The Great Social Media Crash Of 2017

I shouldn’t be writing this blog post of taking time to read Facebook, pin things on Pinterest or Tweet at the Conman-In-Chief.

That is because Old Jack Steiner has to finish packing for a business trip and this blogging thing isn’t going to help him finish the job.

The thing is that Old Jack Steiner has one hell of a stomach ache which may or may not be related to the trip.

Blame the uncertainty on the beauty of having a dysfunctional digestive system, sometimes you just don’t know.

The Great Social Media Crash Of 2017

Given the enormous anger and rage surrounding the US and much of the world I am wondering if 2017 might mark the year the social media crash.

In other words, will it be the year we run out of energy and time to be outraged and or outrageous on social media.

You might wonder if I am mean that to be tongue-in-cheek and the answer is, sort of.

If I take some of the comments friends and family are making there is some truth to the question of whether it has become exhausting to hang out on some platforms.

As a father I find myself wondering how much of the anger is spilling over and into the platforms my kids use.

Are they seeing/feeling it and if so, what sort of impact is it having upon them?

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When my kids were really little we were very careful about what we said around them because we didn’t want them to be exposed to certain things before they had to be.

That changed as they got older, especially once they got cellphones and computers because once the barn door opened we knew the horses would go running.

That is not to say we stopped monitoring because that never happens but our and your ability is limited, especially in the middle and high school where it is common for kids to have easy access to the ‘Net.

Fight Or Flight

The kids and I have had multiple conversations about when to stand and when to run.

We have talked about figuring out the value of winning the battle and losing the war and vice versa. I have always thought about it as being important, but lately it has increased in value.

That is because when people tell me they find social media to be exhausting I ask why they are still there and what they hope to accomplish.

If you are not paid to be online then your presence is a choice and if that choice hurts you, well you know where this is going.

Anyhoo some have told me they think it is important to keep pushing out certain messages and fear what happens if they take time away from the platforms they reside upon.

My response is always the same, we’re in a marathon and not a sprint. If you want to last you have to find a way to take care of yourself.

It is really not any different from the conversation I have with the kids.

Don’t mistake that to sound like I am saying I am better or smarter than the next guy because that isn’t it.

Hell, I am the guy who likes to argue and will fight for months but as I have grown older I have learned to be more judicious in who gets my time.

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Speaking of flight I have to go finish getting ready for mine.

I used to love flying but it is not something that I particularly enjoy anymore. We’ll save the how and why for a later date and say I hope the plane isn’t stuffed to the gills.

Be good to each other and I’ll see you around the comments.

Have We Become Enslaved By Social Media?

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Yom Kippur begins in less than 24 hours. “Normally” I write a post about how I feel unsettled and share thoughts around that but that’s not really where I am going with this one.

That is not to say I have no feelings regarding the day or that I am not feeling unsettled because I am and I do. But this time the unsettled feeling has me focusing on social media because tonight I censored myself on social media.

Tonight I didn’t make some changes to my Facebook page that I wanted to and would have because I was concerned about the potential impact those things could have and that bothers me.

The Lines Are Blurring

A dear friend of mine posted a picture of us from our fraternity days. We’re twenty-one and clearly drunk. I remember the night and I remember the party which is saying quite a bit because I drank enough for all of you who are reading this now.

Even though the picture is twenty-three years old I made a point to see that it wasn’t connected to me because I didn’t want it to come up in searches by prospective employers and that irritates me.

It irritates me because the guy in that picture doesn’t exist in anything but memory. There are a lot of stories about that 21 year-old and a lot of stories about the boy that once was and that man followed but because of social media I have become cautious about what could happen if some things came out.

Maybe it is paranoia. Maybe I am being silly but I have listened to conversations about hiring decisions and read more than a few articles in which social media profiles come into play and I am concerned because the lines are blurring.

Judgment Calls

Whenever we make hiring decisions we make judgment calls about whether the prospective employee will fill the needs of the position. We think about whether they’ll fit in and how they can help the company meet its objectives.

I understand why employers are trying to paint as complete a picture of candidates as they can but I am not convinced that Facebook profiles provide the kind of information that is truly valuable.

Some of them are sanitized and sterile and it is impossible to gather any sort of detail at all and some of them are populated by photos that don’t provide dates or any sort of indicators that you can use to determine when they were taken.

But I wanted that picture buried because I didn’t want someone to stumble upon it and think it represents me today. I don’t want to be concerned about whether they would look at the boyish face and wonder if how it could be tied into all the experience on my resume.

Snap Decisions

We live during a time of instant gratification and snap decisions. Do something foolish online and there is an excellent chance someone will jump on it.

Make a mistake and there is an excellent chance someone will try to make you pay for it because we are not allowed to offend anyone any more.

I can provide more than a few examples, but one jumps out at me now. A man I once worked with me was in a minor automobile accident.

No one was hurt and the damage to his car was minimal but he insisted on suing the other driver because he wanted to “make some easy money and their insurance company will pay.”

It never occurred to him how his actions could impact others because he just saw a big company that could “afford to pay him to go away.”

Electronic Bubbles

And that my friends is what occupying my mind after midnight on this Thursday night. As I wander through cyberspace safely ensconced in my electronic bubble I wonder sort of snap judgments I am making about people and what is being made about me.

It is one of those moments where I think about how nice it would be to have enough cash to just not care what others think because I worked because I wanted to and not because I have to.

But that is not the case so I think about these things and wonder if my concern is valid or not.

Five Stories Of Sexual Conquest In Social Media

Boy and Sheep

Confession: there probably won’t be any stories about sexual conquests in blogging here. If you want to read that kind of thing you can find some of it over here or you sift through the posts here because sex is covered.

Yeah, there are posts here that talk about sex but I am not going to whip those out for you right now because I am in a different sort of mood. So those of you who weren’t scared off by the headline can take the proverbial walk with me and share some time.

But before we do that I need to apologize to those of you who comment on a regular basis. You have been great at supporting me and I am grateful for it but I haven’t been real good at responding. Just been caught in my world so I have been slow to get to them. My apologies.

Social Media Is About Engagement

I often talk about how there is no single way to be successful in social media but also say that engagement is the secret sauce. Engagement is what makes this bus fun to drive and that is where the real magic happens.

It used to be something I was really good at. I read lots of blogs and commented all over. It was easy. It was fun and it didn’t impinge upon my ability to do other things.

But that is past. That is not working for me now and I am not sure why.

Maybe it is because work is taking a ton out of me. It is a good thing. I love what I am doing and I look forward to being there, but I am devoting a ton of energy to it so maybe that is why I am not getting it done like I used to.

Or maybe it is not.

Father’s Day Is Coming

Father’s Day is coming and I am not going to spend it with my kids. It is funny because I am not the dad who gets worked up over Father’s Day. I like spending time with the family but I don’t have to have a special day for that.

But I am very conscious of it because I can count the number of days I have spent with my children on two hands and maybe a foot. That is since January 31st, that is.

I can tell you that I moved because of work and that it was the right move, the smart move, the one to make for all of us. I can tell you this isn’t forever and that one day the kids will appreciate what I did.

But I didn’t do it so that one day they could thank me. I did it because I am their father and we do what we can to provide the best life we can for our children.

This isn’t a situation of good intentions gone bad either. This was and is the right move.

Nonetheless I miss those little buggers.

Things I Never Miss

I never missed school performances, soccer games and all of the other stuff that kids do. I was the dad that was always there middle of the day and after hours. I didn’t miss any of those things, even the awful performances and let’s face it, some of it is awful.

Sometimes you go to a school performance and you know you are going to be bored out of your mind. You know you are going to have to deal with some obnoxious parent who insists on standing up to photograph or videotape the performance regardless of whose view they block.

You know you are going to have to work late or bring work home but you do it because that is your son/daughter and you don’t want them to be the only one without a parent at the show.

Well, I know that my kids haven’t had to deal with that. There is always someone there, but I am not someone. I am dad and I missed a bunch of those.

Sometimes doing the right thing is hard.

One More thing

Have you read When Blogging Became a Popularity Contest? If not I would sure love it if you did and while I am asking a favor I probably should ask you to become a fan of TheJackB facebook page too.

I appreciate your time. See you in the comments.

Give Me An Example Of A Rant

King of Clouds

Editor’s Note: This is post is seven years old. I see it as more proof that the more things change online the more they stay the same.

In a galaxy far, far away from this one I have been engaged in a pissing contest with a number of different people. We have gone back and forth about this and that and more than likely haven’t managed to convince anyone of anything.

My position on the initial matter remains unchanged and I suspect that those that have read some of my comments feel the same way. Some of the banter has been especially colorful and I received a note from someone who claims to be familiar with my blog but was shocked by a comment that I left.

I am not a shy guy, well I am, but that is a different sort of shy. But I thought that I’d share the silly and juvenile remark that they found so shocking right here. If you are easily offended than go and grab a shot of whiskey and then come back. Or skip the next block quote because there is going to be more posted here.

XX,

If you pulled that hot poker out of your oversized ass and dropped the remote control from that fat cheeto covered paw of yours you might actually have a chance of making a point.

But that is about as likely as your ignoring the siren song of stale store bought donuts you left on the kitchen counter you pathetic maggot.

I guess when you father crapped you out he managed to rid himself of some genetic waste.

Go rub some salt up your ass and suck on a rock. And for what it is worth it is considered bad form to rely on Google for insults you silly bastard.

As they say, eat shit and live. And to all my other fans, go fuck yourselves with the nearest kitchen utensil you can find. You are in dire need of a serious orgasm.

Hugs and kisses from someone who doesn’t understand satire.

-Jack

And there you have an example of the finer part of the blogosphere. It is the seamy underside that is filled with nasty comments and bitter remarks that more than likely would not be shared in person because most people are just unwilling to really say things like this outloud.

I on the other hand don’t always take life so seriously and am more than happy to swear like a sailor. Although I should give credit to one of my grandfathers for showing me that there are people who can swear for 17 minutes straight without taking a breath and more importantly without repeating themselves. I suppose that between his time in the army and time as a carnie he picked up a few things.

What Father’s Do- A Real Social Media Post

His Royal Highness King Zawadi Mungu

The smarter business and social media bloggers will take a moment to read this so they can figure out if this really is a social media post or if I am just trying to link bait them into reading.

If I wanted to go I could fill the beginning of this post with all sorts of nifty tricks and tips. We could talk about the importance of managing expectations, determining what metrics you need to hit to be successful and what kinds of tools improve your productivity.

Don’t worry, I won’t leave you hanging. Carolyn has a great list of Chrome Extensions and Shonali has a list of 20 tools you can use to improve your productivity. And just for kicks I’ll toss in Two Things That Are Killing Twitter.

And Now For Something Different

I Will Wait- Mumford and Sons
Ghost Riders In The Sky- Johnny Cash
Boogie Chillun- John Lee Hooker
Burn- The Cure
Layla- Derek & The Dominos

Those are the last five songs I listened to before I started writing this section. Music and lyrics moving through my mind as I think about the question of what fathers do.

I missed Career Day at my son’s middle school. Missed it because I am 1,500 miles away and I couldn’t get back for it. Missed it and a bunch of other things that are important to him and his little sister.

Those things are important to me too because they are important to the kids and my kids are important to me.

But I am here because there was a career opportunity that was too good to pass up and it didn’t make sense to make them move during the school year. I am here because this is what fathers do, we provide for our families and when you find a better way you have to consider it.

Smart Isn’t Always Easy

The smart move isn’t always easy and you can’t always predict what the right thing to do is. Sometimes you have to just go for it and figure it out as you go along.

So I picked up and moved to a place where I didn’t know anyone because I believed it would create a foundation for a better life for my family. I used Twitter to find people who lived in the city and asked for advice and suggestions about places to live and Twitter came through.

I went on Facebook and learned that a Facebook friend lived here two years ago. He connected me with people and suddenly I had people to hang out with and places to go for a home cooked meal.

The kids and I have Skyped and used Google Hangouts to say hi and to do homework.

I have listened to them tell me about their day and heard them beg not to make them move.

The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same

Haven’t lived in an apartment in a million years, but here I am again. Turned on Eclipse off of Dark Side of The Moon and remembered being in my early twenties.

Lay down in the middle of my living room and remembered the last time.

It was me and a few of the boys, we were drunk and lost in the lyrics and a discussion about what it meant. Back then no one was married and no one was called dad. Life was nothing but infinite possibilities.

This time I was sober and irritated because the neighbors were playing their music too loud.  Some of us have to work in the morning. This time I wondered where this would lead me, I still saw possibility but instead of infinite it was just many.

Still good, but a bit more limited because I don’t do things without thinking about those little people who call me dad.

A Real Social Media Post

What makes this a real social media post isn’t the knowledge that people in Triberr will tweet, stumble and G+ it. Nor is it because of the links to Twitter news, browser extensions or productivity tools.

Social media is about people and most of you who read this are parents. And those of you who aren’t still understand what it means to move to places you have never been for opportunities you hope will pan out.

So I shared a story and some thoughts and perhaps you’ll do so in the comments and then we can say we had real engagement and another social media success story will come to life.