Rednecks

I keep sabotaging my own following stats: it’s ridiculous, if you happen to be the person online thinking that 10k followers suddenly makes you ‘all that’ the LAST THING you wanna do is be picking out the robots. They’re the ones who don’t start petty spats with you, or make sock accounts to taunt your stupidity in unfollowing them. Except, as the idea of being a digital curator becomes increasingly attractive, it has to be done.

What this process also does is hold up to the light those who are following these type of accounts, and whether they themselves are as real as bios and postings would suggest. Of the people following the account I think’s a robot, three I’ve interacted with. The fourth is also posting very much on US time, and therefore I really never get to see them. However, their feed is muted, and so today I unfollowed.

The reason why I muted them is one of the reasons why stuff has to change.

thatsit

It is abundantly apparent that for more and more people, Twitter’s just an adjunct of their promotional material. That’s not why I’m here: it’s a living, breathing writing tool, that is increasingly useful to plug into. That means being able to rely on interaction, and when you’re talking to robots? The responses are not nearly as organic as I’d like. Therefore, it’s time to start being objective over who’s listening.

It will undoubtedly mean that I’ll kop some abuse. That’s not a problem. If I am not confident in my assertions, they don’t get shared online, simple as that. In the Kingdom of Dick Moves, being a dick now and again is clearly more than acceptable behaviour for some, right up until someone else calls out your stupid and you need to justify your actions. I have no problem being comfortable, pointing a finger.

If people were really forced to earn each and every new follower on merit…

dominate

It’s a twat eat dick world out here, people. I can be objective, polite and really not give a fuck, all at the same time. Those who know me well understand this is a massive lie to boot and I do care, very deeply about everything. However, when all is said and done, you have rules by which to live. If you cannot be true to yourself, really, what is even the point in the first place?

You can call me arrogant and pushy, but it doesn’t stop my quiet, unswerving desire to make the spaces I inhabit better for everybody, not just the mouthy dicks who think they’re all that. If you have nothing to hide, being transparent is a really easy ask. That’s the key: if you’re comfortable and confident with what needs to be done, some random gomer should never derail you from the path.

Once the robots start posting bios, then we really are all in trouble.

The Real Thing

Star Wars, despite its title, is not an accurate depiction of the battles between the Rebel Alliance and the Imperial Empire. They are undoubtedly cyphers around the underlying  narratives of love, devotion and loyalty. I also reckon George Lucas is a Lover, and not a Fighter as a result. I know there’s been a lot of muttering about The Mandalorian, many of them based around the concept being too much western and not enough sci-fi.

This is the first time I’ve seen at least that someone’s pulled the military tactician card. Of course, they’re applying 21st Century Tactical Ability to a show that’s… you know, set in space, where doing the exact opposite of what happens on Earth could easily be considered as military genius. The fact someone’s applying their labels to this approach is increasingly where we are in fiction: this is the state of play.

Communication is becoming a Problem.

I wonder, is this statement is blanket, or does it depend on the person speaking. I don’t have any more context, just this one line, which I feel needs a bit more meat on its bones, but frankly at this stage I’d feel genuinely afraid to approach the author. If we were in the same room, face to face, that would not be the case. Instead, as this is Social media and I am not a mutual, it remains a retweet and no more.

The means by which I am able to learn about diversity right now is dependant on quite a strict set of rules as a result: mostly, I listen. I am often afraid that what is said and done could not be interpreted as the support I’m trying to show but in fact the exact opposite. I’ll look superior, or act as if that’s how things ought to be, and that’s why quantifying a lot of queries right now is becoming something of a worry.

How do you ask questions you never had until now without looking like an idiot?

A lot of it, of course, comes with time and patience. If I’d have waited and watched, this tweet would have appeared and given me context. Following this person, listening to their tweets should, in time, give a decent grasp of what it is they’re attempting to communicate. The biggest single issue with so many of us right now is not taking those vital moments to stop and think. The author, I’d say, is worth following too, if he was prepared to offer what was required for better comprehension.

The reality of life right now is that doing this, thinking through what we see and read becomes increasingly difficult on top of everything else being asked. Someone I really like unfollowed me overnight, and I’m fairly confident that my output over the last few weeks will have been the reason. It’s been political, controversial for some. I could ask for the real reason, it would be really easy.

However, I’m not sure I will end up liking what’s heard as a result.

I did that once. A person I really enjoyed reading, and interacting with, cut me off so suddenly that I had to ask why. That email is kept, printed out, as a salutary warning: sometimes, your heroes are the villains. The people who play a certain role because it keeps people interested are, in reality, nothing like what you wish they were. They end up knowing that what you are is not what they want in their lives.

Trying to work out the reason for that is pointless: it goes back to that word, ‘tolerance.’ Eventually they grasp that perhaps you don’t belong in their feed: too preachy, not fun enough, don’t get the point of the way they use their platform… because it is their platform. They are the main point of it. Everybody else is there because they allow them to be. Is it pedantry, or is it arrogance? Is there even a difference online?

It doesn’t matter. All that matters, in the end, is how it is said.

kindness

I read something yesterday that was amazed at how those who advocate kindness can then be so angry and combative when challenging other’s opinions. Passion, I realise, is not a good emotion to try and demonstrate in a text-based medium. Undoubtedly, people just look at you and decide you’re angry instead. So, if you want to communicate better in the modern world..? Learn how to make your points in 280 characters or fewer… 

Before you reply, consider the consequences of your words. Pedantry is becoming an art form. Everybody’s looking for that unique angle, when what really ought to happen is honesty. You can do it without starting a fight, if it’s done well, with thought and application. Most importantly, you can be kind and still make your point. It just takes more thought than many people can afford to spare online.

That’s what I need to work on going forward.

New Horizons

When the Labour Party imploded before Christmas, a lot more people should have been surprised. I can remember the rhetoric on Social media when Corbyn was elected leader, that nobody in their right mind would ever trust him as Prime Minister. Of course, that’s no help now, in the darkest days of the Planet, and what is required is someone who can make ordinary people feel as if they truly do have a voice in the void.

If the future entailed voting on someone based solely on the strength of one video, this is pretty compelling stuff. However, as is about to become news once again, The Truth is no longer as black and white as was the case back when there were only four TV channels. Archive footage is irrelevant when placed beside memes and infobursts. Our future is ignoring the memories of old people, because they voted for Brexit.

What matters more than testimonial videos is what That Bloke on Facebook posted an hour ago. Although I may have abandoned the platform some time ago, my husband still sits and watches comedy videos and uses it for Hockey and Cycling groups. I’m fairly confident he’s not being manipulated in any way by fake news, but until he feels physically compelled to leave? Houston, we have a FUCKING HUGE PROBLEM.

That’s not the only issue: no other service is as badly regulated, is as casually used and abused, or easily accessible. Businesses demand employees use it, companies won’t promote themselves anywhere else. It plays on the most basic human need for connection, exploits it mercilessly, and then uses those connections TO SELL SHIT TO YOU. Most people don’t even care, but they won’t be the first to leave.

It is humanity’s inherent laziness that allows this platform to thrive.

I’m still using Instagram, it should be stated for the record, 100% in a promotional capacity. That’s only happening because it is free. However, there was a period before the writing career took precedence that Facebook was considered as a platform. I looked at ads. It scared the life out of me: how much money was needed, where the reach went, how the company pretty much demanded total immersion before anything became worthwhile… and I found myself, not for the first time, considering addiction.

This year is the one I’ve made a conscious decision to stop using Social media as a crutch. Online time is strictly limited on my phone. As this is the last day of the school holidays the tablet by the bed will be removed and left down here so there’s none of that either before sleep or when I wake up. The differences it’s making not only to sleep time but mental awareness is already obvious. Yes, you are addicted to Social media.

Addiction however is acceptable when everybody else is too.

None of this is relevant to anyone else, of course, because they aren’t addicted. It’s just a place to hang out with mates, or watch funny shit your cousin posted. Except there is increasing proof that repeated exposure to bad shit can alter good people. It’s how teens get radicalised, adults become utter morons and Chinese manufacturers convince you that purchasing their cheap generic knockoff is a better bet.

Once you can see through the lies, life becomes easier to rationalise, but no less painful to navigate, because unless EVERYBODY ELSE stops being dependant on the platforms, nothing changes… and eventually, unless we all regress back to a pre-electricity dependant state, someone else will come along and do the exact same thing. The only way life changes now is if EVERYTHING changes, and the chances of that right now seem incredibly slim indeed.

Other people can tell you the horror stories. I can recommend podcasts which explain how Facebook tries to be good, but at a terrible cost. There’s enough conspiracy theories out there to last a thousand lifetimes. The reality is simpler, easier to rationalise. You get one life, it remains finite and right now may not necessarily depend on how long you survive. The planet, for an increasing number of us, may burn before we do.

If that’s the case, this is the moment to stop staring at a screen for whatever reason, and to get out and do some good. Instead of filling social media with complaints and frustrations, this is when we get out there and do some good. Stop looking at other people’s lives and wishing yours was better. Make the change. There’s no statute of limitations on New Year’s Resolutions. Today is a great day to start fresh.

Any day can be the start of something better.

Little Red Corvette

This weekend’s been a bit of an eye-opener, all told. What I choose to take away from contention is continually changing: the baseline however continues to strengthen. Don’t instigate drama. Be real, and unique. Understand your environment. Work hard to improve the places in which you live and work. Never feel as if you’ve done enough. Strive for improvement whenever possible.

Evolution is the future.

There will be days when that’s not an option, of course, but if I’d said in public something was hateful, going back and then doing it is an about-face that shouldn’t be happening. Changing your world should not only include yourself in the equation. Learning is the process of not just expecting other people to alter. Forget the filler and concentrate only on that which really matters. Authentic. Honest. Challenging.

Tolerance is hard. It is simpler not to think, and it happens, more and more. I watch others do it who really should know better, and yet… something happens online. People’s common sense and decency appear to just… well, cease to exist. Next year, I’m never going to be that person, and crucially if I see others doing it not only will they be called out, but I’ll stop giving them publicity for doing so.

It is time to highlight the good people and ignore the noise.

Wires

I was tired last night, so much so I was in bed at 9.15pm. 

061219A week’s worth of tooth stress and general inability to write anything other than a blog post had got to me. I have fallow periods, where brain does stop working, but normally only when new stuff has to be added to the routine… which is where I realise we are. This explains a great deal, on reflection. This is Integration on my new graphic. Physically is not where the problem lies, but mentally.

Yeah, the mouth pain doesn’t help, but it is getting better. There is clear, obvious improvement this morning, and it is not my fault that this kind of sensitivity takes a long time to repair itself. It would be so easy to play the martyr, but life is frankly too short for such shit. I have to go exercise because I didn’t yesterday. Three times a week on the bike, maybe shoving it up to four times next week if the fates allow.

Tomorrow I have a phenomenal amount of stuff that needs finishing.

GIVEMETEADAMMIT

The tea advent will continue, but only on Instagram. I’m going to be drinking this stuff for a couple of months too, four teabags  a day assumes you’re gonna like what’s given. To be fair, I bought a box of Christmas Tea because it’s a nice change from my normal brew, but once those bags run out I won’t switch. There needs to be a bit more thought about what is drunk in 2020. It’s added to the list.

Right now, it’s time to get ready to cycle.

King of Pain

Yesterday’s dentistry continues to vex me today. However, if honest, pain is at levels far lower than 24 hours ago, even with the benefit of three times the normal dose of injected numbing shiz… which tastes awful when the dentist fires it into your mouth and almost chokes you with it. It wasn’t all bad though, I got a commission out of it. All that needed was to destroy my mouth in the process.

Easy game.

This morning, I finally went and talked to the Health Club about Mental health and exercise plus other shiz. It all went remarkably well, considering. I had a receptive audience, who understands what needs to be done. We will see.

bunnyeat

Oh yeah, and the Bond 25 trailer’s due on Wednesday:

At least we’ve stopped trying to dress up that Mr Craig’s over 50, but honestly…nothing here screams of the originality that’s supposed to be dragging this franchise into the 21st century. Yeah, I know, it’s only 20 seconds, but what you stick in your promo is a big deal. However, whatever happens tomorrow, this is already a done deal for me. I’ll wait for it to hit DvD.

I’m not shelling out cash to see this at a cinema. The last Bond I did that for was Skyfall, after which this franchise and me were done, and still are. You cannot make this character relevant, and if you did, it would break the concept. So, you either pretend you care, or you move on. It’s time to do the latter. When all is said and done, there are better ways to use my time.

I hear Knives Out is really worth a watch.

Tea For One

This could have gone one of two ways, let’s be honest. It was either gonna be woeful and would be quietly forgotten within a week or so or else I’d enjoy it so much I’d want to go and buy some Christmas Tea, which is exactly what is going to happen after this blog’s been written. Yesterday’s starting brew was enough to really make me think long and hard about what I might be missing out on. Amazingly, it is Christmas spices.

As an exercise in objective criticism it is really useful. ‘It tastes okay’ is not enough of a descriptor to get through the next twenty-four days: I can understand what floral notes are, how you find warmth when something is hot… it all makes sense. Even having to factor MAJOR DENTISTRY into the equation has not been a significant detraction: sitting here, the Mango and Bergamot I just drank effectively warm will be attractive when hot.

We’ll be brief today because there’s other stuff to do but on Wednesday there’ll be time to talk at greater length, mostly about how this kind of technical project’s exactly what is needed to keep me on top of the other things in my life. For now, I need some painkillers and something to eat… plus, this Christmas Tea will not order itself…