Let’s crack the social media mold.

Social media platforms and content sharing websites offer tremendous value, yet they are also abundant and riddled with problems, issues, flaws, pain points, and annoyances. With growing choices and splintering options, users join and belong to numerous platforms to fulfill and satisfy their speckled social, business, content, creative, media, connection, storage, sharing, community, and networking needs. But to achieve all of users’ desired needs, wishes, wants, and nice to haves, there hasn’t been one platform in the kaleidoscope mix that has effectively delivered in all categories.

Christmas Mandala-snowflake Kaleidoscope Sequence. Abstract BackThis isn’t to suggest that there needs to be an umbrella platform that caulks the gap and supplies everything for everybody. However, for those seeking better time management, efficiency and effectiveness with their social internet endeavors, integrity, and a central, secure, and safe portal to hold and share what’s truly relevant, essential, and important, while aligned with being the change *and* taking action, — the search continues.

Existing platforms provide their unique flavor, their visionary contribution to the digital realm, and engage their eclectic users within the constraints of their distinct offerings. Each of the prevailing social media platforms have their limits of features, capabilities, technology, market, added value, bells and whistles, and scope. Some social media platforms have cool feature sets and seamless designs, while others offer a cluttered and noisy interface. Some have most of the desired package tools and community engagement, but miss the mark on privacy, censorship, reach, algorithms, functionality, relevance, or usability. While others have lost their zest and appeal and gradually become antiquated with each newer shinier platform.

social network, communication in the global computer networksWhat drives users to join and stay, or bail and flock? What keeps users engaged, interested, and loyal? Why do people gravitate towards certain social media companies, functions, and products? This Social Media Use 2018 study published by the Pew Research Center for Internet and Technology provides insight and addresses social media trends and demographics.

Does critical mass determine if a social media platform will be widely accepted, relevant, valuable, and worthwhile? Does it start out as trickles of interest, then a rolling boil, then a tipping point in critical mass, leading to full migration and popularity? How much does the quality of users over the quantity matter when utilizing a network?

Current 2018 marketing statistics reveal fascinating consumer behaviors regarding content marketing, social media, video marketing, advertising, and more. Companies pay enormous amounts to marketing research agencies to track digital trends, consumer behaviors, and dollars spent.

However, despite all the data collected and everything we’ve learned about how people use social media, much of social media falls flat. The existing structure and design of social media platforms, when primarily used as giant advertising vessels for mega-corporations and propaganda machines for governments, have become painful to be apart of and witness. The way in which social media networks and these public forums have been co-opted and manipulated is disgusting and the tolerance for social media to continue to be used and abused this way is sharply shrinking. The commodifying of our data and our lives has also run its course. And let’s not forget the rampant outrageous censorship. Have we had enough of being rats in their wicked wheel of misfortune and maze? Has anyone else noticed we have been circling around the drain for too long?

 

Isn’t it time for the masses to crack the code, break the mold, break down the systemic dysfunction, detach from the dependence, the addiction, and commodification of one’s data and info? For real this time! What are you waiting for?

Are you waiting for a decentralized platform, a truly independent utility, — built using blockchain? An outlet to freely share content that you’ve created with whom you choose – no-holds-barred? Customizable to meet your needs? No advertising?! A secure vault to store, save, catalogue, and organize all of your data, media, files, publications, photos, videos, and other media creations? A streamlined way for you to leverage what you create and design, with the ability to not only share, but monetize your intellectual property and ideas? A platform that encourages activism, advocacy, and taking action? Are you waiting for a platform where you can host and be apart of groups without the fear that the group will be removed and deleted for some mystery reason?

Milky Way And Snowy Mountains. Fantastic View With Mountain RidgThe founder of Medel.la was waiting for all of these capabilities and much, much more — out of pure necessity and identifying where the holes are, but also in anticipation of our vanishing freedom of speech and the corporate take-over of the existing platforms. Why wait when one can create?! This is what stepping up for the people looks like. This is what innovating from insight, inspiration, and leadership looks like. This is what empowerment looks like.

Let’s bring our creative juices, our unbridled spirits, our bold and wild ideas, and our open hearts to this creative cutting-edge collaborative venture. Be apart of what it feels like. Join the Sphir of influence and get ready to crack the social media mold, shape your own experience, and drive it forward.

Be a catalyst for change! Stay connected to receive pre-launch updates, by signing up on Medel.la (name change coming soon!)!

~ Melissa A. Curtin

 

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