Posts Tagged ‘facebook’

Look up.

Watching ‘Look Up‘, the latest YouTube sensation by Gary Turk, I’m reminded of just how much our lives are influenced by technology. Not only technology, but the hundreds of thousands of little people that live in our devices, our social media networks. Over 39 million views were received by this video so perhaps we are all identifying with the same issue, the ongoing battle of balance between real life and living in the interwebz.

I remember getting my first MySpace page, jazzing it up and for the first time putting myself out there on the internet. Keeping up with my favorite musicians online and finally bridging the gap between my insignificant life and the rest of the world. Global society was so close, I could almost reach out and touch it. Friends were mouse clicks away. MySpace truly was my little spot on the internet, my tiny little 10011011 on the worldwide web.

That’s the beauty of the internet. On MySpace, you could be anyone you wanted to be. Perhaps a shy, antisocial female in the outcast circles of reality but online, a beautiful girl with popularity matched by none and great tastes in everything. Welcome to the internet, welcome to your new life, enter the world of the digital alter ego… Dum dum dum.

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We now live in a world where MySpace was the tip of a Titanic iceberg. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Foursquare have all become part of our daily routines, to name but a few. The fact that you’re reading this means you clicked on my blog link from my share on Facebook or Twitter. Possibly searching key words on Google or scrolling through your followed bloggers on WordPress, a blogger yourself. Each one of the 39 million views of the Look Up video were online, through any of the above social media sites or YouTube directly. The internet and social media does not make it possible to live, they do however make it possible for me to live as I do now. Openly, in view of social network eyes and public scrutiny. I choose this, I created all of these profiles.

Unfortunately, along with freedom of speech and public living, social media came with a very long list of negatives. Privacy? Non existent (though, you’re not forced to have public profiles). Dissociation. Because, why would anyone need real people when the ones in your phone make so much more sense? Crime. Sadly, criminals will always find a way in and so the internet opened up thousands of doors. The list continues and we could be here discussing negatives all day, sadly the one negative bothering me today is not as serious as any of the minuses listed above… It delves a little deeper in to the human condition.

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It’s saddening to me that social media is used in the fake ways they’re used today. You’d think that with the access we’ve been given and opportunities available to us through social media, we’d be using them in more of a truthful way? Alas, no. In fact, isn’t it frustrating how every friend on your Facebook page has the perfect life and relationship. Every Twitter handle a positive one (barring the anonymous ones). Every Instagram picture beautifully manicured and posed and every meal posted, a gourmet one. While being as active as I am online, I do have friends and relationships in real life. Like everyone, I have concerns and hang ups and problems. For every good day, there is a bad day. For every posed #nomakeupselfie, there is a bad acne day. I am human. What is sad to me is that people, society, friends and family choose to portray another life online, a life of perfection.

I am not one who enjoys breeding negativity, I really am not. I’d also probably complain if everyone on my timeline was constantly negative and pessimistic however, I’d like to see a little bit more realism online. I wish people would be more honest.

I know people in real life that constantly whine and fuss, in fact nothing in their life ever goes right in their books and anything more than a grimace is fake. I struggle to understand how those people are the ones posting positive meme’s, poems and updates online. Who are they fooling?
I know individuals that hate their spouse, hate reality. These are the people posting hundreds of happy photos with their partners and overly compensating on their Facebook walls.
I haven’t seen friends in reality for years and yet year in and year out, we wish each other for our birthdays and continue to stalk each other without actually having to see each other… This is sad to me, in fact it’s disappointing.

There is nothing wrong with spending a quality amount of time online, update your status three times a day or tweet a thousand times this year. Update all three meals of the day or check in online at the office if you must. We are all guilty of trying to portray our real lives in the best and most positive light but again I must remind you that we are all human. If you’re having a bad day, don’t be afraid to say so. It’s only natural, isn’t that what social media is about? Sharing?

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Recently, I decided to take a chance and put two of my controversial blogs onto News24. Why did I do this? The truth is, though you’d hope people closest to you would be honest with you, this is not always the case. Friends and family may not agree with your opinions, but to keep the peace these views won’t be aired (Not saying this is true in my case or speaking for anyone, this is a general observation). I thought the best scrutiny to receive was from those who didn’t know me, who could judge me on my honesty and opinion alone. This exercise was a pretty disheartening one, I received over 7000 views online and yet between them maybe 5-7 positive comments and the rest were nasty, angry opinions. At first, this upset me. On a closer read and given more thought, it occurred to me that a lot of these people are those that portray happy fulfilling lives online but perhaps experience repression in reality, everyone needs a release right and their lambasting of my blog was exactly that. Or perhaps they’re going against everything I’ve said in this piece, they’re negative online and off and I’ve just chosen to befriend the correct people. Who knows..?

Back to the point. It’s not enough to be digitally social for me. While I am notoriously active on social media (having received criticism for this in the past), I have a life offline. It’s not perfect. I go through challenges just as frequently as everyone else, but I’m honest about that life (read my previous blogs if you’re unsure of my honesty). I’m not asking anyone to be negative unnecessarily. All I ask is that you be mindful of hypocrisy, chances are if I know how you act in real life, I’ll see straight through your online facade… As will others.. Or maybe that’s what you were hoping?

Shevy

I read a blog post this morning by a blogger who I follow. Some thought provoking concerns were raised in that blog and so for my readers, here is my take on it. Talinorfali – Blog

As I sit here, I’m using an iPad to write my blog and my iPhone is next to me for referencing. Before I started writing my blog, I was checking my emails on my laptop. I have contacted my husband on his iPhone whilst on the way to a meeting using his iPad to take notes, after which he will come home and work on his MacBook. My 8 year old daughter lost her charger and so today we organized a cable and plug and her S3 is finally plugged in and charging. My 2 year old who is off sick today with an eye infection wants to ‘work’ next to mommy and has her ‘laptop’ on her lap, learning her ABC’s.
No, this isn’t an Apple advert. It’s our way of life. My family is a new age, technically savvy family who use and abuse smart device’s all over the house, without them we’d be lost.

I wouldn’t say we go so far as to message each other sitting next to each other, unless we are discussing a shopping list and I’m texting it to my husband while we talk, but I definitely think that we are Smart device dependent and it’s an extremely difficult habit to break.

My phone is my most valued material possession, it’s not often that I can leave my phone on charge and in another room, in case I miss a call or message. I do not have any games or fun apps on my phone, it’s purely for social networking (Twitter/Facebook), WordPress updates, Whatsapp and then calls and sms’s – in priority order. I am a social media and networking addict and my smart device allows me to do this conveniently. I have never been a person who likes talking on the phone anyway so Whatsapp makes it easier for me to talk to people without having to actually talk to them, though I’d still prefer personal contact and communication over Whatsapp anyday. I understand the frustration of trying to contact someone who won’t answer or respond, I don’t want to be that person, my phone is with me at all times. My iPad however, will sit on charge all day every day. It only gets used for games (once a day) and my blogging, of course.
My husband relies on his phone, laptop and iPad solely for business and candy crush. My daughter uses her phone mainly for games and contact with family but I’ve also found a great improvement on her spelling.

So where am I going with this? It’s all about balance. Yes, we are a smart device family and are in a lot of ways reliant on technology for our way of life. I think we need to embrace the way the world is evolving technologically and it is important that we don’t get left behind. That said, there is still a need for face to face communication. Do I turn my phone off in the evening? No. Can i survive a whole day without checking my phone? No. Do I neglect my family because of my smart phone dependence? Absolutely not. There are times when the devices must be set aside but there is nothing wrong with using and abusing your phone, you can still have a life with a smart device. I know when I can use my phone and when it’s inappropriate, I know when my children need my undivided attention and not. I know when the devices need to be put down and when not and right now, I have a 2 year old learning her ABC’s, I’ll be with her if you need me :)

Shevy

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I did it. I was #neknominated and I nekked, judge me if you will.

For those that don’t know what #neknomination is, it now has it’s own Wikipedia page – Source

I have trolled the internet and found numerous drinking videos showing people drinking strange concoctions of alcohol in the most extreme manner, right down to drinking out of the toilet. This is the perfect example of worldwide exaggeration because the drinking game, originating from down under, was never intended to be an extreme down-down. The original idea of #neknomination was to down a beer or alcoholic beverage and then nominate 2 (or 3 in my case) of your friends to do the same… Being the human race we are, we couldn’t leave that be and instead people started downing drinks under extreme conditions, right down to downing a half jack of vodka on a skateboard or a beer naked in the snow. Let’s be honest, I’ve been playing drinking games forever and so in comparison, the idea almost seems tame. What we have done here however, is put a face to stupidity and then allowed people to gain a reputation of being the best #neknominator.

This popular social media craze has now resulted in what looks like 2 worldwide deaths and this morning an article about a Durban man succumbing to alcohol poisoning after his outrageous #neknomination attempt. I must be honest, while I agree that this social craze does not promote the most responsible of behaviors, there are no #neknomination police making sure that you down the most stupid alcoholic concoction in the most outrageous way possible. In fact, if people are consuming enough alcohol to give themselves alcohol poisoning, they’re just stupidly getting the attention they seek. There are no rules that say ‘Make every attempt to put yourself in hospital’, surely people are smarter than this? Sadly no, so while some people are able to nek responsibly, the craze is getting out of hand elsewhere. The strangest one I’ve heard of yet,

David Ford pours a pint of gin and puts a live goldfish into it before downing the lot. He then decapitates a bird and eats its insides

I think it’s safe to say, it’s getting out of hand.

Enter Brent Lindeque who’s #neknomination video went viral when he chose to put a positive spin on this and instead of downing a drink, he fed a homeless man. Brent received his #neknomination from a friend in Oz and chose to put South Africa on the map, recording a video about positive change #changeonething #donomination. You can read the article on a Brent here and view his video – http://citizen.co.za/121210/neknomination-craze-gets-feel-good-sa-twist/

Since Brent’s nomination, a new social media craze is hitting the interwebz and that’s the idea of #donomination, #raknomination and #changeonething. The idea that if everyone involved in #nekonomination rather #donominate, perform random acts of kindness and make someone else’s life just a little bit better, then this is a good cause. A Facebook page has now started up, allowing donominators to upload their videos and show off their attempt at changing the world, little bit at a time.

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Since #donominate has come about I’ve seen videos of people handing out food to the homeless, a man handing out soccer balls to children in a township and companies handing out meals and money to those less fortunate. FNB jumped on it and now, true to form, Nando’s is next and I cannot wait to see what they do.

So yesterday, I received my nomination from my sister in law and to ensure I got my #neknomination in on time, I recorded myself after midnight shift last night at 5:30am this morning with a beer and a donation. The thought that you can’t have one without the other doesn’t make sense to me and so I downed (barely) a beer and then donated a bag of clothes, toys, toiletries and blankets to the Lighthouse baby shelter in Sundowner (Just waiting to deliver). Perhaps I am a sell out, buying into this nomination business and putting myself out there but I’d like to think I downed a beer for a good cause and challenge others to do the same.

Social media is more powerful than we could possibly imagine and whatever you put on the internet will be there longer than you breathe, make sure what you’re putting out is something you can smile at instead of cringe over.