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Mythical proportions: social media

One thing I really love about social media is how I can BE little ole me.  Authenticity is the new normal.  I tend to reflect on the past year, where I am in life, and my own personal checkpoints that I've carried over the years.  Sometimes it weighs a ton, and others when I can be refreshed and exuberant at the same time.   

Last year, I reflected a lot about music.  Interesting, now I come to think of it because I would have thought books would have been my highest interests.  Yet subconsciously, while lost in reflection, my natural implosion is music.

Perhaps it shouldn't be.  I still remember figure skating ... how there was times I leaned into the music, hastened my pace based on the music, learned to jump at certain crescendos or spin at others that felt right to.  That must be what it is like to be a true artist and musician:  you simply get lost in it, unfaltering love, hidden talents that you haven't even examined, never mind let them implode.  That is what it is that allows the magnificent visionaries we think of.  When you think of a great visionary do you automatically think of Bill Gates or Steve Jobs?  Or could you even possibly think of Mother Theresa?  Opposite ends of a great spectrum.

So writing has become my crescendo in life I suppose.  It is like all that build up is ready to explode ... the sad, the lonely, the ill would implode.  Cave in.  But not the visionary in life.  Thinking about JJ Rowlings ... she certainly found her greatest talent at her darkest hour.  Others may have ended up at their darkest hours.

I watched the HBO Special with Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt, who at 91 has a girlish giggle and exudes a sense that she is JUST now discovering her meaning to life.   I couldn't even fathom being a very young child and your father dies, then all the adults around you are bickering and fighting, forcing you to go to this very big building, with intimidating strangers jumping into the fold of the bickering.  Blustering to the point of spit and puffed up red faces.  Who needs to worry about the monster under the bed or in the closet when that is your real life.  I'd imagine, she would want to run to the closet and hide, to keep the real monster around her growl and push her around.

It was just amazing.  I haven't really had an idol since Princess Diana passed away::  someone my own age who lived gazillions of years away in how our lives took such different spins.

You had this incredibly beautiful, young beyond her age, vibrant, intensively passionate woman honestly say what makes her tick (her art and earlier her fashion).  I was astounded when she talked about her marriage at 17 to a man 31.  Or her marrying at 20, to a man 63.  Both masters, reveled in their respective vocations. That must be what is part of Gloria's magic, she really had found guidance in her husbands, that disguised the omission of having a father figure in her entire life.  Think of all her influencers:  darling DoDo, her nurse, mother, nanny, teacher or her grandmother who became entangled with the Whitney family.  Then her mother, hidden away in the make believe world of Hollywood.  I adored her frankness when she talked about being an actress or model:  they put makeup on her, dressed her and made her feel beautiful.

In my rambling mind, which hasn't been uncorked for a few days, either on optioneerJM or MEANDERINGSabout ... so I guess I'm letting it rip eh?

I've been so pre-occupied with life, quite frankly, I haven't been too close to the computer.  With the exception of Saturdays Polyvore marathon.  Whew, I wish I would almost, but not quite, be able to buy all those things included in my collections.    Alas, that phase I think has finally burnt out:  shop til you drop, retail therapy, shopaholic, whatever you wanna call it has fizzled out.  Amazing, I really must be coming into myself.

First up this evening was to Facebook.  Like billions others, if I'm going to have a word from my kids, it will be more likely be seeing a post and clicking a like.  Funny how the world has evolved.  A child would know:: hey, I love ya ... OR ... been thinking about you .... wondering about .... this .. or .. that.  I click a like on one of their posts and they know I've been there.

As usual, I skim through the posts on my timeline.  Smart that Facebook:  now giving me the choice as to who or what posts I want to see when I first log on.  I used to think Google had it made in spades with their intuitive predictions of sights or tidbits that may draw me in.  Now, Facebook is our friend of a different sort.  It knows who I likely view, even the mere few ads I'll click, Groups I belong to, Facebook Pages I follow that gives them a real sense of where my head may likely be at.

Lately, at the top is a memory post from a year ago.  I've never been one to get tied up over politics.  I'd far more likely watch the Stanley Cup without the Flames or Canucks than local, national or international politics would register a blip on my heart monitor.  But there I was, asked to step forward to help a former colleague, who used to report to me a life time ago forging a friendship that transcended all that career stuff to step into life stuff.  What a transformation for the both of us.  Both perceived as successful, career women, we got to see each other as a Mother and Wife, and even a Sister ... family was our cornerstone.  Even if how we met and emerged as friends would be from a likely source, some might think.    Yet some of the luckiest of us did find that click.

This wonderful, poised, polished young lady returned to Canada, after serving her country for a number of years :: at embassies and consolates (back in a min or two with the right spelling) :: decided she wanted to take her gift and dedicated talents back to her home city and run for a civic counselor post.  What a remarkable experience and insight it gave me into the world of politics.  I have only gotten into a social media spat once and it was an annoying advocate for my gal's post.    So opinionated and self-imposed on others, it was a lesson I failed to acknowledge.  I was not willing to accept that I could get into a furrow with anyone, never mind politics.  Mind you, I've cheered brothers on to hockey, and jumped up and down if either of my daughters scored a goal in soccer.  Not once, did I ever get into exchanges with the opposing team.  Then, slip into my discomfort zone, an area that was unfamiliar, the shield comes up instinctively.  I just didn't realize how sizable some think they are because of social media.  Like puffing out one's chest to be the biggest and the best ... unfortunately, more likely in their own minds.

And all the unsuspecting new social media enthusiasts who suck up all the BS just so they can feel like they're on the edge of something truly amazing.  A Justin Bieber created for the crowd of cheers from the immense audience that has no commercials, no script, no stifling.  The ego-icons are the fall out from social media, in my humble opinions.  It certainly has a dark side.

Then it popped.  There it was on my home page, top reference compliments of Facebook:  this reflection from a year ago when The Toronto Star published an article on who the highest paid Mayors are in Canada.  It obviously sent a tremor of sorts to my world because I clicked and shared it.  Our very own Mayor Nenshi was there.  It occurred to me, that I realized how important social media IS to politics but there is no follow up.  That is where the real media let us down.  One year their sending out a story, but never asked once, whether the citizens of the highest paid Mayors felt they get their money's worth.

Why shouldn't we ask?  I certainly don't think that a person who came out of obscurity, elected from Social Media campaigns, is what he may have led to people to believe they were getting.  Come on, please.  A Mayor who is single, male, never married, living in his mother's basement could be elected to head up one of the greatest cities in Canada, and often considered in the world.  What has this pinkasaurus got that Barney doesn't?  A successful social media campaign that was so great, the citizens of the great metropolis of oil barons got an impostor didn't he?  If not, tell me what he has done for the citizens who are being laid off, downsized, outsourced, offshore'd, replaced with newly onshores?  That may be a challenge to say.  The only time I hear about him is because he makes the bigger headlines that he's been voted the greatest mayor?  You're right, I didn't capitalize the story, because it wasn't a contest of greatness, it was a contest on social media campaigns which drew recognition.  

This all starts to make me crazy thinking about it.  Well, I'm not crazy, really.  I'm just pumped thinking about it.  My instinct was to ask how Nenshi ballooned to mythical proportions??  When my answer fell in front of me:  the part where MYTH enters the equation.  Which brings to realization that there are probably way way WAY more talented people out there that don't have that social media boost but would have been better trained, better qualified by active experience in representing political offices, a native who was born and educated locally, didn't have a shot because she didn't have the right boost.  My gal?  You betcha.

If you want another small example that grew large, that is, if you want to read more?  It would be how the NDP defeated the Conservatives in Alberta after being in power for 40 or 50 some years.  I think that people liked the caption to the end of the story:  overthrow government by political action!  That was more inspiring than the mythical proportion that did end up as a myth.  A year after this new government is in, the economy is flat, people, families are losing jobs, resulting in losing homes, and so on.  It's disgraceful is what it is.  Being blown up on hype, and unable to deliver on message.

THIS was the article and my reaction when I read a post from a year ago:  (I may have inserted the name of the publication that reported this, but I'm thinking that if brands want to be named, there should be something in it for me.)

I wonder if people in Calgary Culture​ think they are getting their money's worth from Naheed Nenshi​ ... it shows you that social media can pump you up into mythical proportions, and this is exactly what you get:  MYTHICAL proportions.    I've never thought of it before but Nenshi really is an impostor.  Why? Read more: at OPTIONEERjm .... 

I may start making creative license money by dropping in Brands whom I won't name, unless they pay me.  How's that?  Funny almost eh?  Well, when a respectable publication online refused me entry because I had anti-spam with ads turned off.  They actually said I would not be allowed entry unless I turned off my anti-advertisement tool.  Well, two can play that game eh?  Plus, they lost my readership.  The ego that thinks of itself with mythical proportions are going to go from unprinting publications to estranging readership.  Tell that to the paid advertisers.  Well, maybe not.  Hmmmm, I imagine many bloggers who would like to get paid a piece of the pie.  Especially, more people are gravitating towards authenticity, i.e. free subscriptions, and some may even like the lack of advertisers.  

Facing social media

"You must not lose faith in humanity.  Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty."
~ Mahatma Gandhi 
::: ____________________________ :::

Faces intrigue me.  If you've ever stopped by my PINTEREST profile, you may notice that the most prolific boards are my FACEUS and CUTIEpatootieKIDS.

There is so much to be absorbed by gazing upon the magnetic photographic talent that draws us to people of all ages, all races, with a variety of expressions.   

There is nothing better to accompany quotes than a human expression or image that force us to stop, take notice, and read.  To illustrate my point, many social networkers use quotes to increase followers, inspire #RT or shares, or simply encourage a like.  

Nothing reinforces a quote like a face.  I don't match them up perfectly.  Sometimes a quote will jump out at me, then I go on a journey to find an image that speaks to me.  

::: ____________________________ :::

Image and quote don't always match  That is okay with me.  Maybe, that's what makes me unique?  Case in point, I discovered this quote by Ronald Reagan, on leadership, that goes with an industrial face, full of life's lessons, a steely gaze :: challenging the viewer to agree with the quote.

The world is consumed by politics. You may be an observant bystander to the theatrics in the US' Presidential Election, or a vested participant :: one can hardly avoid being drawn to formulate an opinion one way or another :: or associate with the root of the caricature, reminding us of a former cartoon from history.  Intentional definitely.

::: ____________________________ :::

If history teaches us anything, the ones who emerge victorious do not always have the smoothest ride.  The media certainly sways reaction :: they are often drawn to the face that attracts the most attention, consolidated under a microscope as the object of humor for political cartoonists.  

BBC Videos even compiled its own list of best political cartoons on YouTube.   I've assembled a few that generate chuckles:


Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal 
::: ____________________________ :::

What better reality check? The best political cartoonists capture a headline, extrapolate the caricature of a participant to neatly create a cartoon of what is grabbing attention en masse!

::: ____________________________ :::

Faces of people tell us how to feel.  We can feel empathetic, apathetic, joy or agony based on what images attract our attention.  

Wisdom, the future, pensive speaks to me here.  I favor facial images to accompany a quote :: sometimes I find the expression first, then look for a quote that I can learn from.  Chances are, others may be attracted to the quote or the image.  The magic is when you can make them go hand in hand.

::: ____________________________ :::

Dr. Suess is a favorite.  He tends to be whimsical, optimistic.  His quotes more often match a colorful accompaniment from his own designs. Black and white images tend to be more somber, however, you can make it work when you find the right blend:

::: ____________________________ :::

Mark Twain is popular for saying the right thing at the right time.  His quotes seem to zero in on what we can apply today by what was learned yesteryears.  I had this image saved from Pinterest just waiting to find the right quote.  A black and white image can have zest and carry weight with the right quote and a shot of yellow.  I play with fonts and color a lot.  I post them everywhere:  Twitter, Facebook, G+, Pinterest with my Twitter handle which can channel to Twitter which hosts the other details of who I am, where I blog, and the always handy "ABOUT ME" page.

::: ____________________________ :::

Nothing cheers us up more than adorable kids' and their honest expressions.  I dare you to not be able to smile, looking at any ONE of these:

::: ____________________________ :::

I double dare you  to try it yourself.  Pick any one of these images, adopt a quote, or make one yourself, then share on social media.  See if you have more likes, shares, RTs (retweets) than normal.

Go ahead and make my day by including me on Twitter, Facebook, G+ or Pinterest by tagging my name, or @ me and I will be sure to LIKE, RT and share as well!

::: ____________________________ :::

"When you smile, the whole world smiles with you" 
~Stanley Gordon West

(except from Growing an Inch)

I find great quotes while reading.  I didn't know who created this quote, so I looked it up and Google landed me on Good Reads accrediting Stanley Gordon West in his book Growing an Inch.

Stanley Gordon West was born in 1932 and attended St. Paul Central High School in Minnesota. He lived in Bozeman, Montana for several years, and now resides in Shakopee, MN. All of his novels are popular book club selections: Blind Your Ponies, two other novels set in the same time and place as Until They Bring the Streetcars Back - Finding Laura Buggs and Growing an Inch - and his most recent, Sweet, Shattered Dreams. His novel Amos was made into a CBS Movie of the Week starring Kirk Douglas that stirred national controversy over abuse of the aged in America. When Kirk Douglas testified before Congress and wrote in the New York Times on the issue, he pointed out that animals had been protected by law for one hundred years before children or the aged. While Amos focused on elder abuse, Until They Bring the Streetcars Back explores the other vulnerable end of the age spectrum.

::: ____________________________ :::

It proves that great quotes withstand the test of time, or speak to the times we are in.  They tend to resonate with people and don't slow down from being shared ... and shared again.

To follow my own recipe, I will share this magnificent quote with a few awesome images that bespoke its meaning visually.

To showcase my example dog images worked.  I used a rule of thumb to avoid altered or photoshopped photographs or too choreographed images.  I use this to communicate with others and attract the like-minded.

::: ____________________________ :::

Another fun option are the ever-popular antics of Minions.  Minions make sharing popular by those with their own whimsical sense of fun.  I enjoy communicating my mood, what is going on or reactions through images of Minions assembled simply with GOOGLE search assistance.   I gravitate towards followers who agree with me, reshare, and whom it attracts:

::: ____________________________ :::

First attempts at MINIONS prove that practice makes better: 

::: ____________________________ :::

Minion moments that got me started:: not mine so I keep them intact to keep their integrity that I didn't create them, even if they may speak to me and others:

::: ____________________________ :::

One of my favorites to say how I really feel:

Try your own fun on for size.  Create your own formula of smiles.  Or, find a photo you adore, adopt a quote that matches, stamp your Twitter or otherwise signature on .... then, by golly, the world  WILL smile with you!

::: ____________________________ :::

Find more to chuckle at, rePIN or share on social media from my MINIONSmayhem board on Pinterest.

Gone to hell in a Facebook basket

thanks for accepting my friends request
very welcome
how are you doing jeannette
well thank you .... writing and posting like a maniac
i am Morrissey from Detroit,Michigan 

i certainly hope so or else someone just hacked your account buster!

::: ________________ :::

Well ... there you have it. That is about as magical as it gets and annoying even more so.

It reminds me of that old commercial that an elderly lady softly groans: "I've fallen and I can't get up."

For me it is I've fallen into Facebook hell and can't get out.

Granted, many who approach aren't going to be accused of superior intelligence and by no means even in the same hemisphere as genius.

Do people think that women, in particular, can't identify a pattern or know a little bit about culture?

I'm guessing the answer is YES :: well for starters, mostly gents with often fake photos who want to assume a North American identity, we don't go by our last names first.

Otherwise it would be "TrumpDonald" or "SandersBernie" which both sound like candidates for a sitcom dontcha think?

Why is the opening line after examination and exclamation about my looks: where you from?

If you spent half the time looking at my photos, you would clearly see I'm identified as being MARRIED.

It seems like only a moron would hit on a lady who visually shares that she is married. Oh, yes, she does have a Facebook Page which she seems to obviously be on Facebook to begin with for.

My children, family and very close friends have my personal Facebook profile. I presume they follow the optioneerJM Page at their own risk by their own choice.

I think it is fascinating for my three girls to see me beyond a mom, wife or career person. Not by my sister, Diana, who experiences and witnesses the genuine joy I have from meeting new people ::

I'm sure she'd check for KICK ME sign pasted on my back. She'd know I don't bargain for that kind of attention.

I'm just passionate when I love something and I tend to pick passionate subjects or images. Vivid colors, optimistic vibes, and seemingly little fear.

I experienced real fear for one of the very few times in my life. That is pretty lucky for me, considering what goes on in our world.

Faced with someone I know under serious MENTAL HEALTH issues :: it is no longer someone else's problem. My family know this person. I forcibly stopped myself from identifying gender or any specifics.

That will be a Blog better suited to MEANDERINGS :: but the power of social media as it relates to Facebook has its great and disappointing issues.

I've been writing like a MADwoman .... doesn't look like I'm very used to two days off in a row, else I wouldn't be rambling and clicking rapidly on these keys.

Whether you followed me adventures tonight from my Blog (all four of you) or Facebook posts, or Tweets, you've certainly joined me on a ride about identity, discovery and ... meanderings.
::: _________________ :::

What the heck, there is all the music Apple picked out for me in iTunes to listen to:

::: _________________ :::

Or enjoy the beautiful inspiration by The Boss - Bruce Springsteen that Google found for me and is winning me for the night: