Posts Tagged ‘Social Media’

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’m better known for having opposing views to the general public on most political and controversial topics, this time however is slightly different. I’ve thought about this for a while but have been hesitant to post my thoughts because of just how controversial this topic actually is, but what kind of a writer would I be if I didn’t share my opinions with you?

I will start by saying that I definitely do not condone rape or sexual violence in any way, shape or form and by no means should any rapist (male OR female) be allowed to get away with their crime… In fact I am all for genitalia being removed and a lifetime of torture being imposed on the perpetrators, however there are a number of factors about the common ‘rape culture’ phrase being thrown around of late and the strange ideals accompanying the latest rape culture phenomena that have my knickers in a bit of a twist.

Let’s start with the basics. So many women have jumped up and down about rape and launched an onslaught on the male population, the rapists. I think that what many women do forget (and I’m advocating for the men here) is that there are just as many female rapists as there are male. I am not here to bore you with statistics and remember that this is still just my personal opinion but I feel like men are getting the wrong end of a crappy stick here. The problem with today’s society is that everything is ‘generalized’ and so the good men, and they do exist, get tarred with the same criminal brush and are assumed to be rapists like their perpetrating counterparts. So many more women are rapists than you realize, the problem is that men are too ashamed to come forward and admit rape because they think people won’t understand how a man was raped by a woman. It happens. It’s a shocking reality and it’s time that men got up there with women to protest rape against men, women and of course most importantly children.

Sexual crimes and rape all fall under the same horrible umbrella. It’s an experience a man, woman or child did not ask for and did not agree to and no one should ever have to experience, please know that I do not belittle this in any way. It is saying no and yet having to endure the experience anyway against your will. Whatever your definition of rape, the end result is clear. Broken souls, nothing fixes that. With all of that said, it is important that everyone understand the implication of accusing someone of rape. It is no menial accusation and once you have been tarnished a rapist, it is a state criminal case, criminal records are received and hopefully a terrible time in prison awaits… For the guilty. This is where it gets tricky, you have to know and be sure that someone truly is guilty. Too often, women (and some men) are very quick to make the rape accusation against someone they believe had the intention to rape, perhaps they were angry and an accusation served as revenge, or maybe they thought that a rape could have happened but they don’t know…. For whatever reason, if you truly believe you have been raped then do the necessary but if you haven’t, understand that a false accusation ruins lives and causes unnecessary heartbreak and heartache. It is a common problem that when mentioned gets quickly blown away in the shadow of the ‘rape culture’ phenomenon we are quick to feed. Recently, the twitter rape war that took place between a column writer and a rape survivor caused a social media outbreak of rape views and experiences and not once was the issue of false accusation taken seriously. Now I’m not saying he was correct or that she was lying, by no means, but what I am saying is that his implications are very real possibilities that happen to men and women every single day… I hope that we be mindful of that. Because I advocate for the innocent man or woman still does not mean I support the rapists, in fact, I abhor them.

An article on News 24 addresses 25 examples of rape culture in today’s day and age (Source). Reading through these examples I can’t help but feel like we are making mountains out of mole hills that didn’t exist to begin with (Some points are genuinely valid but I don’t believe that they all are). Point number 2 refers to the hit song ‘Blurred Lines’ and because we sing along, we are advocating rape? No. I sing along to Lady Gaga’s applause and it doesn’t mean I’m clapping. My point is that more often than not we are looking for things to read into, as if they aren’t blatantly staring at us from the news and statistics. ‘You know you want it’ clearly has sexual connotation but guess what, maybe she does want it (not rape – consensual sex)? The blurred lines may be referring to the lines between friendship and lovers, lovers and friends with benefits, nowhere do they openly sing about committing rape…why do we dig where we need not dig? Isn’t there enough in the real world?

Point 4 talks about mothers blaming girls for sexy selfies instead of talking to other mothers sons about how to behave and I do agree with his point to an extent but let’s be real, there are some sicko’s in the world. Why allow your daughter to post sexy selfie’s anyway? As an adult posting selfie’s you’re well aware of the consequences that may abound from having a slutty internet persona (not specifically rape but perhaps unwanted sexual attention) however as a parent to two daughters, I would hope that they have been raised wise in the ways of the dark side of the world. By all means, post a selfie but you have control over who sees it through various social media security settings (I use them all!) and for goodness sake, if your 12 year old daughter is taking photos of herself in a bikini and underwear and posting it on the internet, you have other problems that need addressing including a massive cry out for attention which will unfortunately attract the wrong attention as well as a very lax parenting approach which could be to your daughters detriment.

Point 6 refers to supports of athletes charged with rape… I think the operative word there is charged because as far as I’m concerned, they’ve not yet been proven guilty. We have to be very careful about false accusations and if the athletes are in fact innocent, why is there not more pressure put onto the false victims for trying to ruin that athletes career let alone their life?

To be real, we live in South Africa and the statistics used in this article refer to a worldwide rape pandemic… Let’s talk South Africa for a minute. Sadly, we cannot really even take into account in our country the statistics on rape due to their inaccuracies. It is impossible to have accurate statistics when most men and women are too afraid to come forward and report their rape or identify their known rapist and children are to small or young to understand. One in 25 women who say they’ve been raped actually report their rape, that means the other 24 live with their experience and carry on as if nothing has happened, when we know that inside they are breaking. I am no feminist but I am a realist, this rape epidemic affects everyone from men to women to children to animals, it is sick and it is horrific and again I say the guilty deserve the worst possible punishment but not death, that’s too easy, something far worse. The scary part? I don’t find many statistics on men and their reporting of rape. Six women are raped every hour in South Africa, how many men and children?

All I’m saying here is that the utmost care and fairness must be taken into consideration when looking at the subject of rape and the supposed ‘rape culture’ that we as a society are supposedly fueling. I know women that have falsely accused men of rape and have had to live with the consequences thereof. I know of cases of men that have been falsely accused. I sadly also know women that have been raped or sexually mistreated and not reported it because they didn’t ‘think’ it was rape… And in my lifetime, I have known of men who may or may not have been raped but they were uncertain. To say that we are living in a rape cultured society is saying that we fake the news… At the end of the day, the numbers are real and the cases are real and we see the facts daily thrown at us in news and media. There is no ‘rape culture’, there is rape and there is reality and giving something like this a name allows those that want to live in the darkness of rape a permission to make it real.

@lifeissavage posted in Twitter yesterday an article against rape which I thought was so fitting and gets to the crux of the problem. (As did others with it’s over 100 favorites and over 300 retweets). Two pages were stuck together in a magazine and when you tried to pull the pages apart it reads “If you have to use force, it’s rape”. This ad applies to everyone… If you use force, it’s rape and if force is being used upon you, it’s rape. It doesn’t matter if you’re man, woman or child. It’s rape. Read more on the article here – Source

It’s sad that so much talking has to happen on the subject and not enough acting. Not enough acting on the part of the human race, the government and the judicial system. I’m all for a community outcry and social media barrage but remember, there is more to rape than a vagina or a statistic… It is about real people, real lives and real consequence.

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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.

It’s that time of the year / contract again when I’m ready to update and upgrade my gadget. I have been a Blackberry user (Loved it until I got my Samsung), I am a loyal Samsung user and have had my S3 for a year and now it’s time for me to crossover to another platform… I’m fully (Well almost because I don’t own a Mac book) migrating over to Apple and it’s Ios. On Friday I upgraded and ordered my iPhone.

Refer to a blog I posted in March titled Technophobic :

https://theshevster.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/technophobic/

Ok… ok… ok… Apple users everywhere,  stop rejoicing and carrying on like you won another Jobs follower. I know how you lot can be, heck I’m married to one.

And all you Apple haters, stop judging for two minutes… even if just to hear my rational.

Between two very different and yet loyal brand groups, you’d swear there were only two models of phones in the world to choose from. You’re either Apple or your not,  Samsung or you’re not. I’ve heard every argument from every owner on why I should choose a certain phone over the other. Sadly,  other devices like the Nokias and HTC’s of the world didn’t even feature in my decision,  probably because I associate regression with these phones and well… they just don’t interest me.

When I got my choice last year from hubby of Samsung or iPhone, I chose Samsung. I’d listened to everyone then and decided that for what I use my phone for, I needed a phone that’d cater to all my social networking needs as well as serve the function of an actual phone. I tweet, facebook, instagram, blog, pin, whatsapp, BBM (Recently) and still squeeze in a few calls and text messages. Up until now my Samsung S3 served its purpose well, I love the phone and it does what it needs to do. So why am I not staying with Samsung and moving up to the S4?

Truth is, I get bored easily.  I barely manage to wait for my upgrade let alone stick with one phone / device for 2 years. I’ve gotten completely used to the Samsung and it’s features and it’s awesome and I’m ready for something new. This is where the iPhone comes in… a device I’ve never owned and a phone I’ve managed to operate on the odd occasion my husband let’s me anywhere near his. I already have an iPad and will eventually take over my husband’s Mac book when he gets his new one… the Apple world makes sense and until I try it for myself,  I refuse to judge.

So fo everyone going “Oh no, why are you doing it???” the answer is… why not. Who says I can’t use or have both,  switch it up a bit?  Why not enjoy the best of both brands when the opportunity presents itself?

For all of you saying finally, welcome to the dark side etc etc etc,  don’t get too full of yourself yet ;) I may get bored of the iPhone in a year or two anyway and possibly give an LG a chance.

Power of choice
Shevy