Can I Be Candid?

Can I be candid for a moment? Yeah, it was a rhetorical question.  You actually don’t have a choice.  Most of us are on social media, with the exception of my parents, and see the daily shit show that is social media.  Two of my favorite groups to follow on Facebook are our neighborhood groups and the state’s hockey forum.  The groups are filled to the brim with people who are completely unglued.  Consequently, some days its more entertaining than Netflix.

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We’ve actually nicknamed our neighborhood as the restaurant killers.  No matter which restaurant they try it’s either: not as good as it was in New York, crappy service, too expensive, decor bland, etc.. I could go on for days.  As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t be in a hurry to open a restaurant near our neighborhood.   We recently have a restaurant open up near us and lots of our neighbors went to the soft opening.  Oh the diatribes that followed about all the glitches they encountered.  Apparently, they completely missing the fact that it was “soft opening.”

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From time to time people will make ad hominem attacks on HOA board members, which are unfounded given their volunteers. There’s one guy in our neighborhood that blasts the board on the page if the pool deck is dirtier than he’d like or the plants are overgrown.  Fortunately, he’s kind enough to post photos.  I guess people who aren’t hockey moms have a lot more time on their hands.  I can’t comprehend how he has time to do these things, but whatever.  They also like to blame renters for property damage or stolen property.   Oftentimes, their kids caused the damage  or the “stolen” property was misplaced.  What makes these pages so puzzling is that our neighbors are incredible, so confusing.

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On to the hockey forum, it is a complete and utter gong show at times.  Again people go on the page and call out organizations or worse people by name.  If you have a problem with someone, why wouldn’t you address it to them instead of blasting them on a Facebook page?  It’s fucking cowardly.   As for calling out organizations, it’s not always uncalled for, but seriously have your facts together first.  Lastly, if you don’t like the rules of the league, take it up with the league.  After all, the organizations do not own the rules and regulations, the league does.  Tonight’s I’ll be toggling back between NetFlix and the utter disaster that is the hockey forum.  It should be a night full of laughs.

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Tonight’s song, very apropos that the disaster that is the hockey forum, performed by the 4 Non Blondes is “What’s Going On?”  I’m really stuck in the 90s this month… I remember this song fondly as I would watch the video at my great uncle’s house in California.  The song always reminds me of that wonderful trip. 

 

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Keeping Up Appearances

When Snap went public in March, investors had high hopes that they’d see Facebook like returns on their IPO dollars.  That might be a stretch, but the thought was that Snap would be a good addition to a portfolio.  Since the IPO, shares have fallen by 28% due investor concerns surrounding slowing user growth and lack of profitability.  Class actions lawsuits seeking to protect investors have followed.

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In the wake of Uber’s troubles, comparisons between Uber’s former CEO Travis Kalanick and Snap’s CEO Evan Spiegel have been common place.  Now that Snap is a publicly held company, Spiegel is more likely to lose his job as a result of poor user growth and low profitability.  Both are known to be egotistical, brash, and narcissistic and both have gotten in trouble for their comments.

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Monday night Snap threw a party in Cannes at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.  Ironically, there were no cameras allowed in the event and guests were not allowed to take photos.  Additionally, journalists were not allowed into the party either.  Sounds like Snap likes being in the camera business, but doesn’t want the cameras in its business.  Perhaps they are trying to maintain an illusion of austerity in the face of the numerous class action suits or a contrived sense of exclusivity.  Meanwhile stateside, Kalanchick resigned Tuesday as CEO of Uber.

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When it comes to maintaining illusions, it isn’t just powerful CEOs, but regular people via their social media accounts.  Society has created a web of perceived perfection via filters, influencers and viral videos.  The illusion becomes dangerous when people can no longer cope with real life against the juxtaposition of the illusion.  If your kids were to look at your pics, would they see you or would they see a contrived version of you?

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Living Life as a Paragon of Perfection (Not!)

In a world dominated by social media and social media influencers, the use of filters and the crafting of a careful social media presence exists far from the glare of the Hollywood lights.  We use Instagram to perpetuate an image of our lives that we want the world to accept regardless if it is accurate or not.  It has a created a society that looks towards almost unattainable and unsustainable happiness based on the false pretense of everyday life the social media has created.

Think about it.  When you select your Insta or Facebook profile picture, you’re going to pick the most flattering picture.  You may even select one with one of those ridiculous and fun Snapchat filters.  We certainly don’t select a picture where we look horrible that’s for damn sure.   The picture where we’ve clearly drank too much and are making the most ridiculous face that are friend tagged us in on Facebook?  We instantaneously remove the tag.

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The thing is we can’t pretend like this didn’t exist before the socials did.  It’s not like people picked their crappiest photos and worst moments to highlight on their Christmas cards.  Just like the photos we post to our profiles now, the photos selected and the moments shared always crafted a good picture.   Was it always accurate? Probably not.

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The problem with socials is that they exacerbate the perception that many of our friends are living lives that are the total paragon of perfection.   Meanwhile, their life may be a complete disaster or completely normal.   As I looked through pictures from graduation last month, I found myself laughing at the outtakes.  We had some great pictures, but there were some completely disastrous photos, which are pretty accurate of how life sometimes feels in a house of all boys.

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For today’s blog post, I’ve interspersed some of my favorite photos of the boys and the numerous outtakes.  You’ll notice one Christmas (2007) the Mayor decided he didn’t want to cooperate at all.  At the end of the day, social media can be a great tool to keep in touch with family and friends across the globe, but we can balance putting our best foot forward with the creation of a completing fake and narcissistic social media persona.