Category Archives: Social Media

No Context For You – February 06th

Something that’s been increasingly notable over the past week or so is not a thing, but the absence of a thing.

When I’m getting some work done in the evening, I find myself every hour or so going to check social media, FaceBook and Twitter primarily. It struck me tonight how little I’m seeing posted, particularly on Twitter.

FaceBook’s algorithm tends to give you the same number of posts no matter what, preferring things “ripped from the headlines,” but lacking that you’ll get something from a friend of a friend talking about how their cat stole a waffle off their plate. But Twitter is a firehose – for those who you’re following, you’ll see pretty much everything they’ve posted in your feed.

The difference I’m seeing manifests itself two ways, depending on how you slice the time axis. I don’t have the time to spend hours and hours and hours on Twitter, so I tend to open it up and work backwards through the current batch of tweets, with the app putting a break in after some more or less fixed amount. 100? 200? I don’t know, but after X number of tweets you get a “Show more Tweets” prompt, which is generally where I bail.

During the crazy times when the GOQ was in charge in Washington, that X number of tweets would take me back ten or fifteen minutes and give me a snapshot of what was going on. These days it takes me back almost two hours, or more.

Conversely, if after going back through a batch of X tweets I hit the “See new Tweets” prompt, after spending fifteen minutes or so going through that first batch, I would get hundreds of new tweets, sometimes (January 6th, anyone?) thousands. These days, I get maybe a dozen. Sometimes less.

It’s not that I’m following fewer people, and I was never following any bots or trolls that might have gotten booted from the platform. It’s got to be that people are posting far fewer tweets these days than they were last month and in 2020.

Why? Well, isn’t it obvious? We’re not all being drowned in lunacy and bullshit, awash in a tidal wave of outright insanity and trying to keep in touch with each other and figure out what was going on and how we could survive. We don’t seem to need to do that nearly as much these days.

I’m sure we’ll get back to picking up the pace with tweets about hobbies, families, sports, and once COVID’s behind us, travel, and get togethers with friends. But for now, we’re all just taking a breath and a break.

Meanwhile, my checking in every hour or so seems to be a symptom of PTSD or some other condition, similar to those found in soldiers returning from combat, where they’re hyper vigilant all of the time. Mentally, the threats and chaos of the last four years have left us all with a bit of a “thousand yard stare,” and it will take some time to decompress and stop checking social media repeatedly, waiting for the next existential threat to pop up.

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Filed under Deep Thoughts, Photography, Social Media

Twitter Jail Again

When having a Twitter “discussion” with a religious fanatic who’s trying to defend the “President” against the blood of 200,000+ COVID deaths on hands, it is apparently not allowed to say “Religious cult members can all fuck off and die.

Who knew?

Apparently that’s targeted harassment and indicates that I was “wishing or hoping that someone experiences physical harm.” I always thought that it was just a figure of speech, but next time I’ll remember to tell them to just fuck off. Period.

I know, I should have said, “Bless your heart! I hope when the day comes that you meet your Lord God and Savior you find that They’re the just and beneficent One advertised and when you’re judged you get everything that’s coming to you. Everything. (Prepare to be surprised!)”

But I didn’t. So I guess I’ll see y’all back on Twitter in (tries to post something…) nine hours and 11 minutes.

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WTF Facebook!

I’m looking for a bit of feedback if anyone cares to give it.

I’ve been on Facebook for over eleven years now, joining at the beginning of 2009. I find it useful for some things, and there are certain groups (in particular, my high school friends) for which I still use it as my primary communication and news conduit. And being active on Facebook (as well as Twitter, this site, Instagram, YouTube, and so on) is a big plus when trying to get accepted to NASA Socials, which I dearly love attending.

Facebook isn’t without its benefits.

But let’s face it, Facebook just becomes more actively evil by the day. It gets harder and harder to get content and stay connected to friends and family because what you get to see and who gets to see your posts is controlled by vague, mysterious, out of our control algorithms. More to the point, groups of fascists, terrorists, Putin’s kompromat, and the insane fringe elements of our society are using Facebook to disseminate lies, misinformation, propaganda, and outright bullshit to people who should know better, but don’t.

Facebook sucks.

With all of that being the case, what I’ve seen in the last month or so is the most frustrating bit of all for me – a DELUGE of ads. However, I don’t know if I got lucky for eleven years and somehow was never exposed to the horrors of Facebook ads every third or fourth post 24/7/365, or if something’s changed for everyone now.

This is where I can use some feedback from y’all. Is it me? Or did Facebook suddenly decide to fuck us all over starting a couple weeks ago?

For me, I would occasionally see an ad here or there, maybe a couple a week, for at least the first at least 8 or 9 years. It wasn’t a big deal. Most days I never saw an ad at all.

Then, about a year or two ago, I would have “ad days” every couple of months, where when I first logged on I would see an ad every third or fourth post. I would see three or four as I scrolled down my timeline, but as I deleted them, they would go away after seeing five or six, and that would be it. They were annoying, but there seemed to be a limit. Maybe 15-20 a day for a single day every now and then.

Then it was 20-25 a day for a single day maybe once a month.

Then 30-40 a day for a single day maybe every other week.

But always, when I got to that limit, it was like having survived a week of being bored to death waiting to be called for jury duty. Once I hit my limit and had paid my pound of flesh by going through X ads, I was off for a few weeks or a month.

Until late July, about a month ago.

Since then, EVERY time I connect, whether it be on my desktop, my phone, my iPad, EVERY! SINGLE! TIME! it’s an ad every 3rd or 4th post, all day, every day, 24/7.

And it’s like nails on a blackboard.

So before I walk away from Facebook permanently and just delete my account, or at a minimum just stop using it except maybe to check for messages once a week from high school classmates, I’m looking for context and a little information from you.

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Filed under Social Media

No Context For You – March 27th

If you ever wanted to be an astronaut, they’re taking applications again. The application period is through the end of the month so you need to get on it. Maybe something to do as you’re staying at home and away from all other human beings this weekend.

I don’t qualify – you need a degree in a technical, scientific, or engineering field (I have a BS in Physics) and a Master’s degree (I have an MBA), but what they really mean is you need a Master’s degree in a technical or scientific or engineering field.

Curses.

Foiled again.

One of the big disadvantages to living in the city as opposed to living out in the middle of nowhere is that city neighbors will hear you when you scream at the cosmos while staring into the void, and they generally get upset after the first hour or so of screaming. They get upset out in the country as well, but if you’re two miles from your nearest neighbor, they’re probably not going to hear you (at least, not over their own screaming) so they won’t give a damn.

Perhaps as part of the social changes we’re all undergoing, screaming in public will become more acceptable.

Or I guess I could just stop reading Twitter and Facebook and watching the news.

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Filed under CoronaVirus, Social Media

Wait – Snails Lay Eggs??!!

WTAF??!!

Count me among those who are having our minds blown by the fact that SNAILS LAY EGGS!

I’ve admittedly never given just a whole lot of thought to the reproductive methods of snails, but if I had to guess on Final Jeopardy, “eggs” would not have been in the top ten choices.

Read the comments and look at some of the other pictures this guy has there – the snails in question are “archachatina marginata ovum” and they’re literally as big as the guy’s arm when they’re adults.

Still… EGGS??!!

I hope I didn’t bet too much on Final Jeopardy!

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Filed under Critters, Social Media

Whack Jobs

I found this snippet that I wrote two weeks ago and then set aside, deciding that it was one of those things that was good to write and get off my chest, but probably not appropriate for a part of that evening’s post.

I’m not sure exactly why I didn’t just delete it – there’s no doubt something subconscious going on. Something like my muse being smarter than I am, or at least more insightful.

It was a relatively small thing that happened and by no means whatsoever do I think that it’s even 1% of 1% of 1% of the harassment and abuse that many people (primarily women and people of color and LGBQT folk and so on – go figure!) get online just for existing. I am absolutely in awe of the people who put up with death threats, doxxing, rape threats, swatting, and so much more, yet still keep telling their stories and fighting for their rights. I don’t know that I could do that, especially with 60+ years of white, male, middle class, Catholic (recovering!) privilege ingrained into my cells.

I’m not being denied any rights nor do I have to defend my existence – I’m just not terribly good at suffering idiots or keeping my peace when confronted with fucking idiots. (See flat Earthers, moon landing deniers, anti-vaxx crusaders, and my new favorite, climate change deniers.) Occasionally I can’t hold it in with some particularly egregious morons. I don’t ever expect any of these ideological fanatics to listen to me and say, “Oh, wow, thanks for pointing out those facts, I’ll change my mind now!” But if they spout bullshit online and no one challenges them, if no one points out the actual facts and gives references to the evidence, then their delusional fantasies and conspiracy theories can grow and gain life. I can take a few seconds here and there to cast a blow or two against the Rise of Stupidity.

So…

A general note for everyone, especially those following me on Twitter – if you try to convince me that climate change is fake or, worse yet, actually a conspiracy by the U.N. to take over the U.S., I may or may not mock you mercilessly and point out that you’re in need of psychiatric help or that you’re lacking an IQ that’s bigger than your shoe size, and then I will block you forever and with extreme prejudice. Life is way, WAY too short to put up with batshit crazy people like that. And if you then sic your followers on me to start sending me “proof” of your whackjob bullshit theories, I’ll block them too. I’ll do it so fast that I probably won’t even take the time to tell them to fuck off first. Again, life’s too short.

And now you know!

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