Tag: technology

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?

 

The Case of the Missing TV Remote Control.

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On Monday, March 4, 2013 some time around the witching hour (also sometimes known as ‘arsenic hour’), a black LG TV remote control disappeared from its usual place of inhabitance. One Husband Unprepared (30), an unwitting witness in this case, claimed that he had last seen it when he turned on the television to watch Some Boring Show About Cars (may have paraphrased). The whereabouts of the remote are still unknown.

One suspect is within the sights of law enforcement and has been questioned extensively.

A transcript below:

Investigator: Hey, Little Mister. Where have you put the remote control, mate? Where is it? Where is it?

Little Mister remains tight lipped and flees the scene on a musical dolphin scooter, before he is apprehended once again. Things are looking suspicious.

Investigator: Come on. We know that you took it somewhere. Can you show me where it is? Where’s the remote? Come on, where is it?

Little Mister: Heyooooo *waves*

Investigator: Is it under the couch? In the couch? Behind the TV cabinet? In your toy room? Come on, give it up!

Little Mister: *indistinguishable*

A search was promptly carried out upon the Awesomely Unprepared premises, with leads from the public very valuable. Unfortunately, these leads led to dead ends and the search was abandoned at bath/bottle/bed time.

It has been confirmed that the remote control is not in the following places:

  • On/under/in the couch.
  • Under the fridge.
  • Down the sides of all cabinets/inside all cabinets.
  • In the toy boxes and shelves.
  • In the kitchen cupboard or drawers.
  • The dishwasher.
  • The washing baskets/piles of laundry.
  • Kez’s hand bag.
  • The nappy bag.
  • Inside the occupants’ shoes.
  • The toilets.
  • The bath.
  • The home office.
  • The spare room.
  • The Little Mister’s bedroom (all nooks, gaps, cupboards and baskets accounted for).
  • The lounge room.
  • The play pen.
  • The back of the Little Mister’s Cozy Coupe car.
  • Inside the pram.
  • All window sills.
  • Bins (confirmed by elbow deep search by Husband Unprepared after losing mini discussion over who should do it).
  • All adult height surfaces.
  • All of the home’s bed coverings.
  • The oven.
  • The microwave.
  • The washing machine.
  • Abandoned empty nappy boxes.
  • The high chair.

And several other areas, too numerous to mention.

While the search team remain hopeful of finding the remote control alive and in good working order, it is not known just how long it will take to make a successful rescue.

The suspect has been placed under close surveillance in the hopes that he will lead investigators to the hidden remote. This technique has been known to work with dogs, but success with human toddlers is yet to be determined.

There has been interest shown by local media in covering the case, but the suspect is reluctant to speak in case of incriminating himself. He appears to have developed his own language in order to avoid being caught via phone taps or bugging devices. Experts are trying to piece together his unique speech patterns, which sound much like the wild ramblings of a toddler as this report goes live.

644484_10151352241873218_919064556_nThis shot was taken of the suspect by a current affairs television show, when he was found hiding out on a luxury cruise liner.

For now, the Awesomely Unprepared family has found a compatible remote from another household television which will have to suffice until the correct remote is located. This cautionary tale has brought into question universal household protocol when dealing with remote controls in the future, to avoid repeat incidences. Investigators are reluctant to blame any adults at this time, but may suggest that a review into the Husband Unprepared’s habitual placement of the remote on the arm of the couch, may be needed. Kez Unprepared will smugly maintain that she has always kept the remotes above toddler reaching height.

If you should have any information pertaining to this case, or ideas pertaining to previous cases, please do not hesitate to comment on Facebook or tweet. If you are a toddler, there is a special hotline you can call on your toy phone. The number is 1, 2, 3, 4 or alternatively you can mash a bunch of buttons until a teddy bear picks up.

The Awesomely Unprepared family thanks you for your time and efforts.

 

Being alone. What does that mean to you?

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OK, so I know I’m getting old (oooh 29 this year – anyone reading this who is older than me may roll their eyes right *now*) when I start to watch shows on any of the (Australian) ABC channels that nobody has probably ever heard of. If they involve nature and British ‘celebrities’ (who I know nothing about), then I get bonus old person points. I don’t know why I think of it like that. I guess I figure if it’s something my parents would watch, I feel old because only a little while ago, these are the types of shows I would mock them for liking. What goes around, comes around. Damn!

Lately I have been moderately enjoying a show called Alone in the Wild. The concept is simple. A so called British celebrity is left alone somewhere really wild for a week. They have to survive on whatever they find to eat and drink, but they mostly end up eating some bland kind of rations and moaning a bit. They film their experiences themselves and they usually have to try not to get eaten by various wild animals.

Last night I was outraged because the show featured two women – TOGETHER in the wild. I was ready to write an angry letter. That’s not being alone. The show is called ALONE IN THE WILD. Well, I just tweeted my outrage more than anything – it’s like this generation’s way of writing really angry letters in 140 characters or less. I am sure the twitter world really found it very engaging and topical…

Anyway, besides the fact that these celebrities appear to have very discreet trackers who are secretly keeping an eye on them from a distance the whole time, these people seem to really still feel what it’s like to be truly alone for an extended period of time (except for those two chicks – sigh).

This got me thinking. In today’s world, we’re never truly alone are we? We can feel lonely, but are we really alone? I spent a lot of time ‘alone’ before I had the Little Mister, because my husband used to work long hours away from home, usually for a week or two at a time. I would be at home by myself a lot. I generally like my own company, but I am a social creature by nature. Even when we’re alone, we still have social networking, blogs, some kind of interaction with the rest of the world these days. It can be hard to switch off when we have a friggin’ mini computer for a phone! We can be equally annoyed by this as we are comforted.

It would be pretty amazing to have to test your willpower and mental strength, living in a world where you truly cannot rely on anyone else – even for a week. No dropping down to the shops because you’re hungry. No communication devices. Just you and your dodgy survival skills.

I think I could do it if I had to. I am just not so sure I’d like it to be filmed. Think about it. If you were actually being watched while you did all the things you normally do when you think nobody can see you…

Here’s how I think my week would play out:

Day 1: I would be really really excited because, hey, I don’t get much me-time anymore. I’d probably do a few happy dances on the way out to my remote African wild location. I’d then feel very strange when the truck of people drove away. I’d talk to myself a bit. Do another happy dance for good measure. Give myself a pep talk about how good it is to be alone. A few hours in, I would crave a meal that can only be found in…well, not in the wild. I’d have the camping stuff down pat. I’d get my tent up really fast and I’d be all happy because there were no other people there to mess it up.

Day 2: I would realise I’m not really a fan of myself without make-up (I tend to get feral verrrry quickly) and after probably half the day I would look like Tom Hanks on Castaway (with or without a beard). Yes, I am very attractive. Also, I am a little bit nutty. I  would talk to myself. I would talk to inanimate objects. I would probably just start doing things like picking my nose and squeezing zits because no-one could see me. I would try to sing old pop songs from the 90s, getting all the words wrong and giggling.

Day 3: I’d just be a hot mess, all alone with my thoughts. I’m sure my mind could dredge up all sorts of unresolved issues from the past to work through. Well, that would be fun. I’d comfort eat some semi toxic berries and moan about feeling gross.

Hippos and lions would be less scary.

After that first few days I would probably not be very interesting to watch.

Days 4-7: I’d probably write in a journal the whole time (the original way to blog) and be too scared to venture from camp in case I got eaten…by mosquitos. Or something like a tiger or whatevs.

Then I’d come home and write a book about my transformative experiences, selling millions of copies to silly people.

Just kidding. I’d just tweet about it and check Facebook. Oh, look. Jimmy O’Clacker (not a real Facebook friend) went to the gym again and Sally McDumdum (not a real Facebook friend either but how awesome am I at making up names?!) is sad but won’t tell us why!

Actually, I’d probably just be stoked to eat a sandwich and I would never take my home and its creature comforts for granted ever again…well, for another week or two, before I forgot everything. Let’s be honest.

Look, I’m clearly very exciting. I’m basing an entire blog post on a TELEVISION SHOW. I’m not even being paid to do it. Obviously, I would be a riveting celebrity to watch Alone in the Wild. Well, if I was actually a celebrity…

Just slap me if I ever start watching old school British crime shows that are set in small villages in the countryside – the types of shows where my parents ooh and aah at the scenery, and there are never any surprising plot twists. Slap me twice if I ever base entire blog posts on them…

Seriously, though…how often do we actually spend time alone with our thoughts? Give ourselves time to reflect and process what’s going on in our lives? How often do we race about, trying to forget feelings and push them down? Distract ourselves from the things that make us feel uncomfortable? Maybe sometimes it’s a good idea to switch off the technology and just be. The concept of being ‘alone’ often has negative connotations attached to it, but in healthy amounts there is no reason it can’t be good for the soul 🙂

How would you cope Alone in the Wild?  What would you do if you thought no-one was watching?

My brain: Making not-weird things seem weird since 1984.

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I have this…thing where I think about stuff (haha keep the jokes to yourself). Stuff that no-one else seems to think about. I seem to stop and notice things in my life that are there every single day and freak the eff out. Like I’ve never seen or thought about these things before – ever. Are you confused yet? These could be the ramblings of a very tired semi-insomniac or they could be the thoughts of a brilliant mind. You decide.

When I was a kid, I kept asking the adults in my life WHY DO WE YAWN? Everyone kept saying, “Because you’re tired. Duh.”
This frustrated the hell out of me. I wanted to know why our bodies function the way they do – what is my body actually trying to do when I yawn? It took me a long time (this was before google was the go-to research machine) to finally get the answer I wanted. We yawn because that helps get oxygen to the brain or lungs and expels excess carbon dioxide. Which makes sense that if we’re tired, an extra push of oxygen might help us stay awake! I don’t know. I’m no doctor. Anyhow, I asked the question because I have a (selectively) inquiring mind. I didn’t want the stock standard answer everyone gives without a moment of thought. I wanted the real answer. The physiological explanation!

I still think weird things all the time. These thoughts will just pop up out of nowhere and I drift off into Crazy Kez Land where it’s always weird and no-one cares. Like, the other day. I was driving the Little Mister to Officeworks to look for just the perfect colour selection of Sharpie permanent markers (I am a bit pedantic with my stationery), when I suddenly thought (brace yourself for the geniusness), “Wow. I drive a car. Isn’t it strange that I get into this piece of technology from the ‘future’ and control this machine with my hands and feet (well I’m sure it’s a bit more complex than that but take in all of my weirdness please)? I mean, wow! Society is AMAZING! I DRIVE A CAR!”

You would think I was a cavewoman or something. I guess I was just appreciating something that we all take for granted. I’m kooky like that. I mean, no-one else thinks it’s weird. I can’t say this stuff out loud.

I have also been known to question domestic housepets. In particular dogs and cats. I mean, don’t you think it’s AMAZING?! WE LIVE WITH ANIMALS. WE TAME ANIMALS. This is blowing my mind!!! Like, there are animals in my house/yard that live with me and walk around with jump on me and EXIST beside me. Isn’t that wild?! Like, a bajillion years ago (figure may not be correct and is based on no research whatsoever) we found wild animals and we kept them in our homes/caves/whatevs then bred them to be domesticated. I mean, WHOA.

You can only imagine how I feel when I see the Little Mister hanging about in my house. I LIVE WITH A TINY HUMAN. A tiny human made up out of myself and my husband’s DNA. A real live, human person. We made a human. And he hangs out with me. HOLY SH*TBALLS. I HAVE A KID. I’m still not used to the idea that I have a child, even 11 months in. I am still processing the fact that I am a parent, even though I live it each and every day with all of my being!

You’re not impressed? You seem underwhelmed. Sigh.

I don’t know why I have to marvel at stuff that no-one else does. It’s like I’m the hipster of not cool stuff in a non ironic way. What???? I don’t even know what I just said.

Is anyone on the same wacky page as me (and not on mind altering drugs)? Anyone…?

*crickets chirping*

I need more sleep.