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Posts from the ‘success’ Category

How social are social media and how they get you

Why am I on social media?

If you ask me, I don’t know why I am on Twitter, on Pinterest, on Linkedin and on Facebook and a few other sites.

My blog and my website need some exposure, additional exposure, because not everybody is on WordPress. That might be one reason

Am I on social media because the widgets make my website look better? That is true to some extent.

Am I there because social medial make me socially engaged? No, that is not always true. They sometimes make me feel worse, more upset and more isolated. In fact, they frequently make me feel physically bad, too. That is, in the most direct meaning of this word. I find that many articles promote doubtful information, as well as push people to inadequate decisions.

There was a time at the dawn of social media activity when they were truly social. They were about real friendships and real lives.

“Social” cover for selling anything

It did not take too long for the socializing part to transition into advertising and selling features until social media became mainly about selling: opinions, propaganda, products, brands and trends.

As such, social media are the biggest consumerism promoter ever. Our task is actually straight the opposite: decrease junk, avoid consuming useless and harmful things and stay away from products that we never needed in the first place. Social media makes us believe that we will be considered a decent, happy and worthy person only when we have have all the attributes which are advertised.

Social media will impose trendy pictures, trendy products, trendy people and trendy opinions on you. I have even seen: health trends. Is there anything else as healthy and unhealthy? Does that mean that sometimes only mental health matters, but some other time: skin disorders, digestive, nervous or cardiovascular system?

I do not agree with trends. I suppose, trends disagree with me.

Consumerism

Consumerism is killing every one of us by taking away the air we breathe and turning it into polluted smog, it is taking away the clean drinking water and causing soil damage, it is making you into somebody who consumes what you never needed and what makes you sick and poor.

Internet selling is based on positive attitude, lack of education and greed. Greed is the biggest driving force of any so-called economic growth.

Is it economic growth or destruction of the planet in reality? If we did not interfere so badly with anything that the Earth has to offer us for free: natural air and water recycling and purification, clean and nutrient-rich soil, natural food that helps us staying fit and healthy, we would be fine. However, everything must be sacrificed for the economic growth which ironically leads us into more and more debt and disasters.

Offers and missed posts

While Facebook wants me to sign up for all kinds of services or products, I never see what my best friends and relatives have been up to. Facebook will persistently invite me to buy products and services which I do not require, which I am absolutely not interested in and which I do not need or like. That is all based on their algorithms and my likes which I place here and there.

The page I initially created as a Fan page, has transitioned into business page, and I wasn’t even sure I wanted that. I can see it is helpful, however, I have limited time and therefore, I most likely cannot reach the exposure I am expected to.

Facebook makes one pay

The thing I really have to wonder about is as follows: Facebook makes absolutely no distinction between a single person’s business (hence, they invite me to join my team, which would be I am joining me), and so they want to charge me the promotion fee for anything I put on that page. Huge businesses which have hundreds of employees and specific media managers and other executives can certainly use a specific budget for that. I think there should be a chance to show that one is working alone, maybe part time or something similar.

They make me compete with sites like Wayfair.com or Artfulhome.com and similar that sell art prints while I am selling only originals.

Dear Facebook! I am just a single person, who creates art, does painting, promotes, writes about art and teaches it also, and I need to cook, clean, do daily chores, do medical research and writing to support living, and every day has only 24 hours. If I wanted to be successful on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook advertising, I would not only need a lot of money to promote every post, every picture, every article and every event, but also a lot of time.

My taste disagrees with trends

I do not spend hours scrolling through trends or looking for viral videos. They are not trendy for me most often because my taste often disagrees with them. I disagree with dumbing the population more and using bad and harmful products for such purpose. I am against the noise everywhere. We need a break from music, a break from shows that do not teach anything, that have no content and make no sense, but stand out due to bad acting and simply bad screenplays.

Facebook does not represent me as a person correctly and it does not allow me to become socially more involved. If I do not promote everything and comment on everything, I am practically non-existent.

It is time we turn to critical thinking and sort out our preferences. The narrow-minded and to more consumption leading and directed I-need-it-all thinking has caused enough trouble. Enough is enough.

We have to stop being sheep to such a huge extent.

Social media pressure

I have come to conclusion that instead of allowing one to be true and honest, social media imposes on me their message. Their message is not always my message. It can be quite contrary, in fact.

So, Facebook when there is going to be time when I see everything I choose based on what I prefer as opposed to posts that have been directed to me depending on my age, gender and previous likes?

I once clicked on Artfulhome.com image because I was reading about some artist. They would not let me free afterwards. Wherever I go, the Artful home is trying to sell me something. The same about the flight: I booked it already. I booked it a while ago. Wherever I look, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo mail or any other site, there are Flighthub advertisements. I did not even use the Flighthub.

If I click on a gardening image, Facebook will only put gardening posts in front of me. If I click on shoes or cosmetic product: that is all I am going to see for quite a while, until I do not spam that product everywhere.

I have moods, I have good days and bad days, I have curiosity, I have preferences and I have interests, and they do not match the Facebook algorithms. I am a human who is changing, who has personal opinions and, most importantly, who has a very personal taste.

Misleading social media

Twitter sends me trends and trendy tweets, as well as, lies about people who followed me because they did not. That is to cause a counter-reaction and feeling that I am actively using Twitter. I am not. The tweets are all automated and it looks nice in the widget area of my website, that’s all.

Pinterest does the same, they let me know that somebody pinned an image which I never put on any of my boards, Pinterest also has picked out topics for me. Well, Pinterest, don’t do that. I do have my own brain and my own opinions. That is already too much care, way too much care. If I looked at an old barn yesterday, it does not mean I want to look at old barns for the next few years. If I looked up a spinach recipe today, it does not mean I will be eating only spinach for a few months.

Facebook means a lot of wasted time for me. I would click on like when I am seeing a few posts of people who I have never met, but who I know distantly from the blogging community. I would leave a comment here and there if the post makes sense. Well, Facebook will show me posts only created by these people for quite a while, and, no, it will not show me what my daughter has been up to.

I am finding all the social media very superficial, very ignorant because they try to make me feel meaningless. Just compare yourself with influencers! Go ahead, compare!

My preferences

Well, I am not going to compare me with nobody. I do not care about lots of products just because I find them useless. I don’t literally care about powders, liquids, pills, gels, creams and other things which are advertised as miraculous. These miracles last only as long as there is a decent research done, and it proves rather the harming, not healing effects of this product.

Choose carfully

Social media should take a huge blame for poisoning and making people sick with bad quality, never tested products because while they do not endorse them, they make one see these products and the fake promises which come with such products.

There is a lot of pressure from the social media. A lot. The pressure wants you to subordinate the main mood and the main tone. If you do not, you are not a decent person. Why? There are guys who have nothing better to do: they use any chance to attack somebody. I posted once a comment that gluten-free products have absolutely no effect on people who do not have a celiac disease which is 100% scientifically true, yet, much denied fact because they want you to spend more on gluten-free and more processed products and imagine that you feel better. Somebody did not read it; they just noticed the first line and totally attacked me: what was I thinking because people who have celiac disease would be at such a disadvantage, etc. That was not at all what I was saying. They did not read, but they felt they had to attack me. So, it goes. One will understand only what they want to.

Social media and socializing

Do I see social media as a great socializing opportunity? To some extent, it is a place where to advertise. However, it is not a place where to find somebody or something. I want to see all variety of topics, all the multi-faceted life, everything which I might or might not like instead of “topics picked out for me”. Social media, you don’t know me, you do not want to know me and you do not believe I have my own brain which allows me making my own decisions that are based on my own experience, education and preferences.

I wish social media started trusting me instead of limiting my choices and free speech.

P.S. I had written this post already when I accidentally saw an interview with the high-tech insider Jaron Lanier on CNBC. It was about his book: Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now. This interview absolutely echoed what I do agree with. Too much advantage taking, definitely!

Link to article about him and his book: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/may/30/ten-arguments-deleting-your-social-media-accounts-right-now-jaron-lanier

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Did you know WordPress can block you from following?

I have been blogging since 2012.

I experienced some kind of disaster when I decided to move my art blog to a website last year or maybe a year before. Why did I go for all troubles which are associated with moving a large numerous pictures containing art blog to a self-hosted website?

Well, WordPress makes it account. It does not matter whether you have 1 blog, 2 blogs, 3 blogs or a website and blog: it is going to be one account. I had the art blog since 2012 and I started a lifeschool blog some time in 2014 I believe. I did not want to mix up my art, art classes and other artistic articles with the conclusions and observations I have made doing my medical research and writing for more than 3 decades. I thought it was a great idea. It actually wasn’t. Why?

Because WordPress makes it one account.

That means one blog is primary and visible and regardless of all my efforts, nobody knew the other blog existed, as well. The art blog had about 4 thousand followers by the time I moved it to a website because I was so tired of publishing articles which nobody ever saw.

The move was terrible since my files were huge, and, no, it did not go smooth as some instructions made me believe. Partially, that was because I chose the wrong host (based on a blogger advice, oh yes!). They sold me free theme and then I had to wait until refund rolls in since I wasn’t having much money. They tried to sell all kinds of things which I did not need or require, but having a website is expensive anyway: there are so many small parts that all cost. I am using the free theme and many free plugins, but I still have to allocate quite a lot of money for it. That is the history, so I have a blog, my lifeschool blog and my website, my art website.

Some time ago, I started to notice that I cannot follow anybody. I clicked once, I clicked twice, I clicked on like, that worked, but when I returned to the main website of somebody, I could see that I am not following them.

I believed it was some kind of a glitch. Probably temporary glitch, I assumed.

I let it slide since I was busy and that wasn’t the most important issue on my plate.

I found some really interesting website and a few blogs a while ago, and I got really angry that I cannot follow them. I copied the URLs here and there to find them again. Anyway, I asked the “happiness engineers” what was wrong. Oh well! I found out that I have been spotted by the system as somebody abusive follower last October. They told I was trying to attract attention and instead I should be writing a good content. That was very offensive. I believe these people who have read my stories, poems and articles, people, who check out my paintings, art instruction and advice for beginner artists definitely know that this is a unique content which takes me long time to create. I have actually never tried to follow somebody obsessively.

We all know that: system is system. System thought I was somebody trying to find followers and, thus, boost the visibility of my website and blog, and I do not believe that is true. WP said it was. I had last October followed many blogs in a short period of time. I tried to figure that out but couldn’t. I may have returned from Europe and after not seeing my blog and website for a long time, I could have responded to lots of comments and maybe followed some new fellow bloggers. I don’t know. Basically, nobody ever told me that. I never received any notification, any warning or anything. I believe you are not aware of that either.

I mean, I would have appreciated some notice, some suggestion or something. I am guessing that happened because I’m not that often reading the Reader, publishing posts, commenting, etc. since my health issues started 5 years ago. I might be doing all the commenting, following and liking job once or twice a month. Life is life. System isn’t human and it does not know that I have 1 hour only once or twice a month to do the following among other parts of blogging. Most likely, that’s how I got blocked out of following. Well, if I were so obsessed with following I most likely had noticed that sooner, not 7 months later.

I still remember how 6 years ago when I started blogging, I was advised to like, comment and follow other bloggers. Well, I take it personal and I felt upset. I’m not a new blogger; I’ve been on WordPress for 6 years. I am almost 60 and somebody who always follows rules and meets obligations. Always. I am aware that system is not informed about that.

I have to apologize to bloggers who may have thought I was ignorant or something. I lost some interesting blogs due to this for sure. Maybe we will meet again.

It also seems that system cannot get rid of definitely fake followers such as those who are ….outlook.com. I have deleted quite a few recently.

I wish, there was some advice for those who blog infrequently, just for a few hours a month and who try to do everything during these few hours instead of just blocking them out of following.

WordPress causes some problems

It does not feel right. We are sort of made to believe that website is a place where we can have a freedom to do things which we deem necessary, one of them being following other bloggers. Apparently, it is not the case. I believe before blocking somebody out of anything, especially if they pay money for their website that happens to be on WordPress platform, one deserves at least some warning or message, whatever. My personal situation is worse because I have a website and a blog. People who follow the art blog are not the same as these who follow the lifeschool blog. So, number becomes double. Dear system, you should be way more human! Other bloggers: be aware! System is watching, and God help if you follow too many people! I am afraid to follow anybody, to be honest. I believe a wrong person was punished here. They fixed it for now. They do not let one know what number indicates you are exceeding the normal following range: might be 5, 50 or 100. Who knows? I know that I never acted weirdly or obsessively.

Link to my art website for these who did not know I had it: inesepogagallery.com

The killer success: sad story of an useless sacrifice

As my worst summer ever is turning towards the fall, I am getting more and more upset and disappointed with anything. I’d attribute some of my bad feelings to huge and non-stop doses of harsh medications, but that certainly does not change a thing. I feel like everything that was worthy and uplifting has turned its back to me.

Since I had plenty of time to waste while resting on a couch or rather trying to forget about pain and other unpleasant things, I could watch some TV. I usually don’t do that, but even computer has become not that easy to use, so, I had very little choice. The TV we have is Rogers TV, I mean Rogers is the provider. It is a kind of TV for people who most likely forget immediately what they were watching the day before. Everything is repeats and old movies. The few non-repeats are some reality shows and news. I cannot currently take any more news because it’s all Trump and Clinton. Again, again and again. This is even Canada, not the USA, but still every single word of their mouth is getting analyzed and discussed, and I have to admit I’m so sick of this that I’m changing the channel right away when I hear mentioning Trump or Clinton.

I cannot take any of the reality shows either because it feels like they are created for somebody dumb and underdeveloped. Just seeing the housewives for 2 minutes causes me to really wish I didn’t even look at them. What exactly is this about: some younger and older women with way too much make-up are boozing, partying and talking behind the back of the one that isn’t present? They sometimes fight and argue. What a great show! Really? It seems they have money and do not know what to do with it and therefore they need now popularity and TV presence. Just awful. There is lots of stuff about food, a lot. My medication causes nausea, so I have to skip those. Then there are talk shows which most often handle the same subject. I cannot take any celebrities and stars either because I think it’s so much overblown with these trending stars, and they would go on and on how beautiful they are when, in fact, quite a few are neither beautiful, nor elegant, nor good-looking. Take away all these treatments, make-ups, fancy outfits and crew of image makers and all you get is some completely average person. I also calculated that as per my recent income I would have to work for 250 years spending nothing in order to make what these stars make in just one year. It feels like there is something profoundly wrong.

So, I turned to reading online magazines in Latvian, hence there is a bit different stuff and not only celebrity scandals, politics and greed.

killer success

The article was about a woman who I remember quite well. She was just 1 year older than me and quite visible personality in Latvia between 1988 and 2002. She had just passed away a few days ago. There is nothing unusual about people getting really sick after spending the most part of their life in a show business. The unusual part was her character and her image of an iron lady. She was somebody always going against the stream, but the way she did it was not that nice, indeed. As the organizer of the first Latvian beauty pageant in 1988 and later the owner of the entire beauty contest business in Latvia, she had to turn to lots of people in order to have financial means to go ahead with these beauty contests. She handled that excellently being quite rude, always speaking her mind and never looking for an answer when attacked or provoked. Over the course of many years, this lady had spit in faces of many people, humiliated them, and eventually taken advantage of their not that splendid situations. We could call this even black mailing. Although, she became financially very successful thanks to donations of freshly baked Latvian millionaires, she went as far as to kick out her mother of the family house they had in Riga, the capital city of Latvia. She put her own mother who had and still has a very good health and could take decent care about herself into an old folk’s home. Her mother didn’t complain, but she certainly felt betrayed and not deserving such a treatment.

This lady never managed to have a long-lasting family, but she had 4 husbands, and the last one was 30 years younger than her and she married him at the age of 52 when the signs of the stormy youth years started to remind that one cannot booze for ever and it will result in some disorders and illnesses. She told she did not want any children because they would disturb her business. Parties before and after beauty contests and other events involved a lot of drinking.  That was some kind of never ending partying.

One early morning being half awake and completely drunk, this woman accidentally drove onto the side-walk where people were waiting for the bus. There were quite a few injured and one woman died on spot. The accident caused injuries to her, as well, but she managed to cure most of them for a while. The following trial found her as a very well-known woman with lots of useful connections not guilty in most counts. She only got 4 years in probation, and the society of Latvia couldn’t agree with such a court decision. However, time washes away everything, and the accident was forgotten by most, but never by the family of the deceased woman.

The objects of her stormy love affairs were quite often married men. When asked once why she was causing all these troubles to so many families, she clearly stated that the other women were no competition to her, and the only purpose of these affairs was to prove how much above the others she was and that she could always get whatever she wanted. The following years proved her wrong and, most likely, she had to learn the hard way that nobody of us is able to build our happiness by destroying other people’s lives.

Her health worsened to quite a great extent during the last five years, and she obviously could not continue to shine in public events being on crutches and later in a wheelchair, hence, the after effects of that bad accident which took one woman’s life and made a few others disabled did not pass her either.

The circle of well-situated and famous friends shrank rapidly. Nobody was interested in a completely disabled aging woman who never cared about anybody else, but only about her own success and prestige.  In fact, she was in a lot of pain, but suffered very lonely, even her mother was in the old folk’s home and could not visit her.

So, she had passed away on the floor of her almost empty bedroom. Alone, with nobody praying for her and nobody crying after her. Next to her, was found a packed bag because she had decided to also move to a shelter for disabled people. This decision came a bit late.

The only person who took some care about this once so famous lady was a middle-aged neighbor. This neighbor said she had changed extremely during the last half of year. The reason was the clinical death at the hospital she had gone through. It is possible she had faced some warning signs or something that was awaiting her after the death because she had asked to bring her mother to her and also to send letters asking for forgiveness many people who she once had betrayed or offended.  Mother came; she is 89 now, but still having a fairly good health. The only thing this woman told her mother was: I wish you could take me on your lap and forgive me all pain I have caused you. I wish I could start my life from new, but this is where it ends. The mother forgave her, and I suppose, she can finally rest in peace.

life in ruines

This made me think:  there is success and there is success at any price which demands one to lose all human feelings and to walk over corpses and destroyed lives. One should really carefully watch for signs when success turns against them and eventually becomes the killer. The killer of their human nature and later the killer of their health, wealth and anything which makes this life worth living. The question is: how far should one go in order to be successful and how much should one sacrifice in the name of success? Doesn’t the success at any price become a lost battle for anybody involved? The ugly side of success means sacrificing everything, even one’s life.

Photos: http://www.skatkartes.lv/elejas-muizas-drupas/

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