You may not have heard it from me lately, but for many years I have been suggesting that people make their own websites for their online networking and marketing. Having your own website is like owning a piece of digital real estate. There are benefits to having a website, and much like the benefits of owning vs renting a home, owning a website may not seem important when social media is convenient and easy to use.
Social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram likely aren't going away, but hey Myspace seemed to be popular one day and a ghost town the next so who knows? Still it would be foolish to act like these giant media networks will not massage their way into our culture for decades to come. It is probably also safe to say that most all of the social media giants cater to money interest, not the people who use their services.
Harsh as it may sound, when it comes to social media the users are the product, and those who purchase your information range from politicians and the law to drug companies and and sociological research. Not everything done with this information is bad, still arguably intrusive, data mining has many uses. Many consumers appreciate being targeted with ads, and even I have seen how Facebook pixel can be useful for marketing small business.
That doesn't mean it isn't annoying as hell when I can't pump gas in peace without an ad being forced on me. I wish Youtube didn't show me more ads than streaming, but that's what I get for not buying music straight from the artist. I'm not sure if I'm doing a good enough job of laying down this theme, but the theme is convenience can come with a heavy price. More importantly what I want to tell you tonight is that technology can have an effect on your natural human rights.
There's a lot of talk echoing around the internet right now about our rights to privacy being taken away, and the right to autonomy over our bodies in countries like Canada as the words "mandatory vaccination" begin to creep in, even here in the US. With so many questions about financial interest in the pharmaceutical industry, and public trust in Government fading everyday, one is right to be filled with questions. So what about the freedom of speech?
What most people don't understand is that our right to free speech is already under siege. In the form of censorship; videos are taken down from Youtube, search results are filtered, and post are possibly being "shadowbanned" though sites have denied it. Again censorship is a situation with some validation, for example I try not to allow divisive content on RhapsodicGlobal.org because our mission is to unite people - not divide them.
I hope that you can see in this article I have no intention of spreading fear, though it is productive to discuss difficult topics time to time. A difficult topic needs an obvious solution to become exciting, and spark massive personal growth opportunities. I propose the same solution I have been proposing for a long time, make your own websites. There are lots of website builders online that are simple to use, I made a website in 20 minutes last night.
(Click the Wix banner at the top of my site to get started.)
I made the website because I watched a heartfelt video of someone reacting to a news story. I paused the video for a moment, and then later heard it had been removed from Youtube. What I did then was record the video on my phone, compressed it and uploaded to a freshly new website until I could learn more. What eventually happened is that someone pointed out that the news video which was being reacted to in the removed video may have been altered to provoke fear.
Truth is unless we speak to someone who was there when the video was filmed, we'll never know what actually happened. Out of respect for the person who's video was taken down, after hearing them wash their hands of it in a second reaction video I deleted the website based on inconclusive evidence. The experience kind of woke me up, it proved to me what I've been saying about websites protecting free speech because I uploaded that video directly to that website in preservation.
All in all it took me 4 hours to download and compress a 20 minute video, write a blog, make a logo and clean up the site. The website was going to become an on running showcase of questionable things happening online, and in the world today, called "TellmeY." I made a point to mention that it manifested out of necessity, not pleasure, but today I felt more grounded and relaxed after doing something instead of just watching it happen.
Here on Rhapsodic Global, we use Youtube to save space and Youtube makes it simple enough to add any of their videos to a website. As long as they're rules are fair and we don't abuse YouTube's rules, that is a mutually beneficial relationship. Last night though, I learned how to compress video and I put that video up there somewhere safe, where only Wix could have removed it by deleting my extra account if they really wanted to.
I don't believe anything we'd be saying here is so disrupting that we could be censored on this website, and in our various social media channels. My own personal page on Facebook, I get a little insecure about my posting at times, but my point stands. If I ever felt that I wasn't getting the results I wanted from social media, I feel fulfilled working on my website and sharing those results directly with the right people through our connection to those ideas.
There are so many sides to every story, which is why I like to focus on inclusive solutions such as collaboration to overcome diversity. I strongly urge anyone who likes to post on social media to just try making a website for fun. You can customize your layout and functionality, the possibilities are pretty much endless. After putting in some intentional hours on your web presence, you'll be surprised how good it feels and you'll probably go for a walk outside.
The internet is still in it's infant stages, we haven't even begun to understand the power at our finger tips. Crypto Currencies are one example of how technology can change everything. In an ever changing world we must keep learning, nobody is completely right or wrong and we're all in this together. I must remind myself and others to be thorough, to avoid scrutiny and confusion by double checking all sources and being sensitive when discussing difficult subjects.
The more you know about our network, you will see we how our framework cultivates authenticity as we explore opportunities together. I believe Rhapsodic Global will become more popular as people notice the value of support and encouragement. Our content is added by people who have been vetted to assure propensity for our cause. Each of the stories we share become a part of our accountability, but not through a social credit system, through the connections we make with each unique person and community.
There's so much more to life than likes and numbers, which brings me back to money interest, money is a great tool but it isn't always used in great ways. If we're going to get the most out of technology it would be wise of us to utilize the act of making a website to teach ourselves about the endless possibilities of what we can do online. I hope my points can sober a person from the spell of endlessly scrolling never substantiating content.
I say that because I myself have shown addictive tendencies with my social media, and felt strong anxiety that could be directly attributed to social media. The more I share content on this site, more often I find myself having genuine heart to heart talks with people about things we believe are important. I've also been challenging myself in new ways in light of things I discover while connecting over productive interest, and that is exciting because I never truly felt satisfied with social media as it were.
I still appreciate my social media accounts for keeping me connected to family and friends who are far away, or in "other worlds." But I'm having fun going through the list of blogs here, and being reminded to tune in with those who inspired our stories. I will keep offering custom web pages, and I'll keep on encouraging people to use their own websites because they can't censor and out-compete all of us if we use the most powerful tool known to marketing, word of mouth.
Next time your feeling an itch to scroll and read, try out our most recent feed. Take note of how it feels when something catches your eye causing you to engage the post, along with the associated web links and content. We share music, art, business, all of the things you're used to but without any spam or bots. I know our network will prove fun and handy, whether you're looking for entertainment or to meet new friends and find inspiration, you can interact with our connections and help us grow our network!
As always, thank you for reading about productive interest on RhapsodicGlobal.org. This post will be in the Thoughts & Blogs category, as well as on my personal custom web page.
PS Here ya go, Shane Smith and Edward Snowden weigh in on the topic of rights, technology, and how important it is we need to make well thought out decisions about how we face all of this change.