Anti-Social Media

Today’s post comes from Bart, the bear who found a smart phone.

H’lo, Bart here.

Last time I posted I saw in the comments (yes, I read the comments!) where it was disputed that a smart phone found by a bear in the woods would be working this long, what with batteries wearing out and stuff.

Screenshot 2014-12-02 at 7.18.31 PM

Good questions. But it’s not that difficult for a bear to get a smart phone whenever he needs one.

As a rule, people should have all their senses turned “on” while out in nature. I am part of nature itself, so I can guarantee that we wild creatures are very alert!

So if you’re a bear who wants a smart phone, all you have to do is wait very patiently for a distracted hiker to come near. Usually it’s pretty easy, especially if they’re hiking & texting. When they’re about 15 feet away, step out of the brush and roar a bit.

The hiker stops.

If you’re a human, all the guide books say at this point you’re supposed to back away slowly, not turning around for fear I’ll chase you. Whatever you do, the books urge, don’t run.

This is good advice, because I do like to chase down running things.

But more and more these days, people don’t do either. Instead, they very slowly lift the phone up to take a picture of me. It kinda makes sense because they’re on social media already. When something special happens to you, you post it right away.

So I wait for them to lift up the phone and fumble for the camera app.

When I sense they’re about to click the shutter, I charge!

Most times, the hiker drops the thing and runs, and ta da! I have a new smart phone!

I also have a pretty cool collection of pictures of me, charging. That’s how it goes in the digital age. Just about anything can be captured and distributed, though I’m guessing those hikers weren’t expecting to share their phones with me in exactly this way.

But then social media has just been declared misleading when it comes to showing your real-life experiences and values.

Big surprise there! I know there are a lot of smart-phone holding bears in these woods who feel their lives are pretty dull when they see all the neat photos I have of the backsides of running hikers!

Yes, my life IS that good! Read it and weep, suckers!

Your pal,
Bart

Do you believe what you see, read and hear on social media?

40 thoughts on “Anti-Social Media”

  1. Good morning. What about some the postings on this blog. This morning we have message from a bear operating a cell. Is that something I should believe?

    From time to time a number of unusual types, who Dale Connelly seems to know, leave messages. Where does Dale find these people? Perhaps some of these people, such as Captain Billy or Spin Williams, are not for real and they are misleading Dale.

    I think you might want to check out some these people who might be misleading you, Dale. It is kind of hard to believe that a bear can use a cell phone. How about Bubby? Do you think they would let a guy like him remain in the sophomore class of a school year after year?

    How about me? Some of you have seen me in person, or you think you have. Reality is a strange concept. That person you saw might not have been me. In fact, I’m not sure I am here.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What do you mean, they’re not real. I actually brought up the Sherpa Intimida in a meeting yesterday. One person laughed, so I know I’m not alone here.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. I looked at that article after you mentioned it, Steve. I don’t know why anyone would want to apply seed laws to a program for sharing seeds at a library. Some people are way too worried about laws. You have to wonder why they thought they should apply those laws to that situation.

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        1. We have a seed library at our local West Side library. I’m waiting with bated breath to see if the “law” comes after it. Wouldn’t surprise me in the least. But I have faith in urban gardeners; they’ll find a way to keep these seed exchanges happening no matter what.

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        1. I shouldn’t be too hard on Bubby. He has enough trouble as it is. Spending one year as sophomore is not easy. He apparently has been able to withstand the painful stage of life for much more than one year.

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  2. I have no faith in the veracity of any source except my own experience and the convictions of people or groups I trust. And as I age, I trust fewer and fewer external individuals or groups.

    It is sad. When I was young most folks innately trusted bankers, lawyers, priests, teachers, most politicians, the US government and the CIA. I need not tell you what average people now think of those groups or institutions.

    I am especially leery of the opinions of people grouped in social networks. If there is one fool alone in a stadium, he is likely to believe in some nonsense. If several million fools chat on a social network, they are apt to embrace a great deal of nonsense and believe it passionately because it has the authority of all those believers. And we end up in a world where many people believe in ghosts and Bigfoot but not in the tragedy of climate change.

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  3. Absolutely! I never doubt, question, or challenge anything. If it’s on the interwebs, it ~must~ be true. People would never be duplicitous or misleading, intentionally or otherwise. Why, the very notion is anathema to our DNA. Did you know that truthfulness is actually encoded in our DNA? I read that on the internet, so it must be true! If someone posts something fraudulent, spurious, or disingenuous, the steely truth that coats our DNA begins to rust and dissolve in our own cellular fluids. This means that we melt, thaw, and resolve ourselves into a dew. (Actually, that’s how the product “Resolve” came about. Someone posted a mendacious article online, they melted into the carpeting, and something was needed to get the stain out.) Actually, we don’t really resolve into a dew…we become more of a chutney.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Rise and Shine Baboons!

    Bart, aren’t you supposed to be asleep? Coffee in your den? Did you find a stash of Crystal Meth with the smart phone?

    I don’t enjoy social media much, especially that wasteland FB–most of it seems to be a sinkhole for my time. But I am at a stage of life where I am surrounded by people all the time, often feeling TOO connected. And I don’t really enjoy the pictures of what somebody just ate.

    But enjoyment of it is different than believing what I read or see. Social networks seem to be the small town gossip centers of the internet–always suspect and containing some kernel of truth requiring intense discretion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The attention-hungry junior high school girl in me pretty much quit FB after noticing dozens of times that my soon-to-be-ex daughter in law had 3500 friends, at least 200 of whom “liked” anything and everything she posted. l was lucky to get 2 “likes” no matter what l put up on FB

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      1. Guess I don’t view FB or this blog as a competitive sport. Some posts are more interesting to me than others, but I find some nugget I appreciate every day in both places.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. I rarely believe anything I see in social media. In fact I have told the Teenager for years “if you hear it on the tv, it’s probably a lie.”

    Snopes.com is one of my go-to sites for urban myths….I’m probably there at least twice a week!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. That depends on the source, but I’d guess my BSBS (Bull S**t Believability Scale) measures about 20% overall. Government statements skew the average down because I believe about 0.1% of what I read from government on social media. Sites like Snopes.com and Politifact.com lead the way with a BSBS score above 90% or so.

    Chris in O-town

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Not sure that I know exactly what all is included in social media. Do you include TV, radio, newspapers, and magazines in that group? While a fair amount of bullshit circulates on the internet as “fact,” in most cases it’s easy enough to ascertain the veracity of whatever the claim. I think most people are hip to that.

    In general, I’m a pretty trusting person, and for that reason I have a hard time understanding why people make up some of the stuff that gets passed around as true.

    I have a 90-something friend who is a nun. She has a bunch of very conservative relatives, and with some regularity, she forwards an email that someone has sent to her. Urban myth kind of crap, often with religious overtones. Mostly stories that would be wonderful to believe, but that are pure fiction. Some of them, however, are full of not so subtle bigotry and hate. I used to send her the link to Snopes, but have since given up. She’s old, and it saddens her when I try to enlighten her.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I worked at our local hospital there was an elderly nun who managed the medical library. She was so happy to get this glossy and important looking “medical” publication and didn’t realize it was an antipsychiatry publication put out by Scientologists. I tried to explain the problems with htis publication to her but she just couldn’t understand it.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. PJ. you have surely discovered one of the most basic but powerful concepts for explaining why people believe strange stuff: it is because they want to believe that for one reason or another.

      I’m a romantic sort of guy, quick to fall in love with something and slow to do hard research to disprove things I want to believe are true. I had so much respect for people who have truly disciplined minds. My friend Dave Mech, the famous wolf researcher, has been fighting irrational wolf hate all his career but is equally alert to irrational wolf adoration and the ideas it espouses. He is what I could never be: a good scientist.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. I consider anything interactive to be social media – Facebook, email, the blog. (I don’t do any of the games, but I suppose they are too, if you’re playing with others.) I keep up with people I care about by email and now this blog. FB is for keeping up with cousins and high school friends (but not really the ones I care about). I’ve been re-evaluating FB lately and spending less and less time there.

    Ah, but the question was about believing… even though I like to think I don’t get taken in so much, I STILL probably believe more than I should. And yes, I do talk about people like Dr. Larry Kyle at times, and try to explain who that is…

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    1. All of the characters here on the trail are REAL. They each have been interviewed by Dale for each post. Just so you know. If he is not accurate the ghost of Jim Ed will send Bud Buck to refute Dale’s fine, precise research into each post.

      And how do I know this? I stopped taking my antipsychotic medications, at which point the aliens told me all of this!

      Liked by 6 people

  9. I have a friend who is a rancher/farmer in extreme north Montana. I figured out one time that Larry would automatically disbelieve anything he heard from an official source, like a scientific report or any statement from any kind of governmental unit. He would be inclined to believe only what he heard from other rancher/farmers.

    Example: he spreads herbicides and pesticides on his lands. If the gizmo gets clogged up, he will blow out the sludge with his mouth on the hose. Someone told him he wouldn’t get cancer doing that.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I have fb up on my computer most of the time for one reason: it’s how I communicate with and keep pace with my children.Their interactions with their friends in fun for me to watch. Both of my children have alert and busy minds with a sense of humor. My son has such a sprawling reach of interesting friends. The three of us communicate in the private part of fb, the only way I can do a three-way conversation since I don’t text.
    If I had kept everyone who was once a fb friend, I would have I bet over 300 friends. I have 49. My rule is that if they want to make it about politics very often, or if they do not ever communicate with me personally, I drop them as friends, or with relatives, I just don’t let them appear of my page.
    I had a few classmates up and took them all out. There were too many negative associations I found with my classmates.
    I have prized former students up: a funny sports writer, a military historian who is at the naval academy despite being in the army, two courageous single mothers, a pastor who does dramatic presentations in a variety of settings, three English teachers, a woman who is at the moment producing some Mo Rocka, a reality TV producer,and several others.

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  11. I’m afraid I’m pretty gullible. I have one “friend” on FB who is not of my political persuasion (far from it). Even though I don’t believe her screed the first time I read it, I do like to factcheck sometimes just to back up my skepticism. I don’t tend to argue with her but I have a reliable mutual friend who calls her out. I don’t believe that the original “friend” would be swayed by any proof from the other side anyway (though she did admit that SOME of the arguments questioning the Ferguson GrandJury process in a post made by a Kansas U student made some sense).

    I suppose I should be suspicious of the stuff the other 99% of my friends post but it would be beyond me to check it all.

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  12. I hope nobody minds this mostly OT post on a topic that has intrigued me for years. Six years ago JK Rowling gave a commencement speech at Harvard that is still being talked about and which will soon be published. Rowling’s topic was the critical role that failure can play in our lives. I have seen only this one excerpt, but it speaks to me:

    The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive. You will never truly know yourself, or the strength of your relationships, until both have been tested by adversity. Such knowledge is a true gift, for all that it is painfully won, and it has been worth more than any qualification I ever earned.

    So given a Time Turner, I would tell my 21-year-old self that personal happiness lies in knowing that life is not a check-list of acquisition or achievement. Your qualifications, your CV, are not your life, though you will meet many people of my age and older who confuse the two. Life is difficult, and complicated, and beyond anyone’s total control, and the humility to know that will enable you to survive its vicissitudes.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I am grateful that Hans came out west and visited us on his trip. Now he can attest to the other Baboons that I exist here in ND and I am not a 32 year old man living in Bratislava.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Just kidding; we both thank you for your hospitality. Renee, if you’re on FB, you should friend him. He has some wonderful photos from the trip on there.

        Like

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