October 31st 2021, Sunday 7:21am
I’m not spending that much time on WordPress. I know it and I can see the repercussions of that decision pretty easily.
The thing about the internet is – just like life – where you focus your time, is where your connections and interactions will grow. It really is that simple.
I’ve said this before and I will keep saying it for people who are “internet-hesitant” (yes, there are still people who are weary of this amazing technology), the internet is like a big city with interesting and diverse neighborhoods all around. Depending on which neighborhood you decide to go to, you will run into all different sorts of establishments. Some good, some bad. Most have heard of a “club” called FACEBOOK and an “art gallery” named INSTAGRAM and if you haven’t ventured there once or twice, you’ve at least heard about them, right?
The thing about these “clubs” – is everyone is allowed to go into the establishment and grab a table. Once you’ve filled out your paperwork (profile), the table is now yours. It’s sometimes called a “page”. At your table, people will come by and chit chat or post their pictures and updates for the day – and that is generally referred to as a “newsfeed”. Either way, the more time you spend at these clubs, the more they want you to stay – and unfortunately, some of these establishments, just like the good ‘ole gangster days and in the movies, some of these clubs or “joints” are not so good for you. Why or how? Well, they try to manipulate you and do various things that are unhealthy to keep you coming back to their establishment. They want you to take up permanent residence in their club. Imagine going to Las Vegas for example and being given an unlimited amount of chips to play the slots, but being told you can only use these at this one casino… when you hear the word “algorithm” this is the kind of thing they’re talking about. Using a formula to keep you coming back daily and keeping you in the building for a longer and longer time.
But let me be clear, all places in the internet – all the clubs, do this in one way shape or form.
In a lot of ways, it’s how we live our every day lives as well – except, we can usually see fraud a little easier in real life. For example, if I go to a butcher in the grocery store and ask for four chicken legs and he instead tries to sell me steak – we will push back and tell him we’re actually making a meal tonight that requires chicken. Generally, the butcher is just trying to get you to buy his more expensive steaks, right? But think about it this way – if he says he’ll go in back and cut up those chicken legs for you and you say you’ll go get some milk and be right back – imagine if the entire way to the dairy isle, all you heard from people in the grocery store, all the advertisement along way, was “…what an amazing meal steak would be for dinner tonight”. Then when you got the dairy isle, someone grabbed for the same milk you wanted and started chatting with you about… wait for it…. steak! And it’s not just someone – it is someone who is good-looking, charming, and very persuasive… you start to walk back to the butcher and somehow you know that actually what you wanted all along was to make a steak dish after-all…. By the way, the butcher doesn’t even need to hear you say a word about changing your mind at this point, he’s already wrapped your steak and is sending you on your way to buy all the new ingredients you need for your new dinner entre tonight. Walla! You’ve been convinced, manipulated and they got you to change your mind. Yup.. that’s how it works. Don’t feel bad though, the internet is new to us so it has happened to all of us at one point or another.
I know, I know, it’s an extreme and maybe a little absurd as an example. But is it? It’s not really off the mark actually. These places we visit online – especially like facebook – are doing this in principle. That’s what this whistleblower thing was about these past couple of weeks. She was explaining how people are being manipulated and to what extent. Fascinating and yes, scary for sure… but you have more power than you realize!
What people don’t understand is that so many things we do on the internet are the same things we do in “real” life (IRL = In Real Life). The verbiage has changed but it’s all the same – for example, “influencers” have been around forever. Do you know what they used to be called? Yes, that’s right a “spokesperson”. Exactly. The qualification to be a spokesperson/influencer hasn’t really changed that much at all. Do you have the power to make people buy this product? It might be based more on how many people follow YOU, but the principle is the same – can you SELL this product? Period.
So, don’t fear the verbiage. Fact is, you know more about the internet world than you realize. You’re just not using your fabulous skills while on it. Make that change today please!
So, I don’t hang out on Facebook or Instagram that much any more. I still have my tables there, but I don’t hang out there any more. As far as WordPress is concerned, I see it more as a classy Lounge. I come here and look at art, sit in my booth and enjoy the room. I don’t necessarily interact as much anymore, but I always look at other people’s art and if I can, I try to always leave a little piece of my own work as to not lose my cred or my booth. I do enjoy it here so much. I just haven’t done a great job lately of making myself known when I’m reading your latest post and such. I come here to relax… There’s so much good writing on WordPress – well, at least most of the folk I follow and most days, I just take it in, after a long day…
So, where have I been hanging out lately? Well, a little way across town at a new establishment called Happs. This place took a little getting used to – and honestly, I’m not sure how long I’ll stay but I do love that it’s not overwhelmed yet and that you can do so many different things. Basically, it’s a place where anyone can go in and create their own live streaming show. So, let’s say I wanted to talk about sports, I could just “Go Live” and talk about the current state of the Astros losing to the Braves 3-1. Yesterday, I did a little interview with a regular broadcaster, Tony D and we talked about some of the negatives that had occurred on the app that week. You can check out that broadcast by clicking on here – Tony D Interview on Happs.
Happs, like any other social media app, has its good points and its bad points. But so far, I’ve enjoyed meeting people from all over the world and love the idea of having a regular show – I’m hoping to do it on Wednesdays at 9am (PST) time. Here’s the cool thing about Happs – if you can’t catch the show LIVE, you can always watch the REPLAY at your own convenience! Another good thing about how HAPPS works – you don’t need to schedule a show. Some people just “Go Live” to hang out in the neighborhood and wait for people to show up and then bring them onto their broadcast to chit chat about anything and everything! So much fun! It’s like hanging out old school in the neighborhood – like back in the day. And if you don’t want to broadcast, you can still interact with it’s live chat or just watch… it really can be so much fun!
Look, the internet is a GRAND place. But it is just another part of THIS world. Treat it as such. It has great beautiful places, and it has bad spaces and neighborhoods too. Be careful where you tread. But be not afraid! And do not allow yourself to be manipulated either.
Thanks for stopping by!