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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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