Wednesday 12 September 2018

We are getting dumber

"SOCIAL Media" with the emphasis on SOCIAL is changing.  Mark started Facebook while he was still in college. The initial idea was to bring college friends together. Soon he realised the potential of bringing the whole world together and the rest is history.

But things are changing..

Today we as users are using social media platforms for everything except being social and I will not be surprised if some channels cease to exist a couple of years from now.

As I mentioned before, there are claims that social media channels were manipulated in the election of US President, Donald Trump,  and that Twitter was also used to spark a revolution in Liberia.

Back home in good old SA..

Nope, here in South Africa we are also seeing our fair share of fake news and fake theories. I honestly don't know if I should cry or laugh at the pure stupidity of some of my friends on Facebook.

If you are a Christian then you may know that the Bible says in Matthew 13:12 and I quote "Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them." 

So here is my (Fritz's) version of humans: "The bright will become brighter (cleverer) and the dumb will get dumber". Just read the comments on certain posts and you will soon realise that I am not far off with my statement. In fact, recently a Norwegian University did some research and came to the conclusion that the general IQ of humans is on a downward trend.


There is a post being circulated on Facebook and Whatsapp about child abductions in South Africa, the post claims that in South Africa a child is abducted every 30 seconds, it then goes on to tell how these children are being used in child trafficking.

But let's look at things in perspective:

Statement: In South Africa, a child gets stolen every 30 seconds to be kidnapped for the sex industry.

Truth or myth

1. Every minute=Two children are being stolen every minute (1 x child every 30 seconds x 2)
2. Every hour=120 Children are stolen (abducted) (2 children every minute x 60 minutes)
3. Every day=  total of 2880 children are stolen (120 children per hour x 24)
4. Every year= 1 051200 children are stolen (2880 x 365 days per year)

Statement like these are not only factually wrong but are also plain stupid and one needs to ask yourself what was the intention of the person who created this message? Yes, as a parent I understand that we need to be vigilant but statements like these also create unnecessary fear among parents. 


As users of social media, we will have to become more "vigilant" when we read random and shared posts. We also need the emotional intelligence to differentiate between what is right and what can be wrong because we live in a society that is overwhelmed with negative news, and sometimes it is just for sensation.

China blocked the use of Facebook, I will not be surprised if our government will follow suit, users will be blaming them for limiting Freedom of speech (which is bullshit anyway) but we need to blame ourselves for creating false, irresponsible posts and news.

If someone can prove me wrong then I will withdraw my opinion, I am not afraid to acknowledge defeat, so go ahead !


Actual Child Abduction post:

Human Trafficking...Child trade!
"People I need to share something with you and I hope and pray that every person who has a child or grandchild will read this message although it is a bit long"
I had the opportunity to meet the lady that is in charge of the Organisation that fight HUMAN TRAFFICKING in South Africa, and believe me your hair will stand up when you hear what is going on in our country.
1. Did you know that in South Africa a child gets stolen every 30 seconds to be kidnapped for the sex industry?
2. The popular ages are between 4 and 12 years and then between 16 and 22 years.
3. NOW YOU BETTER SIT DOWN: When a child is stolen, he/ she exchange hands 21 times within 5 minutes. They do this to wipe out the tracks that can lead to the child. You will NEVER see that child again.
4. They immediately paralyse the child with an injection so the child can't make a sound.
5. Small children are passed on by hand. Bigger children are put in a wheelchair and covered with a blanket so everyone will think it is a disabled child.
6. The whole time the child is aware of what is going on around him/ her but are unable to move or make a sound.
7. Within 12 hours the child is loaded in a container with only a bottle of water. About 140 kids fits into one container with no sanitary facilities or ventilation.
8. The containers are then shipped and it takes about 21 days to reach Thailand, China or Japan. The whole time that children are locked in that container. About 4 of the 140 children survive.
9. The sindicates work on 2 survivers per shipment. They say a child is about a 7 milion income in a 5 year period. After that the child's time is up and they throw them in the sea for the sharks to finish their dirty work.
10. DONT'S ===
☆ Don't send your child to the shop or the cafe alone.
☆ Keep your child close to you in the Malls and don't let them out of your sight.
☆ Don't let another child look after your child. Children don't have that sense of responsibility.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE share this with as many parents and grandparents as possible. Our childrens lives are at stake here. It sounds like a horror movie but we live in a SICK world with many "sick" people in it.
Received and forward it as it is.

Monday 30 April 2018

Social media, have we gone completely bonkers?

A while ago Facebook changed their algorithm to offer readers more “relevant” content. Facebook believes that the news feed became bloated with irrelevant content. Facebook, along with a team of psychologists believes that the platform should offer more human interaction among its users.

This will have a major impact on businesses that use the platform for business purposes and let's be honest there are groups and pages that really offers very good content, content that can be meaningfully applied to everyday life.

But o dear, now we are faced with an onslaught of posts generated by humans.....o no, but why ??

In the last millennium we have seen major developments in technology, which is a discussion beyond the scope of this post. The sad reality though is that social media platforms did not reach their intended goal of bringing people closer, well by a limited extend. This was recently acknowledged by the CEO of Twitter, but this is hardly even a surprise.

You will know by now that Facebook is experiencing massive problems with the spread of fake news, there are even allegations that Facebook played a major role in the “wrongful” election of Donald Trump, this however still needs to be proven.

The point that I want to bring across is that interaction between users is most of the time everything but social. Facebook is host to a number of groups and everyone can start a group, if you believe or stand for a specific cause then you can start your own group to promote your cause. The idea is to get the attention of like-minded people to help you with your specific cause, however, if you dare to share a different view then you stand a chance to be “ousted” by other group members. Instead of engaging in a meaningful debate the users will use everything at their disposal to manipulate and “bad mouth” you. We often hear about cyber bullying among the youth, but the sad reality is that this “bullying” is also becoming a major problem among adults because with the use of social media we have fallen in this “trap” of discrediting other, fellow users. Why is it so difficult to engage in positive debate to further your point?

Another side of the story is also where one can see the real "characteristics” of people. Social media allows us to express our views but the way you are expressing yourself to other says a lot of your personality and how you deal with specific issues in life. It is a known fact that employers will look at your social profiles to get a better understanding of the type of person who you are.

Unfortunately, a large number of users fall into this trap where they engage and show their true “self” when they differ from you.

Social media gives us freedom, but as with anything in life, it comes with a great deal of responsibility. A responsibility that is truly lacking from a great number of users.

Final Words

So, why is this of any importance? We as users (humans) are always looking for something or someone to blame. We often hear about people complaining about the negative effects of Facebook, as an example. But the irony is that they complain on Facebook about Facebook, OR , and this is an old one, the effects of Television, yet we as users don't realise that the problem actually lies with us.

Stop blaming technology, stop blaming social media, stop blaming fast foods for your obesity.

Take responsibility for life......

Monday 20 April 2015

Real value for money


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Due to the nature of my work (web developer and project manager) I spend a lot of time on the internet. I  do research on various websites and social media channels. In my previous post I wrote about "Dr Googles". I referred to users who read something on a website and then call themselves experts in a particular field.

I have been doing web development for small and medium size businesses for over 12 years. I will not call myself an absolute expert in programming because there are super clever programmers out there. I will say  however that I will be able to help any small to medium size business to get the necessary online exposure.

The problem in the web development and IT industry is that there are a lot of so called "experts". These are individuals that design one website, or fix one PC and then regard themselves as experts.

Well, the sad news is that this is not only happening in the IT industry. All over the spectrum experts are appearing from no where.

Identifying value for money ?

Getting a new client on board is a process, you meet with the potential client, write a proposal, follow up etc. During the process you discuss cost, and sometimes you have to explain in detail how you ended up with your fee.

On numerous occasions I had to compete with the "Cousin's neighbor" who is working from his parents house. Anyone out there can develop / design a website for free with free tools but that does not make them a professional web developer.

When ever I have to justify my cost to a client I always use the following examples:

1. I can download a lease agreement from a website, does that make me a lawyer ? NOPE !!

2. I can download an open source CAD (Computer Aided Design) program and design my own house, does that make me an architect ?

3. I can watch videos about photography, but again does that make me an instant professional photographer ?

and so on and so.

Business are operating in a very competitive market and sometime cost will be an issue. I have noticed though that cost is still an important consideration but informed users are also looking at the quality of product/ service that he/ she will get.

Is it not time that we as consumers , clients, customers or users look a bit further than just price, we also need to look at some of the following:

1. Experience of the vendor / supplier.
2. The support that he / she offer after you have signed an agreement.
3. Product guarantee.
4. Years in business.
5. Testimonials from satisfied customers.

... to name a few.

Economic times are tough and we have to consider cost , among other things, when we make a decision about a product or service. Sometimes however we need to look beyond cost and look at other service offerings from the company or person that we are buying from to get real value for money.

Entrepreneurs and business owners will tell you that it "Takes money to make money" and the same applies when we as consumers purchase products or service offerings from companies.

To conclude:

 In South Africa we have legislation that protects consumers. Some companies did exploit poorly informed consumers and legislation was drafted to protect these consumers.

But what I notice is that consumers are to quick to pull the "consumer card" , I have rights, I am a consumer, I am the customer , I am always right (No you are not) and so on.

I am from the opinion that consumers need to come to the party and do some research when they are planning to purchase a product that they regard as high value.

I hope you will be satisfied with your new product or service and that you will get real value for money.

Tuesday 17 February 2015

Following Your Passion-Really ?

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Some motivational speakers and some business leaders will tell you that you need to follow your passion in order to be successful. 

According to them success will follow if you are passionate about something, I agree but to a certain extend only.

I see myself as a realistic and fair person. Yes, I know everyone see themselves in that way but I have learned in business that one must assess situations realistically. 

For example:

a. I don't believe that the client is always right.
b. I do believe that you get stupid questions.

I see a lot of businesses that promote "The client is always right" which is not true but that is a topic for another blog.

Following your passion.

Which brings me to my point for discussion, following your passion. 

I am passionate about a lot of things; business, economy, scuba diving, outdoor life to name a few. I actually have a passion for my industry and can honestly say that there is no better satisfaction to see a happy and satisfied customer. But on the other end I would much rather prefer having a dive operation in Knysna, for example.

Picture this, I have a large boat filled with overseas tourists. It is a beautiful summer's day and we dive on a reef with 20m visibility, afterwards I enjoy sun downers with my overseas clients, THAT is my passion. But O dear the next day.......It's another morning and my boat is fully chartered with Japanese tourists, I don't understand a word, its cold, windy, swells of over 6m and visibility of 3-5m...where is my passion now ?

The media, motivational speakers and some business leaders often create an Utopia of passion and a lot of people actually decide to follow their passion without considering the possible pitfalls of their passion, because let's face it even passion will have some pitfalls. Just look at any Idol competition during the first round of auditions, a lot of those participants have a passion for singing but within one minute their passion is shattered when Simon Cowell tells them and I quote "Do you have a singing teacher? Get a lawyer and sue her"...bye bye passion.

To conclude:

Yes, we need to follow our passion, but if you are considering going into business with your 'Passion' make sure you fully understand the responsibilities and challenges that comes with that, because leaving your day job and starting a business is not childs play. You need to thoroughly investigate a number of avenues to start a business and and most importantly profit from the business in the long term.

Tuesday 6 January 2015

Modern Communication

Nowadays we use our mobile phones to communicate; we can call someone, text (sms), send a WhatsApp message or use social media channels to send our message. We also have access to emails, great we have fantastic digital tools to communicate.

But there is a problem....

We are getting lazy.

Or is this the "modern" way of communicating, personally I don’t think so.

There are clear "non-official" guidelines how one should communicate, in fact communication is offered as modules at University and Colleges. Typically there are standards for "casual" and business communication. It seems to me however that this standard is slowly but surely disappearing.

Before the internet business users will pick up the phone (landline, a device with a cord attached to it), talk to someone on the other end and things were done, the order was placed and both parties were happy.

Forward to today and things are waaaaay more different. Yes the generation Y and X's will argue that “this is the modern age" and I totally agree but is it necessary to go backwards?

Email Communication

Whenever I compile an email, business or private I make some effort to draft a message that is clear and concise. I don’t write a novel I am just trying to cover who, what, where and when so that the recipient clearly understand my message.

It is however disappointing when I get the following responses:

a. Ok..
b. Find attached..
c. Fine..
d. Cool..

without anything else. My question to email users are, Are you lazy or don’t you feel that I deserve a proper message. When we meet face to face, will you use the same words when we have a conversation?

Another thing that is extremely annoying is when someone types the message in the Subject field. The subject field is for the subject, is it that too hard to understand?

Mobile and social media communication.

One can understand that text messages (sms) are limited to a number of characters, so one can accept when someone uses abbreviations…LOL.

But you waste my time when I need a cryptographer to decipher your post on Facebook. You are not limited to characters, I am sorry but there is just no excuse for that. The same applies for WhatsApp.

But I don’t have time..

Yes, that is the number one excuse nowadays, how is it possible, we have all these digital tools and you still don’t have time to compile a proper message.

If you say 'I don’t have time', then I don’t have much hope for you. Either you have so much work that you cannot cope or you cannot manage your time.

To conclude

The wheel was discovered between 3000 and 4500 BC, and today it still serve a purpose as a circular device, there is even a saying "Don’t redesign the wheel" , why can we not apply that to communication.

If you send an email, a text message or even a message via social media, do it properly, or don’t expect a reply from me, I will ROFL, Lol

Sunday 9 November 2014

Are you a Dr Google ?

Here is the thing; I like Coke, (that is the cold drink), McDonald's, KFC and everything that is apparently not good for your health.

My motto, as I have indicated on my About page is that One must have Balance in life, you know the thing, "If you work hard you must also play hard".  Thanks to the Internet we suddenly have a millions of experts in different fields, from nutrition, religion and most often health. 

I refer to these unqualified "experts" as Dr Googles, because they read something on the Internet, and suddenly they are the experts in their field or sometimes multiple fieldS. 

These "expert studies" will go viral on social media channels and most social media users will share the "expert study" and also most definitely add their comment to this.When you are at a social gathering you may hear people saying "Don't drink sugar, its bad for you, I read about this on the Internet", well good for you but that does not make you a dietitian.

To come back to may motto, Have balance in life, like I said I enjoy Coca Cola, and some fast foods but I don't consume it every day, perhaps once in two weeks I will have a McDonald's burger or Kentucky or what ever "poison". I also train as often as I can, 6 days a week if my schedule allows it and as 40 year old I don't have any weight problems or other medical condition because of the unhealthy fast foods. I also believe that we should stop blaming these outlets for our stupidity, no one said that you must drink Coca Cola or eat a McDonald's burger, why do we as society keep blaming these business for our ignorance, it is actually pathetic.

One last example : Natural Birth.

Some Dr Googles also believe that a a women should only give birth the natural way and that any other medical intervention is "evil", now, I will not waste anytime further on these stupid statements. If you are one of those who believe that natural birth is the only way of bringing human life into this world, then I surely hope you will have your next child in nature, in the bush, far away from any form of assistance, because that will be truly natural. When it comes to medical matters, I will only take advice from a person who studied 6 years or more at a proper institution.

That's it for now, I am off to McDonalds.