Writing Contest Assignments

https://digitalcitizen.ca/category/writing/Since I officially started my two year journey for writing on January 1st (2021), I had been looking out for writing contests to enter so as to have some goals, get some feedback, and see how my writing compared to the winning entries. I feel good about my writing skills, but not disillusioned to think I would win starting out. I am not well read for literary writing to know what qualifies high calibre writing outside of the classics. To use an analogy, I have no idea what times are good for a recreational 10 km race or a marathon, say, only what are good for national, world, or Olympic races. I’m sure the time gap isn’t huge, if any, for recreational races that are big enough, but what about the local or regional ones, or ones that didn’t include participants who have had acclaim and/or won big prize money. What’s “good” then? A question even harder to answer with something artistic as writing rather than something quite directly measurable as race time.

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Social Media Without the Dopamine

I have a finsta. If you didn’t know what that is, like WordPress’ spellcheck didn’t, it’s a fake or secret Instagram account, of which secret applies to mine.

It’s also a zinsta. If you didn’t know what that is, like WordPress’ spellcheck didn’t, and everybody else didn’t, it’s an Instagram account with zero followers, and is following nobody. Zilch. And still zilch after 100 posts as of today.

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Hiding Like (and Follower) Counts to Reduce Social Media Addiction

Word on(the)line is that Instagram is considering hiding the number of Likes posts get!

I don’t know about you, but I see that as an ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT way to reduce social media addiction.

Lots of people posts to get those micro-dopamine shots from the Likes others give them on Instagram. Part of it is the notifications and numbers, but a big part of it is also knowing others can see that number, too! If it were not for the latter, the former would have limited meaning. You’d have to make an effort to tell one person at a time how many Likes something got, and update it. And if you were to make a post, lots of people might see it but would only call you out for vanity on it.

Now, think about if Instagram also hid the number of Followers! If Likes were micro-dopamine shots to the brain, Followers are milli-dopamine shots! If you’re not yet metricized, that’s 1000 times more potent for Followers to Likes. Imagine what hiding the number of followers will do! All kinds of people’s egos and image will be shattered. All those fake followers they paid for to make others believe they’re popular will no longer be seen! Some will lose their entire identity! No, seriously. Some will lose their entire identity! That was not sarcasm by exaggeration!

Now, think about if Twitter and other social media services did the same? Let people do all those Likes and Follows, just don’t show the totals!

Wow! What will the social media cartel do? Oh, wait. Those social media platforms are the cartels! Well, all the better on them, then!