life, could you please explain to me why you are on Facebook?

Trolling and Lying

Some people use Facebook as a means to troll others.  It is not yet as bad as Twitter, which is full of some of the the most vile comments on the internet, but many are trying to troll others on Facebook and some are devising some new ways to get at others as I write this.  While this is harder to do when people make private profiles, trolls do exist through various news stories and political posts.  Many people have created famous memes and images that have been used to troll the world into believing something that is completely fake.  And people mistake these outright lies for knowledge and they share it with others.  How sad.



Bragging to Make Others Feel Inferior

Bragging about life is another way in which Facebook is used as a weapon.  In the wake of the tragedy in France, a Facebook user told me that he was bragging about his great apartment that overlooked One World Trade Center, which was all lit up in the French tricolor.  This was said to be an attempt to outdo a relative who was sharing his sympathy about the attacks.  Seriously?  Many are on Facebook for the sole purpose of bragging about their careers, leisure time, lifestyles, educational attainments, money, etc.  Some will use any excuse to brag about their lives.  Many of these people do so to get at relatives/siblings, ex-girlfriends/boyfriends, spouses, friends, classmates, etc.  Wealth comes and goes.  We all live and die.  So why are you wasting your time on the internet instead of enjoying life?  If you are bragging about life and are glued to Facebook, you really have nothing at all to brag about.  Facebook addiction is not anything that should be envied, and instead of bragging about your life, you should come to this site and see why Facebook and (a)social media is toxic.

Why Do You Spend Time On Facebook?  Don't You Have Better Things to Do With Your Life?!

I have written a lot on this website about how I feel Facebook is a toxic pastime.  I have said over and over for the past few years how Facebook is a time eater that gives a person nothing back for the amount of time that is spent on the site.  Facebook may also be a tool to gather information from individual users, and a huge part of the world is willing to freely share their lives and personal information on the internet because they are addicted!!  You are giving your private data out to a company that has shown over and over again that it can not be trusted, yet many do not care.  Many do not care that they log off the site feeling depressed and self loathing.  Many do not seem to care that they go through each day feeling lethargic due to the comparisons that they have made with other people.  Many will place themselves on a website where they are exposed to constant bragging and political nonsense.  What is the gain?  Tell me that.  The main excuse I hear is that it "allows me to keep in touch with others."  Would the world be so horrible if you had to keep in touch with others through e-mail or via phone?  Would your life really be that awful if you did not have hundreds of connections through an (a)social media website?

How we spend our time is a choice.  I hope you make the right choice and spend your time in a positive, uplifting and productive way.  Being on Facebook is not a positive, uplifting or productive pastime.  Nobody has been able to tell me with a straight face that their time spent on their personal Facebook page has been productive.  You are wasting your time.  But, the good news is that you can leave at any time you wish!  You can end it all and enter into a more full life.  Now is the time for change.  It feels good to let go.  You will be tempted to return.  I won't deny that.  Even I have been tempted over and over again, and I have given in a lot.  Every time I am smacked alongside the head by something I read.  Every time I am baffled by the time I waste on the site.  Even if it is just fifteen minutes a day - it adds up.  Yet, it is rarely just fifteen minutes a day.  It's usually much, much more.  How much time are you serving on Facebook?  Are you a prisoner to (a)social media?  Then do yourself perhaps the biggest favor you have ever done in your life: Quit now.  Your life will be much better.  That's something I truly believe and that's why I am still writing on this website years after creating it.  Stay strong and don't give into the pressure to be on these websites.  Remember, it is your choice, it is your life.  Unconnect from (a)social media and reconnect with the world.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Holidays and Christmas on Facebook: Now is The Best Time to Leave


The holidays are approaching.  This is going to be a time for you to compare your life and your achievements with every acquaintance that you have known since middle school.  It’s also a good time to see where in the world it is snowing, as if it has never snowed before.  It is a time that many will spend ignoring others while pretending that they are having the best season of their lives.  Sadly, most are living a fantasy, viewing the world through Facebook-colored lenses.

About a decade ago, people were less likely to spend their holidays on their phones and on (a)social media, but times have changed.  Recently I pointed out how one in seven people log onto Facebook every day.  Chances are, when you are gathered around the Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner table, someone there is going to be on Facebook.  And, chances are, the dinner will be lit up by the flash of cameras taking pictures to share the feast on Instagram and Facebook.  Will you be tweeting about the gravy?  Will you share with the world just how moist your Butterball Turkey was?  How quickly will you upload those pictures?  Will it be during the prayer, or do you have the self control to wait until someone is passing you the corn? 

THIS IS THE BEST TIME TO GET OFF FACEBOOK 

The holidays are the BEST TIME of year to get rid of Facebook.  You might consider focusing on enjoying the time with family and friends and trying to move away from consumerism and trying to compare yourself with others during this festive period.  Why spend your time inundated with thoughts about not being good enough as others or wanting to prove yourself on the internet?  Why waste your time being thrusted into political debates or hearing about news that only brings you down and makes you feel miserable.  It’s great that uncle Tommy is a born again armchair vegan or that your sister’s boyfriends father is the CEO of a company that sells pirated DVDs.  And how many times do you really need to feel special about reading words upside down and backwards?  We get it, only one in ten people have that skill… and they are all on Facebook!

When your family asks you why you are not taking pictures of the wishbone this year, tell them that you are taking a break from Facebook.  Tell them that you are not updating Twitter.  Tell them that Instagram is off your radar for a while.  Let the family know that you are celebrating the holidays with your children and family, not with the guy who you met at Chuck E Cheese, who somehow contacted you and added you on Facebook.  Tell them that you would rather have a quiet Christmas like you remember it being years ago.  Let your loved ones know that Christmas is a time for family, for giving thanks, and NOT for Facebook.  Tell them that you are on vacation from (a)social media, and let them know that you may never be back.  

YOU ARE NOT MISSING OUT ON A THING!

You are truly not missing out.  If anything, everyone who is not enjoying the moment, but rather, living for Facebook, are the ones who are going to miss the special time of year that is approaching.  Those who are dying for the moment when they can upload thirty pictures of the tanembaum are the ones missing out.  Instead of taking a bazillion pictures for Facebook, in the hopes that they get noticed, take the pictures to show your children and to look back on yourselfThis time of year is for you and your family, not for your Pridebook.  


How are you spending the next couple of holidays?  Glued to Facebook, or with your family and friends?  Now is a great time to quit Facebook.