Posted in Bealtaine Cottage

The Problem With Social Media

I know that I can write this with some clarity and insight, as I am a veteran of Social Media these past sixteen years. The provenance of Bealtaine Cottage on SM can be traced back to the very beginning of the Bealtaine Project. This website carries at least half of those years in detailed recording of the project as it developed and grew. So, you will understand my concern…

I have witnessed the descent of various platforms across SM into what I perceive to be a corporate cesspit of monetising everything that has an audience! Strong words, yes, but not even beginning to reflect my feelings or perceptions!

My concerns stretch even to this website that I PAY for on an annual basis…€300, with an extra sum for my domain name…and still the site is infected with banners that greet me each time I open my website to write a blog or check on comments! “make money, grow your business, attract more sales,” etc., the list is ever-growing!

Now, don’t misunderstand me, for I am not against business or financial independence, but the constant barrage of advertising and corporate interference on SM is not to be tolerated! Much in the same way that Earth is out of balance, society is out of balance and corporatocracy is dominating everything, there is a definite dumbing-down of civilisation, (though I much prefer the word, culture, as this sums up what it means to be civilised)! Culture is being stripped away from civilisation, leaving skeletal remains that are disturbing to witness!

Writing as I do on this website helps me maintain a degree of sanity, for it is a quiet experience, with no interference or judgement. I post and let it go…to whatever corners of the world it may be read. It is a way of sharing my observations, sometimes a world view such as this is.

What does corporatocracy mean? Wikipedia says: “Corporatocracy (/ˌkɔːrpərəˈtɒkrəsi/, from corporate and Greek: -κρατία, romanized: -kratía, lit. ‘domination by’; short form corpocracy) is a recent term used to refer to an economic and political system controlled by corporations or corporate interests.” Does this strike a note with you?

This is a rather interesting piece from:

https://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/monitor/we-need-talk-about-surveillance-economy-now

“Just as industrial capitalism claimed the world’s natural resources for economic benefit, now in the digital age multi-billion-dollar industries are expropriating our private experiences to produce behavioural data that will ultimately be used in the marketplace. Instead of slowly changing our climate, Zuboff and other scholars of the digital economy fear that this time around we are changing human nature. This new threat is called surveillance capitalism.

Companies profit under surveillance capitalism by collecting information on our social-psychological behaviour, running it through opaque algorithms and using it to predict and even promote human behaviour that is valuable to other companies. Corporate actors are saturating online spaces, vying for attention from the endless possibilities of niche markets their products can cater too. The economic pressures have created an information ecosystem of monitoring and sharing data from our personal online social spaces with the goal of turning a profit through the regulation of our actions.

Just as the Industrial Revolution came with many advantages, such as more cost-effective production leading to cheaper goods, and eventually improved quality of life, so does data collection and processing in the Information Age. Most of the benefits come down to the quantity and quality of the information we can now gather about almost everything.” You can read the full text by clicking on the link I posted above. Thank you to CCPA.

I wrote this blog in order to let you know that I am fully aware of the tangled societal mess we now find ourselves in. In many ways the pandemic has brought this to the fore. However, I am also aware that there is a global experience and therefore can be rather debilitating to ponder on for any amount of time. So, in response, my advice is to be aware, safeguard your information as you see fit, avoid being sucked into Social Media for any length of time (it is addictive!), know that with the strongest will in the world, advertising will get inside your head and wreak havoc. Be discerning!

Finally, do not be naive…this is not about one politician, or indeed any politicians or governments…look beyond the screen and follow the money! It suits the corporatocracy to feed us “goodies and baddies!” Simply read history to see the evidence for yourself and understand how we are kept in an infantile state in regards to power and control!

Stay close to Mother Earth in as many ways as you can. Remember who you are, an individual human being experiencing a great journey with the Great Mother!

Blessings to you all XXX Colette

PS: The Bealtaine Cottage Calendar for 2021 is now with my printers in Carrick on Shannon. As soon as I have the proof, I will post a preorder link…in the next few days hopefully!

Author:

16 years of Goddess Permaculture through the Bealtaine Project at Bealtaine Cottage, West of Ireland. Colette O'Neill is a writer, photographer, environmentalist and teacher who has devoted the past 16 years to turning 3 acres of derelict land into a woodland sanctuary for all life, planting over 1,100 trees in the process. Colette posts prolifically across Social Media, encouraging planting of trees and regeneration of Mother Earth. Her life energy is now devoted to the Great Goddess, Mother Earth!

102 thoughts on “The Problem With Social Media

  1. Thank you for sharing what you see happening with the world. I have been experiencing the same. Because I am in America it is at an all time high. Violence everywhere. I am not in the city thankfully but quite aways out. If you are tied to the land you are better able to maintain your balance.

  2. Yes, I agree with you Colette. I wonder how all this will pan out in the long run. Things are never static and will change, but to what? That’s the question.

  3. Thank you Collette You have expressed so eloquently what i have believed for years. It makes me feel like the Greek gods ‘Corporates’ are moving us about much like being on a chequers board, not for our own wellbeing but to stoke their coffers and any crack they can get through, they will.
    Bless you and thank you for sharing your home, your land and your views xxx

  4. Thank you Colette for your sobering and insightful posting on SM. Your final exhortation to stay close to Mother Earth is indeed key for us all at this time.
    Renewed thanks
    Maud

  5. I feel as you do…..it scares me what happen around us. But I believe that , it will take some years , it will change to better times. Take care and Be Blessed

  6. Colette I couldn’t agree more. I try not to dwell on it as it very depressing. Staying close to Mother Earth in the garden and on my walks keeps me sane. I live in deep countryside in Cornwall and am surrounded by so much beauty, I am so blessed. Blessings to you and Jack xx

  7. I agree with you about SM. Your posts are practically the only ones I like on fbook and Utube. Yes, we need to safeguard ourselves against the corps trying to corrupt / ruin our society. Love to you and Jack xx

  8. Oh Collette how right you are about the constant barage of in your face advertising everywhere. Face book irritates me with so many adverts, many are fake, i find myself checking to see if they are genuine just to warn people, i have seen so many comment that they have ordered something, not recieved it but can’t contact the company. They are often from china, vietnam etc, they steal photos from genuine crafts people to lure people in, when i report them they just come back with a different name. I watch very little TV but when i settle down to watch something interesting, the constant interuptions from ad breaks is ridiculous, the waste from people constantly buying new beds or sofas etc is heartbreaking to someone who loves nature, it seemes with all we have been through recently and are still going through, people have learned nothing ,as shown by the rush to the shops as soon as lockdown eased.

    1. You can block many ads with the app AdBlock plus – I have used it for years and love it! It does help eliminate ads especially on Facebook.

  9. I too agree with you Colette, I am fortunate enough to have a decent size garden and to live close to both moorland and ancient woodland and can and do stay close to Mother Earth every day.

  10. With all the chaos going on in the world,thank you for not advertising and allowing us a little peace, joy, and quiet time from the barrage of corp adverts.i have been, sadly, unsubbing from my YT subscriptions,some of which now put 20 ads on one video. I find a few minutes of peace at Bealtaine..

  11. Thank you, this is an excellent commentary on the dangers of SM which which I fully agree, it is clear and insightful. It is good that we have people like you to raise awareness. Bravo!

  12. We are all totally with you about SM. So disturbing. It’s really difficult to plough through all the rubbish served up to us to get to the important things in life.
    But on the very plus side I wouldn’t have found you Jack or beautiful Bealtaine without it! ❣️❣️Blessings.

      1. Thank you for the address, I sent it yesterday to you at Bealtaine Cottage F52YP74 Ireland. I hope it gets there ok. ❣️

  13. You are a true wise woman Colette. All of the elder women of my family have passed on, so when I find that I am having troubles with this world, you have the sage advice needed to make the world make sense again.

  14. You sharing knowledge and love of nature and animal /bird/insect souls fills your followers days with wonders and enchantments that may not be as easily found in the world they live in. BUT…teaches everyone to stop and take notice of the natural secret gardens around us. Thank you

  15. Oh my. I am convinced we are kindred spirits. You have nailed it perfectly. I live in the states and our lives are under attack by so many factions. I so look forward to your posts, not only because they are so enjoyable, but they give my sanity a boost. Keep doing the great work that you do and share with us. Carry on, Dear One, carry on.

  16. Well said Colette! And so very true! What is going on with social media is just plain creepy. To feel like you are continually being watched, and we are,by these corporations who have no problem letting us know they are watching us, so they can make a sale and flip a profit, is like I said, creepy. Your sight is a safe haven for us all! Blessings to you and Mr. Jack.

  17. You hit the nail on the head Colette. Luckily for me and a few friends we felt that many years ago and have been preparing for the events that are happening. Here in the states society has crumbled and left this country with hatred and violence. People lost their jobs, families have no food and many will loose their homes. Voting will change things I pray but it will be many, many years before it gets back to the old America.
    When I found your blog so many years ago I felt I found a kindred spirit. I was in the middle of doing permaculture. You enlightened me and opened the door for many new things. Thank you.

  18. I agree with you. You have eloquently written what I feel. The destruction of Mother Earth in the name of progress, just breaks my heart. But it gives me comfort to see that some people are realising the havoc that “corporatocracy” is causing and are going back to simpler way of life. That gives me hope. Take care and stay safe.

  19. Your words are so thoughtful and wise from experience. And the accompanying photos give such a feeling of hope in the midst of chaos. Thank you for expressing so beautifully what many of us are thinking. Blessings and best wishes from the craziness that is the U.S.

  20. I so much appreciate what you do and how you share your experiences! Thank you. You inspire me to take part in my own little environment during my earthly “visit.” I have managed to resist the lure of SM. The “corporate” mission is insidious, ubiquitous and parasitic. No thanks. But I am so grateful to you Colette for sharing, sounding the alarm, and rejoicing in Mother Nature.

  21. A truly wonderful post, Colette! Would that everyone read your words and heed them.
    I share the same frustrations and concerns, and believe myself to be well-informed. Yet, your post served to broaden my perceptions of this growing issue for concern. Thank you!

  22. I worked for a tracking company in Silicon Valley. I woke up when we had a company-wide meeting and they showed an image of an average (upper, middle-class, white) Joe, and running down along side him were all the things he was. These “attributes” are used to “target market” to him. And to you.

    We are the product.

    How is this data collected? EVERYWHERE in EVERYTHING you do online when you are “signed in”. Notice you can’t do ANYTHING without being “signed in” anymore. Why? To authenticate you and protect the truth? NO! That’s ridiculous, these companies wouldn’t know the truth if it fell on their heads. It’s to TRACK you, ALL THE TIME.

    I HIGHLY recommend withdrawing in every way from these corp mechanisms. You know who they are. They created this very software I’m using to talk to you (well, officially, they bought out a smaller company, and swallowed it up).

    If you can’t quit them, rarely use them. Seek with vigor other means to communicate and get your news and information. TELL FRIENDS!

    Notice, it’s almost impossible now. They’ve got us.

    Well, if you have time-money, maybe start the process of making a diverse social ecology online instead of a monolithic monoculture.

    All my Love, People.

  23. I echo the love of our Mother and our collective concern about cooperate creepyness invading our life and affairs. thank you for your sharing.
    Connie, Albuquerque, NM USA

  24. A relevant and seriously important message. I’ve never felt a strong desire to be a part of every social media platform. For me, it was just “another thing to check” and I’ve enough of those in my everyday life. I deleted my FB account back in 2011 and I don’t miss it. Plus, I’m a pretty private person anyway. I’m a Gen X’r and I am happy to have grown up in a generation that still utilized rotary phones (we had ONE phone in the kitchen which, between my sister and I had a cord that happened to be stretched beyond human comprehension 😉
    Jaron Lanier wrote a great book regarding the dangers of social media. He called social media “behavior modification empires” In addition, he quoted from Sean Parker, the first president of Facebook. “We need to sort of give you a little dopamine hit every once in awhile, because someone liked or commented on a photo or post or whatever…It’s a social validation feedback loop…exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with, because you are exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology.” He goes on to say they understood this consciously and DID IT ANYWAY, and how it changes your relationship with society and each other, not to mention “God only know what it’s doing to our children’s brains.” If that doesn’t scare folks enough to some serious consideration of how social media is manipulating and harming their psyche, nothing will.
    On a lighter note-Beautiful pics (especially the mushrooms!) I am looking forward to ordering your 2021 calendar! =)

  25. Technology tyranny, nothing else but controlling algorythms designed by AI and its utter idiot level
    maadness.Thats SM for you

  26. It is a good morning here in far northern California. I have taken the time as is my daily habit to sit outside in my garden and have a cup of coffee. There are so many trees, and so many birds, it is impossible to not find joy in the new day.
    Bealtaine Cottage website and YouTube channel were my own first, personal experiences with social media. I connected to Bealtaine only after I lost my job last fall and actually found the time to do such a thing. Otherwise raising my son, now 33 I would not even allow television in our home due to the brain-washing advertisements primarily. The media is far more insidious now.
    Bealtaine remains a blessing, and this particular post hits home as the current corporatocracy is so evident in the Supreme Court being bought, and the horrid social climate in our political arena here in the states. I have heard our country referred to as a “Tax Plantation” for corporations. it is painful to see just how we as humans are being managed – as Colette also recently pointed out. So I make sure to sit with the birdsong while I’m able, and never take this simple act of connecting to, and being part of nature for granted. She does not lie, and only asks that I care for her in the best way I am able.
    Beautiful photographs, timely words Colette, Thank You

  27. It brings me a great sense of hope to have found you and your Community Colette. Your post echoes my thoughts on social media and the puppeteering of the corporate world.
    Thank you for providing a haven for like minded souls, the observers and free thinkers.
    Blessings to you in all your endeavours and Thank You.

  28. Thank you Colette for your beautiful pictures and words of wisdom reminding us of what is in front of our noses everyday. What we see and truly acknowledge we can then work to change and improve.
    Fall is a time of letting go of what is no longer viable and no longer serves.
    Be well

  29. Totally agree with you Colette. Everything is cookies and media adverts. We are bombarded almost constantly with adverts for something or other. My partner and I have started turning off our phones etc because we notice that things we’d spoken about started appearing on our timelines. Just the other day I was talking about crochet hooks, as you do, the next day his timeline was full of adverts for furls crochet hooks which he obviously has never researched. Its scary. People think that everything has a price and don’t realise that life, nature, our Mother Earth are beyond priceless. I pray they realise, before it is too late,the error of their ways.
    Blessings to you and Jack, thankyou as always for your wise words xXx

    1. Advertising is herd instinct which is demeaning and shouldn’t be needed if a product is worth having. My little business runs on word of mouth more than anything else. I do have a Facebook page for it and a website but word of mouth is the main source where I get my students. Your thoughts on corporates and people being sucked into consumerism are very valid. We have just had the general election in New Zealand and I was terrified that National ( the blue party whatever they are called over your way) might get in as they were campaigning on tax cuts and opening borders to get the dollar whereas our government (who got re-elected) has kept the borders shut to stop the virus spread. The people that are calling out about out economic decline is gobsmacking. Through lockdown many people realised that you can live without buying non essentials and so many people started handcrafts etc. The world is a mad place, I’m so pleased I have my feet firmly on the ground and know that the Mother is the one who gives to every creature if we help her where we can. ((hugs to the boy)) Take care and breathe in the clear air (it’s free). =-)

      1. Couldn’t agree more. Word of mouth is the best kind of advert there is. A genuinely pleased customer who has used your service and is happy enough to recommend you to others.
        I crochet, mainly as a hobby, I make items for my family. I do have requests from people to make things when they find out that I crochet but unfortunately people think because you can buy a knitted sweater in Primark for under £20 then that’s what it should cost for a handmade item. It usually costs more than that for the material, never mind the hours it takes to create the gift. I do not advertise, never have. I’m flattered that people see my work and would like to do something for them, don’t misunderstand me, but really in these days of high pressure sales and quantity over quality I could never imagine using SM for a big sell. It slither it’s way into every aspect of our lives and I find myself going off sites due to the number of advertisements that bombard me, I’m certainly not persuaded to buy.
        I’m glad your Govt seems to have a sensible, long term sustainable approach to the virus and it’s effects. I have read articles on your PM and she does seem to have her head screwed on correctly. Here in the UK however, I despair of the Govt, we are in the middle of confusing and contradictory measures whist the social elite continue to enjoy freedoms we don’t. Our PM is dangerous and lacks understanding and I’m afraid it’s going to take a very long time to get over all this, I worry for the future facing our young people. Inevitably we just have to leave it up to our Mother and listen; always she knows the way better than you or I could.
        Al’so, yes, luckily where I live the air is fresh, I give regular thanks for it. Being trapped in a polluted city is not my idea of happiness. I try, sometimes fail but nevertheless, let it go,offer it up to her and do what I can myself to do the best I can. Brightest Blessings to you xXx

    2. I totally agree. My sister & I have experienced the same. We will be talking on the phone about something we are interested in & all of a sudden it will show up in advertising. Has happened on many occasions. She has also recently tried to join fb & has been bombarded with guite nasty & lude friend requests. It has totally freaked her out.

  30. This is a great conversation to bring up now Colette. Perfect.
    Jaron Lanier has been exposing these truths for years and he is the one who is credited with inventing virtual reality.
    I highly resent paying a company to have a website to let them show ads on my content unless I pay them more to keep it off.
    Jaron touts for those of us that can, to get off so that things might change. He says it will be the only way it will happen.
    Cheers!
    https://www.alibris.com/Ten-Arguments-For-Deleting-Your-Social-Media-Accounts-Right-Now-Jaron-Lanier/book/39848296?matches=27
    Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now
    by Jaron Lanier

  31. What you say is true, but there are lots of things in this “developed” world that i find concerning. My way of coping is not to go into a battle I cannot win but rather live my own life in a way that impacts on earth as minimally as I can. I refuse to watch commercial television or listen to commercial radio stations (here in Australia we have a wonderful National ABC service). I do use social media but just ignore all the ads that pop up, that is my way of winning over them, giving them no attention. If I can bother on my fb page I block further ones appearing and give the reason why as “irrelevant”. I have followed your project for many, many years. We now have downsized from acreage that I covered in trees over 30+ years but have started planting, planting, planting out the Council park our house fronts onto. Keep strong and continue your wonderful project and don’t get drawn into the things you cannot change but rather fight the Corporations by small acts of defiance.

    Like you I try and buy locally and never Amazon
    JoanneXX

  32. Dear Colette,

    Agreed. Full stop.

    May all humans wake up to this vulgarity.
    Let us keep our dignity and no longer allow ourselves to be demeaned.
    To me this means turning around from the indoctrination.
    Being outside in Nature balances this out and heals the damage. Nature is Truth.

    Much love,
    Lois

  33. I talk to my adult children about how life was so simple and stress free I have told them to try and keep life simple they ask what is your happiest moments I say walking my dog in the middle of woods watching the trees . Your videos Collette have kept me sane and in the first lockdown I sat in my garden under a tree watching the bees it was lovely . Keep well and love to jack he is so lovely x

  34. Thank you thank you for taking the time to express your thoughts. Very well articulated. Very powerful. A note to share with the world. A call to the world.

  35. Dear Collette,
    Greetings to you and hope that you are well. Thank you so much for your thoughts. When I read your articles, I feel like your speaking for so many of us!
    Please read Vandana Shiva’s
    “The oneness vs. the one percent”. This article is critical to the world right now. You can see it on Dr. Mercola’s website. This man has been speaking out for years against big Ag, big Pharma, the Technocrats, and the corporations which are all working together and blending their talents.
    You have a significant following and can get this critical information out. They are censoring so much in the last few days. They are not even trying to hide it anymore.
    We must share information on the future of our Mother Earth and all of the people trying to truly save her!
    Blessings,
    Susan Casamento

  36. Colette, YES!! I all the time think that people are so caught up in who their politicians are but spend so little time thinking how the BIG ‘UNS – Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Apple influence our life and the world … and there is no voting them in or out there!!

    Have reposted this on the divine feminine app (.com) and invite you to come visit. That is why I did the app! No corporatocracy!! just me listening to Mom and trying to provide a place that inspires, informs and connects. Blessings to you and your work.

  37. Yes, once again Colette you have put in to words what I have felt for decades. I’ve long had a sense of being barraged by all this nonsense & realise it all comes down to boundaries – respecting & defending my own both spiritual, emotional, financial as well physical – from the maurading attempts to colonise & corporatise every molecule out there. I have found the greatest weapon I have is to listen so intently to nature that the rest just falls away. Nature, as they say, abhors a vacuum, & is more than happy to assimilate us into her world if we can be still enough to hear the invitation.
    Eternal gratitude to yourself, Jack & Bealtaine for simply being.
    💚🌱🐾☘️

  38. Sadly I don’t think the idiocracy of social media is going to go away any day soon … but I suppose that’s what’s become the ‘human experience’ under ten thousand years of patriarchal power plays. I strive to live my life as authentically as I can and choose not to give them any more of my energy than I need to to live (albeit on the fringes) of this society. My heart is with the trees and animals and all beings of the Mother. 🙂

  39. Thank you as always Colette for your close-to-the-earth wisdom — I understand your use of social media though I chose long ago not to be part of it as for me it is antithetical to what is essentially and life-givingly human. I’m grateful for the web, however, which is how I learned about Bealtaine and which allows those of us in other parts of the world (I am in the Pacific northwest of the US) to be ‘present’ in some way to all you are doing. You have no idea what a solace it is, and how we hold it with us wherever we are ❤️

Your comments are welcome! I reply to every one!