Review of Social Dilemma 2020

That movie / documentary struck a chord through most of us. It’s because the implications are uncannily real and tangible.

Take for instance, the scene where a young girl gets to her phone, takes pictures, does some filter to enhance her looks, and then reacting a certain way because of her friends’ comments, definitely paints how our society has become – we have been chasing increase on our social media status over and over without really looking at how it will make use feel and affect our actions. Getting validation for 100k to 1M people is not a healthy choice as it breaks the individual to grow organically and succumbing to social pressure as result.

What makes social media very powerful is it has become more than a tool that just lies around when we need to use. It has become part of our mannerisms. When we hear a bell notification, we instantly check our phone. Social media is constantly seeking to get our attention from the most important parts of our life we need to focus more on.

Social media has also been weaponized to sway a nation’s elections by targeting a certain population with content that have been manufactured by a certain political party.

Unbeknownst to most, the social media has similar mechanism as a roulette. The movie clearly exposed how we are hooked to the feed by seeking different results as we scroll through. It brings out the addictive side of a person making his / her consume his/her screen time to it instead of doing something productive. This is really bad and I am guilty on this. Come to think of it, I think it hasn’t brought me anything good.

The film also showed how social media could lead to relationship problems and real-life consequences. Numerous studies has come out already to derive the harmful effects of reading posts from friends or family ensuing jealousy, hatred and insecurity as common emotions felt by users.

One other speculation in the film is how fake news could be spread 6 times faster in social media.

Some quotable quotes in the film include:

  1. “If you are not paying the product, you are the product”
  2. “Attention is the currency”

Personally, I grew in a traditional Asian Filipino family in the 90’s where we are required to study hard, follow house rules, and finish our studies on time. That kind of training has made me, a “millenial”, more aware of the challenges Y and Z generations are experiencing; they are far more subtle, sugar-coated and deceptive than what was expected. Clearly, the world has changed as information is more accessible within the finger tips. For this day and age, adolescents and young adults like me are suffering a different battle we ought to take a stand from.

October 19, 2020 thoughts

I would say this is an actual bad day that everyones goes through from time to time. The thought of doing work is just a pain and my head is not wanting to think hard about recent priorities. I just wrote to let things out. There isn’t a helpful thought that can be listened to here. It’s just pure rant and thoughts about the recent events in work and family side.

It’s just frustrating how I allow people to gaslight me. I want to be the rock but it seems that I often get rocked by flurries. I momentarily observe how I am still at this very moment while feeling the numbness of my cheeks because of cranberry vodka that’s supposedly for my mom; I mean I think this is a good occasion to have a drink even if I’m just on my own.

I’m also listening to Metric Fantasies album. Awhile ago, I listened to Radiohead’s Ok computer and it didn’t feel as special as when I played it the first or when I listened to it again after a long time. But still, the instrumentation and lyrics themselves prove how ecstatic this band was during the 90s. It’s like a record beyond the 2000s but it was actually released on 1999 which was pretty surprising. To be honest, I have heard and appreciated first the Bloc party Album, Silent alarm ahead of Ok computer, which was pretty weird since the former went out to release later and I could draw comparisons to both their music.

After I took a swig from the vodka bottle, I just banged my shin underneath the table’s protruding edge and it gave me a little pain. I ribbed my face with my fingers to scratch the itch caused of the allergic reaction to alcohol. I also scratch my back and felt synthetic string of my rosary. It reminded me of the church in Bacolod and how I messed up my life by look outward and not seeing the good things presented in front right before my eyes. Just like what Metric says in their lyrics, “is it ever gonna be enough?”.

My swelling because of alcohol is getting more intense as I feel it’s in my fingers, palms, forearms, shoulders, and almost my whole body. Now my testicles feels some numbness after comfortably sitting here for more than an hour and contemplating how death actually feels and how it could set me free. Like a plant that doesn’t have stimulation except the feeling of getting struck by the wind, warmness of sun and being planted steady and still in the cold loam soil.

I resented a lot of people today: my wife, officemates, my sisters and the bank teller who refused for me to open an account even though there is already a letter of endorsement and photocopy of my passport.

Just want to relax my mind and forget about all troubles everywhere I sense.

I suddenly thought of instant noodles and wondered whether the stores are still open. It gave a watery effect inside my mouth thinking about spicy flavor even though I have butt sore. It’s so nice, how these cold weather is accompanying me regardless of which circumstance I’m currently in. I might actually go out and find a convenience store that sells those instant noodles. I think it will give me strength to hold on.

Forming habits

I was listening to an Indiehackers podcast about Nir Ayal, the author of the book, “Hooked” and found it interesting and clever how he explained that our brains are tricked by phone apps nowadays, to form habits initially triggered by external events such as a notification chyme or mere cp vibration. The main catalyst is that our brains are seeking some sort of relief whenever we see the number of likes and friend requests or some follows in Twitter. What’s more amazing is the fact that these apps are specifically designed for that – to engage us addictively in exchange for our attention and valuable time in return. It was also noted there that the creators of these apps have a background in psychology which made a lot of sense. I’m gonna end it here for now. Thanks for reading.

Soul crushing production support work

Every now and then,developers have to endure this depressing task in a lifecycle and can’t help but feel really bad about the unfavorable situation. For one thing, the work is very repetitive and hours could extend depending on the issues found and/or number of days that needed to be monitored. It made me want to do something about this. I wish I can automate this type of work but right now, I’m just so tired.

Reaching limit break

Ff7 cloud limit break image c/o google

Yes, I have just reached it. After several attempts to look into the documentation of AWS and trying to be a purist about the stack, I gave in and began search for easier to implement tools out there such as Clicky, gumroad, zapier, Google maps and MailChimp. The list will get longer as I learn to bootstrap these tools into the site. Hoping to get free for them. But for now let’s just brute force this shit. -G

Tolerance to kids

Understand that every kid aged 4 and up are self-centered and has their own big world to explore. They could play with anything they see in plain sight (e.g. food, light switches, etc.). Withstanding them could be a pain for some anti-social adults who grew up with less social interaction because it’s not common to interact with them regularly. All the things they want to hear are the good stuff like they’re getting a treat or a reward and often times, they just like to hear the word “yes” whenever they ask for something they like to have. They cannot understand that not all situations are working in favour to them. In today’s time of social media, the world inside their heads are wrapped with melodic advertisement jingles from Jollibee and Ed Sheeran songs. Their diet and choice of YouTube shows should consist of foods and content that can give them tons of endorphins (e.g. unboxing of toys and candies). And you can’t blame them coz they need that. They crave constant attention so every new baby introduced to the family for them is a threat to the attention they get from their parents. There is no other way but to accept this universal truth and learn to live with it.

What I used to do for a living

I have a headache right now and I would like to get into a flow to write and force myself to just communicate to anything or anyone out there, in a vent way. I just happen to live a very busy life as a software developer for almost five years now. Getting in the first job, I was lucky enough to get accepted because before that, I was a systems integrator and not a lot of IT professionals can cross-skill given the limited development skills a SI could have in a span of a year or two. Being SI taught me more of a bird’s eye overview of the system’s ins and outs particularly where data is flowing and which subsequent processes are placed to handle files and do some parsing, encoding or if a script is being run to do all these. A lot of terminology like gateways and buses are mentioned to portray what is happening in each of the components in the system. Moreover, network communication protocols such as AS2, X400, FTP, SMTP and HTTP were introduced too me as to how each system components communicate with each other. So initially, I told myself, “well, cool. I get to work on these awesome IT concepts in the real life on a broad and generalized level”. It’s good to know especially when most of my colleagues back then took ECE, as well for their undergrad degree. I told myself, “cool, I get to relate with tons of people who cross skilled and became IT professionals even if their undergrad is engineering”. It sounded like a nice career as well, considering most of my ECE colleagues also took IT and we’re a good number of fresh graduates who were hired by big service-based companies like ACN and Emerson to work on random PaaS and enterprise SaaS companies back then such as PeopleSoft and most commonly, SAP. Some even took COBOL for legacy systems in mainframe. IT is obviously booming and seems to be the best option to take as a career for anyone even as prominent as today in the Philippines.

After some time, I just felt the routine has become bland and the pay isn’t that rewarding so so decided to do something. I just woke up one day and said, “I need to increase my career ROI. Being an SI isn’t gonna make a career that is fulfilling”. That’s when I decided to attend a Java bootcamp and see if I can make a career out of it. And the rest is history.