Contact Or The White Noise Of Social Media?

Contact Or The White Noise Of Social Media?

By Javier Calleja Erdmann

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My eyes flutter open in those first seconds of consciousness following the phase out of stupor and the memory of my unfinished dream, while still fresh in my mind, swiftly wanes away, out of my recollection. My eyes have not fully adjusted to the early morning colors trickling into my room from the open shutter, as my brain still struggles to leave its slumber state. But I have already reached for my cellphone.

Like neon road signs protruding an indefinite darkness, the notifications on my cellphone screen glare at me. I blame it on the time difference. Being six hours in front of your friends and seven in front of your family can make simple communication awkward. I wake up, a couple of hours after my friends have gone to sleep, and read over the last few phrases of our conversations, that which they have sent me while I was asleep. Then I reply, sending phrases back through the air to vibrating portables sitting on desks and bed sides in quiet dark rooms half a world away. They will also wake up to messages sent while they slept, messages that will be waiting for them, waiting to plunge them into the next vicious-go-round of the daily cycle. And they will read over the messages, and they will watch the disappearing snapchats, dissolving into the blotchy screen, like a memory — or a friendship; expunged by those two poisons nothing can survive; distance and time.

What am I looking for in those messages? For it is clear that I'm desperately searching for something, if not, why even bother to send them in the first place? But what is it exactly that I'm seeking for? What is it that I hope to find? And perhaps, most importantly, why does a foreboding feeling that I'm searching in the wrong place follow me around? Why do I keep doing something when I seem to know for a certainty that it is not what I want at all? Stimulus. Why else? What else?

My phone blows up with messages of people I do not want to talk to. And yet, I need them. The presence of the very messages is comforting, assuring, and provides that much needed validation. Validation I never knew I needed before I got introduced to the world of social media, before I fell into the vicious cycle of likes and comments. So I rummage through the heaps, sort through the messages. Some days there are so many, and it take minutes upon minutes to complete the tedious daily ritual. Some days it involves planning trips or recounting adventures, sharing stories and pictures and videos and laughs, or discussing new music or the latest football game, some days it involves superficial chit chat and other days momentous existential reflections. Yet the content doesn't really seem to matter, for the presentation itself is truly the thing that makes you come back for more.

How I hate that little screen. The way it consumes my time. The possible health complications it might bring. The falsity of talking to someone who is not there. The cheapness of pretending to be in a place you're not. The detrimental effects observing the lives of others has on living your own.

How I hate that little screen. The way it consumes me.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

But there are good aspects to social media, right? Like what about making your voice heard?

Social media empowers us. It gives us an outreach and a base like we've never had before, and it makes it more accessible than we could ever dream it to be. Social media, and the web within itself, allow us to cast our voice into the world. They give us a platform where we can voice our opinions, our political ideals, our knowledge, the lessons we've learned, a platform where we can push for social justice. We push for our dreams, we have them at our fingertips we know, it's simply a matter of typing them into a keyboard.

We talk about our individuality, about being different, and we show it whenever we can. On social media, and with our online presence. We share hashtags that empower us, that tell the world that we count too, and we put our everything into 140 characters we send out into a world we believe will listen. A world we believe will be inspired.

We are a generation unafraid to say what we think. Through social media we have found our voice. But if everyone is talking, who is listening?

Our voice becomes one more, it's meaning lost between the mounting vibrations of others, lost in the endless murmur of white noise obtruding everyone's ear.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Our voices have never rung so loud… our voices have never felt such little impact. The prowess of individual voices getting lost into the common thread like the raging water of streams running into a mighty river, to become even more diluted when the river flows into the eternal oceans.

It's all a matter of perspective.

But today our perspective has found its birds eye view. Perhaps we can distinguish forms, passing through our oval window out of the airplane, perhaps our periscopical aerial vision can tell us this is a house we are flying over and that is a field. But it can't tell us the detail. It can't tell us the stories of the lives of the people within that very house, or their dreams and goals and aspirations. And even if it could, we wouldn't be interested in finding out anyways. We are a passive audience too worried about voicing our own concerns to let the "spam" that surrounds us affect us. The white noise. We simply dim it out, like a lamp on a cold night, let it turn down, fade out into the darkness.

We read texts of past eras and marvel at the complexity of thought. The letters intellectuals sent to one another in days of yore, the language choices of the men and women of the Enlightenment, they seem so complicatedly senseless, and take so much effort for us even to decipher. Who even talks like that? We asks ourselves. People from another era, one without technology of course, but one that hadn't been corrupted by its side effects, and particularly that one most hard hitting side effect of all, that which has left people feeling more content and more empty and more useless than any drug ever could. Instant gratification. Technology was created to better our lives, to make things easier, but perhaps we've reached the point where this is counter effective. When everything has become so easy that without technology itself we are useless, purposeless shells of the creatures we once were.

Perhaps it is time things should start becoming harder again. For today dullness has become our constant state of mind. Dullness engulfs us. And with it comes dilution.

Extreme dilution of the human spirit exists today like it has never been present before, in a world where humans would rather spend their time with machines than with each other, a world in which humans are themselves losing their humanity.

And so we reach the most ironic of paths, that which leads the crisis and angst of all minds today, as we find ourselves in a world that has never been so interconnected, where the opportunities have never been as limitless, where the entirety of human knowledge is at our fingertips, and yet, we don't know what to do with it. We've never been so connected, and we've never felt so alone.

What a time to be alive.

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10 Rappers Whose Lyrics Will Take Your Instagram Captions To The Next Level

Make your life easy by choosing a caption that's already been written for you.

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Finding the perfect caption for you Instagram post is something everyone struggles with. On the contrary, the best rappers in the industry right now seem to have no problem with it. Whether it be Cardi B or Kanye West, you can always count on fire captions. Taken from the rappers themselves, here are the best rap lyrics for Instagram captions.

1. Travis Scott

Travis Scott album cover

  • "It's summertime, why they tryna throw shade?"
  • "Rollin' rollin' rollin' got me stargazin'"
  • "I got 'em stage diving out the nosebleeds"
  • "Anything can happen at the night show"
  • "This right here is astronomical"
  • "Valet park when I pull up in the ride"
  • "Pick up the phone, baby, I know you're home, baby"
  • "Oh my, what a wonderful time"
  • "She said 'where we goin?' I said 'the moon'"
  • "I been up sleepless late nights"
  • 2. Migos

    Migos II

    • "Walk it like I talk it"
    • "In the kitchen wrist moving like a stir fry"
    • "Put my mind on it, put my grind on it"
    • "We live like sopranos"
    • "Diamonds on my wrist stay drippin"
    • "Addin' up checks, no minus"
    • "I can buy that car, I know that you can't"
    • "No human being, I'm immortal"
    • "Walk in the buildin', they start applaudin'"
    • "Versace, Versace, Versace, Versace"

    3. Cardi B

    Cardi B be careful

    • "I like texts from my exes when they want a second chance"
    • "I went from dollar bills, now poppin' rubber bands"
    • "Why would I hop in some beef? When I could just hop in the Porsche"
    • "You know where I'm at, you know where I be"
    • "These expensive, these is red bottoms"
    • "I don't dance now, I make money moves"
    • "It's not a threat it's a warning, be careful with me"
    • "Poured out my whole heart to a piece of sh*t"
    • "Karma for you is gon' be who you end up with"

    4. Drake

    Drake

    • "This a Rollie, not a stopwatch, sh*t don't ever stop"
    • "I only love my bed and my mama I'm sorry"
    • "I get it how I live it, I live it how I get it"
    • "No new friends"
    • "Drinking every night because we drink to my accomplishments"
    • "This sh*t got me in my feelings"
    • "With your phone out, gotta hit them angles"
    • "My ex asked me, 'Where you movin'?' I said, 'On to better things'"
    • "My team good, we don't really need a mascot"
    • "Got new money, got new problems, got new enemies"

    5. Nicki Minaj

    Nicki Minaj

    assets.rbl.ms

    • "Imma keep it moving, be classy and graceful"
    • "In my kingdom, with my Timbs on"
    • "Uh, yo, watch your man, then you should watch your mouth"
    • "At least you took an L off your bucket list"
    • "Defend my honor, protect my pride"
    • "But to live doesn't mean you're alive"
    • "She just mad 'cause he never bought her ice like me"
    • "I fly with the stars in the skies"
    • "They paintin' me out to be the bad guy"
    • "All these b*tches is my sons"

    6. Mac Miller

    Mac Miller

    • "My regrets look just like a text I shouldn't send"
    • "Driving with my eyes close, missing all the signs"
    • "I'm a monster with the heart of a lion, divide and conquer"
    • "I got a bone to pick like roses"
    • "I'll do anything for a way out of my head"
    • "Your love is not too kind to me"
    • "Yeah, I got a bad attitude"
    • "No matter where life takes me, find me with a smile"
    • "Imma give you what you came for"
    • "I don't know 'bout you, but me, I'm important, I'm so gorgeous"

    7. A$AP Rocky 

    A$AP Rocky

    • "Same shit, different day"
    • "I got three phones: business, conversation, and relation"
    • "What the face say to the fist?"
    • "I look for ways to say 'I love you', but I ain't into makin' love songs"
    • "Paranoia got me losing all my z's"
    • "Make no mistakes, it's all a leap of faith for love"
    • "She ain't a stranger to the city life"
    • "Can't forget that I'm golden, can't forget where I'm going"
    • "Riding by the rules, I'll abide by it soon"
    • "Ain't a killer so don't kill the vibe"

    8. Kanye West

    Kanye West

    • "Yeah u so mother thick"
    • "Ball so hard, let's get faded"
    • "That sh*t cray"
    • "I'm tripping off the power"
    • "All of my kindness, is taken for weakness"
    • "I'm lookin' for the one have you seen her?"
    • "Don't let me get in my zone"
    • "Let's get lost tonight"
    • "Sun don't shine in the shade, bird can't fly in a cage"
    • "Reach for the stars so if you fall you land on a cloud"
    • "No you're not perfect but you're not your mistakes"

    9. A$AP Ferg

    A$AP Ferg

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    • "Gucci down to the socks"
    • "My jewelry glistening why I'm always chilly"
    • "I'm a one night savage"
    • "Put in work, put 'em in the dirt"
    • "Fergy be mobbin' all day"
    • "Ferg is the name"
    • "I'm on a new level"
    • "Don't pray for me pray for the weak"
    • "I was only 8 years old, watching Nick at Nite"
    • "I was fly like a bird"

    10. Lil Wayne 

    Lil Wayne

    • "Real G's move in silence like lasagna"
    • "I speak the truth but I guess that's a foreign language to y'all"
    • "Okay you're a goon, but what's a goon to a goblin?"
    • "I got some weight on my shoulders, to me it's like feathers"
    • "I am more animal than the zoo allow"
    • "Money talks, bullsh*t walks"
    • "Every night's a long night, every day's a holiday"
    • "I'm a cool cat, but I'm on life nine"
    • "Haters can't see me, nose bleed seats"


    No matter what the occasion, it's always good to have creative Instagram captions on hand. Nobody knows how to make clever captions than rappers themselves. Whether you need creative caption for throwing shade at someone, or you have used only emojis for your past 5 Instagram pictures, rap lyrics make the perfect caption.

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    Facebook's Privacy Pivot: What You Need To Know

    As others are saying, we've been "Zucked." Again.

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    Technology is changing. People are changing. Times are changing.

    It's no secret that Facebook is spiraling down after it was released that "private" messages sent on Facebook are actually used by data analyzers to collect information on users. It's also no secret that people were pretty darn pissed about it.

    The gap between companies and their users is closing very quickly, so what used to be "secret" before, isn't so secret now. As a response to all of the backlash from Facebook users about the platform's lack of privacy, Mark Zuckerberg has proposed a new "privacy pivot." He hopes to transform Facebook's reputation of being a "town square" to a "living room": more and more people are shifting from sharing publicly to sharing just one-on-one or with a few, close friends. For example, more than 63% of users send content to one another through Facebook Messenger, compared to the 55% of people that have shared publicly, or, in the "town square."

    Zuckerberg has proposed changes to Facebook that will shift to look more like it's sister brand, WhatsApp, a messaging app that users utilize to speak to direct audiences. This, however, cannot be pulled off easily, and many people are scrutinizing Zuckerberg already due to not having any sort of true business model. First, Facebook is a publicly traded company and therefore has a duty to pay shareholders. Despite having 15 million fewer users today than in 2017, Facebook's earnings have increased due to loyal advertisers. Changing Facebook's platform would mean changing ways of advertising, which could make the company lose part of their 7 million companies that advertise with them, which, of course, means a large decrease in profit.


    upload.wikimedia.org

    There are opportunities, however, to tap into markets that have never been reached before. Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram are all under the same company umbrella. These three, powerful platforms could work together to create a way of communicating that has never been done before, both benefitting the users and advertisers. Business professor and contributor to Forbes Magazine, Bhaskar Chakravorti described this innovation as, "creating new ways to open up advertising streams and tracking a diversity of user activity. This could lead to new revenue opportunities that are currently untapped and reduce costs through consolidation of the back end infrastructure and reduced need to monitor encrypted information." This could still have it's risks, though, being a completely new innovation, which Chakravori addresses later in the article.

    It seems that at this point, this "privacy pivot" is a whole lot of talk and not a lot of walk. Personally, I just want a real step to be taken for my messages to be encrypted and secure. All of this other fancy innovation can come at a later time.

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