Tag: Facebook

When tragedy strikes.

Last week, some terrible things happened – notably in Paris and Beirut. Sadly, much like the constant news we hear about shootings in the US, I fear that we’re all falling into a routine in our reactions to such awful events. It’s not that we’re desensitised (at least I hope not) but it’s very sad that we can now predict exactly how the initial aftermath will play out.

Shock and adrenaline.

We’ve all sat by our Twitter accounts and watched the live feeds as terrible news breaks. We hear rumours of terrorism. We are transfixed – we want the latest updates. People are scared and horrified. Our hearts break. The news becomes a trending topic across social media. We make sure to mention that we’re thinking of all those affected, because now that the world is seemingly so connected via the internet, it feels wrong not to acknowledge that something terrible is happening. We can’t ignore it.

Outrage.

When we hear more and more about the disgusting things that ‘terrorists’ have done, we become outraged. We want to do something. We start to show our support for those who are attacked. We change our profile photos on Facebook. We sign petitions. We share what we feel are important messages on how to navigate such horrible news. If we’re in a position to, we donate to related charities or organise to show up at certain events.

Out come the haters. The ignorance runs rife. Newsfeeds are filled with weird propaganda of scumbags who preach hate against Islam. You start to realise the true colours of people who you used to think were a little smarter than that. You feel disappointment as you start clicking ‘hide’, ‘block posts from this page’, ‘unfollow’. People become competitive and start arguments about who is more caring. We’ve all seen it.

“Oh, look at you all supporting the people in Paris. You don’t even care about what’s happening in x, y, or z every day of the year.”

“Hashtag activism is pathetic and lazy. Why aren’t you actually doing something about it?”

Politicians whose views should never be given the air time come out of the woodwork. It all starts to feel like some sort of shitshow and you despair.

Horror stories break hearts. 

As time rolls on, horrific firsthand accounts emerge from survivors. Eventually we click on a couple. We want to know what these poor people have been through. Last night I finally read some and I found myself in tears. I had to stop. It was a luxury that I could. My heart truly does go out to the people who live through events like this. You wonder if your heart can take anymore and then you wonder how people actually living through it must be feeling, if this is how you’re feeling so far away from the situation.

Waleed makes so much sense. 

Then the thing comes that we’ve been waiting for with bated breath. The awesome Waleed Aly of The Project comes through with the goods. He is always the voice of reason. He nails everything I’ve been thinking but cannot express as eloquently. Waleed is not taking any bullshit. He will smash your ignorance into smithereens if you let him. He will use facts and intelligence and wit. No-one gets out dumber. A little hope is restored.

ISIL is WeakWaleed talks about how we can stop ISIL #TheProjectTVWritten by Waleed and Tom Whitty (@twhittyer)

Posted by The Project on Monday, 16 November 2015

What can we change?

Now this is just my opinion, but here’s what I think…

We can stop judging the way other people grieve, mourn or show solidarity with the victims of such attacks. Do you really think you’re a superior person because you trolled or insulted somebody who shows compassion for other people in this world? Do you really think you’re achieving anything by dismissing their love and empathy as empty nothingness? We can educate people about the lesser known social injustices occurring around the world without shitting all over other people who show their support and sadness about something more visible. We can stop buying into racist or xenophobic rhetoric. We can speak up for love and reject hate and anger (that is what fuels such evil people to do these things – why would we think it’s going to make us better?). We can raise children who are generous, tolerant, accepting, but who also know how to critically analyse what they’re seeing and hearing every day from the media, politicians and evil ‘organisations’ who are trying to divide us. We can talk about terrorism as basic, cowardly and an extreme act of stupidity. We can be proactive when we have the opportunity. We can choose our thoughts and our tweets. Like my homeboy Waleed says, we can choose to NOT give ‘terrorists’ what they want.

We can hug the people we love extra hard each day and never let them doubt how we feel about them. We can remember what’s really important. We can send and share that love and kindness everywhere we go. Because love is contagious and it really can start at home. Anger that is directed in all the wrong places is poisonous, but love is energising.

We are all better than a handful of deplorable, awful, violent people. I believe love can win if we choose it.

 

Facebook your face off. I don’t care.

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You know what’s getting really old lately? Well, I have my ranty pants on and I’m about to tell you (lucky you).

Articles/blog posts/rants about what people are doing that is soooooo annoying on Facebook.

Usually written in list form, the writer goes on about each thing that offends them personally about Facebook users and decides what everyone else should like or not like too. Which I find hilarious when they’re busy telling people off for their self centred status updates.

I am not aiming this post at anyone in particular. I’m just noticing a trend.

Maybe this blog post in itself is one big stinking pile of hypocrisy. Hey, I’ll own it, but my intentions are pure.

Here’s what I want you to feel free to do:

Post as many pictures of your pets as you like. Give daily countdowns to your travel dates. Talk non stop about your children (and their toilet training process). Hey, post a gazillion photos of them too! Show everyone your drunk night club bathroom selfies! Be cryptic – everyone loves a mystery! Be negative! Be positive! Share those inspirational quotes! The more the better! Let everyone think you’re perfect – show that highlight reel of your life! Celebrate your life achievements! Meme it up! Air that dirty laundry! Stalk a lot! Like EVERYTHING YOU EVER SEE.

I don’t effing care. You do you.

As long as you are happy with the way you are representing yourself. As long as you are being true to who you are (or how you want people to view your life), I don’t mind. It is not my place to be the ruler of social media. I have no right to be telling people what to do with themselves. I do have ‘unfriend’ and ‘hide’ options, you know. It is my choice who I surround myself with on my social networks, just as it is yours.

I don’t want you to care about the so called ‘rules’ a blogger makes up to determine whether you’re annoying or not. Who are they to tell you whether you’re doing it right or not?

I know I annoy people occasionally. They let me know by unfollowing. I’m OK with that (even if the people pleaser in me stings just a little at first). I just want to be surrounded by those who get me.

Some people are cynical. Some people are optimistic out the wazoo. Some people find socialising difficult. Some people are drama magnets (for a whole lot of reasons – not always their faults). Some of us try really really hard to show only our best side to the world. Some of us have varying levels of education. There are those of us who are deep thinkers, adventurers and such. There are those of us who are home bodies. Introverts. Extroverts. We can be shallow. We can feel needy and insecure. Some of us are more mature than others. Some of us are fighting for our own personal causes. Some of us have had better lives than others. We can be at different stages of the self improvement journey. If we’d be doing this without social media – if it’s who we are without the internet, then of course it’s going to reflect in our online life. It’s called humanity. The good, the bad and the ugly. Or just different.

Shouldn’t our social media accounts reflect that? We don’t have to like or follow everyone, but we do have to stop telling everyone what to do in snarky blog posts.

Am I the ONLY person who feels this way?

 

If you’d like to be annoyed by me (or just hang out where I won’t judge you), you can find me here and here 😉

Facebook: I love it but sometimes I don’t.

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Facebook. It’s just this little social networking site. Don’t know if you’ve heard of it?

It’s a place where your worlds collide. You can see into the lives of almost everyone you’ve ever (or even ‘never’) met, on a daily (or several times daily – let’s be honest) basis. This can be fun. It can be voyeuristic in the kind of way where someone has actually invited you to stalk them so it kind of makes it OK.

Used wisely, it is a great way to connect with people instantaneously and to share your lives with those who may not always be geographically close to you.

I recently read a news story about increased frequency of Facebook use, being associated with declines in wellbeing. Now I could use all my university educated research skills to analyse this study to bits, but I’m just going to wear my unqualified blogger hat and talk just about my own personal experience. In my personal experience (which may differ from other peoples’), this study is probably onto something.

I love Facebook as much as I loathe it. I use a few different social media platforms, but only Facebook seems to leave me feeling empty, sad and inadequate if I’m in the wrong mood at the wrong time. Sometimes I see the perfect pictures, the happy statuses, the numerous wedding/baby/travel/drunk night out related news feed items, the mushy, gushy ‘get me a bucket stat’ lovers, the people who you know are faking it (the worst ones), the events I can never click on to say I’m “going”. Depending on what is going on in my life (or my brain) at a given time, it can make me feel like crap.

It’s not so much Facebook itself. It’s me as an individual not knowing when to turn my brain off. Not remembering that before Facebook, I had a whole entire life to worry (or not worry) about already. I need to remind myself to take a break. Stop staring at other people’s lives. Sort out my own. Not give a crap what other people are doing – just be happy with what I have (and if I’m not happy to stop comparing myself to others at the very least). I need to remember that Facebook provides a highlight reel of people’s lives. It’s not everything. It’s what we choose to share.

On a bad day, I sit there feeling left out of stuff. I sit there (usually on the couch in my trackie dacks) feeling guilty for not connecting more – in real life. I feel jealous of others (which is very unlike the normal me and is not very becoming). I am reminded of those people who I wished I had the courage to ‘hide’ or unfriend, because I know they don’t make me feel good all the time with their drama llama tendencies or superiority complexes.

I have learnt that it’s best to just switch it off. We’ve brainwashed ourselves into thinking that we must check Facebook ALL THE TIME OR WE MIGHT MISS OUT. Heard of FOMO? It’s the Fear of Missing Out. I feel like we’ve got it bad.

It’s liberating when I realise that it’s OK to skip a day, a weekend, any amount of time. What did we do before mobile phones and mobile internet? We had to wait until we could find a computer (or ask our parents if we could dial up haha). We had to wait until the end of a busy day to check our landline voicemail. We weren’t all available 24/7. We weren’t often communicating with those in different time zones throughout the day and night, unless something important was actually happening. And when I say important, I don’t mean the latest gossip on a website (which I secretly love) or to just say a bunch of “LOL”s about a bunch of cat memes and funny animal photos  (which I also kind of like doing).

Everyone expects to be in touch with everyone instantly. Wait a day for a reply on a private Facebook message? AGONY. I feel embarrassed just typing that! Get mad at that friend who doesn’t reply to your witty wall comment within the week/wonder if they even like you after all? Posting a new photo and feeling lonely because no-one ‘liked’ it within the first half hour? Get a push notification on our phones and feel the pain of not being able to check it out right away? Ridiculous, yet I doubt many of us can honestly plead ‘not guilty’ on all charges. Don’t even get me started on ‘phubbing’.

A break from Facebook (when needed) never fails to make me feel better when I’ve been feeling down. Everyone can wait five minutes or five days. Facebook is useful and convenient, but it isn’t everything.  There are usually other ways to be contacted if something’s very important.

Sometimes it’s just easy to lose perspective. And also? I find that sometimes, less is more. If I save my most interesting/important statuses for the right moments, only upload the best photos (instead of 50 blurry photos a day every day), people tend to take more notice. It’s not our presence on Facebook that matters most, it’s the quality of our interactions.

Facebook shouldn’t define how we think about our friendships, our own self worth and our life stories. Facebook is a bunch of selected snapshots in time of our lives. It should enhance life, not take away from it.

I know that my personal Facebook profile is probably full of the good/funny times. Maybe I’ve unintentionally annoyed people because of this. Maybe (not having tickets on myself AT ALL) I’ve made someone feel inadequate before. I mean, I really hope not…but odds are if my Facebook friends who are also every day people can make me feel that way (not their faults at all usually – just my insecurities playing up sometimes), it is a possibility. However, I like being real. I might tend to show the highlights on Facebook, but I try to be honest and not give an inaccurate version of my life. I love my blog’s Facebook page, Twitter and my actual blog (yes – this one right here!) because they keep me real. I enjoy showing you my stupid moments and my parenting flaws – it’s strangely therapeutic! You only have to follow me on all the different sites to see all the different facets of my life (hint hint haha). Also, there are some parts of my life that you will only get to know in real life, because they’re private and personal. Remember when things were private and personal?

So let’s check our feelings when we’re perusing our newsfeeds. Let’s decide when we’ve had information overload. Let’s not feel obligated to know everything as it happens, minute by minute. Let’s switch off when we notice our mood dip. That’s what Twitter is for! Kidding! Not really. 😛

How do you feel about Facebook?