What if the four distracted Beatles never looked up during the Abbey Road album shoot? This cartoon presents a funny, modern-day interpretation of the iconic The Beatles Abbey Road album cover. The only thing missing, besides Paul McCartney's shoes, is the Abbey Road zebra-crossing. Chances are the driver also works for Uber.
“Build it and they will come” only works in the movies. Social Media is “build it, nurture it, engage them, and they may come and stay.”Seth Godin
Peeking at life, three inches from the screen. It’s the possibility that it may show us something captivating that keeps our eyeballs alive.
Even with robotic intervention, we’re glued to that rectangular glow. There’s enough variety in the repetition to keep us hooked.
But what happens when we willfully want to get away?
We struggle to bend our attention back into focus. When a thousand websites and apps are talking to us screaming for clicks, we lose understanding of ourselves.
Consumption drains identities so that we can no longer be ourselves. The physical and psychological spaces are limited, that is until we make the first move to get out.
I'm not surprised Apple banned Tumblr from its App Store for supporting a bunch of porn. But I am surprised Tumblr will ban the entire “adult content” category on December 17 so you won't see some of the more risque artsy images. Most creators will be hoping that the social network — driven primarily by advertising dollars — will continue to support creative expression.
As David Bowie once alluded to, the internet thrives and perhaps decays in the gray area.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Apple lead designer office Jony Ive points to one of the technological conundrums of our time: balancing ease with excess.
“We have such a high-quality camera with us all the time. But it becomes irrelevant if you can’t actually enjoy the photographs you’ve taken. Even 30 years ago there was always a box somewhere containing hundreds and hundreds of photographs. So this isn’t a new problem. What is a new problem is the sheer degree, the colossal volume of memories that we have recorded, and as important as the recording is the way of enjoying what you’ve recorded, and I think that’s something that’s just an ongoing experiment, and it’s an ongoing creative project for us.”
Smartphones make it too easy to capture and even easier to consume photos. Given the profundity of images, we don't spend enough time reviewing them.
To quote Om Malik: “We have come to a point in society where we are all taking too many photos and spending very little time looking at them.”
The age of abundance combined with undeterred distraction poses an interesting creative problem that's more complicated than storing boxes of photos in the attic, never to be seen again.
gif via Mashable
Provocation is neither about engagement nor expression — it’s about likes and shares.
The lightning rod on Twitter will always outshine the passive inspirer, hiding from the market.
But it is the quality of interactions that deliver the message. Neither the loud nor the faint succeeds.
Speak softly and carry a big stick.
Whether it’s trying surfing or playing the guitar when’s the last time you did something out of pure joy?
In this Instagram-edited era where everyone gets their own stage, people only like to do things they’re good at. The thought goes: ‘if I can’t share it and show my best self, why do it?’
The aim for perfection limits the urge to enjoy hobbies for hobbies sake. As the author Tim Wu notes:
“But there’s a deeper reason, I’ve come to think, that so many people don’t have hobbies: We’re afraid of being bad at them. Or rather, we are intimidated by the expectation — itself a hallmark of our intensely public, performative age — that we must actually be skilled at what we do in our free time.”
The comedian never knows how their material will reciprocate until they get on stage and try their material. The jazz musician tweaks their tempo to test audience reaction. The writer publishes a first chapter of the book for feedback. In terms of professional life, showing your work is critical. But as a hobbyist, you don’t need reassurance. Again, writes Wu:
“Lost here is the gentle pursuit of a modest competence, the doing of something just because you enjoy it, not because you are good at it.”
Playing is natural, reception is artificial. It is hobbies that feed the soul with pure goodness. Showcasing the hobby is not necessary, but if so, neither is acing it.
Hobbies shouldn't feel like work. They are a process to enjoy.
“The physical universe is basically playful. There is no necessity for it whatsoever. It isn’t going anywhere. It doesn’t have a destination that it ought to arrive at. But it is best understood by its analogy to music. Because music as an art form is essentially playful. We say you play the piano, you don’t work the piano.”Alan Watts
Luxury today and tomorrow will be defined by the ability to disconnect, to live a secret life where there’s no need to stay constantly connected for the sole purpose of a future job or fear of missing out.
Social media is a poor insurance policy. Except disconnecting is not the goal — moderation is.
An excess of anything will make you sick, your eyes roll and stomach turn. The culprits: beer, candy, coffee, tv, and screen opiates.
Drunk and unconscious, the dopamine on loop — you aren't meant to pursue hedonism all the time. You need time to restore some willpower.
The connective power of the internet is uncanny. Mobile tech is too good to be true. But we don’t need to be a millionaire to stem its negative impact.
The key to unlocking hashtag heaven is to take a deliberate break every once in a while. Leave your phone behind or you'll unconsciously use it.
Instead, grab a leash and take your thoughts for a walk. That's wellness that works.
The biggest threat to a virus is its own exhaustion. It wants to be said, repeated, and spread until it cements into a meme.
Words, ideas, and apps are all types of viruses. Pretty much anything that spreads. Most are benign of course but perhaps none is more pervasive and self-inflicted than the sickness of self-promotion.
The social media age is plagued with envy, where everyone tries to one-up each other with their next best post. The cycle of jealousy shatters reality into shards of half-truths.
The sharing virus constricts people to a 1080 x 1080 square. Meanwhile, portrait mode constrains satisfaction. Spiraling into overextension, overworked trends and habits start to leak.
We like to think we're dabbling in the next niche before the entire market even knows it.
We treat fame and social media status like currency. We presuppose that anonymity or a lack of engagement trivializes what we do.
Even worse, we let TV and Instagram determine our self-worth.
But what and who matters is rarely popular. No one wants to pull back the curtain and see the sweat and tears of a Van Gogh, who toiled in obscurity his entire living life. He never knew publicity.
Even if you've achieved some level of recognition, what you consider your best work will almost always contrast with the public perception.
At the end of the day, humans want to feel necessary. They want to commit themselves to a worthy discipline, whether's it's expressed through art or driving an Uber to support the art or vice versa.
It's a canard to think that fame predetermines whether your matter or not. The most important things in your life are provided by the most anonymous people.
Fame is fake stimuli. If you feel like your work matters, that's the only placebo you need.
We demand privacy yet admit ourselves to the culture of exposure. But rather than celebrating our uniqueness, we publish the same things everybody else does: selfies, food porn, and bullet journal snapshots.
The one benefit to seeing other people's stories is the reinforcement of FOMO (fear of missing out). The unlived life taunts one into action. In such a way, FOMO can represent a positive form of encouragement. It gets off our screens and into the real world.
Life's richest data emerges from lived experiences rather than the pixels on a screen. Exposure carves us into beings rather than lemmings of technology's manipulative desires.
Inspired by adventure, we pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and explore more of the parts unknown.
The lite brite is an attention thief. Like a fresh bag of Skittles, it begs you to consume your favorite colors first.
The rainbow hue of Instagram may be the shiniest of them all. Beautiful photos have a smell, as love does.
On the go or at home, there is no sanctuary. The barrage of dopamine erases all head consciousness. Enter wonderland.
The only escape is Gmail, that insignificant other who instills a feeling of control. Yet, it too is goose chase to unproductivity.
The internet never ends. Like a perpetual wave of Hokusai-like talons, buffering into the collective consciousness. Altered attention, altered thoughts, altered beliefs, forever planted at the altar of distraction.
The goal is to be good at more than one thing. Everyone should be versatile.
But sometimes it is better to narrow yourself to expand. Instead of doing everything, you focus on doing one thing well. And the rest gets better as a result.
Take social networking for example. It's a misperception that one has to be on all networks, sharing all the time. So you take shortcuts. After publishing a new blog post, you automatically share it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and Google+.
Frictionless broadcasting may work for those who already have an acquired audience. But for the startup or entrepreneur — they will need to work harder to get attention. And the best way to do that is to pick one network and double-down.
Focusing on Twitter, for instance, may allow you to write concise tweets, insert captivating media, and include vanity links. Focusing on Instagram may allow you to include the niche hashtags related to the post that gives the image an extra boost.
Single-tasking on one marketing channel takes a strategy. Publishing is deliberate and methodical, the community engagement well-intentioned.
Less is more. The pattern of interactions will bleed into other outlets. Unlike the feather, you'll be the wind directing all the controls.
Privacy is extinct, self-inflicted. Within selfies, tweets, and blog posts, we open the floodgates to our mind.
The internet normalizes exposure. Nothing to hide, we all build glass houses around our lives. Shine the light on us, we declare–pay us with your attention in the currency of likes and shares.
Scroll and refresh, the influencer relishes the spurts of fame, gaining celebrity status behind a wall of edited images that declare their importance.
What is privacy anymore?
Writes Rochelle Gurstein in Self-Invasions and the Invaded Self:
“When the boundary between public and private becomes as extremely porous as it is today, we lose far more than “that kingdom of the mind, that inner world of personal thought and feeling in which every man passes some time,” which would have been disastrous enough.”
An obsession with exposure can get some to the top, making amafessionalism acceptable. No one appears competent to do anything, heart surgery done by a mere Googler.
Mistaking publicity with skill, the deception is our own speed of digestion. It's too easy to start, to show that we're all worthy candidates of recognition.
But the skills remain scarce. Talent, built in private, is something to behold in public. Until then, it's back to the closet.
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If you want to stay active on Pinterest with minimal effort, you'll need to start using Tailwind's new SmartLoop feature.
As an active Tailwind user and affiliate, I had the pleasure to get a sneak peek at the new software last week before it was officially released in beta.
Disclosure: I’m a Tailwind affiliate and will make a small referral fee if you use my link.
What is SmartLoop?
SmartLoop takes content you've previously pinned and puts those pins back into the most relevant boards at the best times for engagement. This way, you can maximize your best-performing evergreen pins without having to track their last pin date in an Excel doc and manually reschedule them again.
Why loop your pins
Looping your top pins helps is one of the easiest ways to stay active on Pinterest without spamming the feeds with the same, repetitive content too often. Tailwind worked directly with Pinterest to develop healthy ways to reshare your content without looking like a bot. Pinterest has banned similar looping services like
Set-it-and-forget-it. My favorite part about SmartLoop is the seasonal pinning feature where you can set a start and stop time for a collection of pins. You can set up a loop for the holidays for instance, and start pinning your own content to gift boards, party ideas, and more.
You can also set up loops to go more niche and focus on trends related to custom bikes, wrap dresses or jumpsuits. Remember to keep up with the Pinterest business blog for more on trends and business insight.
How to set up SmartLoop and automate your pinning
- Set up a loop and pick a loop type
As mentioned above, decide whether you want to create an evergreen or seasonal campaign. Keep in mind that evergreen loops will reshare your pins indefinitely all year round. This is also a great time to think about creating loops specific to group boards, even ones with strict rules. Later on, you can set up Board Rules so you never have to worry about excess pinning.
2. Select the pins you want to loop
After creating your loop and selecting which boards to pin to, you'll go ahead and select the pins you'll want to loop. I recommend selecting the ones with the most clicks (see your Pinterest data) so you can optimize clicks to your site but you can also select the ones with the most saves, as recommended by Tailwind.
3. Decide on the frequency for pinning
At the next step, you'll choose the frequency of pinning. Core content will be pins you'd like to pin to at least 1x/day, Niche content will be those pins that will publish 4x/week.
4. Specify board rules
As mentioned earlier, you'll have the option to set board rules to abide by the best group practices for particular boards. Just note that these rules are separate than any pins you've scheduled for your queue or interval pinning.
After you set up your loops, you'll be able to manage of all them and make edits in the main SmartLoop dashboard. This is where you'll find loop and pin performance as well in case you want to add new top performers and delete underperforming ones.
If you want a complete video tutorial on mastering SmartLoop, watch the below video from Tailwind.
Using SmartLoop will save you both time and headspace so you can focus on other parts of your business while also allowing time to create new pins. You'll also make more money.
How much does SmartLoop cost?
In terms of costs, note that you always get up 100 pins free with setting up your Tailwind. But if you're already a Plus Plan member, you get 250 looped pins at no cost to you. Below is the pricing for SmartLoop power-ups.
For a more detailed view on SmartLoop pricing, see below.
|SmartLoop Pricing including a limited time 50% Private Beta discount|
|Paid Annually||Paid Monthly||# SmartLoop Posts|
Tailwind Blog Content about SmartLoop