This Nickelback Parody is for all who've become somewhat disenchanted with over-the-top photo sharing of Every. Single. Banal. Thing. Every. Single. Place.
// Dec 8, 2012 at 08:48
WAY before this weird “social media” stuff I used to laugh at other parents when we went to dance recitals, plays, graduations, etc. All these people experiencing the ACTUAL EVENT through a 2.7″ viewfinder to capture a moment they would most likely NEVER watch again. Enjoy what’s happening RIGHT NOW!
But today we have technology that further enables silliness. I’ve called Facebook enabling technology for sub-par relationships. Via the miracle of Facebook anyone can stay in touch with the people they didn’t care enough to stay in touch with before Facebook made it so much easier. Yay!!
I am a technologist, but I intentionally work to limit my exposure to and consumption of the barrage of crap that today’s technology provides. I view it in a similar light to porn. We are driven to have sex, and for some people the constant variety of on-screen imagery provides a substitute that is irresistible. They can spend hours watching porn because part of their brain feels it’s getting the reward it wants. It doesn’t realize it’s counterfeit.
Likewise, part of our brain is programmed to accumulate…stuff. Any stuff. So sometimes it goes haywire and we see it clearly in the cat woman who accumulates 112 cats in her house. Or the hoarder who has stacks of newspapers from the last 3 years. But the Internet provides material for this part of our brain as well. It’s why someone might spend half a day jumping from website to website and not see it as a waste of time. To them, they were acquiring information. But if it’s all useless information, it’s like information porn. It’s just counterfeit.
So all these pictures must provide something similar. For the ones consuming, it hits a reward center in their brain that says they’re doing what they need to be doing. They’re acquiring stuff. For the ones posting, perhaps “like-whore” is less pleasant than saying they’re hoping for approval.
I could spend a lot of time with internet porn, Facebook, website surfing, youtube video linking. So, I put specific practices in place to limit my time to what I consider actually valuable and avoid all the other stuff. That time is better spent in the real world. Flying planes, making love, building stuff. Real reward comes from that.
// Dec 8, 2012 at 09:44
Bill, I could not agree more. I mean this is so right on it hits everything I’ve been thinking about recently.
Back in the early 90s with the advent of Compuserve, Prodigy, ALO, and then just straight up ISP services where one could tap into USENET, I used to spend LOTS of time there. After 2-3 years of that I just up and one day stopped. Completely. I maintained a Yahoo Groups email list for family. That was it.
Guess what, productivity soared over the next few years and my company grew by a factor of SEVEN.
I have been mulling over doing somewhat of the same thing now in terms of FB, Instagram, etc., etc. and be more of a one-way communication deal with the blog. That is, do my posts, put ‘em out there but interact in comments a lot, LOT less. The comment section probably takes up 80% of the total time I spend on the blog, but likely comprises only a few percent of all readers. Sure, the best fan readers, but how much better would the blog be for all readers if I channeled most of that time into new content?
Plus, I have a bus venture I’m working on that’s going to require 25 hours per day very soon.
// Dec 8, 2012 at 11:33
Here’s some more info for you: My 15 year old daughter Katie and I just watched the video together, then discussed my and your comment. She immediately got it, and then related her experiences with girls in school. She said the girls in school practically live through instagram.
I had noticed when she had friends over to the house that the other girls ALWAYS (and I am using that word precisely) had their phones out. Not once did the phones go in a pocket or purse. She explained that they post their life online in snippets every few minutes, and after discussing our comments this made sense to her.
They are seeking connection and approval, both of which increase ones chances of thriving in the tribe. But this is counterfeit connection and approval. I asked Katie if getting “likes” on Instagram really increased chances for survival. She laughed, but what she said next shocked me:
“Dad, you don’t understand. Some of these girls have hundreds or thousands of people who follow them and ‘like’ their stuff. So when they post a pic that they think is actually important, and only get a couple of ‘likes’ it’s devastating to them. Just yesterday, (Not real name of a girl) posted a picture of herself that she thought was cute, and only a couple of people liked it, and she was crying for hours because she said so few people actually like her!”
I didn’t believe it at first, but Katie insisted this girl was sobbing through most of the school lunch and later into the day because so few people “liked” her photo.
Katie has an iPhone, but I have locked down all apps and blocked internet access. She can’t participate in that bullshit, and for the first time ever she showed an appreciation for why I chose to restrict her like that. So, thanks for the conversation starter.
// Dec 8, 2012 at 12:24
Cool. I tend to think that over time a lot of this stuff is going to jump the shark just as countless other fads have done and do. Plus, what app does one go to from here? They all do essentially the same thing.
I’ve recently seen things to hint at that from my family/friend circle and even from popular teenage girls. Posts like: “just popped in after a few weeks and now see I didn’t miss much.”
There’s no app for Real Life.
// Dec 8, 2012 at 18:47
Not that bromide again, bro. :p
// Dec 8, 2012 at 15:34
Richard, so you’re saying the comment section isn’t part of the attraction for all readers?
I was under the opposite impression from other comments you’ve made on this, wrongly I guess. Relatively few participate, but more follow/read it, or is that not so? It seemed to make sense to me because when you interact here it usually adds a lot of clarification and depth and leads to more content by itself.
Anyway, just how much more new content can you do when you already shoot 2-3 posts sometimes in 24 hrs and where’s the point of diminishing returns? As in, I already miss some of them at that rate – and I’m a very fast reader.
Of course, I’m totally biased, enjoying this blog as my ‘one-stop shopping’ for foodie stuff, rational health info, philosophy/social discussion and above all … the pub-like ‘chat-room’ that you maintain
// Dec 9, 2012 at 10:10
No, no way it’s an attraction for all. Certainly those who participate and some additional number who read some or all. No idea what that number is. Suppose I could do a survey.
At any rate, I’m simply kinda thinking out loud, contemplating a lot of ideas, bouncing them off readers.
// Dec 9, 2012 at 11:33
Meh, in the end, it’s whatever pleases you that matters, it’s your blog.
If you enjoy tangling with your commenters, well, obviously you have plenty of commenters who want to play. They of course also just enjoy debating with one another, on and off topic (!), but the section wouldn’t be anywhere near as lively without you.
I’ll just plan on enjoying this while I can
// Dec 9, 2012 at 14:17
Oh, I don’t plan to be totally absent, just a bit more selective about what I get involved in.
// Dec 8, 2012 at 12:56
My last real activity on FB was about a year ago when I tried to see how many would unfriend me. I posted “I like cats…” Waited 10 minutes, and added “…medium rare with onions and sweet potato.” That got 2 to unfriend me right there.
Within about 10 minutes of talk of eating cats, I reduced the count by another 7. Then I lost interest and have made one or two posts since.
Now, how the heck has this turned into a Richard/Bill private message? Maybe everyone else is on FB. Oh well.
To your point about it being a fad, I’m not so sure. I don’t think it’s a fad because it hits reward centers. Beanie Babies was a fad. I think what we’re looking at with FB and others is the first steps towards artificial reward. When we can plug directly in, we’ll be just like the lab rats that hit the button for the reward until they starve.
And while I’m there, why not diverge even further? How many people who say tax the rich and detest the top 1% are spending their time on these artificial rewards instead of actual pursuits? My wife and I have been working hard the last couple of weeks to get another company started. It won’t take too long before the hard work is done and we start guiding it towards self-sufficiency versus creating jobs for ourselves that we don’t want.
We happened to be in the thick of it during Thanksgiving. We took Thanksgiving Day off, but were working that Friday and Saturday. Had a few casual acquaintances that were shocked we’d be working. “It’s Thanksgiving!” they would say. But I bet they were getting their Facebook Fix.
Had a guy recently tell me that not everyone was as lucky as I was. A week later, he happened to share with me and a few others that he had hit the 2000 hour mark in some Steam game. Call Of Duty perhaps. 2000 HOURS!!!
I’m not playing any games today. Nor am I working. I worked on and rode an electric tadpole trike I built this week with side stick steering and 2kw of power. It’s awesome. Tonight I’ll go to a company Christmas party for one of the companies I’ve started. Next week I’ll go to another. This time next year, I’ll probably be attending 3 parties instead of two. THAT is actual reward.
I spent less than 2000 hours starting Adventure Pilot, and now I get to attend Christmas Parties where people shake my hand and thank me, telling me it’s the best company they’ve ever worked for and how much they enjoy it. (Good thing my partner runs and controls it, he’s awesome at it!)
I wouldn’t trade that for 2000 hours in pixels that go dead when the power’s turned off. Sheesh.
When do we get to hear about your latest endeavor?
// Dec 9, 2012 at 13:35
Not sure why, but I didn’t know you were the creator of Adventure Pilot. Cool. Was wondering, using the Flight Plan feature on the site, and say I wanted to go from RHV to CLD (nearest to my parent’s in law), does it include any tools to help navigate through the greater LA LAX airspace? I’m sure there’s a VFR corridor, right. What’s the best source of info for that?
…When I talk about FB and the whole social deal being a fad, I mean on an individual level, and there’s kinda the revolving door aspect. People get tired of it for the same reasons we have, and move on.
For example, I kinda like Twitter. However, I got over doing very much in the way of messaging a lot back and forth. Was even considering shutting it down (as well as the FTA page on FB) but a lot of people asked me to keep it because it’s preferable to RSS for a lot of people.
But your overall point is well taken. Spend most of your time on endeavors that build and maintain some lasting value. I still haven’t really figured out how to make a living off FTA—there’s certainly enough traffic that just an average few bucks per year per person would be a decent income stream, but how to access that in a way that makes sense to people? Tough sell.
The latest endeavor is an offshoot of the financial services company I started just about 20 years ago, now and am in the process of winding down. We dod full-service debt settlement. That is we take a person’s unsecured debt (CCs, mostly) and work directly with creditors and collectors to settle for a lump sum, averaging 30-40%. Problem is, the regulatory environment is so hostile (we’ve had an A+ BBB rating for 16 years when most companies ar C, D, F, but regulators don’t give a shit).
So I’m taking it where they can’t touch me. We’ll be providing one-on-one coaching for people to pretty easily do it themselves. It’ll open things up quite a bit because economies of scale are such that I can only take clients with $10K of debt or more for the full-service (average client has $30K CC debt) but with the coaching we’ll be able to take virtually anyone.
Unplugging the Internets | Free The Animal
// Jun 4, 2013 at 21:22
[...] huge numbers aren't, anymore. But, if there was really something to it, unlike Pet Rocks or Nickelback, there will always be some that serve the role of keeping it alive via their obsession, devotion [...]
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