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Like 4 Like?

You may have seen these hashtags on Instagram before:

followforfollow #likeforlike #follow4follow #like4like #l4l #f4f #tflers #followback #tagsforlikes

Kids are trading likes. You can even buy likes and followers from sites like Fiverr.

Social validation is big business. All the kids want is to be heard. They just want to be likes on screen more so than their real lives.

We’re already all famous. We can create professional looking content and publish it from our bedroom. Everyone is their own tv station.

The only difference is that some people get more likes than others, whether or not they asked for them, paid for them, or have duplicated fame outside the mobile phone.

Hashtags are the fame of the game.

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Culture Productivity & Work Social Media

A coffee break is the best break

A coffee break is the only decisive way to get away from the desk. You can go for a walk or browse the Internet, but nothing can recreate the third place that is the coffee shop.

Coffee shops were the original social networks, where people congregated to share the news and kick around ideas.

Coffee presents the perfect pause in your day, a conscious form of meditation where you can kick back, converse, and reflect. In many ways, the bar is the night time version of the coffee shop. Both coffee and beer are hangout drinks.

Coffee is a way of life, both a work and social outlet, a quick getaway without the stress of packing up.

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The 5-3-2 rule of social media. In other words, create as much as you consume.
The 5-3-2 rule of social media. In other words, create as much as you consume.

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Fast Food Sharing

Instagram Direct didn’t kill Snapchat. In fact, it solidified Snapchat as the preferred private sharing network for spontaneous sharing.

Instagram has established itself as a platform for an edited life. Sending a friend a bunch of quick, shitty pictures taints the main account. It also lingers.

The fundamental tenet of Snapchat is that your content disappears. It’s as simple as that. Snapchat’s business challenge is in developing ways to further innovate that private, ephemeral experience.

Instagram is for the curated life. Snapchat is for the imperfect life. It’s as simple as that.

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Are There Too Many Social Networks?

“Give me a reason to give you my time, and you’ve built something worth using. Otherwise, you’ve joined one of the many apps that quietly pass into the Internet’s ether as empty networks—barren deserts filled with updates no one ever sees.”

Short answer: yes.

I’m less likely to join a new social network now due to sheer burnout and lack of quality. It’s got to be good & useful, a la vsco.

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Name That Blue

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Facebook: Get In To Get Out

Facebook’s mission is distraction rather than connection.

People log in to Facebook and forget why they visited in the first place.  The whole experience is a complete time suck.

The real value in a social network is in its utility.  For the most part, people wander into Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr seeking information (world news, inspiration, and tips) that they can actually use.

Facebook excels in providing a sticky environment for wasting time, turning users into lemmings.  It woos the mindless by seemingly curing boredom.

Why even post, feeding the beast with more irrelevance?  Go in to scratch the itch and leave as soon as possible.

Facebook is a trap.  It wants to own everyone’s free time.

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They are social places, not networks

Social networking sites like to pretend they are “the network”, or at least “a network” —and that’s why they’ll ask you to “join”. But as users, deep down, we know they are places —we’ll go there to meet some of our social connections, or even make new ones, and talk and share our thoughts and stories, and we’ll leave if the place gets too crowded, or if we don’t like the people that frequent it. And we’ll tell our friends of this “cool new place”, or ask them if they’ve found a new place if they stop showing up.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest are all social networking places, not social networks.  They are not inclusive, they are exclusive.  Each platform dictates a type of unique style and content you wouldn’t necessary share on another. 

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The Ebb and Flow of Train Chatter

If you take a snapshot of train chatter you’d see that it gradually rises from the morning on, peaking in the evening. Even the uptick in sound between 7 and 8AM is noticeable.

People care less about you and more about their own privacy in the morning. Direct conversations are virtually disallowed, as are phone calls. Texting is the preferred method of all interaction.

The most significant noise makers in the mornings are the squealing and grinding of the train tracks competing against the loud overhead fans.

As the afternoon approaches the train gathers less people but louder mouths. Feet make their way on the seats. Cell phones ring. Headphone music gets louder. Laissez-faire defines the afternoon.

The evening, especially Friday evening, is a bit of a free for all. The work stops, the drinks pop, the mobile fingers get more aggressive as people respond across social networks and like everything in their feed. Everyone knows each other’s weekend plans.

People unwind as the days lives on; the rules get looser with time. Life resets daily with the emergence of noise.

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Facebook is a mirror and Twitter is a megaphone.

Researchers