Will I Regret This

I was at book club a few months ago. We were discussing the book, and something in the discussion made my friend P say the following:

Back in the 60’s, I thought it was great that I heckled the soldiers returning from Vietnam. After all, we were protesting a war. Calling them killers, calling them even worse names- it’s what we did. It was very on trend.

Now, looking back I am mortified with how I treated those people- people who were my age, perhaps younger. I was a horrible human being who thought she was justified because I felt my cause was so great I could mistreat others.

I am ashamed of my actions back then.

We live in a world where people take their causes very seriously.

We live in a world where anyone can state their opinion on social media.

We live in a world where people can, and do, openly mock those they feel oppose their particular point of view.

We live in a world where everyone thinks they are right, and those who oppose them are wrong.

We live in a world where it is so easy to be mean to others.

Think about your own life and your own actions. Are you one day going to regret something that you did/said in the name of a cause? Because you thought you were so 150% right that there was no margin for error?

Before you open your mouth, before you poise your fingers over a keyboard, before you do anything, are you actively thinking out your actions?

Or are you just reacting to something?

Do you understand all the sides of an issue before you do anything?

Or do you jump on a cause du jour?

Maybe others will forget how you treated them- but will you forget how you treated others?

Anything Can Happen Friday: Quotes

I have a little desktop calendar: every morning I flip the page and read my new quote. I love this way of starting the productive part of my day. I read the quote, get inspired, and then I begin to write, first a brain dump and then my blog.

Quotes can be wonderful. But only when they are not misquoted.

On Wednesday I wrote about a quote that had recently come up on my calendar. As the quote was a stand alone, I took it literally. There was no context, nor did I search for one. I assumed the publishers of desktop calendar had done due diligence.

Never assume.

It turns out the quote may, or may not have been, from a satire. If indeed it was supposed to be read as a satirical comment, then the thoughts that one would attach to it would be quite different.

Now, it the particular case of Wednesday’s post, we had a rousing discussion. It worked out as a great starting point for talking about personal satisfaction versus personal responsibility. Turns out many of us know a person or three who has chosen satisfaction over responsibility. And we all know people who have clearly chosen responsibility over satisfaction…

But the real point is, be careful what you share online.

Make sure you aren’t just blindly copying and pasting something.

Make sure you’ve thought about what you choose to post to the world.

I know I am going to be a bit more careful before I blindly add another’s thoughts to my posts.

Just because something looks pretty doesn’t mean you Blindly share

Know What you are sending before you copy and paste

Insta-Challenge

I have been kinda/sorta doing an instagram photo challenge.

I have some problems with it.

  1. some people use pictures that other people took (like ads) in order to describe the scene. I think that’s kind of like cheating
  2. Some people take pictures of words to describe the prompt- I’m iffy about this one. While a word does tell you the prompt, it’s kind if boring

The we come along my greatest problem with insta challenges:

I am not good at staging scenes.

In fact, I am horrible at staging scenes.

And I am just not creative or clever when it comes to photos.

It’s odd that I scheduled this post for this week. On Sunday I had a crisis of faith regarding my insta phot challenge. The prompt was “swing”.

How do you portray “swing”?

Of course, as I am blazingly literal, I thought about an actual swing at the park.

And I also realized that I could not go to the park and take a picture of the children’s playground. On one level that’s just weird. And on the other level it could get me beat up or arrested.

And then I didn’t know what to do. I did not feel like getting up before the park opened to take a picture…

Then I got lazy.

I didn’t do any of the prompts this week.

Yesterday as I sat in Barnes and Noble and enjoyed by iced tea, I looked at the prompt list. One of them was “mood”. I saw a mural of Oscar Wilde looking quite moody so I snapped it. But I was 100% phoning it in.

Another prompt was “picture”, so I glanced through my camera role and saw a picture of a picture I saw at the Whitney the other day. So I shared that one.

Phoning.

It.

In.

Here are my missing prompts:

vehicle

a beautiful sight

donut

mirror

water drops

clean

Admittedly, some of these are easy, but it’s still hard for me to think about the picture that I want to get…

I know I can take a picture of a vehicle, but how do I make it fun? How do I make it stand out? How do I make it good?

How do I express these ideas clearly without resorting to words, or worse, having to make sure the description is clear enough to show my intention without explanation?

And it all comes down to creativity and set up.

Can you get more creative with photography? Is it a learned skill? If I keep practicing will I get better? Or will I always be blatantly average at it?

Same questions for staging. Some people are genius at it. Others, like me, are not…

I wonder if I’m just too impatient. Do I look at a word and expect some brilliant thought to shoot out of my head thus making it easy? Does some part of me think, well, you just take a picture of something…duh…

I think I’m going to start by doing the prompts a day before they are due. If I give myself a day to think about it, instead of rushing to take the picture and post it, maybe the creativity will start to take space.

Maybe.

But for now, I think I’ll make sure I take the donut picture today, you know, because, donuts…

And I’ll think about how I can creatively portray the others…


Social?

I sort of pride myself on my limited use of social media. I made up a certificate and proudly magnetized it to my desk….

LA hereby decrees that she keeps her social media usage to less than an hour a week

Huzzah

However…

I blog every day.

So the question is:

Is WordPress social media?

I obviously don’t thing it is. I think of WordPress as being more informational. We go to WordPress to hear people’s stories, listen to their issues, learn about things we did not know.

But am I….what’s that word that I don’t like to use when talking about myself….hmmm…oh yeah…

Am I wrong?

Could I be mistaken about something?

So simply…

Is WordPress social media?

Yes or no?

Why or why not?

Discuss:

Influence Me?

I’ve been thinking about blogs and followers and such (obviously, if you read yesterday) and of course, when you begin thinking about something, the world joins in and you notice things of a similar ilk.

Yesterday I read a story (Pure Wow or Buzzfeed, I don’t remember) about an 18 year old girl who has two million social media followers. 2 million. The platform was either Instagram or youtube, and yes I should read more carefully, but the particulars don’t really matter in this case. It’s all about the big picture.

So: 18 year old woman, 2 million media followers decides she wants to start a clothing line. Clothing company said they would do a test run before they committed full on. Sounds reasonable and intelligent business practice.

2 million followers.

2,000,000

Could not sell 36 pieces of clothing.

36

So what do we learn from this?

  1. Followers mean nothing if you don’t have a rapport. If takes less than a second to hit the like button, but if those followers don’t care about you….
  2. Just because you have followers doesn’t mean you are an influencer
  3. Taking cute pics of yourself in clothing does not mean that people are going to buy your clothes, especially if none of your pics are of you in these clothes
  4. People were probably not following you because of your sense of style, especially if your sense of style is exactly like every other teen girl who shops at Forever 21
  5. Followers are not customers
  6. Have a back up plan or strategy if your business venture fails.

Now on the upside, you know I am a big believer in going for your dreams and failing. Failing at something teaches you more than any book can. As does coming up with a plan and following through. Big kudos to this young woman for trying. I give her a big thumbs up on the try.

But…

Whether you are 18, 38 or 68, you have to take a social media profile with a grain of salt. Sure. Anyone, and I mean anyone, can have a huge social media following. There are all sorts of people who will follow you if you follow them, and then the number snowballs. A cute girl posting cute pics of herself will gain followers. I mean really…

Why do you need followers?

I know I like followers because the comments I receive make me think about things in ways I never imagined, I’m a questioner by nature, and I love when people give me different perspective about things I’ve been pondering. Blogging is an immediate responsive platform. I post, people comment. Brilliant.

But I don’t claim to be an influencer.

Influencer.

That’s the problem we’ve created with all this social media.

Everyone with a twitter, blog, or channel thinks they are an influencer.

Some people have profited from being social media influencers. I have been to youtube events with my daughter where she has paid money to listen to influencers talk about their lives. (OK- the swag is pretty good. She recently paid a very small amount to go to a get ready for prom event and the stuff she received in kind was way more than the cost of admission) She has bought clothing from youtubers clothing lines. I get that there can be a payoff.

But

Numbers wise: what’s the ratio of those who make money vs. those who do not?

Trying to be an influencer for a few years is not bad if you are the entrepreneurial type, but you still need a plan. That’s my problem. I think kids think it’s easy to make money via social media. And we all know that there is nothing easy about business. It’s the general mindset that is disturbing to me.

Nothing in life that is worthwhile is easy.

Spending more time on how the blog looks versus the content quality is going to bite you in the ass at some point. At some point, function must overtake form. Pretty opens the door, but quality seals the deal.

I applaud all those who take a leap of faith into the unknown in at attempt to start a business. But maybe read an accounting book so you understand a balance sheet, and perhaps an actual book on marketing. There are reasons why people have degrees in these subjects. You don’t have to go to college to be a success. But you do have to understand some basics.

And those numbers at the bottom of your social media. They really don’t matter. What matters is what you post above it.