Facebook & Instagram Was Temporarily Down, Did You Notice?

Facebook and Instagram services were restored after an outage was reported in India and many other parts of the world Tuesday evening. Users complained about log in issues on both these social media platforms. They were logged out of both Facebook and Instagram. Some were unable to refresh Instagram pages. Many users were also asked to change passwords. Soon after, YouTube users also started facing a similar issue.

“Log in again; session expired; couldn’t refresh feed,” were some of the messages that popped up while using the Facebook and Instagram apps.  The disruptions started around 8:30?pm on Tuesday. There were more than 3,00,000 reports of outages for Facebook, while there were more than 20,000 reports for Instagram, according to the website which tracks outages by collating status reports from several sources, including users.

I think a lot of people thought that their fears of a Cyber Attack had come true. I noticed the outage at 8:45 pm when I took a break for dinner. As usual I pick up my phone an head to the cafeteria an as soon as I get my food and pay for it, I sit down with my plate and then as I ea, I check Instagram and Facebook. I didn’t know what the issue was and just assumed that it as a temporary glitch.

Is Social Media Making Us More Narcissistic?

Is Social Media Making Us More Narcissistic?

Yes to an extent. With a free service like Instagram for example young girls and women especially are really becoming very narcissistic indeed. Lots of young men as well but I think in this regard women outnumber the males by quite a large margin. Because social media, particularly Facebook and Instagram, focus on sharing (and sometimes oversharing) one’s own image and opinions, young adults who use these platforms frequently are prone to narcissism. Research shows that higher amounts of social media use predict higher levels of grandiose narcissism.

All the young women I know aged 20 and above – these are women I know from work – all seem to have very active Instagram accounts where they upload a lot of variously posed and thought out pics. Bathroom pics, selfies, group selfies,  pics taken with makeup touched up in between, the usual poses, getting your friends to take the pics for you, buying outfits for the sole purpose of taking reels and pics in them etc. Am I missing something? Dare I say it, I also see a few of them sharing a few revealing images/reels.

In a 2018 study, researchers tracked 74 participants aged 18–34 over four months and used the NPI to quantify their narcissistic traits. Hence, they found that participants who posted large quantities of photos and selfies showed a 25 percent increase in narcissism. Specifically, those who used Facebook and other platforms that focus on images rather than words became more narcissistic over time. Now I am not saying all of them are narcissistic but a lot of them are bordering on them and a lot are positively narcissistic.

Prompt from Over 1,000 Writing Prompts for Students at The New York Times Learning Network

Should What You Say On Facebook Be Grounds For Getting Fired?

Should What You Say on Facebook Be Grounds for Getting Fired?

No. Social Media should be exempt from being able to express their thoughts and opinions, no matter how bad they are. I believe that actions should be the deciding factor. Now, as an individual business owner or a company they might have some factors and behaviours beyond which they cannot tolerate. In general, employers have the power to fire employees for any lawful reason–including for what they post on social media.

But for opinions, no matter how differing from what is considered politically correct or even right, I don’t think they should be fired. Even if someone says that they think Hitler was right or they sided on a country that invaded another or if they feel that certain races or whatever. It’s only when they act upon it do I feel like that something should be done to punish the person. But if they just say “I don’t like immigrants or blacks or Asians or Indians or Hispanics or white people and they should be here” I don’t think you should punish them by firing them.

They don’t like gays or transgender people – fine but don’t do anything. You don’t have to like everyone and you can disagree with their lifestyle as much as you want. They might not like yours but you cannot disturb them or do anything to do. Neither can you threaten them or make them feel uncomfortable. Just go on your merry way and do your job. That is how I believe things should be handled.

Prompt from Over 1,000 Writing Prompts for Students at The New York Times Learning Network

Do You Experience FOMO When You Unplug?

Do You Experience FOMO When You Unplug?

Not really. I supposed I could be but mostly it is excitement for the release of a new video on Youtube or a new post of some value on Facebook or a comment on Facebook. I love looking at reels, Instagram pics, Facebook posts and Youtube videos. But I don’t think I have FOMO.

The idea that you might be missing out on a good time is not new to our era. Since the advent of social media, however, FOMO has become more obvious and has been studied more often. Social media has accelerated the FOMO phenomenon in several ways. It provides a situation in which you are comparing your regular life to the highlights of others’ lives. Therefore, your sense of “normal” becomes skewed and you seem to be doing worse than your peers. You might see detailed photos of your friends enjoying fun times without you, which is something that people may not have been so readily aware of in past generations.

What we need to realize is that Social media – smartphones and tablets in particular – are there to help us and enable our lives. Keeping in touch with things, events and people is an absolute positive thing but it can’t ruin our lives and give us anxiety. We have all gotten so used to these gadgets that we tend to miss it a lot during times that it is not with us. And unless I am sleeping I do want the phone near me so I get all messages and calls. This is hard to do without. I need my phone with me but I don’t need to use it all the time to check things or get upset that I am missing out.

Prompt from Over 1,000 Writing Prompts for Students at The New York Times Learning Network

Are Parents Violating Their Children’s Privacy When They Share Photos And Videos Of Them Online?

Are Parents Violating Their Children’s Privacy When They Share Photos and Videos of Them Online?

Done in moderation, like uploading family pics meant to show family & close friends on Facebook or Instagram, I don’t think it is. However, this is the age of Social Media and you have moms – why is it mostly the moms who do it – maintaining whole channels on Youtube & Instagram of their babies from the time they were in the womb and then probably a video of the crowning and the birth and then each and every thing that the baby does on a daily basis.

I think those are probably a little too much. Why would you want to have a channel focus on their child or children. I mean, I know it probably gets them the views that in turn leads possibly to money and possibly sponsored contents and even gifts that their followers send to them. I can understand and relate to channels that include the entire family, including the family cats and dogs. Make it a fun thing that the parents do and they include the kids in it as well. However when you make it all about the kid, you got to be careful.

Tastefully done it is adorable and can be a lot of fun. I do follow some of them. However in some it seems very obvious that the moms or dads are like “Come check out my toddler. So funny and cute and they say the oddest things. Ha ha, he he. Look, I dressed them up like a strawberry!” It borders on monetizing your child. I dunno. I think it is a very thin line.

Prompt from Over 1,000 Writing Prompts for Students at The New York Times Learning Network

7 Stats From Instagram

  1. Instagram users are younger than 34 in 64% of cases.
  2. Instagram currently boasts 2 billion monthly active users. This makes it the fourth most used social media platform. And if you make use of the latest Instagram trends, you have the potential to exponentially grow your reach.
  3. Every day, 4.2 billion Instagram posts are liked by users.
  4. Instagram business account posts typically have an engagement rate of 0.83%.
  5. It’s now the fifth most visited website worldwide. Although this puts it behind other platforms like Facebook and Twitter, it’s still one of the most popular social media sites.
  6. According to Insider Intelligence, Instagram generated $43.2 billion in ad revenue in 2022. This is a slight increase from 2021 when the platform’s ad revenue amounted to $42.1 billion.
  7. Instagram’s most active users are in India (201 million), the United States (157 million), and Brazil (115 million).

Would You Be Willing to Pay for Facebook or Google in Exchange for Your Privacy?

That is a tough question. How much would they charge per month or year to safeguard my privacy? Just what does the to companies know about us?

“Google knows what you search for online, where you travel, what’s on your calendar, who you take photos of, who your contacts are, which ads you click on and what you buy. For a lot of you, that’s more than your spouse or partner knows. Facebook is the same, only it doesn’t have to guess based on your activity. You told the company. You put it on your profile and posted the photos of your family on vacation. You tagged the location and everyone in it.

Both Google and Facebook track everything within the ecosystem of their platform, and sometimes even once you leave. Facebook, for example, tracks which of their advertisers’ sites you visit after you leave their site, so it can serve you ads when you return. There’s no question that if most of us had any real concept of how much of our personal information was being captured and stored, we’d feel differently about whether it’s really worth it. – (from inc.com)

So depending on the amount, I would be glad to pay – if it in Indian rupees and is very reseaonable and cost conciseness. Otherwise I will skip it for the time being.

What Do You Need To Do To Get Verified On Twitter?

Getting verified on Twitter — when someone has the blue check mark next to their profile — used to be how Twitter identified notable accounts, but it has since evolved and changed. It used to be that you needed to request verification on the social network; now, anybody with a Twitter Blue subscription ($11/month) and a verified phone number can be verified on Twitter.

1. You must be actively subscribed to Twitter Blue

To get Twitter Blue, simply click on the button for Twitter Blue once you’re logged in. On web, it will be in the left-side menu, and on mobile it will be under your profile. You can select to pay annually (for a discount) or monthly. The price of Twitter Blue depends on a few things.

2. Your profile must be complete with a display name and profile photo

Next, you need to make sure your profile is eligible for Twitter’s verification even after subscribing to Twitter Blue by having up-to-date and accurate account information.

Use your full name as your display name, and select a profile image so that it’s clear that your Twitter profile is being used.

3. Your account must be active

Twitter’s rules say they look for active accounts when verifying, so make sure your account has been active (posting, replying, liking) in the last 30 days.

4. Your account must be older than 90 days and have a confirmed phone number

Twitter has added a time element, so accounts must be over 90 days old to be verified. They also need to have a confirmed phone number — without this there is no way to get verified even with Twitter blue.

5. Your account must be non-deceptive

Finally, your account must be non-deceptive. Twitter asks that you not have recent changes to your profile photo, display name, or handle. They will look to see if accounts have been misleading or deceptive on Twitter, and they also look for signs that an account is engaging in platform manipulation or spam — if they deem that an account is deceptive it will not get verified.

After you apply: There is still a review process where Twitter’s team determines your eligibility based on the above list before the blue checkmark will appear on your profile.

Do You Use Twitter?

I used to be a lot more involved in Twitter back in the day. And when I say back in the day from the years of 2009-till 2017. I was quite active with many fellow Indian Twitter users in the state and especially the ones from Cochin. We used to have a few Tweetups in cafes around the city and I used to join them for a latte and a chat. Those were the days man. I made quite a few friends in and around the state and I still have quite a few friends from those days.

Since then I usually go on Twitter only when there are football games that I am watching and I look for comments and reactions and I give my own as well. I’ve bee doing that since the 2014 World Cup. And for so long, all I did on Twitter were the automatic Tweets from my blog posts – every time I posted on my blog, my connected Twitter app would tweet the link along with the title of the post and every week I would also share a few Youtube videos that I felt just had to share. But I wasn’t even checking Tweets by the people I follow for the longest time.

Nowadays, there’s a lot of porn stars and online nude models who send you a lot of stuff and well I do take a gander here and there. My old Tweeps and the newer ones, mostly who follow me for the football related tweets, are fun but the overall Twitter thing is a shit show. It’s terrible out there so I stick to my small circles.

Prompt from Over 1,000 Writing Prompts for Students at The New York Times Learning Network

Why I Got Into Social Media

What inspired you to get involved in social media?

It’s the same reason why I got into IRC chat way back in the day – to connect. As a younger guy I think it was more to just be connected with people across India and across the world. To share information related to interests that we share and images and entertainment. And to make new friends.

Once I started getting into sites like Orkut, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc for the same reason. To get & share info and share my points of view, opinion and ideas to as many people people as possible. To connect with people who share similar viewpoints. To laugh at funny stuff and to ogle at the pretty women sharing their pics.

I love social media as I have met and made friends with some awesome and wonderful people. Ofcourse there are so many nuts out there but it’s worth it just to get those 10-50 nice folks.

Prompt from 30 Days of April Writing Prompts at The Sits Girls

Five Tips From Experts To Get The Best Out Of Twitter

Learn what makes a good Tweet : Creating any stand out social media content is part art and part science. You’ll get a feel for the art and luckily, the science part can be expressed in a handy list.

According to Twitter, the best performing tweets:

  • Contain 1-2 hashtags
  • Are conversational
  • Are short and sweet (Tweets under 140 characters still perform best)
  • Use visual content
  • Are tested using analytics and tweaked
  • Respond to current events and trending conversations

You can find Twitter trends by navigating to the Trends section of Twitter’s Explore tab.

Use hashtags : Twitter hashtags make your posts searchable, a.k.a available to users who don’t already follow your brand. So, adding hashtags to your posts is a quick way to access new viewers and wider audiences. According to Twitter, you should add 1-2 hashtags to each tweet. Just make sure they’re relevant and, if possible, linked to a wider trend like #FridayVibes.

Use emojis : In a sea of text-only tweets, a well placed winking-face could help your post get seen. People are drawn to color, especially the yellow/red combo of many face emojis. So it makes sense to include a relevant emoji or two to help your Tweet jump out of your audience’s timelines. The more your Tweets are seen, the more followers you’ll gain.

Create Twitter threads: If you have a story to tell that can’t be contained in 280 characters, you need to run a Twitter thread. A thread is a sequence of Tweets connected in series. Twitter marks a thread with the ‘Tweet number/total number of Tweets in thread’ nomenclature, e.g. 1/6, 2/6, 3/6. Not only do people love a good story, but multiple Tweets also means multiple chances to get seen. To create a thread select the plus icon once you’ve drafted your first Tweet and Twitter will add the numbering automatically once you publish.

Engage, engage, engage: One of the best ways to build followers when you’re new to Twitter is to consistently engage on the platform. That means:

  • Engaging with your existing followers (answering comments, messages, etc.)
  • Tracking your brand mentions and responding to them
  • Keeping an eye on retweets and commenting on them
  • Posting comments on the posts of non-competitor accounts in your niche
  • Liking posts regularly, i.e. every day

Engagement shows the Twitter algorithm your account is active, which boosts your visibility in the Twitter feed. Plus, you’ll give your followers something to stick around for while getting your name in front of people who already follow similar accounts.

What Social Media Irks Me The Most

A social media trend you detest with every atom of your being and why

TikTok. I know that there are many talented people out there who make funny and awesome reels that they upload on Facebook, Youtube, Instagram and TikTok. But of all of these TikTok seems to get the weirdest and stupidest people to make reels all the time. It is banned in India but I get to see the same reels that they share on FB or Instagram.

I am glad to see that the really dumb ones are getting what they deserve for their addiction. These numbnuts are creating TikToks while they are at work – in a store, cafe or retail business – or even when they are working from home. In a lot of cases these people are getting fired from their jobs because their boss or HR finds out. In a couple of cases, it’s because they recorded something they weren’t supposed to in the background or showed too much details of their work and/or workplace. Why would you do that? I mean it’s dumb.

Another stupid thing is saying that you need time off from work because you have pain in your lower back and then upload dancing videos! Seriously? Several retail workers and employers are doing this and it is beginning to be just so dumb. Also, so of the over-acting and smug faced yakking on this platform – Jesus Christ, get a life!

Prompt from 31 Writing Prompts for January 2021 | For Medium, Blogs and More at Lyucu.Medium.com

Slowly Starting To Like Twitter A Lot More

I used to be a lot more involved in Twitter back in the day. And when I say back in the day from the years of 2009-till 2017. I was quite active with many fellow Indian Twitter users in the state and especially the ones from Cochin. We used to have a few Tweetups in cafes around the city and I used to join them for a latte and a chat. Those were the days man. I made quite a few friends in and around the state and I still have quite a few friends from those days.

Slowly I stopped using Twitter for a while and then picked it up again a while later. Twitter became a shitshow for the most part. For so long, all I did on Twitter were the automatic Tweets from my blog posts – every time I posted on my blog, my connected Twitter app would tweet the link along with the title of the post and every week I would also share a few Youtube videos that I felt just had to share. But I wasn’t even checking Tweets by the people I follow for the longest time.

This year I have slowly started getting back to it. It’s mostly football related but also Science Fiction/Star Trek related stuff and yeah I also flirt online. I’ve become more and more available on the app and the Tweetdeck page that I normally use. But it still is my least liked social media app. But it’s better than the last few years.

Books & Social Media

How do you think social media has impacted the book world?

I think the best way that social media can impact the book world is reader recommendations, ratings and basic marketing. Like on Twitter for example you can share the latest book that you have read and rate it on a scale of 1-5 or 1-10. Authors or publishers can share the latest book in publication or even well before it gets published to garner eager readers to start wanting it.

Bloggers can write small synopsis and rate the books that they have read. I have done that on occasion but I don’t really read anymore. However it is a great way to spread the world. Facebook posts and on Page/Group posts are another excellent way to drum up interest in a novel or non-fictional book. I am sure that there are 100s or 1000s of Facebook groups dedicated to reading and books. Also you have websites like GoodReads and Book Riot that is dedicated to books and readers.

I suppose you can also use Youtube, TikTok, Instagram and any others to promote new books. All of them will only help get more and more business for the publishers and authors. So I hope you use some of them if not all or get left behind.

Prompt from 30 Post Ideas for Book Bloggers | Blog Post Writing Prompts at FRAPPES AND FICTION

What Social Network Could You NOT Live Without?

I am guessing it actually means social network app and that’s what I am going to write about. The one social network app that I cannot do without is Facebook. Facebook was the one that made most of us, especially me and my friends, addicted to social media. While I have enjoyed Twitter a lot in the past, I rarely use it now and Orkut died a long time ago as did MySpace. Those were the big 4 at one point and then Facebook became the giant that it is now.

At one point I had a big blogroll of people who loved to blog as much as I do. However most of them have abandoned the blogs quite a few years ago. They stuck with Facebook and found that they could share their thoughts and photos and more on this platform and can even join separate groups and pages for specific interests and likes. That makes it so easy for everyone to have the kind of reach that they want and not have to worry about writing and maintaining a blog. Plus it is free. And it is so easy that your grandmother can do it too!

Mainly because of that reach and being able to search for people you have lost touch with and finding them, Facebook is for me still the King of all social media platforms. I cannot imagine going even one day without out. Them buying out Instagram and adding reels to Facebook is pure genius. Now you have a lot of people spending hours and hours on Facebook, whether it is on their phones, tabs or pcs and that is where you can reach the people you want to the most.


How Youtubers Make Money From Their Channels

Content creators can join the YouTube Partner program after accumulating 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time. This gives creators access to monetization features such as advertising, fan funding and merchandise sales. Top YouTube stars make close to $20 million a year. However, most make far less or nothing at all.

Google Ads

The first step to making money on YouTube is to join the YouTube Partner program. Partnership gives content creators access to special tools, such as the ability to monetize their videos via Google Adsense. To qualify, content creators must have at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of accumulated watch time over the prior 12-month period. YouTube monetizes videos via pre-roll, display, and other advertising formats. Advertisers pay based on clicks and impressions. YouTube gives the content creator 55% of this revenue and takes 45% for itself.Content creators must adhere to advertising guidelines.

Brand Sponsorship

One lucrative form of advertising is brand sponsorship, also known in the digital marketing world as “influencer marketing.” A company will pay a content creator to promote a brand or product within a video. For example, early in her YouTube career, Michelle Phan drew the attention of cosmetics brand LancĂ´me with her popular make-up tutorials. As of 2019, there were more than 700 agencies that help match brands with social media influencers on platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter.

Fan Funding

Another popular way to monetize a channel is through channel memberships. Fans and followers make recurring monthly payments in exchange for bonus content such as badges, emojis, special videos, live chats, and other content. YouTube partners who have reached 1,000 subscribers can enable this monetization feature on their accounts. Third-party services such as Patreon also help video creators to monetize their fan base via monthly memberships. Top video creators earn as much as $40,000 per month from fan support.

Merchandise Sales

YouTube partners also have the ability to sell up to 12 items of merchandise to their audience by enabling this feature in their accounts. Jeffree Starr has made millions selling lipstick, highlighters, and eye shadow palettes to his fans.

Tweetdeck: The Best Way To Keep Updated On Twitter

Even though I don’t use Twitter that often, when I do I tend to use Tweetdeck for sending out those Tweets and pics. TweetDeck is a social media dashboard application for management of Twitter accounts. Originally an independent app, TweetDeck was subsequently acquired by Twitter Inc. and integrated into Twitter’s interface. It has long ranked as one of the most popular Twitter clients by percentage of tweets posted, alongside the official Twitter web client and the official apps for iPhone and Android.

Like other Twitter applications, it interfaces with the Twitter API to allow users to send and receive tweets and view profiles. What I really like about is the columns that you customize and layout as you want. That is something I so wanted on the actual Twitter. I usually have my Timeline first, Notifications, My Tweets, Direct Messages and then whatever user I am following or Hashtag that I want to check out in other columns at the other end, usually 2 or 3 at a time. That makes it easy to see and reply to all the interesting things that I want.

However as I mentioned I do not use it that much, in fact I usually spend the most time on it on the weekends whenever there is an Arsenal FC game on. And other days I usually just check updates on my phone app for Twitter. So I am a lite user but I do like Tweetdeck a lot. They used to have a Desktop app which worked fine but then stopped supporting that. You can go straight tweetdeck.twitter.com website or use the Chrome or Mac app.