I never imagined that I would be behind the curve when it comes to social media. Let me rephrase that…ever since I became familiar with how to navigate, and utilize social sites and apps to my benefit as an artist, I always assumed that I would be able to keep up with any Internet climate shift. Of course my mindset back then was that I would always willingly want to promote my music on every site possible. And now here I am, older than I was years ago, because that’s how time works I guess…and I’m no longer throwing music around in an attempt to gain fans at every chance possible. On top of all that, I just learned that Facebook is for “old people.”
Wait a minute, how did that happen? I need a Snapchat with rainbow vomit or doggy face filters to be young and hip?
No, that can’t be right. Well it is factual if I long to be relevant, but I just turned into one of those people that says things like, “What do I need that for?”
None of these apps and sites happen to be true necessities, so what am I really saying ladies and gentlemen? I’m saying that I’m the type of dude that once uttered the words, “I don’t need a computer at home,” I didn’t care that my TV had a humpback, and I kept my Walkman until after the turn of the century because I was convinced that all CDs skip. I had a Discman when iPods existed, and I used my iPod when everyone was stacking their phones with music. This has always been me.
I fought a losing battle against Twitter when I was trying to fight conformity. My reason was that I didn’t want people to know what I was doing all the time. I shunned Facebook because I couldn’t post my music, and Mark Zuckerberg’s site had a friend limit. I knew for a fact, according to my first cyber-friend Tom, that my circle of “real friends” was way over 5,000.
And plus I had just paid someone to do my page over so I had to ride Myspace until the wheels detached on their own.
I’m the same individual that held onto his Blackberry way beyond its lifespan simply because I liked buttons. Yes I said that out loud. And then I got a Galaxy and told folks that I didn’t want Apple to completely control my life…and I disliked the way iPhone people spoke about Steve Jobs’ products like they were part of a cult. Now I look at myself and I am one of these iPhone-toting, Facebook-posting, Instagram-scrolling, black pot kettle-calling dudes that was laughed at by one of my students when they saw the IG app on my phone’s home screen. “Coach you got IG?” she said with honest laughter. “You’re probably one of those people that just posts pics of their baby all the time.” More laughter ensued.
I am? I am. I am!
Have you ever watched a Popeye’s commercial and suddenly had a craving for fried chicken? Once in a while, I must admit that a fast food ad persuades me to desire food…fast. Sometimes a seemingly piping hot pizza pops up on my screen, or an enlarged fake burger, or those guys from the Sonic commercial that sit in their car talking about slushies spit their believable rants and it makes me want the product.
Marketing companies know this method works. So the more and more humans refer to themselves as brands, people have a clear understanding of how to market themselves. Women, for example are used daily in advertising as bait for everything from lingerie ads to alcohol. And now that the average female has caught wind of the fact that their attractive frames can become major attractions with minimal work, there is a new revolution sweeping the globe.
There was a time when being a “stripper” was the primary occupation that held “thickness” in a higher regard than other qualities…but now there is an innovative brand of gigs for ladies with model figures that do not happen to be models. She can film herself twerking in her living room and post it, she can willingly flirt with rappers and basketball players on social media with the hopes that she can land one, she can audition for a reality show and use her looks and personality to gain temporary fame…or she can take pictures of herself exposing her goods religiously and gain a following of thirsty dudes.
I don’t know if Mark Zuckerberg and his team designed an algorithm to determine who lurks on women’s pages to match them with profile pictures containing cleavage so that those women would then become “People You May Know” but if so, they did a great job (I hear). Facebook has officially joined the thirst trap party.
I need to know if these people that I may know are random people that I share friends with, or is this social network smart enough to figure out that I’m a male and photos with breasts and curves will interrupt my browsing session?
When I am scrolling through the valley of the shadows of the net I must be aware and beware of the evil that can be described as an ambush, an allurement, an entanglement, a quagmire, or simply a pun-intended “booby trap.”
The traps that appeal to your lack of hydration for the day and automatically spark a parched feeling that Kool-Aid, lemonade or Powerade won’t fix. Males know exactly what I’m talking about for we have all fallen victim to the thirst trap. Fellas, how many times are you just checking out your timeline and all of a sudden T&A make a guest appearance and change the trajectory of your whole day?
Some women are shaking their heads right now saying, “Just unfollow anyone that shows too much skin,” or “You can just pass a picture you don’t like,” or “There’s no such thing as a trap, people put up pictures and express themselves the way they want to, it’s your fault if you’re a pervert.”
It sounds so easy doesn’t it?
If you walk into a room and you don’t like what you see, just leave the room. But if you’re a single man, how bad could a thirst trap be? I’ll tell you how bad; it can cause you to look at someone you know in a sexual manner…although you had no prior thoughts of them in that way. It can cause you to send a “hey” text out of nowhere. It may even spark you to double tap, make you click the thumb or worst of all…leave a comment. A comment my G. That’s a global declaration of H2O deficiency for the world to see. Just because a co-worker flaunts her back tattoo and bikini picture doesn’t mean you have to tell her that you notice she’s been working out. You want your subtle comment to trump all the other dudes offering to drink her bath water, cook her meals, and father her children. You’re not slick. Anything you say in a comment section, can and will be used against you. You think a direct message is better don’t you? You’re wrong.
There’s already 338 likes on the picture. No need to add yours with words that live forever online. It’s a trap. Who’s the camera person for this photo she took? Did you even think of that? Is her butt poked out at the right angle for a reason? How come her cleavage looks exceptionally shiny? What’s the pouty face for? It’s for you isn’t it? It’s not for you. Well it is for you in a way. It’s so you get trapped. It’s so you thirst after her. It’s a way to reel you in with a thumbnail picture that’s really no bigger than the palm of your hand. The same hand that she hopes you use to calm yourself down with thoughts of seeing what’s under the scantily clad garment she’s donning.
I admire thirst traps. I’ve done my own version of the solo shot where I thought I looked halfway decent and decided to post it. I wasn’t bareback or wearing some muscle shirt, but I guess in hindsight I assumed the shot wasn’t my worst look. I wasn’t fishing for likes and comments either, but my point is that I can imagine if I were a female with measurements, I’m pretty sure I would flaunt my goods any chance I got (pause).
And let me clarify that thirst traps do not apply to IG pages with names like @makehimhard or @shesgotadonk or @azzfordaze.
If you follow those names, you know what you’re getting. I’m still trying to unfollow @officialshesaproblem and @cherokeedass on Instagram but it just hasn’t happened for me yet. I know it will though. If you simply follow an ex-girlfriend, or a single mother that has a kid who’s a friend of your kid, or your girl’s homegirl who isn’t really her bestie…and you see unnecessary flesh exposure, or suggestive sexual poses, or form fitting clothing…that could be a trap set for you to fall. And when you see it, you have the option to ignore it, keep sliding as if it didn’t exist, or choose to never see such things again when you block her.
But there are times when you pause, sneak a gander or two and then click on their name to see if there’s any more. Then all of a sudden they receive a notification that you liked a picture that was posted 17 weeks ago. How far did you scroll down? How many pictures did you really go through? The further back you went, the thirstier you appear.
You have been trapped my friend. You went as far to like the picture with the backside showing and you skipped the one where her face was highlighted. It happens. You were just looking at photos and there were some that you liked, no big deal right? Well it isn’t really a problem but it is a victory for her. She won. With every “like” she accumulates, with every follower she locks in, for every time some dude snaps a screenshot to share on a group chat with his boys, or that he just keeps for his own personal collection, she racks up points on her way to making the thirst trap all-star squad.
And as I write this almost chauvinistic, one-sided rant, I realize that somewhere in the world there are ladies, grown women and sophisticated females with no thot characteristics perusing social media and following dudes that habitually show flesh. Those same women who may or may not be in loving relationships get Facebook friend suggestions that contain snapshots of shirtless dudes and acquaintances from high school, college, and old workplaces that appear to be more attractive than they were in the past. It just hit me that women have to deal with thirst traps as well. As you skim this post there are adult females in a group chat right now commenting on a screenshot of a non-celebrity crush. The world is not safe ladies and gentlemen. Sex sells, and it is all around us. So next time you’re on your timeline and you happen to see someone that you know wearing less garments than usual and featuring parts of their anatomy that you may not have noticed before…stop, take a deep breath, acknowledge the trap that lies ahead and ask yourself why…Why are they doing this? Why does it work so flawlessly? And most of all; why do you care?
The answer is as clear as the reason you can probably name at least 5 Basketball Wives…it’s why the Twerk Team has more followers than Cornel West…it’s why Kim Kardashian is a household name. Thirst is real.
Monday Ramble #35 The Ex-Factor
A friend of mine told me that whenever he was having issues with his wife he envisioned leaving her for this woman that lived across the street from him.
He said his neighbor was a single mother that was very attractive, friendly…almost too friendly and she left her curtains open quite often. He explained to me that the vision took him places he would never explore in real life; where he actually packed up all his things and moved right across the street to live a new life and show his wife that this new woman had all of the qualities that she didn’t.
Then he went on to tell me that the daydream would shift and those qualities that were missing in his wife were replaced by new issues of baby-father drama, unreal expectations, jealousy and finally he would picture himself looking across the street at his ex-wife wondering if he had done the right thing.
He said it was scary imagining himself across the street staring at his old house looking at his ex-wife…who would then be a single mother, attractive, mysterious, and somewhat sexy then all of a sudden, he realized he had a good thing. Or better yet, he has a good thing because those thoughts kept him in line.
The story enlightened me a little bit, the vision made sense, and I began to analyze the things in my life that I needed to look at from a distance in order to appreciate them more.
The greener grass theory caused me to actually write a song. And on our blogtalk radio show tomorrow (3/29/11) we’re going to discuss “How To Get Over Your Ex”. Not the pill, the person.
The concept of the Ex is as interesting as the letter “X” is. The two intersecting slashes that make it up seem so final. It looks like a stamp, like it really marks a spot. X is a strike in bowling, a ten in roman numerals, a symbol where you put your signature, and a rating for sexual content.
Some X’s are good, some have mutant powers, others are bad, but most are intriguing. I guess as a prefix it negates what you meant to a person. An x-lover, or x-boyfriend or x-manager all mean you were, but now you’re not.
How does one get over an Ex?
I’m not sure there’s one distinct method. Most of us wouldn’t know until we’re either confronted with feelings or have moved on to someone new. And even then the old feelings can still sneak up on you.
Does it mean you still want to be with someone from the past that you knew wasn’t right for you? Nah.
But there are theories that we never really get over a real Ex. I mean someone that dented our hearts. An individual we shared adult moments with that affected our lifestyles, altered our character, and shaped our being. Those people become a little more than stepping-stones and measuring sticks. They have solidified memories that draw comparisons. Whether the split was amicable or you got dumped, or they couldn’t get their act together, you still wonder “what if?”
And that is life. I feared commitment for years because of the “Ex-Factor.” My dating experiences always led me to believe that there was someone somewhere in every woman’s life that had the ability and open door policy to return whenever he wanted.
The Ex was a person that was actually a “Y” in her head. She knew he wasn’t right but she couldn’t figure out “Y” he always knew how to get back in.
He could say, “Oh I’m not ready to be your man but I want to see you, I miss you.” He could try, “Oh I’m in town for the weekend. I just want to talk.” Or he could be the father of her child that makes her feel like that college girl that snuck in his dorm room every time he comes around and she can’t resist the nostalgia.
I made a lot of those theories up in my head. And maybe being the “Y-Factor” person myself a time or two led me to believe that karma would serve me the fate of falling for someone that had a man-in-waiting ready to snatch back his old love no matter how cool I thought I was.
How many of us have felt threatened by your current significant other’s past?
You heard the name, you’ve seen the picture, and you may even know the person. You’ve viewed their Facebook pictures making that “is this what you liked?” face and you even flirted with the thought of clicking that “add as a friend” button but you knew questions would arise.
Are you insecure? Cautious? Jealous? Or are you foolishly human?
Now that your mind has drifted off into thoughts of the person or people that you think of from time to time from your past that you just didn’t click with at the time, think about what made you get over them.
Was it time that passed or was it someone new? Was it the fact that you looked in the mirror and said, “If they don’t want me, I will be fine,” to yourself?
Or did you just figure that you deserve better and this isn’t it?
Or are you not completely over the ex-hill? Are you still climbing, falling, slipping, waking up from dreams, having visions of what could have been, wishing you get one of those long emails from them that expresses exactly what you’ve been feeling?
Or maybe it happened without a conscious thought at all and your present moment is what you make it. Some of us don’t live off of memories and time-travel desires.
Are you over your Ex?
Every time MLK day rolls around I start getting all deep and introspective and comparing my life’s accomplishments to that of the great Civil Rights leaders and other people that made dents in our current society. Not today. Today I’m sitting here wondering why in the last 2 days I’ve seen commercials with jingles, slogans, mascots, spokespersons, actors and cartoon characters for companies such as (sing along when you see the name) Nationwide, Geico, Statefarm, Safeauto, Progressive, AllState, The General, Farmers, Esurance, and 21st century.
Why are insurance companies dominating the advertising world and why aren’t they canceling each other out? Is insurance that big? What am I missing? Why are these songs creeping in my head? Nationwide is most likely not on my side. Statefarm is like a good neighbor but how many of us have had a good neighbor that’s always there? I don’t even know my neighbors. I love Flo the Progressive lady and the real 1st Black president, David Palmer telling me about AllState is pretty convincing but I doubt I will factor in these pitches in my decision about which insurance company I go with.
I am totally without focus today so allow me to run down more “randumb” observations and feel free to join me or comment on something that you find oddly interesting.
-BBM (Blackberry messenger) broadcast messages suck. I don’t care if it’s about a lost cat or your party that you’re throwing to help the homeless, or a blood drive for the Crips. I see lavender writing…I’m upset. I’m sorry.
-How come there are no midget mannequins?
-Faking your death on Facebook isn’t cool this year.
-I was having a conversation about nothing and I told someone that I was a stubborn individual…then they asked me if I was a tourist. I was thinking ‘nah I live here, but what does me being in a new place sightseeing have to do with my obstinacy…Oh a Taurus? Well that was embarrassing.
-One of my greatest pleasures in life is eating. Even better than eating is eating alone. Not because I like being by myself…but because I hate putting my knife in my right hand to cut my food. Then I have to pick up my pancakes or my steak, or whatever I’m eating with my left hand all properly just because someone’s looking and it’s proper etiquette. I say screw etiquette. Etiquette isn’t a bad stripper name btw. But yeah back to my original point, I don’t follow eating rules. I don’t know which fork is the salad fork…no; don’t tell me, I got it. I might even put my napkin in my shirt like a bib instead of on my lap. Ok no I won’t but I will eat alone and my knife will be in my left hand all day with no one to scrutinize or correct me. Yes. I am a rebel.
-What happened to Calvin from 227?
-Speaking of Television, was anyone else an avid A Different World watcher? No? Just me? I’m the only one that noticed that the guy (Michael Ralph) that played the dread Spencer Boyer that finally got engaged to Kimberly Reese in the last season was actually on the show like 4 other times as different characters? He was Clinton in Ron’s band, he was the fire marshal that shut down Ron and Whitley’s party, he had like 2 other roles before he got an accent and a dread wig…I know I know, who cares?
-There’s a park in Atlanta called Inman park…INman park…Do with that what you want. I’m never going there.
-Your status message is too personal. Change it…and then change it again.
-New Year’s resolutions should have a national reminder day in April. I think that’s what April Fool’s day is actually. You fool, what was your resolution again?
-Some hater told me I was corny for being a rapper that was all into the Harry Potter flicks. He said I mentioned it in my blogs and vlogs and that wasn’t cool to be that deep into a fantastical wizard boy and his fight against horcruxes and Lord Voldemort. I told him that the Sorting Hat would definitely place him in the House of Slytherin for those snide comments. Who’s corny now?
-How come there aren’t more devil worshippers at house parties? They make really good conversation.
-I’ve never laughed at anyone that smelled funny.
-I hate that rappers turned swag into a person. “My swag’s better that your swag.” Now I just saw a commercial where athletes are saying, “My ready is bigger than your ready.” There’s no reason for my hatred but it exists. And I plan to personify it as well. “My hate’s on 1001…my hate is so hungry…my hate would beat up your hate.” Whatever. I’m still working on it.
Don’t think I’m not over here plotting on changing the world somehow. I want to thank everyone for visiting mondayramble.com and commenting. This all started with you cracking a smile at my words and telling me to keep going, and in just 3 months of existence I have some ad company interest because of your views. I’ll let y’all know how that turns out. Thanks for copping my new CD, Unsung, and if you haven’t, go online and skim through it and grab a song or 2. No pressure. Thanks to all my fam that came to the release shindig as well.
Celebrate today by thinking about what more you can do, and if you find yourself focused on the obstacles in your path, think about the ones you got over from your past.
no spellcheck btw, forgive me
You made it this far, might as well leave a comment, it goes a long way…