A week without the Book

Day 2: I awoke in a sweat. Why, oh why, didn’t I change my settings so I couldn’t be tagged in photos or statuses? What would the online world be seeing that is beyond my control? I was in a fretful state as I imagined the havoc the online world could be bestowing on me.

Day 3: I was booking a massage for a Producer, reading reviews and accidentally clicked on a Facebook page. Whoops. I may or may not have skim read my notifications.

Day 4: I logged in and temporarily deactivated my account. I got a rush of power. I felt on top of the world. And the feeling of anonymity felt good. I was invincible and invisible.

Day 5, 6, 7 & 8: I was so busy and preoccupied with work I forgot all about Facebook. Actually. In downtime I went and had real conversations with real people. My Instagram trawling may have peaked higher than usual.

Day 9: I logged back on to Facebook. The notifications were of no real interest. I scanned the newsfeed. I began to feel hateful. I’d forgotten how annoying people and Facebook are.

And now? The last few days my Facebook use has been almost back on par with earlier days. I’m a little bit disappointed with myself. But I see Facebook for what it is: a tool of procrastination that alleviates boredom.  I want to spend more of life away from a screen. I’ll endeavor to minimise my clicking on the little blue f.

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A week without Facebook. Day 1.

Every morning the first thing I do (after pressing snooze twice) is check my Facebook and mindlessly scroll through the newsfeed. I must check my Facebook at least 20 times a day. I’m hopelessly addicted. That addiction is stopping. Today.

A week with no Facebook.

DAY 1.

Without Facebook to ease me in, the morning didn’t go so smoothly. It was the 1st day on a job, I rushed out the door planning to do my make up at red lights (as I do) yet realised I’d forgotten to bring any make up. Fail.

Then I couldn’t stop thinking about my Facebook all morning. I was almost getting twitchy. Dreaming of all the great notifications I may be missing out on. I opened Facebook on my phone. I quickly closed it. 1 notification showed up. I ignored it.

One week without Facebook. Easy.

I still have Facebook messenger on my phone, and have justified this is allowed as it’s a separate app. I also still have my beloved Instagram, though I have restricted posting to 1 photo per day for the next week also. I’m curbing my social media addiction.

I’m clearly not used to the concept of self discipline, because all of a sudden multiple great ideas were coming to me. Only 1 coffee a day. No snoozing. Exercise!

I came home from work and instead of tralling Facebook aimlessly, I went for a 1/2 hour power walk. I forgot my headphones, so played my music loud enough for people to wonder if they were hearing things. It’s the real world baby. A day that begun badly ended with a smerk.

n.b. this blog uploads to Facebook automatically, I'm not cheating....

n.b. my blog uploads to Facebook automatically, I’m not cheating….

Relationships in the age of Facebook

I write this at risk of sounding like a complete cynic. Social media may be screwing with our relationships — and not in a good way.

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We meet someone. We Facebook stalk them. We pretend we haven’t. Someone let’s something slip. We laugh about it. We secretly know everything they’ve done in the last 5 years. How endearing. Things go well. We tag them in a photo. They don’t untag. It must be love. We make it official on the book. Next thing there’s an erray of Instagram and Facebook tags #bestboyfriendever #luckygirl #love and my new personal favourite #ily

Did anyone else just feel a bit nauseous?

Yes we’ve all become exhibitionists and voyeurists in life. But relationships, aren’t they a personal intimate thing? And if we’re so happy, shouldn’t we be so loved up that we’re not constantly bursting to showcase it to the world?

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In high school Shakespeare taught me “all that glitters is not gold.” He seemed like a pretty smart guy. I can’t help but wonder if maybe the more glitter, the less gold. The more online loving, the less real time loving.

Oh and while we’re on the topic of loving, I recently read an article that proclaimed fun in the bedroom is at an all time low. Apparently we’d rather play with our iPads and iPhones. Don’t know about you, but I feel like that’s not a very good trade off.

I also read an article on the faux pas of new relationships. My favourite part was were it said not to change your relationship status on the first date. Really? How did someone even conceive that they needed to state this point?

It continued to say you may write a Facebook status about how you enjoyed the date. You can even remark how you’d like a follow up date. Photo tags were okay on date 2. Really? Really? Isn’t that all just a little bit creepy and dare I say — desperate? I for one like a bit of mystique, and that, well that would just ruin everything.

Then we come to the big Ex. To defriend or not to defriend, that is the question? An issue of great contention. There’s your own sanity and jealousy to consider. It seems a little bit sad and petty, but maybe in the interest of minismising online stalking it’s a good thing.

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And if you get a new plus one to appease, well they may have a few ideas of their own of the matter.

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It’s all a rather sad situation for our generation. And this is merely the tip of the iceberg. It makes me nostalgic for the past. Bring back the days of film cameras and love letters and sweet simplicity.

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And so relationships, they’re complex at the best of times. Add in social media and you get a huge hairy spider, spinning webs of even more complexity.

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Meet my friend Narcissus

Caravaggio's Narcissus

Caravaggio’s Narcissus

Narcissism goes way back to Grecian times, when we made stone sculptures to immortalise ourselves. As the Greek myth went, Narcissus fell in love with his own reflection in a pool, and died of grief as he refused to eat, drink or leave his own reflection*

Rather sad, gotta feel for the poor guy. I’m sure we all can relate to feelings of thirst, hunger and unrequited love. If self-love hasn’t lead to death you probably thinking you’re winning, but times are changing.

Today Narcissism is defined as excessive admiration of one’s physical appearance with a craving for admiration**

In our modern world of online media, I can’t help but feel the line between narcissism and self-expression have blurred.

We all know at least one chronic Facebook user. We cringe and groan in annoyance as they clutter our news feed with a never ending stream of selfies and posts.

Since upgrading to an iPhone, my love of photography has grown threefold. I like to post photos to Instagram and Facebook. I would argue this is a form of self-expression.

I like to capture beauty, I like to capture fun happenings, and I like to keep any selfies to a minimum.

I did have a lapse in self-restraint last week after a visit to the hair dressers. My shameless selfie received a whopping 68 likes and 27 comments.

This has got to be my greatest number of likes in recent times. Even bigger than me meeting Orlando Bloom. I find this rather perplexing. People should be discouraging narcissistic behaviour, not encouraging it.

And do such postings mean I am subconsciously craving admiration and affirmation from the masses? Or is it harmless to share my curly mass of hair gone straight once in a blue moon?

I haven’t died of starvation staring at myself in the mirror just yet, so I may be okay. But it definitely leaves me with a lot of room for thought — I just have to hope that the room doesn’t contain a rather large mirror.

*http://www.echo.me.uk/legend.htm

**http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/narcissism

Betwixt and between

Betwixt and between, neither one nor the other; in a middle or an unresolved position.

Such is my predicament. I’m a film professional attempting to work in an industry currently suffering because our NZ dollar is too high.

I’ve always escaped reality at such points in time by travelling, but it seems work is a prerequisite to travelling. Damn money. And damn the universe too, it’s been really letting me down this year.

But I’m not letting the door that’s forever swinging shut in my face unhinge me. Instead I’ve thoroughly grounded myself watching shows like HBO’s Girls and TVNZ’s Go Girls where the characters are “real” people, like me!

These characters epitomise the quarter life crisis. They too fear feelings of limbo, selling out and being something they’re not. I watch them and I get warm fuzzies, maybe it’s not just me perpetually in the land of in between.

In between jobs. In between travel. In between where I was, and where I want to be. Floating through this strange thing we call life, unwilling to settle, yet dissatisfied to float. Stuck in a paradox of sorts…

Having been told by countless friends and family, that I should stop wasting my “time and talents” and “get a real job” I still find myself unable to drop the bone. Whether it’s the fear of commitment to the 9-5, or merely the pursuit of the unattainable, the illusion is yet to fade.

And so, taking advantage of my perhaps too flexible lifestyle, I’ve temporarily relocated myself to our lovely capital Wellington. The dream of frolicking with Hobbits and Elves was real, yet short-lived.

I’ve now sold out and am doing a stint temping for the Government. And I’m not even in the Beehive!

But, I live in a beachfront demi-mansion with 4 men. I’ve taken up cooking, long beach walks and Instagram. I can’t remember the last time I felt so happy.

And so the eternal idealist has become optimistic again.