Your Perspective Decides: What will you choose to see and bring?

Have societies lost touch with humanity, integrity, ethics, and universal truths? Have we surpassed the point of no return? Is the zombie apocalypse on its way? Does it feel like the satanists and the insane are running the world into the ground with no regard for anything other than their sick and twisted, selfish interests? Have the environmental toxins, pollutants, and industrial poisons saturated our brains, dumbed us down, numbed our hearts — dimming our connection to our higher selves and souls? Has this made it easier to control and manipulate us?

Are we in a humanitarian, human rights, environmental, economic, and global crisis? Or are we experiencing a global awakening,  an unveiling of truth — a shift in consciousness and paradigm shift? Are all of these realities happening simultaneously?

Are things really any different than they were 100 years ago or are we just more aware of the corruption and illusion? All, some, or none of the above?

Your perspective decides. 

dslr photography lens. camera lens isolated with bokeh lights.Given the current media-saturated culture and ubiquitous nature of fear-based, emotionally triggered, and bias-filled news, propaganda, and disinformation, it’s easy to lose perspective and be sucked into the warped matrix of doom and gloom. But it is also possible to pull back, research more deeply, become more aware without being paralyzed by fear, and seek out a variety of sources to balance, inform, and ground your perspective.

However you feel, your opinion, what you identify with, and what you seek, is determined by your own personal bias, point of view, and your prior experiences and knowledge. Your perspective is shaped by who you are and your journey. It is partly based on your past, your present, what you anticipate for the future, and what you choose to tune in to and see.

Your perspective and perception affect your reality and how you view and process information through your personal lens. The lens you look through as an individual impacts how you receive or distort information. What you see or do not notice is filtered through your personal filter and based on a multitude of factors.

“We do not see things as they are, we see them as we are.” – Anais Nin

Consider all the unlimited factors that influence your perspective from your race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, physical abilities or disabilities, your vision capabilities, socioeconomic status, whether you are married, partnered, or single, if you have children, step-children, raised from a divorced or coupled home, education level, pets, political affiliation, age, health, what geographic region you live, if you’re homeless, level of consciousness, childhood, trauma experienced, current circumstances, your level of awareness, and much more. All of these factors code your story, unique perspective, truth, illusion, beliefs, perception, and expectations.

What perspective do you bring and offer as you maneuver through your day? How does your perspective affect what you observe, see, process, and integrate into your life? Perspective informs and shapes the way you approach your life, what you choose to see about your self, others, and how you view and embody the world around you.

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” – Henry David Thoreau

What you perceive as truth, reality, or illusion, is highly dependent upon, and subjective, based on who you are, what you focus upon, and how you interpret information. The angle from which you draw upon determines what you include and exclude from your point of reference and experience.

What you see depends not only on what you see, but what you look from (1)What do you perceive as truth, reality, or illusion? What is distorted based on who you are and what you see? How myopic or wide is your lens and perspective? Is there room for growth and expansion? How open are you to another side of an issue, opinion, or experience?

bigstock--159231797There are endless ways to build upon, deepen, and broaden your perspective.

  • Bring awareness to your perspective and adjust as needed.
  • Peel back the horse blinders and widen your perspective; it’s a bridging opportunity for respectful dialogue with others.
  • Be open to new perspectives and engage ideas that question your ways of knowing and the angles in which you perceive.
  • Recognize where your perspective can be stretched and loosened in the areas where you may default to rigidity and shut down.
  • Allow for flexibility.
  • Release the resistance and be receptive to challenge your perspective.
  • Listen.
  • Learn something new.
  • Welcome the clarity and possibilities that exist outside your comfort zone.

Your perspective is just a “spec” of the full tapestry in the beautiful mosaic of life, after all.

Vector Mosaic Art Pattern. Vector Mosaic ImageAre you ready to bring your slice of perspective, your wisdom, and all of who you are to a new paradigm of content sharing, community, collaboration, curation, connection, and much more? Join us and let’s create something magnificent together, at Medella!

~ Melissa A. Curtin

 

 

An Opportunity in the Misinformation Age

The speed at which social media content is shared and spread breeds inaccuracy, misinformation, half-truths, and disinformation. This coupled with our hectic, time-compressed lives, and the desire to stay informed, up-to-date on news, information, the latest environmental or emergency crises, and issues du jour, becomes the perfect superficial social media smorgasbord riddled with skimmed headlines, shoddy journalism, a swirl of opinions, questionable facts, eye-catching memes, and misleading images and infographics.

It’s typical for articles, photos, and videos to be posted, re-shared, and circulated without much consideration for content accuracy, context, or truth. Inaccurate content, dishonest headlines, deceptive visuals, and articles distributed from untrustworthy news sources are pervasive.

Misinformation and the Spread of Fake News

It’s effortless to click, share, and re-post a story or an article found online – many do this without actually reading the article, research, or study first-hand. It’s commonplace – but not necessarily out of bad intentions or the deliberate desire to perpetuate the “fake news” trend, but out of ease, habit, and the lack of time, energy, and effort it takes to verify. It is time consuming to double-check and verify sources and yet another step to determine if it’s newsworthy, trustworthy, evidence-based, and worthy of attention.

Is there even a pause to research, investigate further, verify sources, fact-check, or dig deeper? Why wouldn’t you want to disseminate information that is correct, accurate, and truthful? Wouldn’t that be the ethical path to take?

Magnfiying glass on the word investigate to illustrate detective

Is there any journalistic integrity or quality standards left? Or is it all about the likes, follows, and the shares content receives – whether it is validated and vetted or not? Does anyone care about the truth and quality of what is delivered across the media inter-webs?

vector smart phone social media iconsOn an individual level, holding each other accountable to higher standards when sharing news, articles, and content on social media is a prudent move in the right direction. For mainstream news outlets and independent press agencies to be sloppy about fact-checking, inept at digging deeper, and their absence of journalistic integrity, is counterintuitive to the purpose of reporting, investigating, and disseminating news for a wider audience.

Often news agencies who generate content swiftly are time-crunched and bound to harsh deadlines. Media outlets and their content producers are unable to thoroughly vet stories or properly fact-check and validate. The erosion of trust in the media and news organizations has been negatively cascading for decades. Trust in the mainstream corporate-owned media is at an all time low. Discerning viewers and critical thinkers have little trust in the information offered and are becoming more media savvy and media literate.

When sharing a news story, a random post, an article or research study online, it’s essential to first understand where the content originated. Follow up with some foundational media literacy questions to determine its accuracy, context, and relevance. Learn to decipher, decode, and deconstruct the media and information you consume. Share from trusted sources and be apart of elevating the quality of the content we all access and appreciate.

Verify Magnifying Glass Check Facts Research 3d Render IllustratResearch, understand, and verify your sources.

  • Who owns the website or media outlet where the story, article, research, etc., is published and featured?
  • Who wrote the content? Why did the writer, author, reporter, or news correspondent report the story that way?
  • What bias did the writer, producer, or owner bring to the story based on who they are and how their experiences have shaped their perspective?
  • Who sponsored, funded, or paid for the article, story, research, or message?
  • Was it independent of financial pressure to express a certain viewpoint, message, or idea?
  • Is the information accurate, trustworthy, and reliable?

Compare the information to other reliable sources.

  • Are you able to locate variations of the story or article you presented? Was it reported or re-published elsewhere? By a reliable source?
  • Check facts from the original sources, studies, and discover the evidence for yourself.
  • Does it have references, resources, or a bibliography with linked sources? If resource links are embedded within the story, are they verifiable? Can they be validated?

Examine the source, the message, and the media used.

  • Is the writer or content producer using primary or secondary research, interviews, content, data, findings, etc.? If not, where does the information originate?
  • Confirm citations from the author, writer, and content creator. Are they a respected authority or known in their field as an expert? If not, are they supporting their findings with those that are knowledgeable and respected in their given areas of expertise?
  • What’s missing from the story, coverage, article, etc.? (Viewpoints, perspective, relevant and pertinent info, context, background, history, implications, consequences, etc.)
  • What is the purpose of the content/message/story?
  • How is the information scripted and used to propagate a narrative, agenda, or ideology?
  • What additional information do you need to seek to clarify and understand more deeply?
  • Have the images or videos been doctored, adjusted, photoshopped, or digitally manipulated or enhanced?
  • Are the sound bytes and video clips real and authentic or have they been altered and edited to change the context and meaning?
  • Has the video footage been photoshopped, doctored, or manipulated to corrupt the meaning and disrupt the message?

Who is fact-checking the fact-checkers?

bigstock--147762143

When using fact-checking services, research their validity, and trustworthiness. Are they reliable? Are they biased in how they fact-check, report, and present their information? And if so, how? Who are they funded and sponsored by? Who are their owners and advertisers? Questions that examine the money trail are critical. Ownership influences content and it certainly affects what facts are included or omitted.

Are the fact-checking companies or organizations just an extension from the very agencies, governmental, or organizations they are hired to fact-check info and news about? Or are they truly equipped to provide a neutral fact-checking service? Do they have the capability to verify information independent from conflicts of interest?

An opportunity exists in the mis- and disinformation age.

We are at a prime opportunity to upgrade the defunct social and mass media content sharing landscape. Let’s raise the bar of quality on what is shared through re-posting and spreading content online. Be discerning in what you choose to distribute and what sources you trust. Choose wisely. Take the time and extra effort to circulate original and authentic news and quality information. It’s better to save the article or post to read later, than to rush to share it without vetting its veracity. Question its content, truth, and facts. Be proactive when you recognize false or inaccurate content. If something doesn’t adhere to the truth, kindly correct the mis- and disinformation by offering verified resources.

There is no excuse for us not to research further and dig deeper when we have instant open access to the intelligence and knowledge base of humankind right at our fingertips.

Join us at Medel.la in contributing to an innovative user-driven platform through content creation, collaboration, and connection with those you trust and respect.

~ Melissa A. Curtin

 

We are the product. Break out — be free!

Is anyone paying attention to the absurdity of this widely accepted, yet warped social media “game” that we are currently participating in and willfully abiding by? Have we lost our ability to critically think about the consequences of our media engagement? Through our involvement and consent, have we forfeited all sense of autonomy, privacy, and sense of self?

We have slid off the slippery slope right into the arms of the captors and fallen off the cliff of reality. The masses gullibly ran in droves right into the trap while disclosing, divulging, and revealing themselves, and mapping their lives. The captors gleefully and strategically have us right where they want us. Was this all part of their master plan?

Incentive Trap

FaceBook launched on February 4, 2004 as the Lifelog project of DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), the Department of Defense’s research department closed. Auspicious timing and creepily coincidental. The Pentagon cancelled the Lifelog project, which was intended as a massive database devised to track your entire existence. Since many start-ups are funded by CIA front agencies, what did we expect?

What has really been the purpose of FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram, Twitter, and other prominent social media platforms? Were they really innocently designed as a creative outlet for expression and a free service to connect us socially? Or were they always private companies with ulterior motives, masquerading as a public utility, and established to commodify our lives, monetize our actions, aggressively track our shopping habits, behaviors, trends, preferences, and locations, to control us? Perhaps even predict where we’re headed, including outbreaks, activism efforts, and crises? What happens if, and when, we defect and flee from their pervasive clutch of control?

It’s certainly not a secret we’re being tracked and surveilled as we interact with one another in this corralled ring of communication, interaction, and constant connectivity. After all, we are the ones freely dispensing the digital diary of our lives. Expressing our behaviors, thoughts, opinions, preferences, tendencies, and images, on a blinking neon display for anyone who will bear witness to us, the product.

We’ve become the product within these free services that are embedded with advertising, sponsored ads, paid boosts, and suspicious ads that emerge in your news feed after you had an in-person private conversation about needing a particular product or service.

What are you trading for access to this “free” service to log your life, catalogue your actions, map your locations with “check in”, post what you made for dinner, where you shop and what you buy, photos of your children and pets, an itinerary of who you spend time with, what issues you focus on, updates to your profile picture, photo tags of your closest friends and family, the incessant practice of taking selfies and gifting your biometric data, and infinitely more.

New York, Usa - May 28, 2018: Tourists Taking Selfies In From On

Have we been deceptively co-opted and are we willing participants? Somehow we traded convenience, participation, and connectivity for privacy, freedom, and time, as we yielded our data, our habits, our beliefs, interactions, relationships, choices, and preferences. Is it worth trading your autonomy, privacy, and sense of self, for the hours of time spent scrolling, clicking, liking, following, sharing, and giving yourself and your data away through your tracked digital life map?

The current social media platforms have not only captured our attention with their lustrous technology, but they’ve captured our experiences. They’ve captured us – in their all encompassing, oceanic interNET. And we fell for the bait.

Hook, line, sinker.

Hook, line, — sucker.

Baits, Hooks, Sinkers Preparing For Carp Fishing.

Look, realign, — be a thinker!

It’s a ripe and critical time to adjust our social media trajectory, consider the implications for using this technology, and what we are actually trading by using surveillance and “Lifelog” based platforms like FaceBook and Instagram.

Are you ready to be free?

Are you ready to break out and be apart of the vision of building something better?

Freedom concept. Escaping from the prison

Join us for an innovative experience on a new platform that was created as a renegade alternative to the shackles of the current social media landscape. Be apart of growing and building this ingenious medium as a solution to ignite a better way of connecting and managing your content, data, and interactions, around ideas that matter. Visit Medel.la to sign up for the pre-launch updates and learn more.

~ Melissa A. Curtin

 

Using social media or is it using you?

How do you use social media?

People use social and mass media differently, for a variety of reasons, and in a multitude of ways. Some users access media for community connection, to keep in touch with family/friends, share recipes, for entertainment, microblogging, creativity, to post animal videos, use their voice and be an advocate for issues, receive news, be informed, seek information, learn about events, be plugged in or “in the know”, to disrupt or challenge mainstream beliefs and dominant culture, to educate, broaden one’s friend circle, global interests, group participation, promote a business, communication, as a distraction, curiosity, a time-filler, an escape, a retreat, a safe space to interact, and much more. For many across the social media landscape, it’s a place to express yourself without inhibitions, be tapped in to what’s important to you, and be connected.

Social Media Wheel With Spokes  And IconsHowever you choose to use social media, understanding how and why you use it can help you prevent it from using you. Decide how best to use social media to benefit you. Be proactive and in control of your media usage and consumption. Draw boundaries around how you interact, with who, and for how long. Be mindful of why you’re accessing media and what role the technology plays and offers in your life. How does it improve or enhance your life? How does it make it easier? How does it add value? Or does it?

Consider your time management. Hours upon hours are often wasted on social media. For some, three hours passed in a time warp, you haven’t showered, you can’t remember why you got online in the first place, and dinner burned on the stove. For others, simply passing time is their desired goal. It has become part of the norm, the daily rhythm, and auto-pilot routine to constantly be connected to social media, for business, personal, and casual friendship purposes.

Being clear on why you choose the connectivity to social media and other media outlets may inspire where attention can be redirected or focused in your relationships. Become aware and honest about your role of engagement and the choices you make about your activities online, and within social media forums. Consider the ways you are using social media and how it may be using you.

the silhouette of his head with the words on the topic of social

Make social media networks work for you. If you choose to participate, learn how to direct your usage and leverage your settings. Adjust your privacy settings. Learn how your information and data are used and shared, or sold by the platform provider. Circumvent as many of the content control mechanisms, despite the growing suppression of truth, and the rampant censorship across platforms. Be in control of how you use media. Be mindful of how it may be controlling your mood, brainwashing you, deterring, distracting, or detouring you from your innate truth, dreams, desires, and aspirations.

Don’t succumb to media networks or social media outlets’ desires to monetize your online and offline activities, and every action you take and movement you make. Periodically unplug. Shut the phone off, unplug devices, and turn the computer off. Step away from the screen. Step away from the matrix. Go off the digital grid.

Step away from the matrix...go off the digital grid.Break the social media constant engagement and tracking cycle. Value and honor your privacy and autonomy. Use discretion when you log your locations. Turn the location services off. Remove your demographic profile from FaceBook’s advertising settings. Disable app and automatic website sign-ins from FaceBook and Google. Lock down your profile and only share your photos, personal info, and content with the friend’s lists and groups you choose.

Screen Shot 2018-10-23 at 2.36.48 PMRegularly back up your files, your photos, and your content. Export and save your social media data before it is deleted for you. The social media networks are actively combing their platforms and deleting accounts, purging pages, groups, boards, and scrubbing away counter culture and dissenting views. Decide if the current controlled direction of traditional social media resonates with you, adds value, or depletes your energy and siphons your time.

How about something better, with integrity, with you, the user in mind? You decide how you want to use a social media technology platform. You’re in control of your content, and how you organize your data, wisdom, resources, and time. You get to leverage its interface and tools to serve you and further your cause, your purpose, and goals. A user driven platform from an empowered approach. An innovative way to use social media, manage data effectively, and in a way that honors your privacy, content, connections, and life. A platform for you to be more efficient, productive, and purposeful online and off.

Medel.la is rolling out soon! Sign up for for pre-launch updates. Join us to discover a new way to use a media platform that benefits you!

~ Melissa A. Curtin