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How honest are you? In real life? In social media? Would the people who know you be surprised if you did something shocking?
Back in the day when someone went off and committed some horrid thing you would see the neighbors saying things like “He was always a little strange, but we never saw this coming.” Now that we have social media the circle of people who “never saw it coming” has grown.
And the ability to sugar coat has gotten easier.
Not only have we gotten better at hiding the bad, we have gotten better at exaggerating the good. When a man flies off the handle and kills his wife and children, we look back at their posts and say “but they had such a great marriage!” We look at smiling pictures of those who commit suicide and wonder where the problems were hiding.
So how honest are you? How much do you show the warts in your life? How much do you confide in real people? How much do you share with virtual people? How much do you exaggerate the good? Would your friends and neighbors on and offline be shocked if you did something tragic?
Why do people hide behind positive posts and perfectly filtered pictures? Are they afraid people might know their secrets? It’s easier to hide secrets now that we can bury them under a facade of beauty. It’s no longer just “he was a quiet guy”, now it’s “he really seemed to have it together.”
It is my goal here and elsewhere to be honest and open. I don’t ever want to sugarcoat my situation. If I ever seem too optimistic, call me out on it. If you ever need to confide something, I’m here.
The last thing we need is to be all over the news with our friends and neighbors surprised that our lives were really not so great.
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Last week I talked about Steemit and offered a couple of tips to help you succeed. I ran out of space so I decided to spread out the tips into a second post.
Here are the tips that I left out of the last post:
Want something more confusing than Steemit? Get Discord. Discord is a chat app which supports text and speech. It’s mostly used by gamers but there are quite a few Steemit related channels on there. Once you get the hang of them they are actually kinda cool and easy to use.
Some of my favorites include:
Peace, Abundance, and Liberty, this is probably the biggest Discord channel for Steemit users. It includes over a dozen chat rooms about topics from poetry to photography to sports to rap battles. Like all the others I will mention here, it includes a “post promotion” room just to post links to your blogs in. Unlike the others it also has three upvote bots you can register with and use simple commands to get a couple extra votes.
Minnowbooster, this is not nearly as extensive as PAL, but it has a post promotion room. It also has information about using the @minnowbooster upvote bot.
TPot, not sure why I like this one so much, it might be the logo. It’s a bit more cozy and intimate than the rest.
World Of Photography, this is the Discord group for participants in @photocontests.
What else? Oh yeah. Register with @ginabot. “She” can update you every time you get an upvote or a resteem and every time you get a wallet transfer. Very helpful!
Steemstats is a great page which will allow you to keep track of your voting power, your incoming votes, your upcoming rewards, as well as all of those things for any other Steemit user.
Which brings me to this tip: keep an eye on your voting power. Don’t go voting for everything on your feed. If it gets too low your votes won’t be worth much and your curation rewards will suffer. I like to keep mine above 80% if possible.
SteemAuto is a tool for more experienced Steemit users. If you use it incorrectly you could end up harming your account. So be cautious.
With SteemAuto you can create a “fan base” of people you will automatically upvote every time they post. You can even set upvotes for every time they comment. You can see how this can lead to a draining of your voting power, so use it wisely.
You can also schedule posts to post up to 100 hours later. This is helpful if you are going to be away from your phone or computer and you want to make sure you get a post up in time for things such as contests.
Another helpful feature of SteemAuto is automatic reward collection. This handy tool collects your rewards for you so you don’t have to check your wallet 30 times a day like I used to!
There are other tools on there that I have not yet explored, but I imagine they are as helpful as the rest.
Steem Dollar Ticker:
This handy site is great for calculating just how much your wallet is worth at any given moment. While your wallet tells you the total value, it doesn’t allow you to tell individually what each section is worth. This tool helps you do that.
This is another tool I would urge caution with. As of writing this I’m running a bit of an experiment to see if it’s really helpful. If used wisely, I think this tool could be very helpful to new Steemians to gain them some quick traction towards Dolphinhood. If used poorly, one could lose their shirt.
I’ll post more about this next week when I see the results.
Other Fun Stuff:
Steem Pacman: This gives you Steem for playing the classic Pacman game. Last time I tried it I didn’t get my reward, but it’s fun so check it out. They promise more games are coming.
Earncrypto: This is one of those “do things, earn money” kind of sites. You can set it to give you many different types of cryptocurrencies. I have mine set to Steem and I just run videos all night.
Coinmarketcap: This site will give you the prices of all cryptos, very handy.
I’m sure there are other tips and things that will come to mind after I post this, but I think these should keep people busy for awhile.
Anything Steem/crypto related that you use? Post it in the comments!
Now that I have your attention, I want to tell you that I think that is a big fat lie.
Social media is not killing us. It’s merely changing us. Much like the printing press or the automobile, social media has opened the world to interactions and the spread of information that it has never seen before. And just like those inventions, social media comes with unintended consequences.
I see people all the time yelling that the sky is falling because kids these days do nothing but stare at screens. When I was a kid it was the TV, prior generations it was rock music and cars. “They” probably probably claimed books were killing kids at one point in time.
It doesn’t take much of a Google search to find conspiracy theory posts about Mark Zuckerberg trying to suck data out of us and control our minds with strategically placed advertisements.
I hate to tell you conspiracy theorists: Advertisements have been around forever, and in abundance.
There is no conspriracy to steal your soul. Ad execs just want your money. And guess what? You volunteer it to them, in exchange for whatever good or service they are offering in their ads. There is a reason Facebook is free, it makes plenty of money from advertisers. If anything, you should be thanking them for the free service, since you never have to spend a dime on any of it. And guess what? You can leave it at any time.
I’ve gotten to the point where I see so many ads that I don’t even notice them anymore. It’s just background noise to me. Oddly enough, on the rare occasion I see a TV commercial I’m actually sucked in. Print ads just don’t work on me.
“It’s not the ads, it’s the lack of community.” Abundant are the complaints about people being sucked into screens. Most of the whiners claim that it’s robbing us of the ability to have community.
While it is annoying to have loved ones sucked into their phones all the time (they have a name for it: Pphubbing), I have actually found many communities with social media that I probably never would have had I been trapped in the homogeneity of my local neighborhood. Social media has allowed me to interact with people on the other side of the world. My impact on their world and their impact on mine is greatly magnified by this invention (not that my impact is much anyway, but I think you get the point). What other generation can claim as much actual interaction with international cultures as we can today?
Social media is just a tool. Tools are only as evil as their users. There are certainly evil people out there on the interwebs. But there are evil people in your grocery stores, your street corners, and even in your own family. Do you avoid all of these things? No, you just act with caution. You keep an eye on people and understand that sometimes they will hurt you. But most of the time they are just there to live their lives in peace.
Is social media killing us? I don’t think it is. Let me know what you think below.