Author: Bonnie Harris

Note: If you received an actual card from me hopefully you weren’t offended by my greeting this year. Sometimes the only way to express oneself is through bad grammar and profanity. Personally, I find the combination quite soothing. “It does not do to leave a live...

-with Ayanna Mehta Now that the media has shape shifted into a constant, chaotic news cycle, consumers have to constantly alter their methods for seeking out accurate news and information.  Ever evolving to remain relevant (profitable) media organizations continue to adapt and redefine new ways to get revenue - and media sensationalism is typically at the top of the list. It's important to understand how headlines drive media sensationalism that in turns motivates our ADD-induced eyeball action. The more clicks an online news organization gets, the higher its traffic numbers, and the more they can charge for ads. That’s the revenue-generation principle of almost every news online site today, whether it’s a traditional publication or primarily a digital one. The better" the headline, the greater the trigger for us - and the greater the number of clicks. It’s also a breeding ground for reporting on news that originates in conspiracy theory. (We’re not discussing QAnon here, but the media does need to take responsibility for that.) This past April in a piece on coronavirus conspiracy theories, New York Times’ Max Fisher wrote “..The belief that one is privy to forbidden knowledge offers feelings of certainty and control amid a crisis that has turned the world upside down. And sharing that “knowledge” may give people something that is hard to come by after weeks of lockdowns and death: a sense of agency.” With actual fact checkers a thing of the past, there’s no mechanism for granting validity - resulting in a perfect storm of disinformation. From politics to the pandemic, we really don’t know what’s happening in our world, or what will happen tomorrow. Digging into the media feels like a way to regain control, but what you have to realize is that most of the news media is no longer news. In fact, media sensationalism is actually betraying us and making things much, much worse. Mind pollution is only one of the problems.  [pullquote]People hear what they want to hear. Not only does the media know this, they are making money off of it.[/pullquote] Understanding media sensationalism and its relationship to revenue  is the first step to help cut through the clutter. Not only that, this knowledge can reduce the amount of emotional turbulence you may feel, particularly if you’re prone to doomscrolling. In your search for facts, make sure you're filtering your information based on these following unfortunate truths about the state of most media today:

After the last presidential election the internet went wild, creating a polarity that damaged friendships, split families, and even destroyed marriages. For many people it was disturbing but for people like me, someone that worked in social media all day long, it was nothing short of traumatic.   Every day I had to sift through the growing stream of virtual sound bites to find good curation sources. Every day I saw both sides of the argument get stronger and stronger, and frankly it drained me. Three months after the election I had to go entirely off the grid for four days. I realized my mind had become polluted. I was chronically tired, angry, sad, stressed and experiencing a lot of other emotions at the same time. I had to come up with a way to manage my time online that didn’t damage my energy and my emotional wellbeing. Literally, I had to find a way to clear the fog in my head. As we protect ourselves against the virus, many friends are home spending a lot more time in social media - and their minds are becoming polluted as well. It doesn’t matter if you’re right or left – the techniques used by today’s influencers (many of them either trained by Steve Bannon or copying his methods, bless his black little heart) are being used not just to influence us but more importantly - to make us angry enough to do something.  Are you feeling overly fatigued, angry, frustrated? It might not just be the quarantine. Here are few ways I handle mind pollution that might help you as well.
  • Try to remember that hardly anything you read as a headline or sub-headline is a fact.

Technology is growing and advancing at a rapid rate. Things that we never thought would exist are now part of our daily lives. From the invention of the home computer, the smart phone, and now the rise of AI machines, technology is evolving exponentially. One of the areas of tech that is growing the fastest is mobile technology. Over 80% of Americans own a smartphone as of February 2019 and the world of technology has improved with the growth in the number of users. Companies large and small are catering to the mobile platform with new developments. The customer experience is being vastly improved to be quick, easy, and painless. This is adding to the already existing convenience mobile technology offers. As the platform of choice shifts towards mobile in a big way, new trends will emerge. Over the next two years, the mobile industry will roll out many new improvements. Here are a few that we expect to see by 2020.

More Proactive Apps

Artificial intelligence might sound like a far-fetched idea, but the technology is already in use throughout mobile apps. AI is helping customers get what they want within a matter of seconds, all thanks to intelligent machines. From the minute most apps are opened, an AI is working to make the customer experience as smooth as possible. A good example of AI in action is when you are sent a message on an app like LinkedIn. Once the message comes through, the user is offered a number of ways to click and read the message. When the user goes to type a reply, an AI suggests things to write based on the context of the first message. These suggested sentences are designed so the user could conceivably click an auto generated response without needing to type anything. These generated responses are normally well written and related to the initial message; this is entirely possible due to AI. This proactive feature only adds to the amount of assistance we receive from apps everyday. More productive AI assisted apps will run faster, smoother, and offer more features than ever before. Your phone is getting to know you better and will use that to make your experience better.

Mobile First Indexing

mobile first indexing For a while now Google has been working on mobile first indexing to make websites more mobile friendly. Since much of the market has shifted away from home desktops and towards mobile phones, Google is taking steps to ensure mobile friendly websites rank higher in its eyes. Google will monitor websites and determine how they rank based on Google’s criteria, which is now prioritizing mobile friendly websites. This means features like easy to use buttons, quick loading, proper formatting for ease of use on mobile, and other aspects will result in websites ranking higher. In order to boost your website’s ranking on mobile, you will need to have a quality mobile site that is different than your desktop site.  

Personalized Mobile Experiences

Creating infographics have been one of the most widely used content marketing strategies for the past few years.  Infographics are great for grabbing people’s attention, explaining important concepts, and sharing statistics. Unfortunately, as more people began to realize the power of infographics, everyone starting creating them for their websites and their quality started to go downhill. In a world where everyone is trying to increase brand awareness and generate more sales using infographics, it’s more important than ever that you take the time to create high-quality visuals for your readers. If you’re hoping to increase your web traffic by as much as 12% by adding infographics to your website, check out this quick and simple guide to creating powerful visual content and creating strong infographic marketing on your site. To that end we've compiled some of the best tips we've heard along the way to build strong infographic marketing strategies for your site.