The Gift – Oil on Canvas, 8×8 in., 2022 – Art by Maria Jones-Phillips.

Nothing is current anymore. The big social media platforms have all but killed free speech and art, instead turning meta-communication into one big money-making grift. No-one benefits, except for those multi-billionaires in charge. As a user and a once viable voice, I, and you have been made obsolete. You may disagree. That’s ok, you get to do that, but I doubt it will have escaped your notice how unpopular you may have become in recent years, with your follower numbers and likes on posts dwindling to near obscurity across all platforms. You might have even taken it quite personally, believing that it is you, in fact, whose talent has diminished. I’ve been victim of that too, except that it’s simply not true. It’s just what happens when we unwittingly enter into an abusive relationship with a sociopath – we learn to believe that we are always in the wrong through negative reinforcement. In this case, the sociopath is big business. And I mean all big business, not just social media.

I was talking about exactly this when I was actively blogging and trying to sell my wares between 2012-15. I noticed the shift in the model then, except no-one believed me. Not that it mattered. However, the vanity model is an actual thing that all social media platforms and app developers now subscribe to, i.e. pay us a monthly subscription to use a service that will ensure your work never reaches the light of day owing to our ‘fair’ lottery system that stops anyone coveting the limelight and wishing to get a foot up, while we get rich off of your efforts for essentially boosting your ego but doing absolutely nothing in return. Sites like Etsy, for example, are quite transparent about their practices and will tell you that they are not an active promotional site anymore, and that if you wish to make genuine sales you should not rely on their services alone. Amazon does the same but is less honest about it. We, as the users have become the product. We are what all of these sites are peddling. And like idiots, we take the bait while bashing our heads against this very large and hard digital facade wondering all the while why our numbers keep diminishing and why our work never gets seen. Our exposure is being kept to a very purposeful minimum. The more we crave exposure, the more money we are encouraged to have to pay in order to have that, except to no real avail. Classic carrot and stick tactics. Scratch social media, it’s actually the business model that has been in play since forever. Like I said, in reality though, it’s just a grift. How else do you sell a product no-one needs? You lie, of course.

Social media these days is a mug’s game, and we should probably all quit in mass protest. This kind of social manipulation is exactly why revolutions happen. Oppression is driven by dictatorships which take many forms, although the model is always the same, i.e. we abuse the hell out of you. You suffer until you break and tell us to stop. It’s just business.

I stopped writing some years back and took up painting instead. I’d always said I would take up painting full-time. A few people do at least appreciate a good painting. Less can be said about a well written article or book these days. People don’t really read anymore, except those of us who love language. There are a few of us still left, now that the faddists have turned their attentions to Instatok and the like. Reminds me of a cat chasing a torch light – that’s right, youngsters, before laser-pointers there were good old fashioned torches to torment your cat with, and before that folk probably just kicked their cats. Everyone has the attention span of a goldfish these days. Maybe this is the natural mammalian default. As someone with ADHD I can tell you that having a short attention span can be both lethal and liberating.

I love cats really – Guinevere enjoying her carpet crease and my foot.

Though, as a social model short attention spans mean that products will have a very short shelf-life. High consumerism versus sustainability. Not good for people, other creatures or the planet on face value. Perhaps in the wider context, that matters little. I doubt our planet will care all too much if we make ourselves extinct.

What to do about it all?

(Shrugs shoulders).

It’s likely already too late. Hug a tree. Farm Diatoms. Do something useful. Pray.

Love, M.

10 thoughts on “Coffee Time With M.

  1. Lovely to see your name in my feed.
    Made me smile like you don’t know how!

    I too haven’t written a word in a few years. I doubt I will.

    Instead, I turned my attention to growing vegetables. At least it is something meaningful and helps the family in a very real way.
    Not quite self sufficient on the veggie front but we’re working at it.
    Stay safe. Summer up your way.
    Freezing down here in Jo’burg.
    Give my Best to Bill.
    Doug.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Doug! Ah, bless you for your kind words.

      Sounds like you’re well – I hope so. Growing vegetable is a very noble cause. I miss it. We have recently moved however, and do have somewhat of a flowerbed in front of the house, so I’m back to growing some plants from seed after a ten year hiatus.

      Sorry to hear you’re not writing anymore. Same for Bill too. We’ve all but given up the ghost trying to sell our art.

      Summer it is indeed in these parts after a very cold and exceedingly windy winter. It’s a welcome change!

      Stay warm and safe.
      Maria.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Doing okay, although a bunch of our animals are getting old all at the same time. Lost three in the space of two months recently. Horrible.

        Good analogy, the 20’s… although this time the rich know how to insulate themselves better.

        You guys doing OK?

        Like

        1. I’m really sorry to hear about your animals. That is horrible. That part is really hard. We still have our cat Guinevere, but she’s just turned 17 and has developed a neurological disorder that makes her twitch uncontrollably. She gets very forgetful, bless her. I’m grateful that she still complains at me every morning.

          Yes, true about the rich knowing how to insulate themselves better. It’s a good way of putting it.

          We’re doing ok. We moved house and state recently. Much better weather and closer to the beach, plus we have an actual house to live in rather than a noisy apartment. It’s been hard won though. The cat is enjoying the fact that she gets to lay in the sun most days. An improvement all round. Our health sucks, but I guess it’s a case of swings and roundabouts, as we Britishers say.

          Liked by 2 people

      1. Sorry to barge in on your hubby / wife chat but seeing you call Bill ‘ Boo’ I had to respond, as this is the pet name my daughter calls her brother.
        😎

        Liked by 1 person

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