Shackles, Chains & Facebook

Be honest with yourself and ask this simple question: “Are you a slave?”

a person who is the property of another and is forced to obey them.

“Property.” I like that word. Its bold, but honest. Lets take a look at that too.

a thing or things belonging to someone; possessions collectively.

Do you belong to someone or something? First, I think we have to really put a microscope on what makes us ourselves? Over my years of learning I’ve come to this realization: my time and attention make a big part of who I am. Those 2 attributes usually are well developed traits that tell you everything and anything you need to know about yourself. Its a scary, ‘look in the mirror’ analysis.

I guess we can land at these 2 questions: Where do you spend most of your time? How do you focus most of your attention? I can’t help but think the majority of us combine time and attention in a major way to glowing screens. But that’s ok, we’re not slaves to screens, We’ve already established what being a slave is: “A person who is property of something or someone who exhibits time and attention to a particular item with no self control.”

Oops. Well, this is awkward. That kind of sounds like most people’s relationship with Facebook. But we’re certainly not slaves to Facebook. That would be ridiculous. We perform self control. We demonstrate human qualities that enable us to use these devices at will. Simple. We are fine.

Wait… did I just hear a phone vibrate. Is it bothering you not to check? Of course not, you have self control. It’s just a phone right? OK, lets take a break so you can look at it. Just real quick. It will only be a second.

Wait, its been 15 minutes, Where did you go? I mean, physically your still here. But mentally, where did you go?

Does that sound familiar to anyone out there? Lets refer back to our trusty definitions. It did kind of feel like you were forced to obey that notification. A little scary yes, but you got this. Still plenty of control. You say it’s a balance that must be achieved. Well, I agree with that notion. The issue is, balance is not judged. Balance is interpreted, it’s a vague line in the sand that waves of bad habit slowly wash away. Sure, you could sort of make out the line. But you can also pretend where you would like the line to be.

Enter the modern day slaves and Facebook, your owner. The ever-moving, pretend line where one minute we are secretly stalking only God knows, and the next we are posting some fake highlight reel photos of your life. You guys know this. Facebook is hardly real life, its more like a whimsical fictitious narrative. It sounds exhausting because it is and the majority of Americans have bought in. They’ve bought into the competitiveness of judgmental living and faux comparisons to their “friends.” They’ve bought into the notion that you could live on your own terms without face to face interaction and be better off for it. They’ve bought into their own slavery.

To be honest, it’s actually not so difficult to understand why.

Remember that line I was talking about earlier? The balance line? What I didn’t mention is balance is only achieved through some sort of discipline. Am I underselling the common person’s discipline? No, I’m certainly not. I had Facebook a long time ago. But when I was uncontrollably checking in and being the least productive human I could possibly be, it took more than discipline to leave it. Its obvious the majority doesn’t have that want or will. Look no further than their contentment with launching the Facebook app every 30 minutes and opening the door to a toxic hellstew. In other words, the majority are content to spend their time and attention to a pastime that fuels nothing but judgment and wrong motives.

You could say this post is crazy and I’m overreaching. I’ve thought about that a lot while writing. I’ve thought about the few who could execute Facebook properly and not abuse the service. Those people inspire me. Truth is, I have a place deep down in my heart for those who are “slaves” or who suffer from any form of “addiction.” So I guess that outweighed any other aspect of publishing this. Maybe I look at it like a call to help. Maybe if one person could make a change and release themselves from Facebook’s grasp, this all would have been worth it.

Let me explain simply, to be locked into your phone or social network the majority of time is bad no matter how you slice it. It’s really is no shock that recent studies have tagged Facebook with an unhealthy label.

Don’t believe me? That’s fair.

Do you believe them?

Exploring Facebook Depression

Facebook Is Bad For Your Health

Rigorous Study Confirms Facebook is Bad for You

Does Facebook Make Us Unhappy?

How Facebook Makes Us Unhappy

The Anxiety Of Facebook

Facebook, Linked to Depression in Studies, Plans Expanded AI to Prevent Suicides

Facebook Lurking Makes You Miserable

Facebook Confirms it Tracks Mouse Movement

Still don’t believe them? How about Facebook itself?

Facebook Admits Social Media Can Harm Your Mental Health

I hope that would be enough proof for something we all really know deep down is true. As many studies have suggested, the Facebook epidemic has such strong similarities to drug abuse and food addiction. Both are generally known to be bad for you, but both are performed at will by their participant as though there are no repercussions. It’s sad, really. I mean, tragic even. If we won’t help ourselves by having and executing the knowledge of whats best and not best for us, what about others? Thats my concern.

Checkmate. What about our kids? What about the next generation of humans? Do they deserve attention? Or do they deserve your leftovers? Did they choose to be born to enslaved parents who hang on every noise their phone makes? Truth is, no one has any idea what the repercussions will be for such a vast social network simply because a company of Facebook’s caliber has never existed before. Beyond the obvious privacy concerns alone, we must be proactive in preserving our attention and time. Because if you take time and attention away, what more are we than slaves to the most attractive, eye dazzling distraction?

Kind of sounds like present times.

I’m under the belief our kids deserve more. They deserve more than second placers to fake highlight reels, “likes” and status updates. They deserve more than parents who are slaves to attention and self gloat. Most importantly, they deserve more than to inherit an enslaved life. They deserve to make that choice on their own. Lets pray they can make the right choice.

If you take nothing else from this post, please understand this simple concept: if you’re attention is what molds you, if you agree attention is your most valuable asset (because Facebook most def. does) then do your self a favor and from now on, treat your attention with respect.

Simply put: 15 years ago, the internet was an escape from the real world. Now, the real world is an escape from Facebook. That sounds like modern day slavery to me.

Solution: Delete Facebook.


iPhone X Day

I woke per usual at 3AM EST to preorder my next phone. That in it self sounds ridiculous because it is. But us humans are prone to do ridiculous things. Also, per usual, my supposed silky smooth preorder process was anything but. To spare you the boring details, I finally got my confirmation email at 3:31 AM EST. That’s a lot of pull to refreshes on the Apple store app.

To be honest I wasn’t really surprised. That preorder process has never gone smooth for me. I’m always up at an ungodly hour, my devices are ready, and before I know it, people on twitter are saying what model they purchased and i’m still waiting for the store to open. At the end of the day I got in and my phone is set to arrive 11/17 – 11/24. The original launch date is 11/3. Considering dates fell all the way to December, I shouldn’t complain.

I settled on the black (space gray) iPhone X 64gb with Apple Care Plus. It wasn’t cheap, but also not extremely more expensive than what a regular iPhone would cost someone.
I think people get this confused because they are paying monthly on a phone (30 or 40 bucks usually) and for whatever reason, this particular model (X) was being lauded by its full price.

Days since my preorder have been interesting, though. My buddy Jeremy ordered one almost 24 hours after preordering opened and he is scheduled to get his sometimes in the next few days. I figure this was because he ordered through T-Mobile and not Apple, but this sort of thing was unheard of years ago. I’ve also seen people’s preorders jump dates from my expected ship date all the way to launch date. I’m sitting here twiddling my thumbs. No movement on mine.

I don’t care much anymore to be completely honest. There was a time in my life I would be sitting in a line at some Apple store somewhere at this very moment instead at home typing. I guess the rumor is true, you change as you get older. Don’t get me wrong, I am excited for a new phone. My current is almost 4 years old now. Thats the longest i’ve ever kept a phone. I’m proud of such an achievement, but the age is showing in more ways than one.

Happy iPhone day to all! If you’re getting a shiny new iPhone X today, enjoy it! If you’re not, you’ll be ok. You’ll get one eventually. After a little while, you’ll start looking up rumors for the next iPhone. Thats just what we do. But challenge yourself to enjoy the now instead of the next. After all, its what you’ve been waiting for.

Thoughts & Impressions on Apple Event

In order of appearance:

Steve Jobs Tribute – Easily best part of the keynote. I had goosebumps when Job’s voice came over the speakers in that dark, intimate setting. Tim Cook was understandably, emotionally shaken. He delivered a well structured tribute for a well deserved man. Again, easily the best part of the keynote.

Apple Park Video – Very impressive. Very awkward. Don’t get me wrong, Apple Park is amazing. Every inch of the place looks like an Apple product. Obviously no money was left on the table here, Apple spared no expense in building this. So, in that instance, sure the video was great. Unfortunately it ran long for me. And by the end, it felt more like a “look what we did and you can’t have” video. Maybe thats just me, but after the first couple minutes, I’m thinking… “Are you guys just showing off at this point?” To which I’m pretty sure they would have answered: “yes and your welcome.”

Apple Retail Update – I like Angela Ahrendts a lot. I really do and I think shes doing great work…. But Apple Townsquares? Just stop. Its a place we go to give you money..

Apple Watch Series 3Solid upgrade in the Apple Watch line. I don’t love the price bump, but its Apple. Now we have an LTE enabled watch which I think makes sense, but the other side of me can’t quite connect the dots yet. Especially when cellular companies are selling me ‘air.’ Or more specifically charging me 10 extra dollars for use of the Watch on their network. A great reminder that I loath cell companies. All in all, same design, awesome new bands (sport loop) and good on Apple for pushing the line forward. If cellular means the world to you then update. If you have a series 2 and don’t care much about LTE, then sit this one out. Even if you have a Series 1 or 0, (like myself) I think unless cellular is something you’ve been waiting for for a while, then jump, if not. No worries and wait for next year’s redesign. (My opinion)

Apple TV – 4K, HDR, chip bump and SAME remote. Apple really? That remote is without a doubt one of the worst designed pieces of hardware to ever creep out of Apple. How in the world was this not redesigned and let out a 2nd time. 4k is great if you have a TV that supports it, HDR is the real winner here. Again, your TV has to support it, but HDR alone would make me upgrade if I had a TV capable. I’m holding off, but considering our Apple TV is our main way we watch our television, I’m happy to see Apple pushing their TV agenda forward.

iPhone 8’s – Its been the popular thing to bash these phones all because iPhone X was announced at the same event. Sure, the 8’s are less desirable for tech enthusiasts. But not only tech obsessed people buy iPhones. Apple knows this, and the truth is the 8’s are unbelievably great products. I really love the way the aluminum mixes with the new glass back. Also, the new gold color looks fantastic. I wouldn’t write off these phones just yet. I’m sure the demand will be a whole lot less compared to iPhone X, but these are solid upgrades which Apple should be commended for. Not to mention they feature almost every software upgrade that iPhone X does. iPhone X trumps 8 in hardware, sure. But there’s something to be said for tried and true, and the 8 is exactly that to the core: tried and true. I’m still heavily considering purchasing one.

iPhone X – The main event. I felt a very odd merging of emotions watching the unveil of iPhone X. Sure, I have been waiting for over a year for this phone, even published why I was passing on the 7 to wait on this very model. But as Phil Schiller was proudly announcing iPhone X I felt a sense of dread mixed in with my excitement. The lack of home button is really bothering me. I love my home button, specifically because I think its easily the best feature ever implemented on any tech product. And now Apple is ditching it. There is no denying how good iPhone X looks though. Its everything I thought it would be a year ago and in some ways more. I was little worried about Face ID and how well it would execute, but the hands on videos and trusted tech reporters cleared any doubt on that front. But one more gripe… That notch at the top of the display literally offends me. I don’t know how else to say it. It looks so out of place and so un-Apple. I get that Apple had no choice. That’s obvious. Internally, they can’t be thrilled with it either. But man, its rough to look at. Maybe using in real life changes things, but that notch. Anyways, bottom line for me is I’m excited to use it. As far as iPhone X as an over all product: Its obvious they believe in the design language and clearly is the future moving forward. Very impressive work for Apple.

My Verdict – I really enjoyed this event. A lot of it has to do with the Steve Jobs tribute in the new building. It just felt like an old school Apple event again. Maybe it was Steve’s voice. I don’t know. All the devices announced were impressive to say the least. The more interesting aspect of this event was wasn’t said though. No HomePod talk, no iMac Pro talk. Actually no Macintosh talk at all. Nothing ever mentioned. Thats kind of amazing to me. Amazing in a sad way. All in all, I’d say a solid day for Apple. They delivered on some heavy rumored products and high expectations of millions. But that notch though. Oh and by the way where in the world is dark mode?