A taste of the “Social Media Generation” and why leaving it for 2 years is just what I need…

In less than two weeks, I’ll will be going on an LDS Mission, and also the focus of this article, going without internet for two years. Now, I won’t be completely cut off, I will get to use email for an hour a week to talk to family, but no surfing the web, games of any kind, and hardest of all, no Social Media. My generation is the Social Media Generation. We were only seven when Facebook started, and there were a lot of kids in my 4th grade class who had had Myspace accounts also. I’m not making this up, many of them had Social Media accounts at the incredibly young age of seven or eight.

I’ve grown up with Social Media. I will even go as far as to say nobody has even begun to understand the impact Social Media has had on the lives of this up and coming generation. Just to give you a glimpse of the enormous impact, let’s do a quick timeline of my life showing at what age I became immersed in the various social platforms.. (I am one of the less socially connected people of my generation)

  • 12 years old -Blogger, Youtube, Digg
  • 13 years old -StumbleUpon, Google +(+3 previous)
  • 14 years old -Ask.fm, TextFree, GoodReads(Similar to Whatsapp)(+5)
  • 15 years old -Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Vine, Instagram (+8)
  • 16 years old -Pinterest, Tumblr (+13)
  • 18 years old -Facebook (+15)

This brings me to the present, this week, after much pressure from my family, I finally caved in and made a Facebook. A lot of people don’t understand why teens don’t like Facebook, so let me tell you why real quick. Since all the dads and grandmas became hip, teens can no longer post what they really want to anymore, if they do, they will face having to justify it to their families. On new platforms that their families don’t use, they can post as they please. I just like to point out at this point in my life I have 16 different social accounts. The simple task of keeping updated on each one is pretty much a full time job.

I felt this was an appropriate gif to get the image in your head of juggling out a lot of Social Platforms

These numbers say a little, what they don’t is how Social Media made High School insane. It was a constant flurry of updates, twitter fights, scandalous pic leaks and screenshotting snapchats. I’m not even sure how I can put into words how crazy on constantly changing it was. A small example is that on more than one occasion our principal had to contact twitter to delete accounts that were either cyberbullying, posting leaked pics, or posting anonymous “Confessions” about students.

After all these hectic things, I want nothing more than to just be done for Social Media for two years. I believe this is exactly what I need. Being able to focus on something besides some kids from rival schools having a rap battle is just what I need. I am Social Media-ed out, and I believe my generation is starting to feel the same way. Its great that I have the opportunity to leave all this for a couple years, and I think the rest of my generations would benefit from it to. See you in two years @Medium.

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How High Schools are setting students up to fail in the tech…

 

I graduated earlier this year, and I just wanted to shed some light on what's going on in American High School’s. I’m sure this isn’t the case in all of the United States, but in my case, it was. Out of over 100 classes at my High School, only 3 were tech related. These 3, were Intro to Programming (Basic HTML/CSS), Advanced Programming (Basic C++),and Social Media Marketing (How to post on Blogspot and Twitter). With over 50% of new jobs requiring technical skills, it's obvious that there is a huge gap in what High Schools are teaching, and what students need to learn.

My Story

I was fortunate enough to have a father who was employed in tech, and got me a great start in early in life. From me starting my own website when I was 12, I was able to get a job at HQ (builtbyhq.com) a UX Design Firm, and that led to a job at a Cloud-based Business Management Software Company (Allmoxy.Com), all before I turned 18. My point in saying this is the next generation isn’t going to be prepared for jobs, unless High School’s are able to rethink their curriculum, and offer more beneficial classes.

Now, some of you must be thinking, but what about those 3 classes? Let me expand on these a little more.

Intro to Programming -Taught by a teacher who hardly knew programming himself, I went in for 1 day, and realized what we we’re learning throughout the year is something I learned in 3 days on my own…

Advanced Programming -Even worse than Intro to Programming, we stayed on “If” statements the entire year.

Social Media Marketing -This class was actually interesting, not because of the curriculum, but because the teacher understood that I already knew the curriculum, and allowed me to explore other areas during class time, and on several occasion he asked me to teach the class on certain subjects.

Example

Where's my proof? I have 2 brothers and 1 sister in college, I had a better job than all of them when I was 16. The job that I had called for simple technical tasks and basic knowledge (Photoshop, Illustrator, Google Docs, HTML, CSS). Because my brothers and sisters had not learned these things in High School, they all have manual labor jobs, when they could have easily had skills for technical jobs from just a few classes in High School.

The Solution

I think an easy fix for this is to have programming become a part of the core curriculum such as math or english. This doesn’t even have to be in-depth programming, just basic HTML and CSS so every student will have a good knowledge base of Front End programming at least. Some people might say this is too far, but let me ask you a question, what is more important, knowing who a 16th Century Duke is, or how to write a basic program. I would say the latter is much more important, the former is what Google is for.

Conclusion

If things stay the way they are, millions of jobs in the Tech industry are going to go unfilled. The only option is for students to learn these things in college. Even the small amount of students that major in CS, will not even begin to fill the massive amount of jobs there are. Whenever I get on LinkedIn, there are rows and rows of jobs for developers, yet there aren’t enough people to fill them. There are other alternatives also, like the awesome things that DevMounta.in is doing. They are a 3 month long coding boot camp that teaches you how to be a Full Stack Developer in very little time. Whether it be at High School, College or Coding boot camps, students are going to have to learn somewhere

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Be careful what you say, it may impact over 4 million people…

Today, I was looking at some of my Youtube stats and came across something a little daunting. People around the world have used over 4 years of life cumulatively, to watch my content on Youtube. I wasn’t sure how I felt about this at first, but it got me thinking, how many people around the world have I reached? After some rough estimations, and factoring in likes, shares and other things, here is what I concluded.

Total Lifetime Views for Landon Bassett’s stuff

  • Twitter-2.6 Mil
  • Youtube -855k
  • Personal Websites-262k
  • G+,Instagram,LinkedIn,StumbleUpon,Reddit,Snapchat-280k
  • In-App Sessions-16k

This is over 4 million views cumulatively, and that's only counting some of my online interactions, not any of my in person ones. Now, I know this is most likely not 4 million unique visitors, but it is 4 million views nevertheless. I am absolutely certain that at some point, one of those people was seeing my content on some medium, and thought, “this guy is an idiot”.

This brings me to my next point, I am only 18 years old, and I have already impacted that many people!? I sure hope I have had more of a positive influence than a negative one. Now, I’m not gonna preach and say “ONLY POST PRODUCTIVE THINGS”, because that is ridiculous, this is the internet, and people will say what they want to. The purpose of this little article is just to remind you that what you say really does matter, and it has more of an influence than you think!

None of the things I have posted have gone viral, and I don’t have a huge follower base on any social platform, but a lot of people have seen my content. I’m sure a lot of you are more popular than me on Social Media, and other parts of the internet, so just think of how many people have seen your content somewhere. Want to know?

Do a quick estimate. Pick a random tweet and click “View Tweet Activity”. Now multiply the interaction number by your total number of tweets. You now have a rough impact number for twitter. Continue to do this with your 10 most popular platforms and you’ll get a good idea of how many people you have reached.

(I have multiple Twitter Accounts and Multiple Youtube Channels I used for my data

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How the internet replaced my paper-route

Today is my 18th birthday, seeing where I am in life, I thought it would be fun to go back to where it all started. My generation is the first to really grow up in the “Internet Era”, and I am a good example of why it was so great. When I was 12, my dad had recently gotten a job at an internet content company. I was really interested in what he was doing so I thought, hey why don’t I just make myself a site. After spending hours after hours on Blogger (I didn’t know any better back then), I thought what I thought was a pretty good site. I threw up some content, and sat back wondering who would visit my blog. The results were disappointing. I think I got 5 pageviews the first day. This was where the learning started. I did a ton of research and figured out these things called “Keywords” that help with a thing called “SEO”. I also chose a niche for my blog to be based upon. Technology and Teenagers. I started getting more traffic with the next couple articles and that was the magic that started my love for the internet. One day I clicked on a tab in blogger called “Adsense”. I made an account using my mother’s social security number (I was 12) and didn’t think about it much more. I came back the next day and looked at my Adsense tab, I had made 5 dollars! (This was a lot to me as a 12 year old) I couldn’t believe it, over the next few months my audience grew, and so did my earnings. I was obsessed with it. Making money for not working? This was crazy to me and I couldn’t get enough of it. Over the next few years I did everything I could to promote my blog. I domain mapped it, I looked up everything you could do SEO wise and started learning HTML just so I could direct edit my site.

This is my first website, it remains untouched as a relic to my past.

Refining my methods

Fast forward 4 years. Making money on the internet has turned into a drug for me and I’ve found better ways to do it. I had completly left the CPM and CPC space learning that the rates were getting too low to make any real money. I switched all my sites completly over to affilate deals. I started throwing up sites like they were nothing (at one point I was making 5 sites a day)

This is an example of one of the websites I would throw up in about 15 minutes.

What were these sites for? Clickbank. Clickbank is a giant store that only sells virtual things, so theres no need for shipping or other hassles. They have a deal where if someone clicks on your ad for their product, you get 20%. So if you lead someone to a 100 dollar products, you’re making 20 dollars. I was making sites for all kind of products from weight loss e-books to accounting software. All this time my experience making sites and promoting them was adding up, and I was becoming an expert. These days were good, but I started feeling bad for selling people complete crap, so I wanted to move on to something better. I found Youtube.

I made it

Youtube was fantastic for me, I loved creating videos, and getting paid was just a bonus. No, I’m not one of those famous Youtuber’s, I’m a much more suttle kind. I’m the one who posts that funny commercial you saw super bowl weekend, or they lyric video to your daughter’s favorite song. Surprisingly, these are the videos that get the most views(cumulatively). I have a lot of channels doing this and I make quite a bit of money from it.

What about all those years of websites and promotion? I got hired last year by a Design firm called HQ(BuiltbyHQ.Com). I’m also currently an SEO consultant for Allmoxy.Com putting all that E-book marketing experience to work. Although I just graduated high school, I have 2 jobs that a lot of people with a Bachelor's degree would kill for. Another amazing thing about knowing the internet as well as I do is, even if I got laid off tomorrow, I will always have a way to make money, because of the internet.

twitter.com/landonbassett

My original blog: TopTechNow.Com

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