Death Threats, Social Media & Virtual Awards — Welcome To The Social Media Landscape
This is a person whom I have had a supposedly tiff with on Quora. However, this article is by no means a way to get back at him. I am trying to make a point here with regards to how we get influenced & carried away by the proven behavioral manipulative systems of Social Media Websites. Please read it and see if I have presented a balanced approach.
I welcome the honest & genuine criticisms from your side.
This is a screenshot of a man who is supposedly having the following profile:
- He is an Entrepreneur
- He is an Investor
- He is a CEO of a company
- He is a millionaire
- He is the age range of 50 to 60
Now this gentlemen also “claims” on his Social Media Platform the he is the ‘Fastest Rising Star’ on Quora who has helped over 6,000 budding entrepreneurs through his ideas (in 6 months), and he also considers himself the #1 Most Viewed Writer on Quora to never win the coveted “Top Writer” badge of honor.
Now, sincerely my goal is not to make fun of his claims. I am pretty sure, just like I have — he too has invested a lot of time, effort and thought to where he has reached.
However, there is a difference between why I do it versus why he does it.
In my case, the reason I invest so much time, effort and money — is because it brings me clients & boosts my online brand — which has been online for the past 6 years. That is why if you google my name “Loy Machedo” you get such a strong online presence. And given that I work as a Freelancer — this helps in building credibility & authenticity.
However, what makes me wonder is why would someone who is 50 to 60 year old, who has supposedly earned millions, who is a CEO of his own company — takes so much pride in getting a “virtual” award — which has ZERO prize money, ZERO global recognition and ZERO value to his business.
Does it make sense what is it I am trying to say?
If it does not — then consider this…..
There are millions of gamers online. And there are people who literally spent a lot of their hard-earned money to not just complete a task, but to also get bragging rights among their peers. And what do they earn in the end?
- Virtual points?
- Virtual money?
- Virtual power?
- Virtual bragging rights?
Let me be the first one to admit that I fell for this trap many years ago and I have done this for one game called ‘Megapolis’. What started off a harmless way to kill time, ended up being an addiction where I wanted to not only brag but to also prove to myself that I was the best in this game.
And from Megapolis came a wave of other games — Candy Crush, Injustice, Angry Birds, Plants Vrs. Zombies — the list went on and on — until one fine day out of curiosity I decided to calculate how much money did I actually spend on all these games and all these websites.
Given that I had my credit card statements — I was able to identify the amount. To my surprise and horror — in the 6 months of playing these games — I had literally spent $8,000 on these games!!! Forget being stunned — I couldn’t believe it!
I asked myself what in the world was I doing?
Why in the world was I doing this?
And most importantly — what made me — a smart, sensible and successful guy do something so ridiculous?
The funny thing was — apart from the virtual people I was talking to in the virtual world — no one else knew about my achievements, my successes and my leaderboard points.
I was famous but only in the virtual cyberspace. All of a sudden, I decided enough was enough. I was spending way too much time, way too much money and way too much effort into all these addictions. And so — just like that, cold turkey, I stopped playing these games.
Its been 3 years since that day.
Today, however, I see myself being invited and enticed to join a new series of games and social media addictions
- Plants Versus Zombies 2
(I still spend money but not like before — BY NO MEANS LIKE BEFORE!!!)
Where Facebook & Instagram were once an addiction, it has been cured and replaced with Quora — which gives me a better ROI for my brand. And that is a good thing. However, I still have to manage how I handle boredom especially with an iPhone in my hand, an iPad near my desk and these pesky notifications that keep reminding me that I can now go ahead with my next task.
So now my question to you is, why is it that we get so addicted to these games? To these websites? To these “virtual titles” — even though in the real world — no one cares, no one is bothered and it doesn’t give you any return on investment? What is the underlining reason that we grown adults get so addicted to these apps, games & websites?
I am pretty sure you can give me all the psychological answers from the internet on the dopamine effect that getting a prize, an unexpected like, comment or notification brings our mundane and boring life. I get that. But to have grown up adults, people who have achieved the highest levels of success both financially, materialistically and where business glory is concerned, to fall for these virtual awards is something that really baffles me.
As I sit in my room in front of my iMac surrounded by my shelves of books, I look at the iPad Pro kept on my left hand side which is having my Facebook feed constantly refreshing itself. And on my right my Mac Book Pro which has the youtube videos playing with the current trending topics — I notice something.
On the Facebook Feed, I see women — grown, mature adult women uploading their pictures while making duck faces, standing with their body’s best features being highlighted — that too in the toilet. And on youtube I watch how sad and sorry Paul Logan is on ABC network for whatever he did and that he is going to donate USD $1,000,000 to Charity. And below the video I see hundreds of thousands of comments of people shouting and screaming their support to a man who has not only abused but ridiculed human dignity.
Why do people do this? From making ridiculous expressions (by the way — I clicked on this females profile only to discover 714 selfies in her selfies album — And ALL OF THEM with the same expression) and uploading them on Facebook to making these videos where they play pranks of other human beings for popularity?
My answer is because we are all insecure in our little ways, we all suffer from low-self-esteem, we all seek validation and approval in this world. And this can come not only in the form of making money in the real world but also from:
- Buying an over-priced car to show off to your neighbors (oh yes, and uploading it on facebook with the tagline “Welcome to the latest member of our family” to “My dream car which was (insert sad story of the past and now call it an achievement) to “Here’s my baby”)
- Having an over-priced wedding to let all the relatives know “MY WEDDING” is special,
- Uploading MY CHILD’s stupid video doing stupid things but calling it “talent”
- Posting stupid poses with friends with stupid expressions in nightclubs, parties & events trying to look ‘cool’ because after all — since Cosmopolitan didn’t take your picture, at least you got to feature it on Facebook right?
- Spending actually money to gain super-powers to fight your virtual enemies online
- And finally, making sure you post ultra-romantic messages, pictures & updates of what you are doing with your better half because after all — what use is having such romantic private moments if you cannot rub it on everyone’s face to show you have that someone special in your life (while analyzing who likes, shared and commented on your pictures right?)
As I conclude my article, My thoughts to go 11th January 2018 when this very gentleman happen to send me a message on skype that he was sending some hitman to personally kill me in Thailand where I stay. To help him expedite this process quickly, I gladly gave him the address to my location and let him know I was looking forward to my impending death.
So what made him threaten me?
Well apparently, in one of the whatsapp groups that I had created, I brought up the question as to how is it humanly possible that a CEO of a company, who earns over millions of dollars annually, have so much time on his hands that he can literally spent hours and hours writing answers to 100 questions per day — and that too on questions related to cars, anal sex & relationships?
As I was getting inputs from the members of the group, he immediately sent me a message on my skype id (we were in talking terms until then) whereby he let me know I would bear the full brunt of his power.
Given that I have already had brushes with death, I didn’t bother much. After all, someone who could kill you wouldn’t be informing you on Social Media or any channel that too in writing that he was planning to employ a hitman to kill you. (Yup, I know).
But it made me wonder the same thing you must be wondering right now — what prompts or pushes someone to take his or her online contribution on a social media website that gives you ZERO money, ZERO benefits and ZERO real tangible results?
Seriously think about it —
- What does being “the fastest rising star” on any website do that too a website like Quora where you are just a writer?
- What does upvotes do to your personal life other than give you an inner satisfaction like how you get when someone ‘likes’ your facebook picture?
- What does having the highest followers do to your bottomline, your bank balance, your family life, your personal life or your professional life when there is no monetary benefits attached to it?
If you are a Freelancer like myself, well fine, I agree, being on social media and getting these digital awards and recognitions are great. Personally, I have made over $15,000 thanks to contacts I have made through Quora and I am very grateful to the Quora Platform for the opportunities it has provided me. And that is why in return I give 8 hours of my time every single day to give back value to the Quora platform & the Quora community.
But seriously, what benefit does it give so many others who do not have a Social Media presence, who do not know how to monetize or build on their Online profile or who at its worst have no Social Media profile? Isn’t it pointless, senseless & meaningless?
Personally, I have seen way too much on Social Media in this one life time to be surprised as to how seriously people take Social Media, Online Games & their Online profiles. However, it does baffle me how seriously grown adults, people with education, a successful career, money and common sense take something as pointless, useless and valueless as “virtual badges of honor” so seriously.
I have yet to figure out what the up side of being “The fastest rising star on Quora” would give me or what being “The 2017 or 2018 Quora Writer of the Year” on Quora will give me — maybe I am just plain ignorant or ill-informed. Maybe there is a benefit or worthwhile value that one does get out of this virtual badge — who knows?
But knowing that questions like:
or Questions like….
I doubt this award is going to mean anything much…
Oh finally, before I end… let me also share with you a screenshot of what my CEO, Millionaire & Fastest rising star of Quora gems of wisdom are before I leave…..
I am not joking.
I swear on the life of my unborn child — this is from his Quora Profile.
So now..… What do you think?
I leave it to you to decide how seriously one should take such awards, titles & virtual points of recognition. And yeah — this guy.
(The not-so-fastest rising star on Quora)