Interacting on Social Media

Something I have noticed over the last few years: everyone uses social media differently.

Let me elaborate.

I am not talking about different people using different social medias. Some people only share memes they agree with. Others will share memes that they don’t agree with in order to support friends. Some people read headlines of articles, while others read the whole article. Others post frequent status updates, and some do not post any updates.

This may all sound superficial, but it really affects the whole experience. People can get really uptight about what is posted or shared. Although I appreciate a good, serious conversation, it’s ok to think things are funny.

Sometimes I share things just to see who interacts with it and how. I have been doing this for months. It keeps things interesting.

I wonder if the fluidity and flexibility of it all dampens the experience. How much do we really know about people online? This is a question I wonder frequently.

The answer likely depends upon the person. Some lie and misrepresent themselves. It is understandable to do this for security reasons, but not necessary…for most.

I am so transparent because I want to be understood. Most people don’t really know who I am. I fear that my wife and family can’t understand what I am going through, and that is a huge part of the problems I am enduring.

It’s easier to find like-minded people online than it is in person. Perhaps that’s part of the draw.

So, no matter how you use social media, bear in mind that others use it differently, and this affects interactions. I try not to jump to conclusions regarding someone’s worldview strictly off of a meme or article they share. I am often pleasantly surprised when given the chance to hear a more detailed analysis of a meme.

It’s like art. Everyone sees something different. At least, that’s my conclusion.

Wagen, over and out.



The Art of Research

We live in a world of over-educated people that do not know how to research or think for themselves. School does not equate an ability to research. I had good research strategy even before high school, thanks in part to some awesome English AND Science teachers. I will spare you the scientific method, but that IS a form of research.

First, develop an idea or question.

It could be:

  1. What is the meaning of life?
  2. Christianity was partially responsible for the collapse of the Roman Empire.
  3. How do I move a pet snake?
  4. The government is lying about cannabis.
  5. Could the Earth be flat if we missed something in quantum physics?
  6. The impending revolution will take many off-guard, despite all the warnings.
  7. Which routing protocol works better for X scenario?

You get the idea.

Then, it is important to find articles from as many different sources as possible. Depending on how deep I want to go, I will read anywhere from 5 – 500 sources. I usually aim for primary sources or someone with first-hand experience if I can.

Once you take in all this information, it’s time to discourse internally and externally. Frequently, I will call someone that works in the field or has the knowledge and/or expertise to answer my question or help me “unpack” a concept, especially if I get the sense that it is way outside my skill set.

Finally, I weigh out the probabilities of each scenario or perspective, and I tend to lean toward the one that is most logical to me, or, if it is outside my expertise, I will go with the strongest source, and/or go with the most popular opinions as the necessities, and with the peripheral stuff, I just experiment.

Of course, I keep an open mind. Even if I have my mind made up on a topic, I often keep in the back of my mind that there are others with way more knowledge than me. This gets me excited, because I love to learn. So, I take my new foundation of knowledge and use it to research other areas, grow in the subject, and spur others on as much as I can.

Either way, good research ethics are this: assume you know nothing until you have put in a significant amount of research. Even then, stay open. It’s important.

People’s lives are actually counting on it.

Wagen, over and out.