Social Media Care

I remember when I started using social media, many years ago (in fact, 10 years ago), it was a place of excitement. It was new for everyone, it was filled with normal folk, as advertisers hadn’t really jumped on the bandwagon yet. Social media became a place of freedom of expression. Unfortunately, for a lot of people, this isn’t the case anymore. No matter what you express, it feels like there are always people about to try and pick holes in what you say. Like, I try to be kind and advice-like when I write, but people like to jump on what I say to be all ’that isn’t how it is to me, so you are lying’. And these people are usually anonymous profiles who seem to spend all their time hating other people.

It is important to look after yourself in an atmosphere that can be so destructive. So, I thought up I few things that I use, when social media gets to me.

1) Block button. Every social media site has the ability to mute or block certain users. This is good. You might have a friend who is posting annoying rubbish for a TV show you hate, you can mute them for a while. This means, you are still following them, but you don’t see their content for a while. Blocking means that the person is unfollowed, can’t see what you post or anything on your profile. This is a good way to cut out people who may be harassing you.

2)Take time out. Go for a day or so without social media. I usually simply put my phone on airplane mode for a few hours, like when I am studying, so that I can focus without the constant pinging of my phone. If that isn’t enough, and you want a few days away from the distraction of your Facebook timeline, delete the app from your most used device. A lot of the time, we check social media constantly because it always seems to be there. And it not being there, can free up a lot of time.

3)Don’t read bad comments. Sometimes, you could post a picture of an apple on Instagram, and it would attract bad comments. If you see this happening, try not to feel down. These people seem to get some kind of thrill of bringing people down. You can disable comments on many social media services, as well as make it so only your friends can comment. You will find that people are a lot less confrontational if they know you, or have to share their identity.

4) Just laugh. Try not to take social media too seriously. A lot of the content that you will be shown on sites like Facebook and Twitter are there to get a reaction. So they will either be content you agree with, or content you massively disagree with. For example, I would say I am ’left-leaning’ when it comes to politics, so the stuff I get shown is either supporting that stance, or is wildly opposing those views. So, try not to take everything as gospel, and just laugh when people do. It also can defuse a situation building up within yourself, as laughter does make you feel better.

5) Be kind to yourself. If you find anything on social media to be causing any kind of negative reaction to yourself, then step away. You are the only you there is, so it’s important you look after yourself. If there is too much BS happening, then go and read a book, play a computer game or whatever social media is distracting you from.

You can be selective over what you show on social media, and it’s important to remember that. Because everyone else is too. A lot of people show part of themselves, whether it be a nice or a nasty side. So if someone attacks you, then remember it is just what they think they see, it’s not actually you.

Can’t do without

I am always saying that I use the internet way too much. But on thinking on it, I don’t just search stuff, I use specific sites and services. And the sad thing is, that I rarely travel out with those services. So, I thought I would share the stuff I use most, and why.

YouTube I watch more content on here, than I do on any other service. I watch videos in areas that I am interested in, which are usually related to retro gaming, book reviews, Japan, news or just general geekery. I look for a topic I like, and watch any videos that come up. If I like people I subscribe. Every so often, I will go through every video a channel has made, just for fun, and it absorbs hours of my

Twitter I use Twitter all the time, which is not as much as I used to. Twitter has become a place for breaking news, but it’s a swing and a miss, as there is ALWAYS fake information circulating. Twitter is where I rant if I am stuck in traffic or had a bad day, I let of some steam. It can be a great place for customer services, a lot of companies these days have someone manning a company twitter profile, and will try to help. If I am feeling anxious, twitter can be an easy way for me to get help or advice, just use the right hashtags, and the internet is great. Just remember and don’t feed the trolls.

Facebook 🙄This is probably one of the most problematic sites on the internet. Mostly because some people go on it without having any kind of brain engagement. It’s good for articles, sometimes, the non-fake, click bait ones. The main reason I use Facebook is because of Messenger. Most of the people I know are within reach on Messenger, so that gets used, a lot. So it’s good for connecting with friends, which I think is what Mr Zuckerberg wanted when he started the site.

Instagram I like pictures. I like taking them and I like looking at them. And Instagram is one of the most popular photo sharing sites in the world. It’s a great way to find artistic inspiration, which is something I am ALWAYS in need of. Never been into the trendy make-up and stuff, which are hugely popular on the site. But, there are things for everyone on there, and there are communities which are great for help, like anxiety and weightloss help.

Goodreads I like books, always have done. And this site is great for keeping track on what you read, and giving yourself personal goals. Something I am not very good at. It is another service with a great community. If there is a particular book genre you like, join a group and get loads of new recommendations and even make new friends. A lot of authors also reach out to readers over Goodreads, which is great.

I decided to shorten my list to 5, as I really could go on for a bit. Other services include WordPress, Amazon, Xbox Live, Netflix, Crunchyroll, Spotify and livejournal. I could waste my whole life on these sites, but it wouldn’t feel like a waste. The internet allows me to view content I want, and that is a great thing.

Disconnection Notice

It has recently been made abundantly clear that my, once passionate, love affair with the internet is going through a rough patch. I am becoming frequently frustrated to the point of putting my phone’s internet off, so that people can call me if they need me, but I don’t get interrupted by the constant Facebook and Twitter updates.

Yes, I am at that stage where I am avoiding the other party of the ‘relationship’. Normally in that situation, you would change how you walk to work, or try and hang out with different people. Try and create some space between yourself and the other person. However, when your relationship is with such a thing as the internet, it isn’t that easy. Actually, it becomes so overly dramatic that a relationship with a real person would have probably been easier to deal with.

I mean, everyone has been in ‘that’ relationship, where despite loving that person, everything they do winds you up the wrong way. Where you just want smack them on the head, and you can’t really tell them why. So, you try and put some space between you both. However, saying you ‘have a sore head’ doesn’t stop the internet. It is everywhere. Everything from restaurants to tampon companies have their own twitter handles. If you liked one craft page 2 years ago on Facebook, the site recommends events near you every 2-3 days. Sometimes I feel smothered.

But that’s not even the worst bit. When I was at my lowest point, the internet came to the rescue. It showed me that I was not alone in feeling so rejected all the time, that I could voice how I feel, and all seemed awesome. But, obviously, fairy tales don’t actually exist, and reality happened. When I say reality, I mean people who like to spread hatred from behind vague avatars. This was a nasty streak in the internet that I never foresaw. It wouldn’t happen to me, we are so happy together. But it did.

Now, a person’s nasty streak is easy to deal with. You can utter sarky retorts to their insults, or you just walk away. Yes, what they say hurt may leave a mark, but you can leave that one person. The internet isn’t a singularity, so dealing with any negativity from it, is a bit harder. If someone has taken to ‘troll’ something you have created, it normally isn’t just one person. And you also may find these trolls are a bit braver than what they would be in the real world, which means more cutting comments. I did what any sane person would do, I decided I needed time apart from the internet. I stopped going onto forums and writing blogs as often, as these places are where the negativity came from. Good? Kind of. When I did log on, I saw a lot of hate and the spread of intolerance. This is not the internet I had loved and used so heavily.

Who are you these days, dear internet? You are no longer the place that I go when things get to stressful. After allowing me to feel free, after so long hating who I am, you are now lampooning me for being that same person. A normal person would at least be able to explain their actions. And, as an adult, I wouldn’t need to rely on a person for EVERYTHING. My job exists because of the internet. I get my music and TV over the internet. I contact friends around the world on the internet.

Maybe I just need to change my relationship with the internet? Or maybe get in a relationship with a real life actual person?

Or not.


Social Media Bore?

In world where there appears to be a need to constantly stream our lives over social networks, it is a struggle to find meaning in ones life. Taking photos of coffees, dinners and things the world, outside our own heads, don’t really care about. We then publish these photos as if they are important snippets of who we are as people.

Our social media selves are a very different person to our real selves. For example, I don’t drink half as much coffee as my Instagram would have you believe. I am also not as confrontational or witty as I am on twitter. I work, I sleep, I eat too much, I watch Netflix. That is me in a nutshell. But even that is a lie. Yes I do all of those things, but it is not who I am. Or is it?

There are various schools of thought which suggests that a person is more honest to themselves when they can speak freely. Which is a basic idea of social media. Or should I say, ‘ideal’? There is a bullying presence across social media, as people grab on to numerous aliases to anonymously berate people they disagree with. This produces a fear of being honest and true, because when someone turns against you, it can be harsh.

So people can hold back. I know I do. I post things that will start no conflict, purely so that I can feel like I can share, without sharing. So the ‘Starbucks Instagram’ happens rather than posting art work or writings that are personal. Because if someone berates my coffee pic, who cares, it’s just coffee. But if someone berates something I have worked on to create, I take it personal. Particularly when those who are critical try so hard to be personally offensive.

So, I guess, people post boring because they may get their need to update ‘the world’, without exposing themselves too much. But again, that may be only my take.

Check Your Sources

In a world where news is dominated by what is on the news overview onGoogleand the trending topics on Twitter, it is becoming harder for more traditional news outlets to remain relevant. Do people have to pay for what they want, or is free news part of a person’s rights?

I have just watched Page One: Inside The New York Times, which as someone with an interest in media and it’s progression, was something that I have been meaning to watch since it came out last year. It shows a ‘behind-the-scenes’ look at one of the world’s most established and popular Newspapers. It was not what I expected. It showed that the Journalistic giant had made mistakes, and that it was struggling in the world of modern day media. But for a printed paper, created in 1851, the fact that this publication can still sell over 2,000,000 copies in a day, is phenomenal, no matter how you look at it.

The one thing that was highlighted in the documentary, was how the drop in advertising revenue, and the reader’s want to get free news, was damaging the paper. It is said, that papers who print, lose money with every copy of a paper that they publish, as the cost of the paper needs to be affordable, for people to buy it on a daily basis. In the past, this loss was covered by the money that advertisers paid to be included in publications. As the Internet has become stronger over the last 10-15 years, companies began to start up their own websites for promotion, which was cheaper and began to lean less and less on the traditional printed media. In a world, where profit margins are becoming thinner and thinner, you can see why companies would follow the path of self-promotion.

This caused a problem for newspapers, like the New York Times, which found that their main source of revenue was disappearing. It meant that changes needed to happen, and the paper and it’s journalists would need to be more interactive with it’s audience to try and stay relevant. This involved an introduction of a website where journalists could record corresponding videos with their articles. Readers were invited to comment, and share their views, and the company began to catch up with it’s competitors in other media, such as TV. This way of publishing stories helps newspapers get a broader, even worldwide audience. Whilst this seems like a more affordable way to spread the news, but there was still a big gap in revenue, due to advertising loss. This is where the site installed a ‘paywall’, which would ask heavy users to pay a fee to continue using the site. This model has proved very successful for many online services. And has helped plug the gap in revenues, created by the drop of advertising.

And that is what a lot of people have a problem with. Why pay for something when you can Google the news for free. Google is a site, which like the way newspapers used to operate, is funded mostly by advertising revenue. The issue with advertising revenue, is it gives the reader the belief that they are viewing something that is free. Accept, it isn’t really free. Google gets paid by how many people use the service, as advertisers will pay accordingly to feature under certain searches. When up to the ‘top 10’ of results you get on google, have paid for that high ranking, you begin look further into what you’re using. That every click that you make on a google site, is collated and sold to marketing companies. You then begin to wonder, are sites like Google really free?

Another problem with the internet, is that the source is not as important as it used to be. You search for a news topic online, and will click on the one with the snappiest headline. More often than not, the photos and story may come from a single source, a source which be mentioned somewhere at the bottom of the article, if you’re lucky. And this mixed nature of ‘search engine news’, means that all sources and all work just becomes a big muddle. Where as in print, you can sometimes say, ‘I’ll read the Daily Star, because I want to read nonsense’. Or the Independent for more serious news. That definition between different publications isn’t so relevant when you Google search, and just pick one out of hundreds of results. It’s like written journalism is losing its definition.

Where this causes a problem, that whilst the bigger publications like the New York Times and The Independent can sent journalists to specific areas to cover important stories, smaller, less serious publications can’t. This means, that you can get ‘piggy-back reporting’, where smaller outlets will rehash another publications story. They report news and events, without any first hand coverage. This leads to second hand stories, which can lead to inconclusive reports and no checked sources. The only way that true, first rate articles can continue to be published, is if people start to pay attention and pay for what they read.

Because when all the newspapers go under, a loss in advertising for Google, could send them down the pay route that News outlets are currently used for. Nothing in life is free, especially not the Internet.

So check your sources, and help them, or they will stop being reliable.

Twitter App Ban?

So, after spending all day, trying to get UberTwitter (a third-party Twitter app, for Blackberry) to work. I got home, connected my phone to my WiFi, to a message saying UberTwitter has been suspended for breaking policies, or something. UberTwitter was the most popular Twitter client for Blackberry mobile devices, eclipsing Twitter’s very own official application.

Twitter say that UberMedia(owner of UberTwitter, Twidroyd and just recently TweetDeck) broke various terms of service, and are now suspended. The accusations are using unauthorised trademarks (Twitter in the name of a product), changing details within messages (this has not been made too public, but appears to be related to changing links or something) and a site used to post longer tweets ( posts private tweets publicly. Now whilst this looks serious, you also wonder, why was the service suspended before UberMedia had a chance to do anything?

When my phone is operational (ahem O2), I am a very heavy ‘tweeter’ from my phone. I did initially try the official Twitter app, but found it very slow and non-working, so switched to UberTwitter, which was so much faster and easier to use. Now, when the service was suspended only two tweets appeared on Ubertwitter, and both where @support. One advised me that UberTwitter was suspended, the other was trying to get me to download the official Twitter app for Blackberry.

This, to me, seemed a little suspicious. Almost as if the suspension of UberTwitter was tactical, to push more people onto the official services. Within 12 hours of the suspension, UberMedia announced that UberTwitter was coming back as UberSocial, and that it just needed approval from the BB app store. So it looks as if things will return to normality soon.

It is thought that as many as 25% of tweets are sent through UberMedia’s applications, which makes it a hefty risk taking them off. You could end up leaving users disappointed, and they will leave Twitter completely. Or you could push them onto another third-party service, such as OpenBeak.

People are saying that this is another indication of the impending pop of the current internet ‘bubble’. With Twitter recently being a considered by both Google and Facebook owners for a rumoured $10 billion, people started to get worried. Many business and technology watchers find this evaluation of the micro-blogging site to be a little ‘steep’. And the over enthusiastic pricing, could be a sign that the internet is about to go down the toilet. Whether that happens or not, the big issue is that if Twitter are interested of getting a high price for the service, then they need to control where they lose money. Much like any business, you find where you are not maximizing profit. and you fix it. Here, Twitter was losing out on millions of dollars because another company was acting as a ‘messenger’ between twitter and the customer (end product). So twitter, revoke the licenses for the biggest ‘messenger’ service, to try to get people to use their own, in-house ‘messenger’.

It seems a little confusing, but I can see why the staff at Twitter would be forced to try to stop these companies profiting from their losses. After all, you will not get the highest price if your business plan (and profit) isn’t watertight.

It doesn’t take much looking on the internet to see what people’s opinions are of Twitter since the UberMedia issue. And it looks very negatively in the light of Twitter. Most of the thoughts are, that if Twitter had better applications of its own, and proper support for them, then they wouldn’t need to ban anything. Maybe Twitter should work on what it has, rather than attacking those who essentially bring business to their site.


Twitter Unbalanced?

I use twitter A LOT!

It is a place I joined to get to know friends from other sites more. Which is something the site has done so well. It was mostly people from The Leaky Cauldron, Youtube and various Good Charlotte sites. Actually, mostly the Good Charlotte sites, as the GCfam are just brilliant. And twitter has brought me closer to them, and to the band themselves.

But recently I have noticed a few strange going-ons. First is people using the site to advertise themselves for work, and don’t make any personal statements or anything. And I just miss the point of that. You use the site to get to know people, even if it is purely those in the same industry as you, but simply retweeting people does not use the site to it’s capabilities.

The second thing, its fanbases trying to beat each other. Mostly its Lady Gaga Vs Justin Beibers (or Monsters Vs Beliebers), and they try to knock each off the trending topic lists. :S Again, most of it is spam, and doesn’t do anything bar get on peoples nerves. In fact, coincidentally, both acts are becoming very close to over-saturating the market. That is basically getting to the point where instead of making new fans, you annoy people and get less fans. It is the golden rule of advertising, don’t over-do it. And the fans don’t realise that they could be negatively effecting their idol’s sales.

But, twitter is a tool. And the reported interest 0f Google, to purchase the service for as much as $10 million. Watchers say that this inflated price could be the sign of another internet bubble about to go POP. The reason they say this is because they struggle to validate the site being worth that kind of money, especially when advertising and promotion have only been launched recently.

I guess time will tell with twitter. I love it, so as long as it still works, I don’t mind, really. Just don’t change it too much.

Social Media Expert?

What is it that makes someone an expert at social networking?

It’s a thing that seems to be bounced around by an awful lot of people. They have Twitter and Facebook and think that constitutes them being an expert in all things social media. Well, just because you post 50 tweets since you started on twitter 2 years ago, doesn’t make you any sort of expert.

The thing is, businesses are starting to realise that social media is a perfect was to tout for business for free. Which is great, but if they put it in the wrong hands, it can do more harm than good. Spamming on Facebook may get you followers, but does it really get you more business?

I don’t think it does. If you spread yourself amongst various networks, and employ them well, they can all become interconnected. You can show all different aspects of blog posts, video posts, favourite pieces of the internet and more. By showing likes and dislikes, you can show some kind of personality to a business. Like I mentioned before on the blog about websites, not too long ago, if a business has personality, people are more likely to form an attachment with it.

So the more you employ various social networks to talk to other users, and show who YOU are, people will like what you say, and maybe give you business. But it is called SOCIAL network, doing ‘follow4follow’ is not being social and getting to know people. Social networking is about making friends and getting to know people. People become friends because they like where you’re coming from.

Maybe its just me. I have spent a lot of time learning to use networks such as Myspace, Last.FM, Bebo, Hi5, Flickr, DailyBooth, Twitter, Youtube, Livejournal, Tumblr and more. This is something that I do because I enjoy it. I love the idea of being able to get to know people all over the world. I don’t go on twitter because some I was told to as a designer to get work, it was something I used to as a way to get to know people I spoke to on other sites.

Maybe it’s because I do value websites I use as the people I know through these sites mean a lot to me. It always kind of bothers me, that businesses just use it for promotion. They don’t use the sites correctly, in my view, show no personality and don’t interact with people.

If you are a ‘master of social networking’, I believe that you should show the sites and its users with respect and love. It sounds stupid, but people can pick up when you love something, and if you a enjoy using a service, it will be picked up on by any potential client. If you don’t show care for a FREE website you have an account on, what’s saying that you’ll show care on any paid projects.

Blog sites are no.1

As a run-on from yesterday, I am still thinking about why I love the internet so much.
I mean, yesterday I ranted about how the internet is blamed for bad parenting. But as I said I use the internet mostly for blogging, so it has ended up being an important source of self-expression for me. Although I do have a lot of friends i know purely on line, a lot of them were made through sites like LiveJournal, which I feel has the best online community of all other blogging sites.

Although sites like Facebook are designed to help you socialise with people online, I think that it is ultimately fairly shallow in that it is very hard to judge someone based on their Facebook profile. I mean other than a few blurbs about them, and random comments, you can’t actually tell how that person things. So on blogging sites, you naturally write a lot, and this really shows at least some of your behaviours and attitudes. And, call me self-centered, but that’s what I think all these personal websites are there for, so that you can easily create your own little piece of the internet. And facebook doesn’t really allow that, as there is no way to even express yourself through the colour of your profile, I mean even Bebo had that.

So in my opinion my blogs come above any other site, because I like to feel that someone can accurately see who I am and what kind of person I am. And you know that if you make friends on these sites, you know it is because they agree with what you say or you talk about the same interests.

Tumblr is a tricky one. I like it and all, but I can’t help but think it is mostly kids slagging each other off publicly. All that tacky ‘drama’ should be kept on Facebook. But in essence, I think that’s what Tumblr is trying to be, a bit like a blog site, a bit like Facebook, and a bit like Twitter. It hasn’t decided what it wants to be just yet.

It’s Suesday

Still oh so very hyper.

I woke up his morning to loads of comments from twitter, people were trying to wake me up. Now, this was at about 5am, and if you know me, you know that time of the morning is a no-go area for me. Well I logged on to see that both Benji and Joel had tweeted about my thank-you thread I started on the Good Charlotte website. Now this  contained a video of  me crying like a child, because I was having an ’emo’ day, and wanted to thank the band. 

I sat staring at the apple mac screen in awe. I had no idea this had happened. And overnight, the views for my video went from 106 to way over 300.



Check this out. Pretty F-in cool.

  aww sweetes thing ever #GCFAM RULES
That’s right, my hero, Benji Madden called the thread and video I made, the sweetest thing ever. *squee* Now, I know that this is supposed to be a creative/ college blog, but I felt that because this is SUCH a big deal to me, I thought I’d share. I mean, I need to show my personality through my blogs, and this is a part of my crazy side.
And I say that as if I have a normal side 😛