The Internet is a Monster

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When the World Wide Web, or the internet as we popularly know it, was created by Tim Berners-Lee in 1989, it was something that would forever change the course of mankind.

A development of this sort was massive.

And it would take years, if not decades to see the full effects. Even today, 30 years later after its creation we are still seeing new developments.

And they are scary.

When the internet was created it seemed that it would be a good tool for all. An ability for people to connect with one another all over the globe, and quickly too. Not with all the delay and toil that it took to connect via Pen and paper.

At first it seemed good. But then things developed. As the internet has matured many bad things about it have surfaced. There are so many bad (and good things too) to talk about that it is much beyond the scope of the post and the amount of time I have this morning to write as well for me to talk about all of them.

Today I will chiefly write on social media.

I have never been for it. Even as a high schooler I saw the problems with it. When facebook was rolled out everyone made their profiles and added each other and shared photos and comments with each other. It was really fun.

But then within a few months everything changed.

If someone posted a photo but it didn’t get enough likes then that person would delete it. People were now afraid to be themselves. They were creating and editing their profiles in order to socially fit in. In worse cases people started hazing others on the internet. Something that once started out as innocent fun now had been soiled by human nature.

Social Media was being used for bad too.

But that was back in high school, which for me was 2006-2010. The internet has come a very long way since then. Many many more social websites have been developed and further facebook has become such a behemoth that it is almost impossible to not use it. I personally hate facebook, I have no interest in ever using it. I never post on my account and I could care less. I would much rather use my time during my day to actually be social and talk to real people instead of waste my time on my phone.

With that said, I still have a facebook account.

But why? Well, because I have no choice. Too many other applications for my iPhone have been bought out by facebook and require an account to log in. It it almost quite literally impossible to not have one, or else practically nothing on my phone works these days. Further, everyone else uses facebook and I am the outlier by straying from it.

I will not break though.

Quantitative studies have come out too at this point where it has been proven that Social Media usage makes people more depressed than happy: especially the usage of instagram. This is particularly pernicious as instagram is all about having the “perfect life.” Which of course nobody has. But yet so many people worldwide continue to post photos of their lives and notably the best parts about it. In short, if you have a lame instagram it must mean that your life is too.

I say cut the tie, get off of it.

It will honestly make you happier. After all it has been scientifically proven to make humans depressed. Are you any different from other humans? Maybe. But most likely you are not. So why play the game? Is it really worth it?

I say no.

Further, I wouldn’t even stop there. Think about lots of other internet related usages. So many of them also have many bad effects. One that I have been thinking about recently is YouTube and Twitch. As some of you readers know I have been twitch streaming for the past 4 years, often with high ambitions for my channel. But the more I thought about it, especially with some prominent internet celebrities going through things these past weeks, it doesn’t seem worth it to me.

Too often are internet celebrities seriously harassed. Many receive death threats, have stalkers, and especially get Doxxed: dispersing their contact information and addresses out onto the internet. One can quickly see the dangers that can present themselves. Being famous on the internet is not good.

Further, people are always looking to take you down. You say the wrong thing, or it gets taken out of context, and suddenly you are in the middle of an internet firestorm and your reputation could be irreparably damaged.

Make no mistake about it, the internet has created a Global Mob.

This really is one of the most monstrous developments of the internet. Everyone across the world can simply band together and decide to create a coalition against another over often just a simple post or statement. Often, with no context being understood.

And further, there is no longer an opportunity to be an asshole.

People are jerks. I mean that. Myself included. None of us are perfect. We all make mistakes. We all say dumb things. And most of us regret those mistakes. And most of us mature. This is human nature.

But the internet is forever.

It keeps things that were once said in mistake, or in a fit of anger, or due to some other emotion (maybe a tough break-up) up on the internet for all to see forever.

This is not how it should be.

And many people have been ruined today because of something they said on the internet that was not appropriate under the guise of “social justice.”

Sure, some people have been rightly exposed, but how many others have just had the mob unjustly descend on them for something that they did years ago, of which in many cases it was not so serious. Or further, how many people have been ruined because of mere claims that someone made against them.

In this day and age all it takes is for someone to make a claim to ruin them. What ever happened to “innocent until proven guilty?”

Well in this internet age that really doesn’t matter.

The damage is gone immediately and there is no turning back. Once you are a pariah on the internet it stays that way for life. Very few people are vindicated. All that remains is to hide away and try to hopelessly live your ruined life where no one recognizes you and shames you more. Of course that is a tremendous challenge when everyone is a paparazzi armed with their iPhone which is connected to twitter.

You are always one snap or tweet away from drama and potentially worse: social doom.

The internet has done many good things though. I have made many friends, entertained people all around the world, heck one fan of mine (Labanfro from Sweden!) named his kid after me. That sure felt great! Rock on Labanfro! And little Nolan too!

But if I have to look at it objectively. I really do believe that the internet is doing more harm than good currently. The mob is out of control and constant use of the internet, and most definitely internet fame is nothing but a liability.

It really has been a wild resolution for me to arrive at as I have been chasing fame on twitch for years, but now I believe that it is not worth it.

I think I will just stick to my normal life.

 

Keep Smiling,

Nolan

Fame Sucks

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Something I have really been thinking about a lot this week is how fame really is not that great at all. At first when you think about being famous one would likely tend to think of the good parts. You know the fans, the adulation, and how everyone loves you.

But there is much more to it than that.

Once you get famous not only will people love you, but people will also hate you. A lot of good also comes with a lot of bad. But oddly enough you might not be able to leave your house for the same reason for both opposing camps of people.

People just will not leave you alone.

Your fans that love you will effectively punish you with their love. So much adulation and praise eventually gets repetitive and further it can really make you feel awkward, especially when despite being famous you are at the end of the day a normal person.

Why else do you think billionaires and entertainers and celebrities all hang out with each other?

They are the only people that are on the same level and thus it is not a big deal when they socialize. They are all on the same wavelength and thus they can all relate to each other. You think Lady GaGa freaks out when she meets Mick Jagger?

Probably not.

Do you think Sir Richard Branson freaks out when he meets Warren Buffet or Mark Cuban?

Definitely not.

But it’s not just swarming fans that are the problem. Your personal space is totally invaded forever. Paparazzi is after you for photos at all costs, in fact such that sometimes they will camp out on nearby mountains with telephoto lenses or even in high profile cases hire helicopters to get pictures.

What a life that must be.

Constantly trying to evade crazed fans, thirsty paparazzi, and more on the daily. And speaking of more we have not even gotten to those that hate you. And here I would say are chiefly two groups. First you have the haters who just want you to fall and will work to malign your reputation, and then you have the crazies who will stalk and even murder you.

Just look at John Lennon.

Once you are famous your life is honestly over. You can no longer go out and be a normal person. You can’t eat or sleep even in the same places that you used. You always have to be watching your back. You can’t trust anyone like you used to. Everyone either wants a handout, or a shoutout, or to hurt you.

Life becomes a paranoid existence.

And to top it all off nowadays we live in an awful world dominated by social media. All it takes if for someone to hear you say the wrong thing or do the wrong thing and all of a sudden what you did or said is being broadcast to the whole world via the internet through social media like twitter.

It was bad enough dealing with paparazzi, but now everyone with their iPhone and twitter is a critic. 

Further, you don’t even have to make a mistake necessarily. You might just say something and people hear it out of context. But it will already be too late. Damage may be done, and it may be irreversible. It’s sad how that it is, but we all understand it. People in today’s social media age are so trigger happy to destroy other people’s lives.

It really is sad.

So at the end of all of this. Is fame really worth it? I don’t think so. It seems to me that it really truly sucks. And I find this so interesting to me because for years now I have been trying to effectively become famous via my twitch stream. But recently I have been looking at my life and how I rather enjoy it, especially my day to day just living down in Redondo Beach. I thought about how if I really was famous, especially on the internet which I believe carries a whole new set of fame related issues, I would not be able to continue living the life I currently live.

I would probably have to move, I couldn’t just ride my bike around and hang out with people and certainly my safety and other business ventures may be compromised.

That really doesn’t seem worth it at all.

Honestly for all the famous people out there, I feel for you. It really is not an easy life. And the thing about fame is that you cannot undo it. Once you are famous, that is it. Life is over.

In that respect it’s almost like getting in a terrible accident. Much like your body which might be irreparably recked, so is your reputation and your day to day living.

It’s why Tiger Woods like to be out on his boat.

Good luck to anyone out there reading this that is famous and is dealing with this madness, and if you are a reader that is thinking about being famous, I would recommend thinking twice. I think now I would rather just be rich. That way you can afford all the good things in life, and still be able to enjoy them like a normal person.

That seems like the way to go in my opinion.

 

Just try not to be famous, and Keep Smiling,

Nolan

 

There is always a better deal

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Recently I have been looking for a place to rent. And I have been checking Zillow, Apartments.com, Forrent, Westside, and Craigslist every single day. About a week ago I found a place that was really cheap. The cheapest place in the area I was looking at by far. But when I looked at the ad it didn’t have any photos of the inside and thus I concluded that it must not look that great. Further, it didn’t have any parking.

So I decided to pass on it.

But as I kept looking at other places and at the prices of them, which were higher, I decided to give the other place a shot and check it out. I reached out to the property management company and got the contact information of the tenant that lived there so I could arrange for a showing. We planned to meet on Sunday but when the day came and I was driving around looking at places with my folks I decided to pass as I didn’t want to waste their time.

The next day I thought that I should have checked the place out anyways so I arranged for another showing and I said that I would actually show up this time. The next day I woke up early to see the studio and when I did I was unbelievably impressed. The unit was on a third story with a real panoramic ocean view and a balcony. I could not believe it. Sure I was going to have to deal with street parking, but hey the price could not be beat. I instantly called the landlord and offered to put even 6 months rent down if he wanted, so to claim the place for my own.

But it was too late. It had been rented yesterday.

A woman came in on Sunday to check out the property and was also so excited about it she applied the very next day and was approved. I was out of luck. And deservedly so. I didn’t take action so someone else did.

I can tell you, I was thoroughly disappointed. Had I just given the property a chance on Sunday, and actually showed up like I said I would, then I would have known that despite the bad photos the property was a good place to rent.

But I didn’t even give it a chance.

Afterwards I ate breakfast with a friend and he told me just like my Dad had as well, that something better will pop up.

“Once you think you missed out on the best deal, another one comes along.”

I said sure okay, nice words to hear at least because I was feeling down. I then hopped in my car and headed to work and browsed through some listings and scheduled to check one out during my lunch break. I went and visited one place, it was really close to my work so that was a plus, and it was very nice, but it was a tad pricey. I looked at it as the place I would choose if I just couldn’t find anything else. But I decided that I would go give this other place I had seen a look at. The pictures on the internet were definitely wanting as it had the same problem as the previous listing,

there were no photos of the inside.

But this time around I said who cares. Checking it out wouldn’t hardly take any time and if it was bad I could be on my merry and way and if it turned out to be good I could put in a rent application. And what do you know, it turned out to be good. Nice spacious interior, with most utilities included, tons of natural light, prime location, a balcony with a view, and a covered parking spot right underneath the unit that had room to park without fear of scratching my car doors! And only a six month lease, at a decent price too.

I really was surprised. I told the building manager who was showing me the place that I would love to apply and fill out the rental application. He said he had a good feeling about me and that if I moved in by March 1st he would even give me a slight discount on the rent. I said that I would love that. The sooner I could move in the better. That same day I filled out the application.

Fingers crossed.

As I type this blog post now, the landlord is running my credit and then will get back to me afterwards as to whether I have been approved or not. And while things are looking good, there is no guarantee that I get the place or not. If I do, I do, if I don’t I don’t. But I do know this now.

That whenever you think you have gotten the best deal, there always is another one that comes around the corner.

And don’t let this make you hesitant to pull the trigger and rent a place or what have you, otherwise you will be perennially waiting, but don’t let it get you down if you quote miss out.

 

Happy Hunting & Keep Smiling,

Nolan

Managing Judgement

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Today during my morning stream I got to talking about something that is very dear to me. It’s about how in today’s day and age there is this one bit of advice that I hear quite frequently that is just absolutely dangerous. It’s the saying,

“Who cares what other people think, just be yourself and do you.”

This is not good advice. And I will explain why.

Human beings judge. Let me qualify that. Human beings make judgments. Let’s qualify that a little bit more. Human beings make judgment calls. In other words, they observe something, that event causes them to think in a certain way, and then they react by making a subsequent decision.

Do you understand? This is how humans (and other animals as well) naturally behave. Unfortunately we live in a society right now where the word “judge” has a different social and religious meaning. This usage can be a big problem. The word often invokes images of people bashing others for being different, or for not having the right beliefs, or etc. And this is truly unfortunate when people judge people in wrong ways, but I personally find that now the word has a new problem. People use it almost a type of catch-all, get out of jail free card.

“I am just going to do whatever the heck I want and if someone has a problem with me then they are just judging.”

Here is the problem. People judge. What I said before about human being was true thousand years ago, it will be true a thousand years in the future (provided we still exist), and it’s true today.

Based on what we see, smell, hear, taste, touch, i.e. our senses, we make decisions. So if you are someone that lives among other humans, as in society, then I highly encourage that you understand this phenomenon of human behavior.

Get it through your head that people will judge you.

Whether they judge you right or wrong, that is truly immaterial. All you need to understand is that they will judge you. So instead of just saying “I don’t care I’m going to do what I want” I recommend learning how to manage judgments.

Welcome to the new game.

And it’s a hard fucking game. People judge others very quickly. Just based on their ethnicity, hairstyle, clothes, facial expression, the car they drive, their height, their gait (the way they walk), what phone they are using, where they live, where they eat, what music they listen to, what words they speak with, etc.

People judge based on everything.

Once you know this, you can start to see what appearances and traits you have that invoke certain reactions. Then you need to sit back and think, is this the image that I want to put it off? It really seems that people are judging me a lot for this.

Now you have to make a choice.

Do you stay in a position where you get judged a lot? Maybe so. Sometimes people judge for the wrong reasons and you standing up for your personality, or trait, or belief, is important because if no one like you does this, nothing in society will ever change.

But maybe your image is foolish. Maybe you aren’t really proving anything but looking ridiculous, or unapproachable to most people and as such you will find a hard time making friends, getting turned down from jobs, etc.

And again, remember everyone I am not condoning quickly judging people. I’m just telling you how it is. You might hate it that people judge you because you look a certain way or you said a certain thing, but that is just how it is.

You cannot so easily change the world. But you can much more easily change yourself.

And that is what this post is about. Your choices for how you present yourself directly influence the judgments that other people cast on you. Now, you will never get this 100% right, but by being smart and planning you can effectively craft your image in such a way that generally gets favorable judgments from people.

Simple things you can do is take regular showers, (for those of you who laugh at this, I have met many people in my life who have not believed in doing this), take care of your basic hygiene, and dress conservatively.

Let me qualify conservatively. I don’t mean anything political by this statement, I mean the word much more literally, such as wearing clothes that don’t invoke a hyperbolic response. If you wear extremely sexually provocative clothing you are going to get people looking at you in a sexual way, (which can be good or bad – like most things) or if you wear crazy clothes that are something only a rockstar or a crazy person would wear, expect to be treated similarly.

If you are a larger than life individual and you dress in a such a way, that can have a serious advantage. It can impress and attract people. But it also can make people hate you because it may invoke their jealousy or make them feel like you are an asshole.

This is what I am talking about. Being conscious of your appearance. What you wear, how you carry yourself, etc. invokes a certain response from others. And you need to see what works best for you. Maybe you are that type that enjoys a more high-profile look. Me personally, I like being very low-profile. Bill Gates is my idol. To quote Bill Burr,

“Bill Gates looks like he works at a shoe store.”

And Bill truly has a reputation for being a down-to-earth guy, despite being a multi-billionaire. I respect that tremendously. It resonates much more with me, that type of image.

Now, you don’t need to copy that image, that is for some, not for others. My main point of this article is that I want you, reader, to think about your image and how to manage it. I am not encouraging abandoning your identity and changing yourself just to conform to whatever is cool like those sad kids in high school do, but I also am cautioning against buying into the bad soup of the day advice of doing whatever you want without caring about what others think.

Both of those routes are bad choices. Stay in the middle and make a compromise. Find what works with your style personally but that also invokes favorable judgments from others the majority of the time. You will find that your life may be much more livable when you do this. After all, it is quite nice to have positive interactions with the majority of people you interact with. And if you want this to happen you have to in effect play the game a little bit.

Remember: changing others is incredibly difficult and often impossible, but changing yourself is exactly the opposite.

Your life is in your hands, you are in control of it. Other people are in control of theirs, and that is something that you must accept, even if they judge wrongly or are total assholes. You might not like it, but you will have to deal with that.

So I say work on yourself, play the game a little bit, and try to find a healthy compromise where you can manage your image and thus manage their judgments.

Let me know how it goes, and your thoughts on the matter.

 

Keep Smiling,

Nolan