Dear Medium and other Social Media.

Dear Medium and other Social Media.

All forms of social media have made connecting and exchanging ideas easy. Not only easy but possible. At the beginning this was a visionary idea. A way to see the world from your seat. But social media is starting to fail that idea. It has become a popularity contest. This is great for sales, but not so great if you want to see and learn something new.

I have just sent a mini-form to Medium. One which asks me about my overall satisfaction. That is, do I like what I see on my news feed and how I would change it. While I am mostly happy about it, I am not inspired. I have not read or seen something I haven’t already discovered. Is this due to yet another algorithm calculating my previous searches and giving me more of the same? Perhaps it’s more about what everyone else likes? The most probable scenario is that it’s a form of AI that combines and calculates both. However, popular opinion has rarely proven to push new ideas forward. Rather, it is individuals with great minds and great ideas that have done this. These great minds have either had followers or they didn’t.

Vincent Van Gogh (1853–1890)

Image from : http://www.vangoghgallery.com/catalog/Painting/508/Starry-Night.html

Without a doubt, Vincent Van Gogh was one of the best painters of the late 19th century. My personal favorite. While he’s art is amazing, he’s own life was a sad and lonely one. He wanted to be a missionary and serve others. He’s view of the Christian church was, however, different than the doctrine. He, while doing missionary work, gave up all his belongings and shared them with the poor. The Church viewed this as a scandal and he was, for lack of a better word, fired. He was distraught by this. After this heartbreak, he started to paint. He painted over 700 pictures and yet only sold one. We can safely say he was not popular. In fact, he wasn’t even close to famous at the time of his life. This fact is well known. Until the 20th century, his work was not popular. Was this more due to the elite of the time, as he never had the opportunity to share his work with the world as we can today, or perhaps popular opinion did not understand his vision?

You can read more about Van Gogh here :https://www.britannica.com/biography/Vincent-van-Gogh

Ludwig van Beethoven. (1770–1827)

Image from : https://www.britannica.com/biography/Ludwig-van-Beethoven

Another remarkable artist. Unlike Van Gogh, however, he did reach to fame at the time. His path was very different than our previous example. He was discovered, taught, and trained. His talent was unmistakable and propelled him to become an eternal great of classical music. He had a solid reputation and was a visionary in his own right. I suppose if YouTube was around at the time, he would have received many views and even more likes. That being said, he did have many obstacles. There is not success in this world without setbacks. None of them, including his own deafness, held him back. Is this proof that social media does not impact creativity? He was well-known, yet this did not dictate his work. Rather, it was the other way around.

You can read more about Beethoven here :

Galileo Galilei (1564–1642)

Image from : https://www.britannica.com/biography/Galileo-Galilei

A mathematician, philosopher, and astronomer he paved the way for astronomy with the improvement of the telescope. His theorems on the center of gravity gave him recognition among other mathematicians. Although his initial attempt to become “the chair of mathematics at the University of Bologna” failed, he soldered on. While he was a respected scientist, some of his ideas were less than popular. One such idea was that the world revolved around the sun, not the other way around. At the time, this idea was heresy. His discoveries about various planets also showed him that the idea of a single Earth and the heavens was misleading. When he discovered sunspots on the sun, he proved its imperfection. Each idea was a sour spot in the eye of the Church. His scientific ideas were so unpopular that in 1633 he was condemned to life imprisonment guilty of heresy. He was not tortured or placed in a dungeon. Rather, he was confined to the house of the Tuscan Ambassador. Although he was never popular, he was well known and worked until his death in 1642.

You can read more about Galileo here :

Conclusion.

Each one of these examples does not offer a simple conclusion. While Van Gogh was not known in his time, Galileo and Beethoven were. The only thing they do have in common is a distinct mind. This is true for many visionaries of our time and the time that has passed. Each had their own ideas about their particular field. While some were famous, as was Beethoven, some were infamous like Galileo. Each form of knowledge, talent, and vision was their own. However, if they were alive today how many likes would they receive? How popular would be their content? The problem that I am trying to address is that in order to be seen, read, or discovered, your talent MUST be popular. The algorithms set by the social media programmers means that you will probably only see what everyone already likes. This, in turn, means it is complex to discover a new talent by accident. If you wish to be inspired, you must rummage through the box of discarded topics and articles. If, on the other hand, social media could encourage ingenuity rather than popularity these platforms would give us more than just another article about writing and marketing and making money.

This article can also be found on my Medium account :

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Treća Smena – The 3rd Shift

Treća Smena – The 3rd Shift

I don’t actually know if this exists everywhere in the world, I guess it does. I guess hard work and minimum wage are like the flu, it’s everywhere and it’s not that big a deal. I just never thought I’d be doing what I love in the crazy owl hours. But then here I am. Finalizing my research, placing the ever important commas, looking at the clock.

I don’t even mind. That’s the truth. I don’t mind that sometimes I stay up all night writing. That’s good. When I have work to do that’s good. I don’t even mind the nights that I can’t seem to put a single word out there. I love every bit of it, the writing. That’s the truth.

But I do lie. Not to the one’s I love the most. The ones I trust. The other people in my life. I learned to lie to them. The thing is if I was to tell them “I actually think faster at night, so it suits me,” suddenly everyone would be saying the one sentence I detest: “You got it easy.”

I know it’s a correct statement. I am blessed, and I am grateful. I have a beautiful, slightly tyrant-like, baby boy. I have a funny, loving, and interesting husband. I have a great mom that’s still always there for me in spite of myself. To top it off, I’m earning money doing what I love. Added bonus-pyjama uniform. So yes, I have it “easy”, but I earned it. I worked for it.

So here I am, getting ready to send another article out. I’m hoping I’ll be able to concentrate enough to send many more tonight. Tomorrow maybe I won’t be able to put pen to paper. Who knows. Maybe I’ll put my heart and soul into something and the client will decline the essay. Not to their standards, not their taste. You never really know. Then I’ll be all angry and heartbroken how my sweet little article was rejected. With that mindset, I’ll “go” to work. Switch on my thinking cap and pull another all-nighter. I will do that for as long as I can.

They will still say that my life is “easy”. I can’t drown them out or shut them up, but I can lie. Tell them I’m tired and earning pennies. They won’t feel sorry for me, don’t worry. They’ll shrug as if to say “Well now you know what it’s like to work,” and I’ll let them have that. That emotion that some form of justice was done and I am not that awesome. But I am. Every single person out there who does something new and scary is awesome. The single mom who refuses to settle, awesome. The cool kid who turned his back on his friends in order to grow up, awesome. The adults who went back to college, awesome. So many great people out there. I bet they are surrounded with their own “easy” crowd. I hope they don’t let it affect them.

Make coffee, empty ashtray, get the notebook, write. Work. Bye now 😉

Really?

Really?

 

Have you recently read something online that made your eyes roll so far back, they might just get stuck there? Today I read an amazing number of things that did this to me.

From absurdly pathetic comments, to the dumbest articles ever. Am I becoming cynical? More importantly, why is there no filter on Facebook to protect me from such stupidity?

I just read a post that was cool : “True or false, Never discredit your gut instinct. You’re not being paranoid. Your body can pick up on bad vibrations. If something deep inside of you says something is not right about a person or situation, trust it.” I personally believe this to be true. You have a right to stick your head in the sand and think that the everything is peachy. That didn’t baffle me. One comment however did. One girl stated that this is false because, and I quote, “Your gut feeling could sometimes be something you conjured up on your own. You can make yourself believe someone is cheating when in reality you’re just thinking too deep and dealing with insecurities of your own”.

Now maybe I misread the post, to me it’s talking about many different situations, bad situations, bad people. It’s probably just me, but cheating is not actually dangerous. It can be upsetting, or hurtful, but that’s it. It’s not the worse thing ever.  A paper cut is bad, being attacked by a number of extremely sharp books would be worse.

Back to my point, this girl read this particular post and, as we all do, made a connection to her own life. Probably to the time she accused her bf of cheating. He, naturally, assured her that it’s all in her head. Whether her gut instinct told her somethings up, or that weird 3am text is irrelevant. The post is NOT talking about messed up relationships. It’s talking about sitting in a bar, and a crowd of bad looking guys walk in, and your gut tells you pay your bill and go. I follow my gut and go. My gut is usually right.

Hell, even if your gut tells you somethings up in your relationship this is true. Your significant other probably isn’t cheating on you, that doesn’t mean nothings wrong. That doesn’t mean everyone is happy and everything is fine. There is a reason you are doubting this person, a good reason.

So what upset me about this kid? The fact that she is so naive, or the fact that she would like the world to know? Neither, my personal pet peeve is people trying to be so smart, so wise, and yet give proof that they are full of it.

In conclusion, I have obviously become cynical and old.

The Girl behind the Bar

The Girl behind the Bar

It was Thursday. She sat on the bar stool waiting. They didn’t arrive yet and this was worrying. Not that something had happened to them, but the later they came the later they went. The later they left, the more they drank. The more they drank, the longer her shift lasted.

Mr. Thursday, the self proclaimed leader, and his gang weren’t dangerous. They weren’t that bad really. They were more like toddlers with a licence to drink.

They were loud, they were demanding, they were uncontrollable. A tantrum here and there, emotions all over the place and constantly admiring women’s tits. Toddlers. She, on the other hand, was a cranky twenty something year old with a poorly placed chip on her shoulder.

For a few months, she hated them, but time passed and she placed her chip down long enough to listen. Those were some of the greatest stories she ever heard. At first they sounded fake. I mean Thursday was a stunt guy? He’s a tech and IT guy now. And little-big man a romantic? If he smiled ever after the first beer.

There was also the nice 30 year old, who was once, in that very pub, arrested by the cops after another guy took a beating. Long story. The thug? He was actually really shy. Who knew?

Time passed and she listened and laughed. Like that one story when they ran over thug with a car and took him to a pediatrician. Well it wasn’t a vet at least. Time passed and she somehow became part of their story. She became the girl behind the bar.

There was a time when they were great friends. It didn’t matter what bar she worked at, they came. When she needed cheering up, they we there. When they needed a beer and a shoulder to cry on, she was there.

But then time passed, and lives changed. She no longer works by the bar. They no longer go to pubs every Thursday. Life moved on beyond that moment. The moment when everything was funny or sad. Life happened, and every day they are getting further and further away from that moment.

It was a moment, just a moment, when she was the girl behind the bar.

Feminist

Feminist

Deep in the urban jungle, among the buildings and sidewalks, there lives an endangered species. A female being that comes in many colors, shapes and styles. Unfortunately, PETA is too busy with the fur industry to try and save this poor dying breed. She is close to becoming extinct without you, dear reader, ever seeing one in real life. She is the feminist.

One reason why you probably didn’t spot one is that in order to know a woman is a feminist, you have to talk to her. Not all feminist look like school librarians, unless of course they are a librarian. There is no dress code. A dress code in fact defies what being a feminist is all about. So there’s your first mistake.

Another is that feminism is slowing losing its meaning. Too many woman are claiming to be feminists to seem strong or intellectual. They then go back on the things they claim to believe. It gives people the wrong impression. Gives men an excuse to mock us, to degrade feminism. So maybe you did meet a feminist, but looked at her more like a hypocrite then a person.

Naturally, young woman do not want people to think of them as feminists. Beach blonde barbie is in, Lara Croft is out. After all, what girl wants the cute guy to think she is a lesbian or a man hater? She doesn’t realize that by making herself seem dumb, she has opened the door for people to abuse her, hurt her. No one told her, no one taught her.

On that note, I have decided to clear up some misconceptions about feminists. As I already said, we don’t all dress the same. I guess you figured I am one of “those”, so let me continue. I enjoy putting on make-up and dressing well. I have more shoes than any human truly needs and love them all. I even get really pretty just for my husband. We have a kid you know, the stork didn’t bring him.

As far as chivalry goes, this one most people don’t seem to understand. I am very happy when my husband opens the door for me, or takes my coat. It’s very sweet and romantic. Being a woman, of course I love romance, of course. How did people get to the conclusion that by being nice to a woman, you are taking away her basic human rights? Because that’s what feminism is about, basic human rights.

Don’t know which ones? Being paid equally for example. Better yet, getting the promotion you deserve. I remember my boss once telling me that I wasn’t promoted to manager of the cafe because “people may think there’s something going on between us”. Really? I worked hard, more than most, but I am a woman and pretty so obviously I don’t deserve a raise. Fighting that is feminism, not fighting roses and chocolate.

Heard of Aretha Franklin? Great singer, wrote a song called “respect” listen to it, but with lyrics. Because that is what it’s all about. It’s coming home from work and being respected for it. I don’t mean give your significant other a trophy, I mean don’t tell her how your work is hard and she works because she’s bored. It’s about not listening to people explain to you how raising kids is the woman’s job (and it’s amazingly hard work). If you want my respect, give me yours. Can’t do that because I am ONLY a woman? Then step away, you are not the company I keep.

Want to help keep the strong woman, the feminist alive? Teach your daughters to respect themselves AND their bodies. Tell them life is hard and unfair and they can say “no”. Listen to your wife, or girlfriend, or coworker and don’t laugh away her opinion. Argue with her like you would with any man if you disagree, but don’t patronize her. Go home, make your mum dinner, and tell her “thank you” for teaching you to use the fork and knife. The biggest irony on the planet is that women give life, and half the time the little, beautiful creature born will dismiss her. Don’t do that. We are not pets or playthings, we are women, hear us roar.

 

 

 

 

 

Millenials

Millenials

The Millennials got their name quite recently, maybe it started in the last 5 years, maybe 6, but I remember when I was little we were “the generation after Generation Y”. We were mainly born to “X generation” parents. Now that’s a generation of innovators, movers and shakers. They literally changed the world, they went for it and still go for it.

I mentioned the generation of my parents because it’s important. I’d like to state I do know the difference between literally and figuratively. They did truly change the world. From music, to movies, to business and more. If you look it up you will be in shock that some of your favourite actors, or musicians are born in the 60s. That is the X generation. They didn’t take “No” for an answer, they invented “My way or the highway”. They are bold, strong, brave and very capable. Those are the parents of most Millennials.

We, however, leave a lot to be desired. A few successes here and there in sport (Novak Djokovic, Christiano Ronaldo), or innovations (Mark Zuckerberg), but mostly we are in the corporate world described as lazy, indecisive and quick to change jobs. I actually once stumbled upon a manual of sorts entitled “how to keep your Millennials happy”. There’s something particularly sad about that, we obviously behave like curios toddlers exploring the world but never for more than a few hours. You don’t really want to smack them but you have to find a way to keep them entertained because when they have a tantrum, it’s insufferable.

Is this though completely true? Do we all have a form of ADD or Peter Pan syndrome never wanting to grow up? Could we truly be the forgotten generation? Or is something else, is something bigger a factor? I like to be positive, it’s a big part of who I am and I believe it’s not simply who we are. I believe it can all be changed, and that it’s never too late.

Let’s take a look at the reality of the situation. Just the facts, no opinions, no outlook just as things are right now. Most Millennials still live with their parents, though their own parents had a whole family at this point in life. The ones who have moved out for whatever reason, have mediocre jobs. Many have finished university and either are unemployed as they are still trying to find a job in their field, or are working in the local Deli hoping to get the call.

Another problem is we are getting older, for those who weren’t “lucky enough” to get on a career path are very close to being “overqualified”. What that means is you are too old to be taught anything new and the company doesn’t need you.

Starting your own company has its own set of new challenges. Unless you are super intelligent, super lucky or a very good salesman, you are competing with a lot of already established companies. It used to be a few cafes, bars pubs located in one area, now they are everywhere. A few shops and supermarkets, now you have huge corporations with low prices and you cannot compete. Any business, any idea, it’s already been done, already established and probably owned by an X-Gen and we know they are ready to kick their dead grandma’s ass let alone yours.

To make things worse, our parents are the X Generation. They had plenty of challenges we will never face. The cold war, the Berlin wall (they brought it down), high unemployment, their own set of very active, home bread, terrorists and more. When they were little, people didn’t lose their heads over a parent physically disciplining their kids even if it went too far. It’s safe to say, they did not have it easy. We don’t even get to complain. So what’s left, we’ve given up hope.

I believe that last sentence and only that sentence is the reason why we are stuck on our computers, watching funny animal videos and living an imaginary life online. We are not lazy, we are out of hope. Hope, the main reason why men fought wars they couldn’t possibly win, why woman went on the streets to fight for their right to vote, why people ever tried to change the world. Hope the maker of men and women and more than that. Hope the maker of children and families. Without hope, you can never truly believe it’ll get better. Most Millennials will never admit it, but however unique we are, we all feel this deep down inside. This is it. It will never be better than now.

Give it time and don’t give up. You don’t need to be amazing right now. It’ll come. You don’t need a ton of fans or friends to make it. It’ll come. You don’t need to be cool or unique or weird or lucky. You need to be ready, to remain hopeful, to keep working IT WILL COME.