26.July – { Burn Out } by Gabriel Owens

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I have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, an Imessage chat with 7 other folks going, IRC, plus a dozen others probably (hell, I think my MySpace is still around, and every time I’m on Google or Gmail it reminds me I have a Google + account).

And folks, I’m a little burnt out.

I think interests can come and go in phases. I was all about the SM stuff, dutifully checking my big three at least (the booking, the twittering, the tumbling), then slowly, I was checking them less and less. Lately Facebook gets a cursory glance usually in the morning or while I’m taking my constitutional, Tumblr ever so often at night if I can’t find anything good on YouTube to watch, and twitter barely ever (except maybe live tweeting UFC).

Maybe it’s just too time consuming. I go home and it’s all about my kid until bedtime. After that I catch up on my shows, or play a video game. My phone is where I do most of anything with SM anymore, hell, work blocks Tumblr and FB can barely run on the antiquated version of IE we are forced to use. And, you know, I have to work.

And I think…I’m just bored. It’s the same old stuff. People reposting and regurgitating tired memes, bad political crap, news I’ve already seen elsewhere.   Sometimes an interesting comment conversation on FB will draw me in, and I still get a laugh from some of the clever people on the Tumbls.

But for the most part, I just don’t got the time or interest right now. Maybe my interests will pick up again. But for now, it feels like I’m a different person than just at the beginning of the year.

I’ll still be around. I’m not going to turn into one of those “too cool for school” anti SM guys, that’s just obnoxious. But for now, I’ll be skimming.

–  Gabe out

26.Jan { On the Wall: Views from a Social Media Gadlfy } – “Smoked Pork” – by Gabriel Owens

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F*** Tha Police! – N.W.A.

“I’m a mother f***ing cop killer!” – Body Count

“They hate us, we hate them!” – Black Flag, “Police Story”

By Gabriel Owens

I’ll start this off by saying I don’t have a high opinion of the police.  Maybe that’s funny coming from a military member, but there’s a world of institutional differences in my experience, despite being not dissimilar fields. Military seems to run the gamut of the types of people we get,  while cops seem to draw a hell of a lot of bullies and thugs that now can get arrested for the stuff they did in high school, so they chose a career where it’s essentially legal and they’re doing the arresting.

I know, I know, “They’re not ALL like that!” you say.  Well, of course not.  But you can’t tell me it’s a few bad apples, which any field will get.  My perspective is a disturbing large amount of rotting fruit in the bowl of law enforcement.

Just how long they’ve gotten away with a lot of non-role model behavior is uncertain; we can only go by historical records.  But there’s a hell of a lot of documented evidence of crappy, even murderous behavior before the age of video and the new age of immediate information dissemination.  Ask any person of color, or homosexual, or a trans person who lived before the 80s how it was.  Hell, ask anyone who lived below the poverty line for that matter.

So, in the last few decades, the power of the people emerged through technology.  Handheld camcorders became a thing in the 80s.  This led to one of our first “busts” of the police being less than officer friendly by the common folk with the Rodney King video.  It shocked middle America, but was business as usual for a lot of folks, especially those of color, the LGBT community, and the punk rockers of the 80s in LA.  And then all the trouble that ensued afterwards, most of the country didn’t get it.  Yeah, the acquittal was bullcrap, but do you gotta riot over it?  Understanding the backstory to the city and its relations with its police force is important.

Over time, we got cameras everywhere.  Everyone has a video recorder in their pocket.  They started making dash cams mandatory for cop cars.

And more and more bad behavior comes out.  Instead of making them watch their behavior, they got irritated and started illegally turning off their dash cams and illegally threatening to arrest citizens attempting to record them.  Security footage goes missing.  Ect.

Even when stuff like beating a mentally disabled homeless man to death comes out, they get a nice paid vacation and still get acquitted.  It’s frustrating when there’s undeniable visual evidence of wrong doing, but the institutionalized system that errs on the side of the cops is still in place.

It’s a slow hill to climb, brothers and sisters.  But keep fighting the good fights.  Keep those videos going viral.  Pull out them cell phones when you see some stuff that don’t look right with your local po po.  Police the police.  At some point, they’ll have to give in and realize there’s no getting around they’re on Candid Camera.

And they’ll have to, you know, behave like the honorable protectors of the peace we pay them for.

–        Gabe out

18.Dec { On the Wall: Views from a Social Media Gadfly }

 

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Most Regular People Say…

By Gabriel Owens

It’s hard not putting celebrities on pedestals.  Sure, we like to think, hey, they put their pants on one leg at a time (maybe Michael Jordan jumps into them, possibly), but they seem so special.  They did something to get them to a higher plain than the rest of us plebeians; they must be so above it all.

If the great social media experiment has taught us nothing else, it’s that no, they really are just like you and me.  Frighteningly so.   All the same dumb thing we do, they do, when plopped unsupervised in front of a computer or smart phone.

1 – They can’t spell.  Seriously.  Now, if they post a blog to their website or publish an “open letter” that they probably get someone to edit (or write) for them, it’s usually well done, free of typos, edit mistakes, and the grammar makes sense.  But social media (especially twitter) allows them to shoot out quick whatevers, and BY GAWD so many of them have the writing style of a 12 year old with a solid D in English.  Actors and athletes especially.  It’s to the point you see anyone with well written screeds on SM, you immediately suspect someone’s writing for them.  It’s REALLY apparent when suddenly they go from perfectly acceptable output to all upper or lower case and run-on sentences where half of everything is misspelled and lacking punctuation.  Obviously, someone went off the reservation from their publicist and are actually posting to their SM accounts themselves.

2 – They’re petty and love drama.  There’s nothing funnier than if you catch twitter at the right time and get to witness to celebrities go back and forth like a text message arguing, fighting, slinging accusations and insults at each other publically over the DUMBEST of shit.  Again, left to their (smart phone) devices and no handlers for a moment, they behave like everyone else.  Airing out each other’s dirty laundry is bonus points.

3 – They believe the same dumb s***.  Now, for some celebrities who are more outspoken about such things, this is not a surprise.  But some that usually keep their mouths shut, social media sees them forwarding the same debunked bullshit, talking about vapor trails, propaganda about Bigfoot and Sarah Palin (hey…I HAVE never seen them in the same room…), etc.  Suddenly exposed, they either get real defensive or fully embrace it, if again, their handlers don’t get to them and reeducate them about SM.

4 – They shouldn’t be allowed near an internet connection drunk.  As a wise man once said, you shouldn’t text or post to Facebook after 2 am with a few cocktails in you.  It’s never good.  Waking up and looking at your text history after receiving a few “what the hell was that about last night” texts at 10 am is a Scroll of Shame.  Or going “what the hell, 80 new notifications on Facebook/twitter, what is everyone going…ooooohhhh…”  Now imagine doing that when you got 80,000 eyeballs on what you said.  Oh, you can’t delete none of that.  That’s screenshotted forever and TMZ already has the story out.

So, it’s certainly amusing to watch it all, and it makes us feel better about ourselves.  I don’t even think in a shadenfreuden way, but just in a “we’re all in this together, we’re all people” kinda way.  Hopefully it keeps on going before publicists and handlers get too strong a grip on their peoples in this still wild wild west world of web 2.0.

–   Gabe out

15.Nov – { On the Wall: Views From a Social Media Gadfly } with Gabriel Owens: Follow the Leader

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Bitstrips!  Giraffes!  Trivia About Yourself That No One Cares About!  What does it all mean?

Well, we all love a good bandwagon to jump on.  Whether it’s a team that made it to the Super World Final Sweet Cup that you’ve never cheered for in your life, or growing a mustache to fit in with the cool kids, the internet and social media domain provides us with tons of silly, fun, and yeah, sometimes annoying little trends and “memes” to join in on.

If you love participating, go ahead.  But also realize that you’re probably annoying people who have seen about a billion that day or week.  Don’t get upset when they whine.  Just hashtag them #firstwoldproblems, and walk away with the smug look on your face, secure in the knowledge you just pwned them, snapped them down something fierce.

If you hate all the damn giraffe pictures and boring cartoons your feedmates seem to think are so clever, well, breathe.  Keep scrolling.  As always, it’s their social media outlet, not yours.  Some of the stuff you can even set parameters to block.  Or just stop following them if you can’t stand seeing their stuff anymore.

But at the same time, don’t be a Johnny or Joanna-come-lately:  If you only check your SM stuff once in a while, probably by the time you see it and decide to get in on the fun, you’re gonna look like that dude still rocking his Member’s Only jacket.  Once the fad has passed, it’s over.  Now you’re just some random jackass with a giraffe picture that no one can remember what the hell it’s supposed to mean.

Keep internetting, bloginites.

26.Oct – { On the Wall: Views from a Social Media Gadfly } with Gabriel Owens

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Tips And Tricks For Being a Better Social Media Monkey

A few things to get off my chest, social media stalwarts.  I gotta talk to you.  About your memes.  And some tips for safe SMing.  This is the gospel from me, and it’s posted on the internet, so it must be true!

–        Your childhood was not better because you didn’t have a cell phone.  Kids still play outside.  People my age, stop saying you “didn’t have Xbox.”  You had a Nintendo tho.  Stop frontin’.

–        Sports memes aren’t funny.  Sorry, they’re really lame jokes and you only force yourself to laugh cause they’re against a team you don’t like.  Get better writers.

–        We’ve been over this before, but putting text over a picture does not make it fact.  Stop sharing everything that comes in your feed.

–        “Hacking” requires you to break someone’s password or encryption.  Posting to someone’s social media after they left their computer/phone open to Facebook is vandalism.  Get your terms right.

–        Seriously tho, them duck faces gotta go.  Fad’s over kids.  It was stupid in the first place, and now you’re the equivalent of the guy still going around saying “Waaaaazzzzuuuuuup!”

–        Posting wall-to-wall lets EVERYONE see your message in your mutual friends group.  Depending on one or both of your security settings, maybe EVERYBODY.  It’s not the place to do your sextings, air out dirty laundry, etc.  Take it private message.

–        You don’t have to reblog EVERY picture set on Tumblr that relates to the thing you’re into.

–        Speaking of, if there’s no reason for a bunch of pictures to be wiggling around, stop making every photoset gifs.  Static jpgs work fine.

–        Putting a . in front of a reply will let your whole twitter feed see it.  Just a tip.

–        Everyone loves babies and kids.  But you don’t have to post every picture you take of them every day.  Spread it out a bit, people will be more appreciative and your kid/s won’t be old news.

–        No one listens to the songs you link from YouTube.

–        For my military members, remember who your boss is when you begin to rant against the government.  You’d be surprised who’s reading it.

–        Facebook isn’t ever going to charge you for using it (your information is being mined to advertisers, that’s where they make the money.  YOU are the product).  Stop posting that meme.

–        And yes, Facebook changes its security settings often.  Find out exactly what it is and what you need to do, if anything.  Copying and reposting someones “instructions” that may be false, out of date, etc makes you look dumb.

–        Creating memes about your group of friends can be clever and amusing.  Do more of that please.

–        When commenting on breaking news, please be specific on what you’re talking about.  Not everyone is watching Channel  5 with you.

 

We good?  Good.  Safe and fun networkin

13.Oct – { On the Wall: Views from a Social Media Gadly } with Gabriel Owens

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I’m Gonna Do What I’m Gonna Do

With the gub’ment in shutdown, the crazies are flying their flags high out on the social media front.  YouTube rants from Alex Jones types get passed around on SM like the gospel.  Macro images stating outlandish things regarding the president, medical care, etc are shared with nary a thought.

You, the alert, social media policemen of mine, are vigilant.  You look it up on skeptic sites and snopes.  You refute the crazy with links.  Sometimes they engage you with “well, he’s still a Muslim terrorist socialist” or “the reptilians are still running the country through the illuminati” or whatnot.  Oftentimes they don’t even reply.

Some are somewhat reasonable tho.  They may go “lol oops I should have checked that.”  Then, they continue to post more of the same.  It’s frustrating.  The above you can roll your eyes and move on, unfollow them or just egg them on if you’re feeling particularly trollish. The ones that at least will concede they fucked up and THEN keep doing the same thing are the ones we wonder about.

Why?  You obviously can be reasoned with, and acknowledge that you post bunk.  So why, why WHY O LOHD (cue my BBBW impression) do you keep posting crazy without verifying it?

Why?  Cause they don’t actually give a crap.  They’re gonna do what they’re gonna do.

What is with people who are just so self-assured to the point of annoyance they refuse to alter their behavior when pointed out time and time again how they’re effed up?  Is this a result of the “Mommy told me I’m special” generation we keep hearing about?   Are there really this many people that firmly believe in their infallibility to the point they can’t or refuse to alter their course because deep down, they feel like they’re always in the right?

How did we end up with so many people like this?  Or are they just more visible in this age of instant, digibyted exchange?

It disturbs me.

 

 

 

 

 

2.Oct – { On the Wall: Views from a Social Media Gadfly } with Gabriel Owens: “Have You Seen Me?”

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You know, I don’t have anything against forwarding pictures of missing children, in theory.  One of the great tools and powers of social media is the ability to spread info like that at an amazing speed.

But let’s be real here:  most of the ones you mindlessly are forwarding on Facebook are old, out of date, and some are outright hoaxes.   Sadly, sometimes the child is dead.  And occasionally, it’s actually a real, active missing child.

Look, it doesn’t take more than a few seconds to Google the name of the kid and see what it says.  Sometimes you can follow the post back to the original page (usually a parent or family member) and see if it’s still active.  Sometimes all the above yields zero results and probably means it was made up.

“So what the hell am I hurting, you hater of missing children you?” you ask.  Well, I’ll tell you.  First of all, if the kid’s already been found, you’re perpetuating the parents/family with bombardments of well wishes and questions long after the situation’s been resolved.  They are probably looking to move on from a troubling event.

And then there’s emotional currency you are robbing from your friends list.  Many people are empathetic and sensitive to these things, and now you got them worried.  Maybe for a few minutes, maybe they stay up all night about it.  You’ve robbed them of emotion over someone no longer missing or possibly didn’t exist.

So how to tell the real ones from the old/fakes?  First of all, let’s weed out the questionable/hoaxes.  A missing child picture should have a clear photo, the name, last place and date time seen, etc.  And more than likely, a phone number to call with information.  Anything missing this vital information is suspect.  Still, you can Google or if possible, or follow the link back.  More often than not though, these types are screen grabbed from an fb post or are scans of something.  If you can’t get anything on this name to pop up on the Google’s other than links back to this very same story, chances are it’s a fake.

Same goes for the resolved.  Google will usually pop up a new article or blog stating they were found.  There’s lots of websites that do track these things just for this purpose.  And again, backtracking to the OP’s Facebook if possible will have the BEST info on it.  It really, really does not take long.  Then, you can be the bearer of good news for your concerned friend who blindly reposted it and post the link to them.

If it all checks out, feel free to repost.  Even if it’s in Oklahoma and you and all your friends are in Australia.  Can’t hurt, right?