I don't love all gadgets, just ones I can use.

Gadgets are tools, you absolutely don't need the best camera or the newest computer to make good stuff, but gadgets are necessary for a budding career in 2015.

People ask me why I burn through technology so quickly (sometimes condescendingly), so here's the answer:

First, I like new stuff.  New stuff is nice, especially if it has features I can use day to day. Everyone likes new stuff, but upgradingfor the sake of upgrading is usually a slippery slope of spending and gear addiction.

Second, I'm not a casual user. I've never dropped a phone (or other type of technology) and shattered or broken it.  I don't break stuff.  I just don't. (except my mom's dishes and a toaster oven one time)  I get obsessive and spend more time than the average human on technology which wears it out, but I don't drop my crap or put it in precarious situations.  (After 6 years of being a smartphone owner and case hater, I fully believe that the "shatter fad" is really preventable, but that's preachy and a topic for another post.)  I've always had buttons or batteries wear out.  My last iPhone needed to be charged 3 times a day after a little over a year of insane use.  Why do I wear them out so quickly? I use them a lot. To the extreme. I write most of these posts via my phone, I also edit photos and experiment with different shooting techniques constantly. (70% of those photos don't see the light of day as well as the blog posts)  Shooting video is now a thing I've been doing as well. If I could, I would carry two phones.     

Finally, speed speed speed.  I personally think it's unwise to invest in the newest gear in a technology who's market moves slower like a TV or a camera (trust me, I've felt the unnecessary burn from the latter)  However, something like a phone or a computer who's market moves so quickly can be justified.  The difference between an iPhone 5 and an iPhone 6 is astounding, so workflow will obviously be improved and speedier.  That said, a phone from two generations ago can still make a feature-length film, so it's really how you use it. 

If I am getting set back by crashing or a battery that's constantly dying, I will move heaven and earth to fix my problem.  I don't know if I personally could handle having a shattered phone for more than an hour without scrambling to find a solution.  I use my tools (laptop, camera, phone, printer) hard. I've been sucked in by shiny new gear for the sake of shiny new gear before, and I don't recommend it.  It sucks to spend unnecessary amounts of money. 

I'm not normal. 


Tonight's actual blog post got ****ed by the internet so you'll get that one tomorrow because it was longer and super dope and I'm mad and I don't want to re-type it right now.

As an act of authenticity I want to see pictures of your #honestworkpace as it is RIGHT THIS SECOND. Post a photo on Instagram with the #honestworkspace15 and I'll do a blog post with all of the photos I get. If you don't post any, I won't be able to make a blog post and I'll be sad.


New routine: feels good man

Today I started my new job, and for the first time in my life, I actually have the drive to make some life changes.

I have been used to waking up at 5:30 every morning for my last job, so I figured I wouldn't squander that habit.  Today I actually got up to run, which was terrible because I'm way too out of shape and it happened to be the coldest day of the year so far.

But then I had time to actually make a great breakfast (Breakfast is a necessity of life that my father instilled in me from a young age)

I also got to spend time with Anna! What's that all about? Seeing her in the morning, when it's not even dark outside anymore? 

This will be wonderful.


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The past couple days have been really interesting for the internet. Over the past two days, two different social media critics have risen up and taken a stand against the "fakeness" that the internet has to offer.  

Essena O'Neill decided she had enough with social media. She had been "faking" all of her "candid" photos, sometimes starving herself to look better or taking sponsorships.  She then replaced her original captions with the process that went behind each seemingly simplistic photo.  She used this move to promote her new cause, "Social Media Is Not Real Life".  She then posted an emotional video concerning the new stance, and deleted her Instagram completely.   

Here's my problem: The fight against "fakeness" in the way Essena presents it seems really fake in itself.  I don't know her, and all I know is what's been reported. I'm behind her message, but her execution seems really poor.  In fact, I was not really bothered by it all until I watched the video of her crying, and I saw all I needed to see.  Listen for the words "I" and "me" and the references to herself in that video. For someone fighting against the false self-advertising on social media, she refers to herself and continues to focus on herself.  She still obviously has that desire to look good, which causes me to ask about her intent in this move. (Which surely increased her following and I'm even drawing attention to her, maybe I shouldn't be)  My thoughts keep being confirmed through the more that comes out about the whole thing, and her friends aren't helping her case either.

Social Media critique is rough; you either claim to be a hero for giving it up, or you end up talking about yourself, which is kind of what you're critiquing in the first place.

Today, however, we saw the conclusion to the Socality Barbie saga, which I have talked about before.  Darby Cisneros is the mastermind behind this successful project, and has proven to be one of the few successful social media critics as of yet.  She revealed the secret of critiquing social media, and I think has gotten the respect of many through how she pulled it off.  

Here's her secret: She took herself out of the picture.  

She made her stand against the "authenticity" of Instagram using a technique not often seen in the world: She made great, convincing work.  Not only that, she removed her identity from the work until she decided it was time to end it.  Her photos were impressive; it truly took talent to experiment with scale like she did.  Today marked the final stroke of genius with the project, the author of this series revealed her identity, dropped the mic, and ended the project.

Hey guys, my name is Darby Cisneros and I am the creator of SocalityBarbie. I just wanted to introduce myself and thank all of you for enjoying this account. I started SB as a way to poke fun at all the Instagram trends that I thought were ridiculous. Never in 1 million years did I think it would receive the amount of attention that it did but because of that it has open the door to a lot of great discussions like: how we choose to present ourselves online, the insane lengths many of us go to to create the perfect Instagram life, and calling into question our authenticity and motives. It’s been a blast running this account but I believe SB’s work here is done. I will be leaving this account open for a while for people still want to look through and enjoy it. Again, thank you for following along. If anyone has any questions or just want to say hi feel free to email me at ✌️#RIP (account NOT for sale)

Who knows, Darby could end up being on the news and basking in the limelight. I don't know her personally, all I know is, her work was great and her message was received. Essena is leaving a lot of openings for doubt as to the legitimacy of her cause, and there's nothing revolutionary or impressive about what she's done.  Because of her focus on herself, and keeping her identity very attached to her "cause", she is opening herself up to all kinds of publicity and more sponsorships.  (Again, her own friends seem to doubt her motives as well) Maybe, Darby was taking advantage of spotlight as well, but she made it to this point by stripping away her identity which could be a good indicator of motives.

I probably spent way too much time on this, but it's been eating at me, and I needed something to write about to today. I'm sad to see Barbie go, but I appreciate that she left us wanting more.  Maybe quitting social media is the only move against it, since both these women have ejected in a certain way.  

It's funny because all of this happened as I've developed a more optimistic stance on social media, as one who bought in the to whole anti-social media thing (of course with no intent on stopping. I've never actually made any socially critical art, I just spout off and talk about it. I'm part of the problem)

The fact is, "social media" is here to stay, and it's such a new thing, that we'll get used to it eventually.  We've got a lot of kinks to work out first.

Today I drank the future

You thought Marty McFly was the only one that got to enjoy the magic of future beverages.  Not even he could have predicted what 2015 actually holds.


Nitro-brewed coffee is the next thing, and my next drink.  Coffee is cool, but I can make that at home.  I can't make coffee that also has the texture and smoothness of a Guinness with a faster caffeine kick with my awesome coffee maker or Chemex.  

This has made coffee special.

Sure, I may be late to the game with this one, and many of you may have been drinking this for months.  You have been drinking the future. Old people believe our generation is entitled and pretentious for drinking our lattes and mochas and cold brews, because all they needed as a kid was Folgers or chocolate milk.  We have found ways to innovate the most MUNDANE things, and I think that's super cool.  

Radio transformed into podcasts with endless possibilities, TV transformed into 10 episode movies you can watch online, computers have transformed into phones and watches, and coffee has transformed into an experience, not just a daily task.  We live in a cool time.  Sure, your grandparents don't understand, but why would they? Who could have possibly seen the tsunami of changes that have come in the past 5 YEARS alone?  It's hard for even an 18 year old to wrap their head around it all. 

Go drink Nitro-brewed coffee, if anything, it's just cool.  

Darkness: a photo essay

I've always been a fan of darkness, and I never knew why until this past year.  I would title 2015 "My Darkest Year", but not for the reasons you would think.

"Are you going through something?" "Is everything okay?"

"I'm better than every before."

This year has been great. "My happiest year" would also be a great title.

I've been in the dark pits, I've felt it all consume me.  When I was deepest in the hole, you would have never known.

Now you see it, and you know something has to be wrong.

Life is hard, harder than ever, but it feels so good.

You need darkness to appreciate the light. If you live ignoring the darkness, you fool yourself. It's not reality. 

There is beauty in the darkness, you just have to look for it.  

This world is darkness. This world is not total darkness.

There's always some light somewhere, and that's what I'm looking for.  

The YouTube Red Wedding

Journal Entry 11/15/25: 

Remember when the Internet was so free and fringy? It was a cyber Wild West (if you don't understand "Wild West" go watch Tarantino movies from 2013-2016). Back then, my podcast cost almost nothing to produce. What happened?

After a lot of my studies, I traced this great shift of more regulation and more cost with a couple big events. First, the subscription model changed everything. A once solution to paying for cable, with a series of al a carte channels so you can watch what you want to watch. I used to be a proud "cord cutter", until I realized all my subscriptions cost more than the highest cable package you could buy at the time. 

Not only that, but I subscribed monthly to Dropbox, (it was a cloud service back in 2014ish, kind of paved the way for Google's online storage platform)  Adobe Cloud, some podcasts, (so I could get some extra content and full access to archives) and a bunch of video services. It was the new way to make money without resorting to ads. 

Then along came YouTube, the biggest video service ever where people could post videos and get paid through ads. YouTube "celebrities" became a common phrase, describing those who made a living doing some pretty embarrassing antics. Granted, I was not the generation that really "got" YouTube in that way.  

Youtube was in a predicament: it wasn't making money, yet its users were. Whoops. Time for the subscription service to rear its head. What was free and accessible had then been blocked by a paywall. 

I fully believe that if only a couple YouTube celebrities got on board, the new system would have died, however, everyone meaningful in that space welcomed this new paywall. While everyone expected the YouTube celebrity audience to pay, (makes me laugh every time I here it) it was actually my generation and my parents that ended up subscribing. Why? Because YouTube was the best teacher, a tastemaker, and a way to let us know if we should buy something. We could not care less about Pewdiepie (former YouTube star in that crazy news story the other day). We wanted an interactive Consumer Reports, and that's why we paid. Due to its success, other free services began to take note. 

Now, people subscribe to my podcast and I don't use ads, places like the The Verge now cost money to read, and so on and so forth. The world turned back on its axis, and people learned to pay for things again. 

Oh and they changed their name to WeTube, I guess to show that we worked together to make sure people could afford to make good content.  Terrible name but better than YouTube Red. (Red Tube was a popular pornography site at the time, and I assume many children looking for Pewdiepie lost their innocence in unexpected ways) 

Now the Internet feels a lot like the real world because of this YouTube Red effect where I have to pay to read the day's news online as if I ran to the gas station to buy a paper. History repeats itself, I suppose.  

I don't like the internet

There's no denying that the internet is an amazing resource, and I would not be doing any of the things I'd be doing without the internet.  

On the flip side, the internet sucks.  It just takes and takes and takes.  If you are an artist, you will be chained to your computer 80% of the time and your canvas 20%, because interacting with an audience is the only way to stay relevant.  Even those who don't have any sort of professional gain riding on the internet feel this need to market themselves, lest they be forgotten.  It demands our time in order to be a functioning member of the human race, especially if you're young.

The internet also brings us closer together, which creates almost a hive-mind of sorts.  Tonight, while I was watching Bar Rescue (highly recommend), bar expert, Jon Taffer brought in some social media experts to come stake out a bar. They were 3 men, all with their number of followers put under each of them.  Can you imagine what these men looked like? They were white, had a ton of tattoos, Macklemore-style hair, and beards.  I could not tell them apart, yet they are exactly the type of person one would imagine has a lot of followers.  I understand that fashion trends exist, but the internet has created a sort of collective individualism; where everyone aims to looks so different and out there that they all end up looking the same.  

This internet hive-mind also gives way to INSANE political correctness, and if one person is out of line, hundreds of thousands of commenters make sure the perpetrator's head is on a pike.  Political correctness destroys art, and recommends that no one takes risks on account that the artist may have a "stance".  I've seen a ridiculous amount of articles addressing the misogyny of James Bond lately, stating that the movies needs to make Bond less of a lady's man.  Instead of creating a new work of film as the antithesis to Bond, they want the Bond movies to change.  While sure, I acknowledge that James Bond treats women heinously, that's the character, and HE ISN'T REAL. Instead of changing existing works and attempting to rewrite history, disrupt with a oppositional film or art piece.  Forcing everyone to adhere to certain ideas is the world that the internet is promoting.  It markets itself as this savior of free-speech, yet the hive wants to smother those who exercise their right.

The internet is certainly a great place, but it can suck the life out of you.  I wouldn't have a voice without the internet, and I may not even have made anything.  The fact is, we need the internet, I need the internet.  It's a double-edged sword to the highest degree.

Effective consumption so you don't waste time

There is nothing new under the sun, therefore to create anything you need some sources.  We all take from different sources, thus our work becomes original and ours.  We are naturally drawn to things certain things depending on who we are, whether that's a good thing or not may show in your work.

Kenneth Burke, my friend, but most recently, contributor to Elite Daily and Lifehack, is coming back to the podcast this week to discuss this topic. (He name-dropped me and our conversation on Episode 11 in an article) 

But, before unpacking what is definitely a difficult topic, I wanted to break down what I mean.  What does "effective consumption" even mean?

As someone who is a hyper-consumer of movies, TV, music, books, video games, podcasts, and other various forms of art, I have recently had to learn that some sifting is needed as to not waste my time.  Here's a preview of a couple ways I've dug up:

Be a fan of things - Like things. I mean really like them.  Really, really like them. If there's an actor you like, watch all of their movies. If you like an artist, listen to all their EPs and first songs. Watch interviews; ask "Why did they make this?" or "What else in the world was going on during this?". Tear things apart. Chances are, if you are a fan of someone or something, you'll slowly delve into their inspirations and gain new interests in the process. Once you are a fan of one thing, you will probably become a fan of a lot of things, and your interest will inform your work.

Read trucker forums - Wait what? It's exactly how it sounds.  One time I started researching trucker culture out of curiosity, and found a whole other world of people doing something totally different than me.  You get to read about struggles you could have never imagined, and also your view of the world widens outside your personal bubble.  (Trucker forums are some of the most depressing things I've ever read, but I'll never forget any of it while I'm yelling curse words at trucks on the interstate)

You'll have to wait and hear the rest on Monday, but as always I'll post that here.