Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Let me put you in the picture

Today’s blog maybe a little off topic, although it does directly relate to photography, and my discoveries as a photographer, educator and thinker.

Kirsty and I had a great start to the new year in our 2nd home in Liverpool! What a great place to be to start a new year!

But then you come back to perceived reality.

A few days ago I received a notification from social media, one that made me really stop and think. Apparently, I have been on Facebook 10 years… A decade! I sat and thought about that for a while. Initially, like all of my social media channels I joined them to network, to make contacts and gain freelance work. Over the years though, I, like everyone else have allowed myself to become sucked in to the cesspit of addiction, pointlessly investigation and pouring over other peoples none existent, fantasy social media lives, to the point of zombieism.

I know, I instinctively know this is ridiculous in every way, and although I have vehemently opposed and attacked the blitzkrieg that social media is and what it is really for, I too have allowed myself to become addicted to it.

Denial: Like all addicts, refusal to accept you are an addict is the instinctive reaction.

I wondered, how many hours have I wasted staring at my phone, tablet or screen? Unsurmountable is my guess.

So I performed a little self-test. I uninstalled all of the social media apps from my phone, and began to see whether I could resist the addiction of re installing them. What I did notice? For the 1st few days at least, upon unlocking my phone, I instinctively would look for the apps, and my fingers were even immediately searching for them. My fingers were drawing circles around the screen whilst my brain unscrambled and brought itself back to clear thought.

I would then face a moment’s thought on what I was doing… Should I re-install them? Should I just take a look on the web browser just in case I had missed something… I paused further, gave myself a virtual slap and proceeded to navigate to something more worthwhile, and do some reading.

Not only had I become addicted to mindless drivel, I was so addicted to the motion of opening the phone, looking for the familiar blue apps that my mind became scrambled when I couldn’t see them! Like a smoker who quits but cannot find anything to do with their fidgety fingers? 100% I was addicted, 100%.

My wife has laughed at me when I have ridiculed others for doing the exact same thing, and she was right (she usually is) I am just as bad.

I sat and pondered on my findings. I had to admit, although begrudgingly, that I had allowed myself to become over interested in the fabricated virtual lives of my ‘friends and followers’ (who am I, a messiah?) people who I would mostly never actually speak to, let alone meet, 99% of who I do not really know and some I do not care to know…

Insta - 'gram' #addiction: the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance or activity. 


'One of the best described roles for VTA dopamine neurons is in learning about rewards. VTA dopamine neurons become activated when something good happens unexpectedly, such as the sudden availability of food. Most abused drugs cause the release of dopamine and this is thought to contribute to their addictive properties’

Newton (2009)

Social media marketers, understand how dopamine affects the human psyche, and so have ingeniously led us down this addictive, dopamine pebbled path.

We have become so addicted, we don’t even have to be holding the phone or browsing the feed. The addiction begins steps away from the actual interaction between user and phone. The mere sound or sight of a ‘like’ or any electronic ‘notification’ is enough to excite the brain into producing copious amount of dopamine, and to give you a mini fix, of which you immediately need more. How many likes will ever be enough? Lying in bed at night and the phone lights up and the dopamine kicks in…. ‘Oh it’s just spam. Dopamine leaves, and the longing to be ‘liked’ sets back in….

Here’s what having 8 million likes, follower or friends may feel like….

Once you are addicted, you can get an Insta – ‘gram’of fix each time someone you don’t know, and will never meet ‘likes’ your post, picture or ‘follows’ you, wants to add you as a ‘friend’ it is utter madness.


Damn, help! Help yourself.

The apps are gone. You can live without them.

I have decided the only way out, is complete withdrawal, cold turkey. And to be honest, I feel absolutely invigorated for doing it. I have more time to think, read, ponder, love my wife and kids, go for a walk, ride the bike, sleep and rest.
Some people have laughed at me when explain this to them. ‘As if you are not going to use social media?’ It seems everything in my peers and colleagues lives revolve around social media, and if you are not part of it, there is something wrong with you. ‘you are not in the chat group!’ Your Mirror neurons are working flat out here.

Food for thought.

'we laugh at sheep because sheep just follow the one in front. We humans have out - sheeped the sheep, because at least the sheep need a sheep dog to keep them in line. Humans keep each other in line. And they do it by ridiculing or condemning anyone who commits a crime, and that's what it's become, of being different. 

Icke (1998)

Considering the wider implications of this, I realise that the social media entrapment, the virtual cage is just one aspect of our micro imprisoned lives. Every aspect of our lives are now monitored, social media is just one tool within that. Incidentally, how many of you have actually read the terms and conditions when installing these apps, to we what level of intrusion you are allowing? These apps know this, and know that as you are addicted, you will accept anything. A lot of this Big Brother monitoring is accepted in the name of protecting us from terrorism.
Some facts and a simple thought.

'Between 2000 and 2017, 126 people have been killed in the UK in Terrorist Attacks, according to the figures from the Global terrorism Database. Although not on British soil, a further 30 British people were killed in tunisia when a gunman attacked a popular hotel among Western tourists.

Kirk (2017)

AWFUL: 156 people in 17 years, 9 per year

Some other stats

in 2013, 1,713 people were killed in reported road traffic accidents in Great Britain. Deptartment of transport: AWFUL

There were 571 homicides (Murder, Manslaughter and infanticide) in the year ending March 2016 in England and Wales. office of National Statistics: AWFUL

'bees and Wasps have caused as many deaths in the UK as Terrorism in the past decade, an independent watchdog has found'

Huffington Post (2012)

So why do we need to lose all of our freedoms to protect is from terrorism? Where is the protection from road deaths and Bee stings? you don't see an officer from the bee sting protection unit at the station, do you?

Here’s some more intrusion for you:

So you put down the apps, and decide to go for a drive, and hey! Cars now have the same tracking and monitoring technology

Take a look at what google knows about your movement.

Fridges will soon order your food

Your face will soon open the shop door and pay for your shopping

It’s all great isn’t it? All this convenience! Do you really think that this is about convenience?
Are you really so lazy? Do human beings really not want to use their legs, feet, hands, minds?

We can turn over the TV without moving, order food and clothes, toys without moving, all you have to do now is speak with your virtual assistant and boom, things get done! Fabulous!

So what is the next step? Ordering your stuff without thinking? Don’t scoff at that thought.

Amazing isn’t it? No. There is much more to know here.

A side note: Savour the cash in your pocket. Do you have any cash in your pocket? No, Ok go to the bank and draw some out! Bank says no, what do you do? How do you eat? You go on the app and pay online, the bank says no. What do you do?

Crypto currencies are a fraud, designed to get you locked in to the virtual world, where money is created out of thin air, which the ‘banks’ then charge you interest on.

Freedom does not exist.

'Normal is getting dressed in the clothes you buy for work, driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for, in order to get to a job that you need to pay for the clothes, car and the house you leave empty all day in order to afford to live in it'

Ellen Goodman

I read recently that the world’s prisons are overflowing. This statistic is wrong. The world is a prison, and there are 7 billion prisoners, 7 billion of us.

When you begin to look at what is really going on, and ask the question ‘what is the real agenda is here?’ you begin to realize just how deep the sinkhole goes.

Many topics and themes which on the face of it seem independent of each other, are often in fact all part of the same end game. Trans-humanism is another lock on the prison door. When you begin to join the dots, it becomes plain to see the wider implications for human freedom, or rather complete enslavement.

Freedom in the 21st Century. 

Book: Let me put you in the picture.

It has been my intension since gaining my MA degree last summer, to put my new found ways of seeing both visually and by using the written word to create a book. I have thought long and hard about the content for said book and over many months of consideration I have finally decided on a theme.

I like to consider myself a thinker, a wanderer, a dreamer. I always ask the questions which others are uncomfortable in asking. I like to discover things for myself, and to not accept the narratives handed down by generations of well-meaning repeaters.

Over the last decade or so, since I began to really examine all before me, or ‘wake up’ as many like to call it, I have researched a multitude of topics, some way out there, some everyday observances, and some everyday occurrences. I have been entirely astounded, but not surprised by much of what I have discovered.

What I find difficult is to explain these discoveries to my friends, peers and to the wider audience in conversation alone. Even though I am an educator,  and I have masses of experience in delivering information, much of what I have learned is difficult to convey in just a few words.

Having said this, to say to people 'go and read X, Y and Z' is not practical for most. To read the hundreds of thousands of words with differing themes I have in researching these topics over the last decade is an impossibility for most people.

From speaking with my friends and colleagues, and from reading myself, what is required is a platform where people can be easily introduced to these ideas, concepts and findings without information overload, or a wall of text to deter them. People are wired to respond to visual stimuli. My hope is that people will find the information, my written words complemented by my photography an excellent place to start.

So my intention is to write a research lead book, which simplifies my discoveries, and allows the reader to more easily introduced to new ideas and ways of seeing, and for them to then make informed choices on what they believe themselves. the book will include topics from everyday life, to deep and disturbing things.

The book will be my interpretation of the world, the reality which I believe that we really live in and all which that entails. I am not preaching, what you make or take from the information is your choice.  If you have time it may induce you to further research yourself, or it may just make you think.

I am hopeful of having the book produced by the autumn 2018.

Cheers all, Lance


Huffington Post (2012) As many deaths by bee stings as terrorism in the UK: [online} http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/06/28/terrorism-bees_n_1633308.html Last accessed 22/01/2018

Icke, D (1998) The biggest Secret. David Icke Books, Derby, UK

Newton, p (2009) What is Dopamine? [online] Available at:  https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mouse-man/200904/what-is-dopamine last accessed 22/01/2018 last accessed 22/01/2018