Tag: social media

The selfie struggle.

Oh, yes. It’s a real first world problem, this one!

Lately, I’ve been scrolling through my Instagram posts and asking myself what I can do to make my account look a bit more appealing. Am I showing a great variety of moments from my every day life? Am I getting better at telling the stories behind the photos (and not just posting something with very little captioning that doesn’t make sense to anyone but me)? Does my profile look colourful and is it something that would make me want to delve further if I wasn’t me?

I think I’m doing OK-ish, by my small fish standards, considering I started off with sometimes only 2 likes on my very first photos and now I can get dozen/s (I told you – small fish haha). There is definitely room for improvement and I know I am my own worst critic too.

One thing I noticed that my profile is missing is more photos of me! I know that when I scroll through someone’s Instagram account, I like to see the person behind the profile – it helps me to connect with their content. Makes me feel like I know them (even though I don’t – they could be serial killers for all I know – hahaha). As I am no longer a semi-anonymous blogger, I know that I need to start showing more of myself. Let the people who find me, get to know me better.

I don’t take many photos of my son (I made a decision early on in the piece to not fully reveal his face or identity publicly online) and my dogs only know a couple of poses: “THROW MY DAMN TOY” or “BLURRY AS F*CK”. My husband is a bit social media shy. I feel awkward asking to take pics of/with my friends for public consumption unless they are bloggers too. So that leaves me most of the time. I’ve got nobody else to fall back on ?

I also need to point out that I am concerned that I have a misshapen head and I do not have a reliable Instagram spouse (and admittedly I’m picky and I feel bad bossing someone around), nor fancy equipment to help me take consistently good selfies/photos of myself.

And even if I did, I would curl up and die of embarrassment if people saw me trying to get it right in fantastic public spaces, like all the really cool bloggers do. Because we all know it can take like 50 shots to get one good one (or at least that’s true for me and my misshapen head/face)!

*awkward too loud laugh*

Also, I hate the stigma attached to the ‘selfie’ phenomena. Sure, if you’re doing a Kim K and ignoring all of your life to get constant good shotz (yes I used the ‘z’ ironically) then you may deserve a little bit of an eye roll from everyone around you, but what if you just want a couple of nice shots to prove to yourself that you were actually out on a nice day or to capture your life because nobody else will? I get frightened of people laughing at me trying to get the right angle and making that embarrassing selfie face which usually doesn’t look anything like the person’s actual candid face.

It’s always a bloody relief when I find myself out with fellow iPhone photo obsessed peeps who don’t mind taking lots of pics of everything and understand when I want to as well!

Also, I know I’m getting a bit deep here, but I think I lack confidence and do not accept my face/head etc as they are. I want to get more body (‘face’?) positive.

Some of my favourite pics of my friends are the real ones. Where they haven’t given a shit and they’ve just gone for it and had fun. I want to be more like that.

Anyway, here’s a selfie I took at a wedding recently. I liked my make up that night and felt pretty – I’d put in a lot of effort and it was a big deal because I hadn’t been out in the real world for a little while. The lighting is bad because it was night time and the quality is bad because I used Snapchat, but I’m glad I took it.

I’m going to try to take more selfies and care less what other people think while I’m looking like a dickhead pointing a camera at myself.

Anyone got any great tips on iPhone camera settings/angles/best sides/tricking people into helping you??

#MumLife: Labels or Love?

Being a mum/primary caregiver of children can be fucking hard. And I am not even talking about the day in, day out shenanigans that come with just the child care and juggling of everything. I’m talking about the fact that there are big personalities and the publicising of our lives and social media blah blah. I am pretty pissed off that we keep finding new ways to keep up with the ‘mummy wars’. I am pissed off that it’s still even a thing! I mean, COME ON.

Everyone is so quick to label themselves and each other. Talking shit about how they’re not judging, but…BUT WHAT? Come on. We all judge. Let’s not pretend it isn’t human nature. But what we do with that judgement is what matters. Is it not just enough to agree to disagree? Unfollow? Stop watching? Or do we have to hate read everything and set our followers onto someone else’s followers, with torches and pitchforks every time we’re offended?

Do we have to call ourselves a *insert any trendy name here for a collective of people* and feel like we’re in the clique and exclude others because it makes us feel more important and exclusive?

I am calling bullshit. I am calling bullshit on all the labels. I am sick of the fucking labels. Are you a slack mum? A helicopter mum? A free range mum? A fit mum? A sweary mum? A classy mum? A snobby mum? An Alpha mum? A tiger mum? A don’t give a fuck mum? An anxious mum? A make everything from scratch mum? A pre-packaged everything mum? A Kmart mum? An Etsy mum? A working mum? A stay at home mum? An attachment mum? A…queen? Sigh.

Do you get to be proud of your label or should you be ashamed? It’s just exhausting. Bloody exhausting.

I can be every mum at any given moment on any given day. And I am deciding  right now that I will reject all these ridiculous labels. Because at some point in time, I have been just about all of them. It’s called being a REAL mum. And that’s not a label because I’m not going to tell you how to be one or what it means to be one. I am just telling you to live your life, keep it real – your version of what’s real, not what some Facebook Idol has told you is real – honour yourself and keep on trucking. Or take a break. I don’t care. You know what you need, right? You’ll find your tribe and hopefully your kids won’t be scarred for life. Isn’t that all we can hope for?

I have wobbly bits, but I exercise and try to better my diet. Other times I know life is too short to not eat the cake or to cry over my flab. I have given my kid toast for dinner. I have spent hours slaving over a delicious, healthy something or other I found on Pinterest. I have had anxiety. I have melted down. But I have also had my shit together so rock solid that no-one better cross me. I’ve been that forgetful mum at school – whoops, did we leave the library book at home? Forget that permission slip for that thing? I’ve also been that organised mum who breezes in with it all sorted. I’ve slept well. I’ve slept badly. I’ve worked and I’ve stayed at home. I’ve even worked from home. I’ve breastfed, bottle fed, fed everything from a package because I was overwhelmed, I’ve made everything from scratch because I had the time and energy. I’ve pushed my kid to do better and I’ve let him roam free and get his creativity on. I’ve let him watch screens and I’ve told him he’s had enough. I’ve worn lovely put together outfits to the school gate, and I’ve slumped in wearing active wear when everyone knows I’m not going to do anything active because who am I kidding, I just wanted to wear the comfy clothes. I’ve been sweary, but I’ve also been restrained when appropriate. I’ve been a fierce mama bear and I’ve also let him fight his own battles. I’ve sent my kid to school with a fancy bento lunch box…filled with whatever was left in the fridge because as if I’m going to the bloody supermarket AGAIN this week. I’ve been hungover, parenting from the couch on the occasional Sunday when I could actually be bothered going out. I’ve been ridiculously responsible. I’ve been obsessed with inspirational quotes, I’ve laughed at the terrible ones. I’ve dressed like a tragic grungy teen and I’ve dressed like a dork. I can laugh at myself, but you better not be bullying anyone else. I’ve felt mum guilt and I’ve felt mum guilt about not feeling any damn mum guilt. I’ve said yes to things I wish I hadn’t said yes to, and no when I wished I’d said yes. I’ve been that annoying bitch with the highlight reel on Instagram. I’ve confided in my followers, warts and all when it got too much.

At the end of the day, I don’t fit into anyone’s stupid boxes. I take what I like from my favourite social media entities and I quietly leave them alone when I don’t agree. I am mine.

I am real. I am me. I am made up of so many different influences I’ve stumbled across along the way. I am made up of what I brought to the table too. Because that’s just as good.

I wrote this post because I want every other mum out there who doesn’t fit into a label or a gang or a box or a social media movement to know that I don’t either and that’s OK.

I believe in critical thinking – being able to recognise what’s good and what might not be serving me. I have always maintained that my social media and my blog will always be a safe place. I’m not going to tell you who to be, although I will be assertive when I think something is just objectively, morally fucked up.

If you’re trying your damnedest (is that even a word – who cares) to teach your kids to be considerate, kind and inclusive, resilient and emotionally intelligent (something the internet could do with more of), then I am so down with that and I don’t care how you get there. Because we wouldn’t be ‘mummies’ without our kids (who we love to death). But we are also so much more than that and that’s pretty rad.

Mummy wars can fuck off.

Throwback Thursday: Getting married before social media.

The other day, I was looking in the back of the kitchen cupboard for some serving bowls I hadn’t used for a really long time (we should really have people over more often) and I stumbled upon an old cake container (the kind my mum used to have). I wondered why I still had it and opened it up. Inside were the beautiful sugar flowers from the top of our wedding cake (we got married in 2007). I’d forgotten I had them! They were in great condition, although a tiny bit faded. I was transported back in time and I am still impressed at how talented our cake lady was.

I wondered why I had forgotten a detail like that. Then I realised that I do not have many photos of the wedding cake. Sure, there are a couple of us cutting it, but nothing really close up. I guess it didn’t occur to us. It seemed out of character for me as I like to photograph and post just about everything these days (guilty over sharer/memory keeper)! Of course I popped a photo of the flowers straight onto Instagram as soon as I rediscovered them – ha!

Thing is, we got married (and planned our wedding) at least two years before Facebook really took off over here for most of my friends and I (according to Facebook’s ‘memories’)! Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter didn’t exist! Myspace was still the coolest and I probably had a blog, but nothing was what it is now online, that’s for sure! Posting was not always easy – I didn’t even have an iPhone or a data plan for whatever I was using! Looking at the internet on your phone wasn’t even a thing unless you were tech obsessed and rich!

I sound really old, right?

There were no hashtags for a wedding #kezgetshitchedtothatguy or etiquette required about how soon was too soon to post about the wedding if it wasn’t your wedding and whether you should allow people to use social media during the ceremony etc.

We even had disposable cameras (with film in them) on each table at the reception (yes – digital cameras were totally a thing by then but film was still around you guys)!

There were no rolling Instagram/Pinterest feeds to show me how terrible my wedding would look in comparison to every stranger’s ever and to make me feel like I had to spend a million bucks to have all the things people expect at weddings today. But in saying that, there were no fantastically easy-to-access boutique Facebook/Instagram businesses to add that really unique, affordable touch to the big day! Pinterest would have been so handy for collating ideas while googling my future wedding to within an inch of its life!

eBay was a thing but online shopping was definitely not as prevalent or as easy and reliable as it is now.

Our wedding was simple and elegant (and while it was not going to feature on Australia’s Cheapest Weddings it was certainly not what people seem to be spending on average these days) and while social media might have given it that extra something aesthetically, both in terms of shopping/planning and for the recording of memories, I am kind of relieved to not have to have dealt with the noise of comparing our big day to everybody else’s or feeling pressured to ‘keep up’ and I think it did mean less distractions on the day for everyone involved.

Our wedding would probably be considered pretty basic by today’s wedding standards, but I don’t mind at all. It’s kind of a relief that we got married just before before these overly documented times.

Did you get married just before or after social media became a thing? How do you feel about it? 

How to feel safer on social media.

If you’ve been anywhere on the internet lately, you probably haven’t been able to avoid the news of Kim Kardashian’s run in with some armed burglars. While my life is absolutely nothing like hers in many(!) aspects, it sends a shiver down my spine to imagine what that would feel like – the violation, the trauma and the fear that your children could lose their mother.

While she’s received a lot of hate and victim blaming comments online, I do feel for her – sure her case has been widely publicised and talked about, because she’s super duper famous – but it’s still something that can happen to anyone. Even if you don’t have millions of dollars’ worth of jewellery on your person.

I have read that the Kardashian/West/Jenner family have really locked down on their social media since the scary event and while I wish this was the ideal world in which it did not play a role in the exploitation of people, I think this is a smart idea for them in the circumstances.

Please be mindful that I am in no way victim blaming anyone. Just offering some advice that I try to live by.

When I say ‘try’ I mean I am not perfect in this oversharing culture we live in, but I do try to have a somewhat cautious approach and I’m hoping to improve.

While the Kardashians are not to blame for the awful decisions made by others to traumatise or stalk them (yes I know a lot of people are disagreeing with me right now but I stand by what I’m saying), I do think this raises a good discussion about how we can keep ourselves as safe as possible. We can’t control everything that might happen to us, but we can put some safety measures in place – even without access to giant burly bouncers and bodyguards!

Here are the ways we can try to keep ourselves/locations/valuables safe(r) when on social media/blogs…

Reveal your location after the fact (or not at all)

It’s probably unrealistic to expect people to never reveal where they’re going or where they’ve been. Social media empires have been built on being able to promote exactly this.

Social media is amazing for its sense of immediacy. We can live blog, live stream, we have apps like snapchat. But it can come with its risks.

People know exactly where we are, what valuables we’re wearing and can deduce many other things about us in that place and time. While I wish there weren’t people out there who would exploit this, there are.

Sometimes for privacy reasons, I will do things like ‘check in’ to a location as I’m leaving it. Or I will save snapchat posts straight to ‘memories’ and add them to my story later.

I will keep certain locations to myself, but promote others. I recently went on an awesome holiday, which I shared a lot of, but I did not reveal the exact place where I was staying with family. Until recently, nobody even knew the exact name of my hometown on this blog!

Sometimes it can help to be a little enigmatic. Don’t always be consistent. Makes it a little harder for people to determine if you’re alone, or who you’re with/not with etc. Check a lot of settings on your social media accounts, because some reveal your location automatically. Try to disable as many of those as you can! You should be in control, not the app!

Be selective about who you share certain details with

I keep both personal and public social media profiles. While nothing is completely foolproof, my personal/private profiles are much more locked down than my public profiles and information. I try to keep my private contacts as people I know personally and feel like I can trust (I could probably even stand to do a bit more culling). I don’t give access to those I do not know well and what I share more ‘privately’ is quite different to what I share publicly.

I think it’s really important to have your private/public online presence sorted. While the urge to overshare to a wider audience can be bloody tempting, I like having people I can message/snap privately without that audience. I just ask myself before posting: is this for a couple of select friends/family members only or is this for a wider audience? What am I willing to reveal about my life right now? I’m allowed to decide what’s best for myself and my family. Some things are just not for social media.

Do not openly say ‘I’m home alone’ or my home is empty.

I try not to ever openly say whether I’m home alone (especially at night time) or that my home is empty. I’m happy to publicly show off my rather annoyingly protective dogs too haha.

I once gasped when I saw an acquaintance publicly post that she was enjoying a bubble bath right that minute, with a check in location at her house. I knew she lived alone and it freaked me out. Please don’t do that! Please!

It’s all about timing and inclusion/exclusion of critical details.

Do not allow people to virtually case your joint 

I can be quite selective in which things I share images of around my house. I don’t show off valuables (not that there are many – if any – mind you haha). I do not think that I have ever given a virtual tour of sorts of my place – i.e. while my house is a pretty standard design, I don’t think I’ve ever revealed the layout in its entirety.

I might just show the pretty generic parts of my place that happen to be in the background of whatever I’m snapping that day. If it reveals too much, I send privately to people who I know and trust in real life, who have probably visited anyway!


I know I may sound a little over cautious to some (it’s not like I’m super rich or famous or a particularly desirable target – something I do not mind AT ALL), but in reality I am really not. I probably could stand to tighten up a lot more. In some ways I envy those who can share so much without fear/paranoia (sometimes it’s even inspiring), but in other ways I can feel concerned.

None of the tips I have written here can guarantee anything. Some awful people have a will and they find a way and there’s nothing much we can do about it (which is why victim blaming is absolute nonsense). This advice just makes me feel a little more empowered and maybe these things make a small difference in deterring some morally bankrupt individuals.

I definitely could learn a lot more about keeping myself and my family safe online, but I am trying to be more mindful of what I share – especially in light of this recent news story (yes I referred to it as a ‘news’ story,  Hatey McHaters!).

How do you manage your online identity/presence? Do you have personal safety online measures put in place? (please make sure your comments do not betray any personal details that could put you at risk) 

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.

 

Trying new things: Periscope.

View More: http://deathtothestockphoto.pass.us/brick-and-mortar

image source

You might have noticed, but I have suddenly become a little obsessed with the Periscope app. I had no idea what it was until a week or so ago, but I was intrigued when I found out that it’s an interactive live streaming app. I was curious about how a blogger might use it and basically, I’m a sucker for the next big social media ‘thing’. At least I’m pretty sure this is the next big thing. The app has only been around since March 2015 (that’s THIS year – only a few months ago), so it’s really kind of exciting. I thought about waiting to use it, to see if it might get more popular first, but then I remembered how long I took to get on board with Facebook (“Oh whatever – it’s never going to be as good as MySpace!”) and realised there’s no harm in jumping right on in!

Basically, you can use Periscope to broadcast your life live in video form on your smart phone. People can join your experience and they can comment as you go along. You can answer their questions or respond to their comments as you go. If you’re watching somebody else’s broadcast, you can also tap the screen at any point to send ‘hearts’, to show that you like what they’re showing you or what they’re saying about an issue.

If you miss someone’s broadcast, it will stay up for 24 hours before expiring and disappearing. Kind of like the snapchat experience.

I’ve seen some cool things from around the world and I really feel like I’m seeing things through other people’s eyes. Knowing it’s in real time is kind of exciting. It makes you feel like you’ve teleported into somebody’s holiday or their work day or their lounge room! It’s like having your own very very low budget reality show haha.

I’ve been using Periscope for a few days now and I think I’m getting a bit better at it each time. I talk about bloggy things or I let people ask me questions to get to know me better. I started off not knowing how to use it, blathering about like a total nitwit (it’s a bit embarrassing just being on the spot like that) and now I feel like I’m slowly gaining confidence.

I send a tweet out each time I am live on Periscope (the app is owned by Twitter), so that people know I’m ‘on’. You don’t have to have an account to click the link and watch, but if you’d like to add me on either app, my handle is @KezUnprepared 🙂

I like that I can just be me, warts and all. It’s a test of my confidence! I’ve been stealing little ‘alone’ moments to broadcast and I haven’t worn make up or nice clothes in a single broadcast yet (not necessarily an intentional thing)!! Brave, I know! I’m trying to learn to be more comfortable in my own skin and with the sound of my voice played back… and my chins (plural).

I have really tried to do my research, though. Because with any social media sharing, there are certain things to be aware of. I’ll share the things I’ve learnt or that I am careful about…

Sharing your location/private details

There is an option that allows you to share your location on the app. I turn this off before each broadcast. Turns out, if you don’t, people can see pretty much where you are, down to the street name by zooming in on the map (I experimented). If you don’t want people to turn up and crash your broadcast or stalk you at your home, perhaps you might not want to share this detail. It is slightly less fun when people don’t know where you are in the world (unless you tell them), but DEFINITELY more safe.

I also don’t show things people might recognise. Landmarks or signs that show exactly where I live or go about my daily life regularly (especially as I don’t live in a massive place). I don’t want to show too much of the stuff that’s in my home (usually just the white wall or a closed blind or something really generic). I don’t want people to know what they can steal or how to get into my home, should they somehow find it. I will never broadcast the Little Mister, because he cannot consent at this point in his life and to be honest, you don’t know who is watching if you choose to broadcast publicly (there is an option to broadcast only with your specific followers too if you prefer).

I have noticed people sharing away with great abandon and the mum in me has been shocked! Young people showing exactly where they are hanging out alone at night (like I could literally get in my car and go pick them up). Kids showing where they are at school or how they walk home. While I wish we could all feel safe to do so in this world, it’s not the ideal world and the thought of some perv using my broadcast to get an eyeful of my child (or worse) just seems too awful. Not. Going. To. Happen.

I know I’m a massive security nerd, but I think the main point is to make educated decisions that you can be comfortable with.

Physical safety

So many people broadcast while they’re driving!!! What the hell? They’re reading the comments their viewers are typing and moving their phones about the whole time! Not only is it illegal in certain places, but it’s scary and dangerous! Please don’t do it! I saw one guy do it with his KIDS in the car the other day. He only stopped the broadcast when his partner got on his case! OMFG. Just. Do. Not.

Since then, if I see someone is driving, I switch off. The less viewers they have, the less incentive they might have to do such dangerous stuff!

I do not want to witness some wally falling off a cliff while trying to show me the sunset or crashing their car!

Try to have a focus/title for your broadcast

I try to have a broad topic or title for my broadcasts. A direction that it can go. I think about it a little bit before I go live. What I might say and how I want to say it. Any broadcast can change direction depending on audience interaction, but I like when I see a broadcast that kind of has a point to it. You can give your broadcast a title so people will know what to expect if they choose to watch. Some broadcasters are awesome at having a really engaging chat about not much, when they’re hanging out after work or something, but some…not so much haha. I kind of like using a personal vlog kind of style. Others might want to show you the awesome sunset near their place or what they’re cooking or how they’re working out or where they’re travelling. They might talk to you about their passion or even play you some music. They might even open up a Q & A.

Be engaging

I am working on this. I am trying not to blather on pointlessly (key word trying) when I feel a little lost for words. I also try not to let too much dead air happen while I wait for someone to answer a question I’ve posed. I also try not to interrupt myself every two seconds to say hi to every single viewer that logs on (if you watch someone who does this you will find you get uninterested quickly and you lose track of the message the broadcaster was trying to get across to their audience). I like answering questions and seeing little hearts bubble up on my phone screen but I try to finish each sentence first before addressing them haha.

I also am learning when to end a broadcast. Sometimes you just know it’s got nowhere else to go. Nothing wrong with gracefully ending the session. End on a good note, not an awkward ‘is anyone out there’ one! 😉

I also don’t mind if not many people want to watch (if I’m talking about something a little niche). I’d rather quality interaction than just a quantity of people who aren’t ‘my’ audience.

I’m finding there seems to be an art to doing it well and I like the challenge! I’ve got a loooooooong way to go, but I’m having fun!

 

I am not a tech minded person, but I am a people person and I think that’s why social media always fascinates me.

Do you use Periscope? Would you consider trying it? Want to share your user name so I can follow you? Any recommendations on who I should be watching? Ideas for future broadcasts? x

Facebook your face off. I don’t care.

9ce7e61afc1a22d246c72426c7ebb265

 

image

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.

64f4dbffe4b1351486e99be6a18472f4

 

pic

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?

 

For one night only.

84a03215beac1bbb09a41de5d7a8a3b3

pic

So last week I was having some weird moments. I was just mentally…struggling? I don’t know if that’s the right term, but all I know is that I was not my best Kez. I had perhaps a little dose of PMS (yep), my husband was away for a week, I had a lot of sh*t going on in my brain (it was still trying to process the whole previous year month) and I felt like I’d lost my mojo. I was letting all of my insecurities play out in my mind (usually in the mid afternoon when I felt the most bored/drained of energy). Fears of not being the best parent I could be, fears of rejection/being invisible to the world, worrying, worrying and more worrying. I was not eating as well as I had been the months previous (I lost 2.5 kilos by being a good girl) and due to my coccyx being quite badly bruised, I hadn’t been able to get my exercise endorphin hit.

On one particularly rough day/s (my Twitter followers will know exactly which few one because I became some kind of emo annoyance), I checked Facebook (after spending all day being the aforementioned annoyance via tweets) and I saw how wonderful everyone’s social lives appeared to be. I saw how amazing everyone looked (we all show our best sides on Facebook, right?) and I couldn’t take it anymore.

So I did it. At times I felt a little lost. I am embarrassed to say that at one point, I wished to tweet: Have turned off Twitter for the night. Feeling a little lost without it.

Yuh.

Don’t worry. I stopped myself.

We get so used to broadcasting our every thought to every person that nothing is sacred anymore. Now, I’m not really totally against that – how could I be? All you have to do is read back over my timeline to know that I have no right to be a hypocrite about it now! However, occasionally it’s probably a good thing to go old school. Back when you had to actually talk to someone about your feelings. Someone you know. In real life. You had to spend time without all the constant ‘noise’ in your head from seeing every person’s every move ever online. You had time and mental space to actually sort your sh*t out and to think straight. Time to think straight is a commodity for a parent in general as it is!

As I sat at my (new and shiny birthday) laptop, my iPhone nearby, I suddenly realised why there are crazy experiments on current affairs shows all the time where families spend a whole week without technology in order to become more creative, interactive, peaceful people. I wouldn’t go to that extreme, but I kind of get it.

While I had to almost slap myself on the hand to prevent myself from tapping the Facebook icon on my phone or tweeting all my opinions on all things that ever existed on Twitter, I stuck to my guns for a whole evening. And it felt good. I caught up on some TV. I read some inspiring blogs. My thoughts became more positive when I wasn’t secretly (in my mind) snarking about somebody and their posts on Facebook. I didn’t have up to the minute ‘news’ on Twitter to get my knickers in a twist about – politics, human rights, misinformation pertaining to recent terror attacks around the world. Nothing was in “real” time. I was on Kez time. Living Kez moments. Sure, they weren’t the most scintillating moments, but they were mine. Nobody else’s lives injected themselves into my peaceful evening. I didn’t have momentary commentary to react to RIGHT THEN AND THERE.

I found myself wanting to blog, not dreading it. Not overthinking it.

I began to wonder if I could actually go without it for another day. And then maybe another? What stuff could I get done without the constant ‘noise’ in my brain? What awesome things could I think of next? What if I only used the internet for ‘useful’ things – things I wanted to know? Not things that popped up every second in my newsfeeds and timelines, whether I liked it or not? What if I could be in control, just for a little while?

Maybe I’d actually find those healthy recipes I’d been thinking about (and then actually cook them, toddler permitting)? What if I blogged about MY thoughts? Thoughts I might not have had if I’d been busy ‘liking’ everyone’s cute baby photos/duck faces the minute they were posted? What if I kept some special memories just to myself and my little family? That funny thing the Little Mister did, the milestone we all reached together. What if I felt no obligation to just ‘check in’ so that everyone knew what was going on? Who says they wouldn’t find out if they needed to?

I think social media is a wonderful and valuable tool. It connects people to other awesome people they might not have known existed. It keeps people in touch in the easiest, most immediate ways when time and distance can separate them. It is there when you need support (especially as a new parent) and it can even be responsible for positive societal change – people can unite from all around the world to champion a fantastic cause.

Yep. It has its downsides too. There are probably too many to list once you mention the fact that it can be abused. But that’s for another blog post. I am 29 now, not 19. I should be mature enough to do the best thing for myself when I’m feeling down/flat/lonely. And last week it was to switch off the social media sites and to listen to myself.

That afternoon (before the Little Mister was in bed), I picked up the phone and called my mum for a heart to heart. I snuggled with the Little Mister whose fledgling wicked sense of humour and unabashed displays of affection light up my life. I wasn’t distracted by the flash, flash, flash of my phone as notifications rolled in. I zoned out and it felt good. Who hasn’t earnt that after a long hard day? OK, so I retweeted a couple of things…but I was a good girl once the evening rolled around. As I lay in bed, my overwhelming problems turned into achievable goals and solutions. I taught myself new things – things I’d felt held back by because I didn’t know how to do them. I stopped holding my breath, feeling that anxiety in the pit of my stomach.

I didn’t miss it! I didn’t miss the viral posts about how 1000, 000 likes were required to cure some rare disease. I didn’t miss the photos and the status updates as people advertised the best sides of themselves. I didn’t miss the latest celebrity gossip. I didn’t miss that feeling of insecurity that crept up when I didn’t get any ‘likes’ or felt like everyone was having a great time but me.

The next day I felt differently about social media. I realised that I need to be in control of it, not the other way around. It was up to me when I logged in and why. From now on, when I’m feeling blue or insecure, I’m going to switch off. Without feeling weird or …guilty. I’m sure a Facebook message can wait another day for a reply. I don’t have to be switched on 24/7. Who made that rule, anyway (don’t get me started)?

I’m going to slow down and live in the moment. At least as much as I can. Every now and then, at least. Maybe. Look, I’ll just try to be marginally less irritating. I suppose. Kind of. Y’know…

Oh, look at me being all non committal for fear of being a massive hypocritical liar…

In all seriousness, I think it’s all about being mindful. So many times, I stumble upon Facebook and Twitter half awake, bleary eyed. Liking and tweeting without really thinking about it. Letting my mind become flooded with information that I haven’t consciously prepared myself to receive. I think that I can try harder to open these social media apps/sites deliberately. Not just on auto pilot – out of habit. So far, I have been able to do that. I’ve thought about it a lot more. I feel better for it.

I can’t promise that I won’t have my annoying moments on Twitter – no-one’s perfect – but I’ll probably save bucketloads of moolah on therapy by switching off/slowing down every now and then 😉

How do you feel about social media? Hate it? Love it? Love to hate it? x