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© 2020 Andrew Voller. All rights reserved.

Life and social networking is about making the right choices.

The problem with life is it's long enough to make big mistakes and too short to get it just right.

It's easy to allow the social media bubble to warp your sense of reality. Don't ever feel pressured to do or say anything you don't want to on the internet.  

Sound of Mind delves deeply into the hidden layers behind social media. 

 

Finding Your People

Sixteen basic personality types have been identified by the genius of Katherine Cooks Briggs who based her theories on Carl Jung’s proposition that people perceive the world using four psychological functions: sensation, intuition, feeling and thinking (one factor being dominant most of the time). She says that each person is likely to profoundly suit just two mostly opposite personality types. This leaves fourteen other types of people who you may or may not get along with to wildly varying degrees. All of us seem to struggle with wading through unsuitable characters on a daily basis, causing repeated thoughts of going it alone. Finding your people is wearing and stressful, but extremely worthwhile and essential to your mental development.

 

 

Many would debate that mingling is a necessary part of building patience and tolerance for others – developing your character, communication skills and wisdom. Others could justifiably argue the friend filtering process causes arguments and feuds, and is a bloody waste of your valuable time and energy. I tend to lean towards the latter as I get older because not a great deal of good has come from trying hard to deal with people I have nothing in common with. The older you get, the less you want to burn precious time hanging out with people who don’t make you feel good. In youth, we scattergun meeting all 16 personalities to learn, stimulate our minds and get laid. By middle age we are streetwise enough to speedily eliminate abrasive types we consider negative to our qi (life force). Regardless, that abhorrent darkness to you may well be someone else’s light and salvation. Personality types are perceptions, not indicators of good and evil.

 

Maybe it’s just as simple as finding out what personality type people are and only bonding with your personality matches, and just being civil to everyone else? This seems limiting though and goes against our exploratory minds because as brilliant and accurate as the Myer’s Briggs test is, it does not cover all of life’s intricacies, exceptions and anomalies – which it openly admits. Plus, obviously most people haven’t taken the test, so it’s a bit rude asking a stranger to do a personality profile to see if they are qualified to talk to you, lol. Perhaps we should dismiss this ancient myth that wise people tolerate everything they encounter with passivity. Experience has taught me the best manipulators and liars get on with everyone. Surely the best way to deal with evil is to stop it or kill it.

 

 

The fact remains, social media usage multiplies people encounters way beyond your random meeting ratios from common places and routines, and therefore has become the most efficient way to find like-minded people. This often leaves a big problem of them being miles away in another country though. So how important is real human contact? How much of our minds are satisfied with mental stimulation? What can we gain connecting across keypads with just words, photos and videos?

Niche Communication

The first thing I noticed when conducting therapy sessions via messaging only and rarely meeting the client in real life, was how surprisingly effective this one-dimensional form of communication is. Having read many books on body language and studied it extensively since 18 years old – micro-expressions and all – I previously assumed that not being able to read people’s facial expressions and bodily posture was going to be a great flaw in the therapy process. However, it isn’t at all. Only a little bit at most. I never feel wanting for any information or limited by simply typing back-and-forth to a relative stranger in need. In fact, texting takes away the awkwardness of a face-to-face meet and potentially clashing chemistry, making it purely a meeting of minds. It’s amazing how much you can understand someone from solely reading their choice of words, regardless of their education and size of vocabulary.

 

We learn, read and are told words are roughly only 10% of a person’s communication quotient. It’s the way you say it, not what you say, they say. Tears are more emotional than words, surely? But experience has shown me the power of words to express oneself and convey feelings is phenomenal! You can get right to the heart of someone’s problems and positively change their lives using only words on a luminous screen because if sincere, words are every emotion and thought you want them to be. Hateful words hurt a lot more people than sticks and stones have. The truth stings more than wasps.

 

Social media is a connection of minds, not bodies. And where the mind decides go, the body will follow willingly or not. Your mind is your natural computer and bio profile to the world. Before the body becomes receptive to cuddles and love, the mind must have trust and that comes from empathetic understanding. If someone really understands where you’re coming from you feel a sense of euphoria that at last you are not alone. This partially explains why twins are inseparable, because how can you reject yourself. We are discussing the soul mate equation. Opposites are drawn to each other for diversity of genes, practical living and universal balance. However, we all seek our mental clone to reinforce our beliefs, interests, philosophy and morality. Genuine words are enough to win someone’s heart, move country and anything you want them to do. Words are organised communication and therefore the foundation of reason.

 

Social Media Addiction

There’s no question that social media can be very stimulating, convenient, appealing, entertaining, interesting, educational and a general eye-opener, yet consequently also very addictive. Are you drawn to it because it is by-and-large good for you and a rewarding experience, or it’s a displacement illness filling gaps in your real life you struggle to face? Does social media make us all controlled, slightly mad and waste our time, or is it more of a welcomed escape and entertainment from the banality of daily work and life pressures? The answer is both in roughly equal measure, so you must find a healthy social media usage (insular) and family leisure time (outgoing) balance. 

 

People follow the herd and the herd is on social media. A mass migration of antelope thoughts and buffalo onslaughts. We are magnetized to the frenetic pace of random commentary, bickering and flirtation as well as catching up with family and friends. Social media is a pick ‘n’ mix world of sweet and salty posts bombarding your mind night and day. Your task is to organise the chaos into an enjoyable experience. But first you must acknowledge the bigger motivation of the billionaires to sell you stuff, collect your personal data to sell, use social media platforms to control the masses and suppress resistance against their financial coercion. Apart from that, SM is fun and can be very supportive in-between all the arguing. It genuinely prevents thousands of suicides worldwide. Suffering people have someone at their fingertips to talk to within seconds when they need it. 

 

Social media usage, mostly via mobile phones, fits between mundane tasks all day long in varying lengths of time, usually short bursts to make the day more entertaining. You are asking for the phone to distract you because you’re bored. It’s a simple equation: the unhappier and more directionless you are with your real life, the more you will try and escape it using any entertaining means necessary. Some people turn to drink or drugs, sex obsessions, stealing for stimulation, etc, and others immerse themselves in the otherworldliness of social media for way too lengthy, unhealthy periods of time to the detriment of their real life.

 

Any addiction can create a split personality if it’s in direct conflict with what needs to get done in the real world to survive comfortably and SM is no different. Obviously SM usage is largely an indoors experience, so if you’re not experiencing the great outdoors on a regular basis and also spending quality time with your family, your mental health will suffer. Everything in moderation as they say. Basically, someone is obsessed with social media when it significantly interrupts their daily routine, changing their real life in a negative way. And if you’re getting nothing useful done, that too qualifies as obsession. The otherworldliness of social media is a real problem if it becomes more real to you than a life you can touch away from a glass screen.

 

The Pros and Cons of

Social Media

After fellow tweeps wrote approximately 100 good and bad points about using Twitter, I was left with 8 main points for each category.

 

THE PROS

 

1. You can find friends and distant family members easier than in real life. It works as an excellent flirting and dating app too.

 

2. Helps a lot with loneliness, especially if you live in the middle of nowhere. Quite good for networking as well and many support groups providing a community feeling.

 

3. It’s entertaining. Lots of dog and cat videos too. Plus keeps you up to date with the latest news and obviously it’s free to join and free to leave with no obligations.

 

4. You get to find out the truth about the real way people think because they are unafraid to speak their mind.

 

5. It opens your mind to a wide base of opinions and helps you better understand the human mind. You get to see the real way people live all across the world.

 

6. Social media is good for social inclusion. Ugly and average looking people can talk more to the aesthetically beautiful people, which is infrequent in real life, increasing one’s confidence and expanding good looking people’s minds which can become complacent.

 

7. It’s good training for the increasing insincerity in the world. You get used to being randomly and oddly blocked or muted by people who once claimed they really liked you, which helps you treat real life problems like water off a duck’s back.

 

8. Social media allows outsiders, geniuses, criminals, etc, who have been outcast in their community to reintegrate or interact with people without being judged or hounded. Everyone has a voice, whether it is heard or not.

 

THE CONS

 

1. Social media is a breeding ground for narcissists and snowflakes. Plus idiots have a greater say than they would in real life.

 

2. It encourages venting and bullying. Strangers can insult each other from the safety of their home without consequences and trolls scout around looking for victims. There is little accountability.

 

3. It’s addictive, gossip central and can overload your mind. Excessive mobile phone usage is bad for you.

 

4. It’s a time sink which can be very distracting from things that matter.

 

5. Encourages stalking, scamming, paedophiles, catfishing, dick pics, liars and private information theft. Some people have absolutely no morals. A guy calling himself Thomas Hazard told me he felt suicidal because his family and wife got killed in a car crash, his daughter has leukaemia and his DJ equipment got burgled also. That’s a lot of bad luck I thought. He extracted a number of £20’s from retired women sympathising via Go Fund Me and I sent the police around his house.

 

6. People express themselves via social media instead of mixing in a neighbourly way. Social media damages local community.

 

7. Your personal information can be used against you.

 

8. Social media creates a mob mentality and united hatefulness. Lies spread fast.

 
 

Social Media Skills

Social media apps are just tools and it’s up to you to learn how best to use your application or you will experience problems. If you have just joined Twitter, Facebook, etc, or are presently experiencing issues with shit people, be mindful of how to drastically reduce the negative side of SM from the outset by understanding the machine and human behaviour.

 

People like groups and most groups become bullying mobs in no time at all. The suffering and vocal #mentalhealthmatters community will mob you in a split second if you don’t follow their scheme of things. And even the polite #writingcommunity practice organise silent exclusions. The truth is unwelcome because it means change and it’s not good for business. Worse than that, many groups like #Feminists and will work behind the scenes to rally frequent troll attacks against you just for politely disagreeing with them, which develop into organized blocking and even unfairly mass reporting you as offensive when you’ve done nothing wrong. Other large pressure groups like #LGBTQ and #TransIsBeautiful are also known to be OTT defensive and overly sensitive, having no problem whatsoever going apeshit on your timeline about absolutely nothing, from my experience. Tread carefully with all the groups which feel victimised and socially oppressed because SM gives them the voice to express themselves without repercussions. You could be their next venting victim and your business and livelihood could be damaged by immature people who don’t give a fuck. There are always many exceptions to the rule of course. Bear that in mind. I prefer to treat people as individuals, regardless of what groups they may or may not identify with.   

 

Big groups on social media insist on getting their own way, frequently by foul means and this can ruin your user experience as an honest individual. Many people return to the school playground or suffer from prom king and queen syndrome. Shout-out lists and DM rooms can be very effective ways to ostracise and exclude others. Therefore you need to take sensible measures to NOT get drawn into their fake friendliness and controlling ways.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA INSTRUCTION MANUAL

 

1. When you are not using social media, you DO NOT want to be bombarded with app and FB messenger notifications all day long. So turn them off in settings and only allow in-app notifications. You are in control, not your phone or a computer programme.

 

2. Your social media safety needs thinking about. Understand the possible dangers of internet usage. Social media is a predator’s paradise and haven for scammers. Anything you post is now everyone’s property which means that some sick fucks may do some weird shit to pictures of your kids, or stalkers can track you down. Unsavoury types may commonly try to damage your business reputation and lose you clients openly or behind your back. If you can’t handle the consequences of people finding out where you live or saying nasty stuff about your family, then don’t post any morsels and breadcrumbs for deranged or lost minds. Dip your toe in the water and decide early on whether you want to be anonymous or not, or if you will share your family and private life at all. A warts and all approach can have negative consequences, including blackmail. Just be you, be normal, create boundaries and don’t share too much or any private information. Respect your identity, space, philosophy and life.     

 

3. You naturally want to be popular, so the temptation to bow down to large, dominating accounts is immediate. Don’t be subservient to anyone, especially the non-famous big female accounts who will most likely welcome you with open arms, play around with you like a puppy, pump you for information, chew you up for cruel sport and spit you out like a dog’s bone. Very popular women get a kick out of this all day long on social media, usually while their husbands are working hard paying for their comfortable lifestyle, #fact. There are roughly twice as many men using Twitter as women and many of them are lonely. Some women exploit this by turning the desperate men into their grovelling White Knights. Most men are mugs or saps for women, as we know. I recommend blocking most large non-famous female accounts as routine and the large male accounts who are their friends as well, to prevent trouble. Pay particular attention to arrogant and delusional fame hungry accounts that have roughly 15-50+ thousand followers but only follow back a few thousand, like some people are lesser or something. Trust me, blocking those narcissistic losers will save you a lot of unwarranted hassle in the long run. The block button is your best friend. Muting people is indecisive. Don’t worry about blocking hundreds of people. It will save you much time reading rubbish and arguing with stupid people.

 

4. If you do not heed my sensible advice and find yourself bullied out, it won’t help you opening a new account because SM algorithms will remember who you previously followed and automatically present them to you again. Unfortunately they are not sophisticated enough to remember who you blocked before, so it will be like an echo chamber re-run of your previous troubles unless you use a different device and a different email address. Only then you can start afresh.  

 

5. Once you’ve got rid of the riff-raff as best you can when they pop-up, you need to begin the search for your people. I highly recommend not following everyone like a maniac to build up your numbers. If you do you will have lots of arguments and get upset a fair amount of the time. There’s no need to lock your account, just simply let your account grow organically. This means only following peeps and tweeps who you seem to like or get on with. And filter out any unfriendly people along the way by blocking. Having lots of followers does not mean you will get lots of likes anyway.

 

6. Use your intuition. I have found this by far to be the most effective preventative measure to stop trolls and bullies. You will instantly get a bad feeling about someone but probably then make the mistake of not blocking them because you feel you’re mature enough to tolerate dissention in the ranks. Big mistake. Block them if you get any bad vibes regardless of who they are or who they’re friends with. It doesn’t pay to give people the benefit of the doubt on social media.

 

7. Trolls and keyboard warriors usually follow the same account patterns. They have a high number of posts and a very low follower count. This tells you they are unliked by everyone. Plus they receive very few or often no likes to their tweets and are almost always anonymous. Lots of trolls also don’t tweet much, preferring to retweet with sarcastic or bitter comments. Trolls are usually lazy social failures and snowflakes who wade in with an offensive attitude from the get go. Reply nicely so you have the last word and then block immediately to put them in their place. Don’t waste your time arguing with anyone unbalanced who spreads hate because they get a kick out of upsetting you. We live in a dysfunctional society.

 

8. The biggest reason for falling out with anyone on SM is obviously having a difference of opinion on core subjects like politics, religion and sexuality. If you are even slightly off point with your opinion, you can guarantee that someone somewhere in the world will be eager to set you straight. Get used to this learning curve. Respect other people’s views and freedom of speech. Social media will open your mind to every alternate possibility and thought humans can possibly conceive. This is good for your education and soul.

 

If used responsibly and skilfully, social media can provide you with lots of positive encouragement throughout the day. Your real life or day could be going to Hell, but your social media buddies will keep you going. Many people frequently comment their Twitter family is way more supportive than their real life family and friends. This is the overwhelming appeal of social media. As Western society becomes more diverse and disfranchised, you will naturally search for hearts of gold elsewhere.  

Nature and Robots

Robots are the antithesis of nature. Somehow, through the adroit use of mind and fingers, humans have eventually tamed many aspects of nature to plunder for profit. Social media is equally a trap to feed you mainstream propaganda and also an escape from the drudgery and boredom of repetitious tasks because we have largely abandoned our natural habitat.

 

We know that using screen technology is generally bad for our eyes and causes stress. Computer programming is officially one of the most stressful jobs around. Focusing your mind and eyes on a small smartphone display for too long can easily give you a headache or even a migraine. In nature, our early man progenitors would rarely visually focus on anything for more than a few minutes. Blinkered eyesight can shut you off from the world and make you anti-social. Plus, social media is the perfect tool for the world rulers to manipulate your mind. All of your private DMs and messaging is being shared and observed for sales and world order security purposes.

 

Robotics is the great hope for the ruling billionaires to suppress or eliminate the people. At the moment they need us, but we are becoming more redundant as every decade passes. As they work out powerful algorithms to subjugate the people, ironically their internet mechanism for control is currently out of control. So many billions of pieces of information are downloaded every day it’s impossible to police the internet successfully. Right now the people have a voice and can shout down their leaders, but is anyone actually listening?

 

On each social media forum and answer centers like Quora and Yahoo, there are millions of accounts who receive free promotion. On Twitter the blue checkmark tick lets people know the account is verified and of public interest, according to Twitter. Apart from the obviously famous celebrity accounts like Donald Trump or Ricky Gervais and millions of others in the known political and celebrity arena, millions of non-famous accounts receive the accreditation marks too. Many social media users are left baffled as to why it’s them and not you. There seems neither rhyme nor reason as to why. I’ve even come across blue tick accounts that hardly tweet anything with a mere few hundred followers. These accounts are pushed to the top of all search engines and this is great for their business profits. However, who gets the accreditation is not random or anomalous at all, but because freedom of speech no longer exists, one cannot be specific. Yet I can tell you that virtually all of these types of accounts come from the same culture of people who currently run America and Britain. They don’t remotely worry about it being unfair. For them, seeking social status is the be-all and end-all of a petty existence and they own all the social media and media platforms as well, telling tales in their favour. It’s very concerning stuff, even frightening how they control everything their way with zero regard for democracy. Therefore, we need to understand that social media primarily exists as a sinister result of greed, not for your emotional wellbeing. Regardless, we all make the best of a bad society.

 

Outside of our corrupt Western society, there is a beautiful world of nature which will put everything in perspective. Nature is the free antidote to many of society’s constricting ways. If you get too keen or hung up on using social media, go for a hike across open fields or a walk around calm lakes. Used sensibly, social media usage should be no more than about 10% of your life. When it takes over, take time out and connect with music, trees or the sea instead. 

 

Has using social media made you lose the art of reading and appreciating deeper material?

One of many intellectual problems with using social media is it tends to make you write and read nothing but sound bites. Everything is short injections of information and jokes with little room to create pathos or storyboard profundity. If you’ve got half a brain, at some point you will need to satisfy your mind by reading an in-depth article of interest or a creative piece of passionate writing.

Whereas my Twitter novel, A Tale of Two Tweeps, pulls you deep into social networking darkness, the Enlightenment Series were written to take you away from everything into Launa’s fantasy world.

 

Reading stories is a great way to escape life and relax your mind.