Hot Chicks Dig Me On Instagram… Not Really…

Almost 4 years ago I wrote a post talking about how much I love Instagram. For the few of you who don’t know what that is, it’s an app you can add to your smartphone where you can upload images you take with it and also look at a lot of pictures other people put up. Since I love looking at pictures of all types, this bad boy was meant specifically for me. 🙂

Motivation Board
My new motivation board

Or at least it “was” for me. Over the last 4 years there’s been a lot of changes, some for the good, some irritating. For instance, there are a lot of people who are trying to do business on there by posting motivational messages along with advertisements… those aren’t really pictures. Instagram also now allows advertising of the video variety, and though I don’t like that I understand that companies deserve to make money (it’s owned by Facebook).

There’s also a lot of trolls and nasty people who say and do a lot of hateful and disgusting things that makes part of the experience become diminished a little bit. I’m not getting anything close to that kind of attention so it’s not a problem for me, but sometimes I’ll look at the comments other people write on some of the pictures; it’s just like reading the comments section of a local newspaper.

Nope, I don’t get that kind of attention. But I have been getting a lot of attention lately, which I don’t understand. In the vernacular of my youth, a lot of “hot chicks” are suddenly following me there. I’m not lying; these are some very attractive ladies, very young… and they’re following me!

That part is confusing enough, but the majority of them are Russian or Asian, and they’re coming out of the woodwork. What the hey?

Being older, I don’t just up and follow every pretty face that graces my fiend of social media vision; being married stops that also. lol However, I do check out people when the follow me, just to see if they might be real or not.

The accounts that have 7 or so pictures that have all been posted within a few days of each other are easy to figure out that they’re some sort of spam or something. Those usually have a hidden link that they’re hoping you’ll click on; don’t click on those thing… ever!

What I’m seeing mostly lately are women with tons of images on their page; that’s unexpected. I don’t see a link on any of them either. What I do see… and don’t see… is interesting though.

What I see are tons of hashtags for almost every picture. Since I’m someone who rarely uses more than one, that’s a bit odd. What I don’t see is any kind of explanation of what the picture is about, which kind of fits if it’s all face or body shots, but wouldn’t you think that some of the images would have some kind of explanation, or a quick word on what they were thinking at the time they posted the image?

I’m asking this as someone who has one friend on the site who posts a picture of herself every couple of days without any kind of explanation. It’s always the same pose; only the clothes change. I asked her about it and she said that seeing herself smile as she improves her life makes her feel good. I can buy that. However, she also posts a lot of other pictures of friends and family, and lots of food pictures (something I usually love to see but I don’t like a lot of her food lol).

I mentioned that most of the accounts are Russian or Asian women; but all of them aren’t. I get followed by a lot of fitness women also; that one’s confusing because I’m certainly not the icon of fitness… sigh… I do post a lot of pictures of my food, some of it homemade, and I’ll use that as a hashtag, but a lot of that stuff wouldn’t be considered healthy either… well, I guess it’s healthier than the stuff I buy out as most restaurants… sometimes.

I don’t end up following the overwhelming majority of these people. The same goes for restaurants, which also seem to follow me, but those have business logos. Like most of my social media accounts, I have way more people following me than I follow.

It’s also strange that as I’m working towards more peace and happiness by reducing the number of people I’m seeing on social media sites (this weekend was spent going through LinkedIn) that more people are starting to follow me on some of these same sites. It’s like I’m dealing with Newton’s Third Law of Motion, where the more I try to kill the more people there are trying to connect with me.

What are the bulk of you seeing as it pertains to your Instagram account? Is it as confusing as what I seem to be seeing or do you believe your accounts are just fine? I’m not worried about any of it; just seems strange is all. Let me know; I’m outta here. 🙂
 

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Stupid Begats Stupid; Instagram And YouTube

I sometimes don’t understand people. At the beginning of this month I wrote a post and added a video asking the question what’s wrong with being nice. I went at that question in a different way than what I’m going to talk about today, and yet it’s as pertinent to this topic as any other.

Keep Left!
Grant the punk-ass
via Compfight

Back in December I wrote a post saying how much I loved Instagram, now that it can be accessed through Android. I still love Instagram. What I find is that I don’t necessarily like all the people there.

I love the people following me; thank you to anyone following me there. For anyone who’s not connected with me there I’m mitch9359. I love seeing your pictures and I hope you don’t get tired of looking at all the food pictures I put up.

Occasionally I like to take a quick look at an attractive lady or two; hey, I’m a guy. There’s the page that gives you 15 random photos, and occasionally I take a look. It’s amazing how many likes those pictures get… okay, I guess it’s not so amazing after all. What’s amazing are some of the comments.

I don’t know when it became a legitimate thing to decide that just because someone put a picture of themselves somewhere looking nice that you, some pig, has the right to say what you want to do to that person; you know what’s being said. Or talking about someone’s anatomy as if you know this person and thus have privileges that no one else does. How tasteless and childish can people be?

You know what stupid people? Your name gets highlighted, thus anyone can follow you back to see who you are or what images you’ve put up. I’ve gone this a few times and I have to admit that I’m amazed. It’s not all young punks writing this junk. One was obviously a devout Muslim because all the pictures on his site were Islamic religious icons, and any male was wearing the traditional headdress. So, you’re telling the world that you could care less about your religion because you can demean women anytime you want to, or are you saying that a pretty woman doesn’t matter to you because, since she’s sharing her body, she’s not chaste in your world and thus it doesn’t count?

I saw many other people who were saying the same sorts of things, and yet when you went to their page they made it seem like they were relatively nice people, putting up images that no one would ever think to object to. I really thought for a couple of moments about saying something on some of these pages, but decided I didn’t want to go there.

The same thing happens on YouTube. Stupid idiots will make comments and say all this trash and filth, yet when you visit their pages, for the most part they’re pretty straight. A few of them are as trashy and nasty on their own page, in which case you know there’s nothing much you can do about them. Well, that’s not quite true.

On YouTube, if you care, you can delete comments you don’t like. Not that I get many comments but if some came in with language I didn’t support I’d just up and delete it. On Instagram, you can’t delete comments; at least I haven’t been able to figure out how you can do it if you wanted to. It’s possible you can go online and do it, but I’m just not sure. However, if an image has more than a thousand comments, who wants to go back and read any of that garbage?

I’ve been writing a lot this month about behavior, mostly bad behavior, and maybe it’s a good thing this month is ending. I keep asking is that what we’ve become, and is this really the future of this country and the world, people deciding that no one else’s feelings or sensitivities matter? Let me know. In the meantime I’ve embedded a video from our Hot Blog Tips Hangout on the topic of negative feedback, which I led, that talks a bit more about this same thing:


 
youtu.be/0MgBHg65Kt4

 

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In Love With Instagram!

Back in June I wrote a post introducing Instagram for Android, which had just come out after being available for iPhone for years. I talked about the technical aspects of it in that post, as well as giving a link to my own Instagram page, which was very new.

instagram shots

I have to say that at this juncture I’m absolutely in love with this program. I can’t believe I’ve only had it six months; I’m ecstatic. Why? What do I do with it?

The first thing is being able to share photos immediately after taking them. Sometimes I wait until I get home, but it was so much fun being able to share some pictures with people when I was in Florida at a convention in October. I don’t fancy myself a photographer, but I do try to find some things that I think would make a good shot to take pictures of. True, there are some limitations to a smartphone’s camera, and the iPhone’s camera is better than my own. Still, the pictures are good enough for most people and easy to get online whenever I’m in the mood.

The second thing is being able to pop in a location from time to time. Truthfully, most of the time I have location tracking turned off on my phone because, well, I just don’t feel like being tracked. And yet, there are places you go to where you don’t mind allowing the image to tell everyone exactly where you are. For instance, often when I’m at the casino I’ll turn it on so people can see which part of the casino I’m in when I’m sharing a picture. If I’m in Rochester visiting my mother sometimes I turn it on as well.

The third thing I like about it, especially when using the smartphone, is being able to see pictures that people I’m following are putting up. It’s amazing how many people have a great eye and what interests them. What I’m really amazed at is how females have totally figured out how to take great pictures of themselves; I haven’t gotten that one down yet. I always miss the button, and when I find the button I’ve moved the camera and look ridiculous. People keep telling me I look mad in pictures I eventually get of myself; that’s funny.

The last thing I love about it is when I can go into the random area and just see pictures like the one above. You usually get 18 pictures at a time, where you see 12 and you can scroll down to see the rest. If you see a picture you like you can give it some love, even if you’re not following that person. And if you decide to check into that person further and see more that you like, you can subscribe to that channel, which I recently did with Daily Puppy; love puppies. 🙂 I actually kill 10 minutes at a time looking at pictures at random times; it’s a great time killer and, strangely enough, I’ve just discovered that some of the pictures I end up liking show up on my Facebook page, where others can like then; freaky!

Frankly, the only thing that’s made me mad is this little battle between Instagram, nee Facebook, and Twitter, and oddly enough it’s not affecting me because the programs I use on both my computer and my smartphone still give me what I’m used to seeing. Right now, other than the sudoku program I downloaded, it’s what I’m using to kill a lot of my time when I Feel like getting away from the computer for awhile.

And then…

IMAG0265

This is why sometimes writing posts in advance can kick you in the behind, because something could happen that makes me have to edit them. A couple of days after I wrote this Instagram came out with a directive saying they had the right to sell and market your photos without your knowledge and without paying you; well, that stinks. It goes into effect on January 16th, and if you’re not down with that you can download your photos and delete your account and you’ll be totally free from it all.

And then… The co-founder of Instagram, Kevin Systrom, came out with his own statement saying there are no plans to sell your photos less than 24 hours after the other statement. He said it was a misinterpretation based on a horribly written policy change… yeah, right…

What’s my plan? At this juncture I still love it, but I will change what I upload to it slightly. There are few pictures there that I’m worried about, and if I can delete just those few then I’m good. In general I upload pictures of things I see when I’m out, and if I write about those things and use them in a blog post I’m using the original image anyway. So anything else… go for it. With the billions and billions of images that are on that site, I’m doubting that, other than family or me, I’d even know if anyone wanted to use a picture I took. And with the quality… they’d have to be desperate. 🙂

By the way, over there to the right is a badge that links to my Instagram account if you’d like to check it out.
 

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Are Your Social Media Standards Too Strict?

A couple of weeks ago I had a post and video titled What Will You Do For More Followers? I asked at that time whether you’d go for the gusto to get more followers and thus more publicity with the possibility of more influence or whether you felt that wasn’t what you wanted to do at all.

Talk Nerdy To Me #2
Constantine Belias via Compfight

This time I’m asking you about your social media standards; what will you do, what do you do when it comes to social media in general. This question supposes 3 things:

1. That you have standards;

2. That you know what your standards are if you have them;

3. That you have good reasons for those standards if you have them

Yes, that’s kind of a challenge, because if you don’t have standards then it’s hard for you to be a part of the conversation, although I suppose not having standards can be freeing. If you have them but you don’t have any reason for them other than “because”, well, that’s your right but it’s certainly not informed. But if you have standards and have reasons… that’s when things get interesting.

This is a question I ask myself all the time because I do have standards and I have reasons for those standards, and sometimes I wonder if I’m holding myself back in some ways because of those standards. I mean, is it legitimate for me to hope to get tens of thousands of followers on Twitter when I’m following less than 900 people? Is it right of me not to connect with people on LinkedIn because they don’t have a picture on their profile, or because I can’t figure out why they think our businesses are compatible? Is it right of me to not just accept every friend request on Facebook when they know at least one other person I’m connected to? Is it right that I don’t just automatically follow people on YouTube or Instagram that are following me?

Some weeks back I made a comment on a post by Marcus Sheridan titled The Fleeting Title that is “Social Media Expert”, when he asked what makes someone a social media expert. I stated that I tend to believe that most of the folks put on lists were anointed by someone else who really had earned it and thus had the banner passed onto them without having had to work for it. I stated that I looked at a list that was recent at the time, checked out many of the names I didn’t already know, and saw that this blog was ranked higher than a lot of them, had way more content, and was written at least as well as those blogs, or not better (trying not to be conceited), and that the only real difference I saw between myself and those folks was that they had been anointed, put on a list, and given a boost that I’m not sure they deserved.

Then I looked at other numbers and, well, that’s when you get to thinking about things. These were people connected to tens of thousands of people on Twitter, thousands of people on Facebook, and well connected in other places as well. I’ve never really played the numbers game so I don’t compete well on this level. I do know that numbers mean something, but I’ve always been more about engagement and interaction, figuring that worked well with my mores.

Are your social media standards strict at all? Are mine? I’ll share mine; tell me what you think:

Twitter – If you don’t talk to anyone except to say “thank you” or to share links, I’m not following. If your politics are not only different than mine but your statements come across as hateful, I’m not following. In general, if you don’t really interact with others, I’m not following. If you AutoDM me after we connect, I’m immediately unfollowing you. I have some other standards as well but these are enough for now.

LinkedIn – If you don’t have a picture and I don’t know you, I’m not following. If your business isn’t compatible with anything I do and I haven’t talked to you in a group and you’re not local, I’m not connecting with you.

Facebook – If you ask to connect with me as a friend and you don’t have a picture, it’s not happening. If I don’t know you and you don’t know a lot of people I know, I’m not connecting with you. If I know who you are but we’ve never talked anywhere before, I’m probably not going to add you. And, sad as this might be, if I start getting irritated by stuff you’re putting up all the time because of its negativity, I’m hiding everything you post from that point on, possibly removing you from my friends list.

YouTube – if you don’t have any videos on your channel I’m not following you. If you have some videos but they’re not yours or you’re not in them, I’m not following. If they’re horrid… well, you know.

Instagram – I’m still relatively new to Instagram so I’ll admit to not really having a standard there yet, which is fine. However, I figure that for those people I have checked out that I haven’t added there’s got to be something in my mind that’s repelled me, and once I figure that out then I’ll have a true standard to uphold.

Am I too tough with my standards? Are there any you’d like to share? And is it possible our standards hold us back, and if so is it worth it?
 

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Instagram For Android

Some years ago I went to a Syracuse University football game with my friend Josh when they were playing a team they had better have beaten, which they did. There was one guy who pretty much lost his mind on every play, whether the team was playing offense or defense, and at one point Josh decided to take the guy’s picture on his phone and upload it… somewhere. I thought “how cool is that”, and wanted to do that sort of thing one day, but I didn’t have a smart phone.

picture on Instagram
One of my
Instagram pictures lol

Last May, I finally got my first smartphone, but found the transition from a regular cellphone for more than 15 years to a smartphone kind of daunting, so I decided to take my time before figuring out which image service I was going to use. It took me a long time, probably 9 months, before I finally decided which way to go.

I decided to go with Instagram for Android, since it had just come out, because there were so many iPhone users that were talking it up so much that I figured it had to be relatively easy to use. I found that it was easy enough, but that there were also some things associated with its use that, if you don’t know about them, will throw you off.

For instance, it probably took me 3 or 4 days to figure out how to take a picture with it. I thought it would work like Barcode Scanner where you just opened the program and it would open up the camera so you could take your picture. Instead, it opens up and you see this little toolbar at the bottom with 5 things on it, and the one in the middle activates the camera.

The second thing I learned is that you’re going to end up cropping your image in some fashion, which pretty much means you have to adjust your image on the fly to the proper size if you want to get it all into the picture. That is, unless you want to take the time to take lots of pictures of the same thing or start adjusting, realize it’s not right, and start over again. I’ve figured this one out; don’t get too close to your subject and you’re probably going to be good to go.

Cropping is pretty much one-dimensional; you’re going to end up with a square and that’s that. You can move your square around, but that’s the best you’re going to get.

The thing I’d read about that a lot of photographers didn’t like were these filters that you’re offered once you’ve cropped your picture. I tested them, as there’s your normal picture then 3 other choices, and frankly I can’t imagine why anyone would ever want to use the filters because they all make your picture look surreal; well, maybe that’s why you’d do it, but what’s the point of doing it on your phone?

The last thing you get to is what your picture is going to look like and where you want to send it. I send my pictures to Twitter, Facebook or both, and that’s pretty much it. There’s this GeoTag thing you can select if you want to let the camera tell people where you are, but I have that setting off by default; I don’t like being tracked, as you know. You also have an space above where you can type in your message; is has to be somewhat short if it’s going to Twitter to get your entire message in but if it’s going to Facebook only I guess you could probably write a book.

You’d think that would be that, but it’s not. Turns out that instagram.com is only a site promoting the app; you can’t see your pictures there, which threw me off. A quick question on Twitter brought a response saying to go to Webstagram (make sure you look at the link; you can’t type in what you think) and set up an account there, which is what I did, and then I could see all my uploads, which works great because now if I so choose I can download my images from there to use in blog posts later on instead of having to keep everything on my phone.

Now you’d think that was all there is but once again I turned out to be wrong. Just last week I found out that people can, and will, subscribe to your picture page. I started noticing the Instagram icon at the top of my smartphone, in the area where it’s usually showing things that are running, and I wondered why. I clicked on it and it told me I had messages and likes; really? I went to check it out and indeed, I not only had messages but there’s more than 40 people following me; wild! I decided to follow one person so far and we’ve talked about a couple of her pictures here and there. That’s an interesting social media benefit that I have absolutely no idea how to really use, and I’m going to have to think about this one some more.

If you’re predisposed to want to check out some of my images, you can go to my Webstagram link, and you can even follow. One of the people, someone I know locally, said I seem to post a lot of pictures of food. Hey, it’s what I like to comment on! 😉

Now you know what I know about it; if you have any tips you’d like to tell people, please go ahead.
 

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