Category Archives: Social Media

Just goes to show, you never can tell.

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You never can tell.

There are times I feel like a crazy person. Times I feel ostracized, outed, unsure, uncertain and just straight up envious of others. And you know what, I have wondered, do you think anybody ever feels jealous of me?

I guess I believed that as a kid they might. They just might. Over sports…or my house…certainly not my parents’ parenting or my ginger looks. And I guess I believed they just might when I picked up and moved across the world, littering Facebook with my uber amazing couply travel photos. And I guess I believed it when my beotchy coworker said “Sorry I’m not as perfect as you” immediately after she was reprimanded. And I guess I believed it when I accidentally lost a bunch of weight and suddenly looked good in a bikini and could rock a small.

But, those are all one-offs right? That coworker actually ended up crazy wealthy and on TV. Those sports skills? Well, they created these multi-surgeried, excessively scarred 70 year old knees. And those looks? Well, I’m still a ginger. And that weight? Well, I gained it back…and then some.

So, why would anybody envy me, lil old me, right?

Wrong. That perfect-post, quick to commit, new dog, skinny bod, wildest dreams come true girl you envy? Well, for reasons you may not know, for reasons you would never know from the shiny, bright, outside Instagram perspective…they envy you. They envy your nature, your honesty, your jokes, your ability to understand, they envy what you’ve learned, or the love they think you have. But, who knew?

And there is life summed up as a girl. We all want to believe somebody else’s life is better, purer, prettier, surer than ours. Nobody feels how we feel, nobody doubts how we doubt, nobody envies how we envy, nobody cries how we cry. But, here’s a secret…they do.

“If we knew each other’s secrets, what comforts we should find.”  – John Churton Collins

The Ginga Ninja

It’s good to be bad

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There are times I think about writing. And I don’t just mean the concept of what is writing, I mean…sitting down and actually writing. Unfortunately, usually early in the morning or late, late at night (which is still technically early in the morning) are those times. And well, full-time jobs and sleep requirements and all that jazz prevent me from getting up and writing in the moment I have ideas, probably good ideas. Not like now.

So, sometimes I don’t write. And I don’t really know why. I don’t think it’s that I have writer’s block per say; it’s not as though I sit down and nothing comes out. Just lately, I don’t sit down. I just don’t sit down to do it and odder still, I don’t feel a void when I don’t.

Sadly, the moments I write the most, are when I’m the most sad. Sadness, confusion, introspection, jealousy, uncertainty…these are the things that drive those words. And art. And literature. And entertainment. And almost anything good or meaningful that ever came out of this life.

If you look back in time, many of the most talented, creative, artistic sons o’bitches out there were riddled with issues. Depression, anxiety and straight-up being stuck in those heads tends to be what leads to the best art. And that in itself is terrible. The people who make our joy seldom experience it. The everyday people, maybe those are the people living life, but not driving it forward. The socially awkward, societally-shunned geniuses and the drug-raddled, insomniatic depressives are the ones that add the je ne sais quoi to our world. And what they provide is what makes everybody else’s life better, but not necessarily their own.

This is a conversation that has come up a lot lately. As my creative friend risked it all to start a new business, and yet another artistic mastermind took their own life, and well, I just creep other people’s perfect profiles with envy like a modern day peeping tom….Often the best results in our life are driven by the worst times. And the best times result in the worst outputs.

So, though this may not be the best thing I’ve ever written, maybe that’s good. Maybe it’s good to be good, and great to be great, but state of mind and quality of work may not always be one in the same. So maybe sometimes it’s good to be bad and bad to be good.

Some people are born mediocre ,some people achieve mediocrity, and some people have mediocrity thrust upon them.  –  Joseph Heller

Social Media. Let’s stalk about it.

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Me and my new boyfriend Netflix (no offence real boyfriend) have been having quite the affair lately. And oddly enough there seems to be a shit-ton of shows related to technology, social media, paranoia, needs and perceptions.

One of the shows I watch is about bullying in highschool and how technology makes it so much worse. In hindsight I guess I was bullied a bit, some rumours spread, some issues with girls, some issues with boys, some issues with girls about boys and ultimately some very poor self-esteem. Back then the rumours were spread in homeroom or late at night on a landline, if people isolated you, well you just spoke to nobody and if photos were taken you had to physically pass them around…nowadays it can be public, and messy, and graphic, and isolation is proven to you in so many more ways.

But, honestly, this post isn’t about bullying, it’s more about the technology involved and it’s effect on our lives. I’ve been watching the show Black Mirror recently, and each and every episode has some tie into advanced technology and how it does (or could) affect our lives. The episodes are dark, they are creepy, they are the modern day Twilight Zone and more scarily, some are a little too close to the truth.

One episode in particular has resonated with quite a few girls I know. Bryce Dallas Howard lives in a world where “likes” are a part of your daily interactions. And I don’t just mean a part, I mean the virtual equivalent of popularity IS their life’s work, their whole life. Every interaction they have with anybody…everybody…is ranked out of 5 stars. Your rating (think about your own personal Trip Advisor) decides not only how beloved you are, but what you can get in life. You can get a better car, better house, better flight, better price and hell, better man if you have a higher ranking. You spend your whole life obsessing over your perceived popularity with a fake little smile plastered on your fake little face.

Well, I’ve been Bryce Dallas Howard. I’ve been that person looking at somebody else’s photos, fiancée, new dog, new house, current trip and yearning. Yearning over their great career, their new car, their everlasting love and here I am sitting on my couch listening to the Cure. Okay, that’s a bit drastic, but movies, my music, my guitar and my Netflix. And so we’ve come full circle.

Tricked you again, the post isn’t really about Netflix either. Sneaky, sneaky.

Anyway. Did you know there are studies floating around stating that excessive selfies are linked to anxiety, self-esteem and overall intimacy and straight-up mental disorder? In fact, it’s called “selfitis”. No seriously. And though I am guilty of (let’s admit it) #awesome selfies, I can’t help but notice those people that post them 15 times a day. All it takes is 3 people…3 selfies a day can check you into the nuthouse. Read on, tis true.

www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/addiction-selfies-mental-disorder.html

It also turns out the stronger your relationship with social media is, often the higher your chances of depression are. The need to prove everything to the world is proof that something is missing, let’s call it a “virtual void” to be filled. Fake friends, fake articles, fake comments and fake likes on meaningless posts. “They” also say that the more you see other people’s shining, smiling, delicious, bright, filtered, deliriously happy photos, the sadder you will be….as you sit on your couch…and write your blog grocery list and feed your cat kids. #nofilter #reallife 

www.forbes.com/sites/amitchowdhry/2016/04/30/study-links-heavy-facebook-and-social-media-usage-to-depression/#695968544b53

And the worst part about this post is that I know these things. I know that getting likes on my Instagram, comments on my selfies and followers on my blog (oh please, oh please) doesn’t mean I’m a better person. It doesn’t mean that I’m smarter, or prettier, or any more talented, it doesn’t mean that I’m thinner, fatter, richer, more or less loved. It doesn’t mean these things.

The sad thing is, I do feel a little bit prettier when 40 people like my new glasses, I do feel a bit more loved when my boyfriend likes my photos (and imagine if he tagged me too, lucky gal) and I do look at other girls photos and envy their lives. I envy their fake lashes, I envy their pet’s Instagram page, I envy their seemingly loving boyfriend who posts hashtag after hashtag about his goddess and their uber perfect life. I envy their expensive clothes, I envy their free housing and I envy their size 4 figure.

So, deep down, I know that comparing your life is the most useless activity in the world, and envying somebody’s need to post everything that has every happened in their world with at least one #hashtagged couple-selfie a day is sad…but let’s be brutally honest, my desire to look in and care is even sadder.

So many struggle with this. We hate online dating, we hate feeling unwanted / unliked, we know when somebody unfriends us, we panic when we think we are blocked, we post our feelings on the bad days and our best pictures on the good ones. We know that more likes means more love, right? Wrong. Those of us smart enough to know it is a mental disorder filled with narcissism, anxiety, depression and meaninglessness know it’s wrong, but we yearn anyway.

Life is now one big photo album of people’s kids and vacations. There is no avoiding it short of having the guts to go media free. But as most jobs are posted online, most business profiles are necessary, online education is a thing, digital music is a must, smartphones are the norm…odds of us going off the grid are poor. So, in the meantime we will do our best to love our lives and remember that the more wonderful things you post, sometimes the less wonderful your life actually is.

Now, don’t say you’re too afraid or that you don’t feel comfortable doing this kind of thing, because guess what? You spy on people every day. We’re always watching someone. Following someone. And being followed. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, they’ve made us a society of stalkers. And we love it. – Hannah, 13 Reasons Why

The Ginga Ninja

If You’re Happy and You Know it, Lose Your Phone

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Did you know that the internet and cellphones, these wonderful, amazing, technological advances have actually added to people’s general unhappiness with what they have? We have all the information we ever wanted at our fingertips, a way to not lose somebody at the mall and a way to keep in touch with all the pen pals we ever met. Yet, often we feel empty…unfulfilled and unloved, why?

Well, the thing is…once upon a time, if you were out for dinner with your friends, you were only out for dinner with your friends. If you were unhappy with your job, your spouse knew it…if you were unhappy with your house, well, frankly, only your close friends, neighbours and family might know. Nobody cared what you ate for dinner, how many geraniums you planted, or how angry the old lady at the crosswalk made you. Nobody cared whether you threw a crappy birthday party, and lord knows, nobody wanted to sit through your boring vacation photos.

Photos were limited and carefully chosen. Ads were a novelty, correspondence a gift, houses were probably cleaner and more time was spent on passionate hobbies. When we broke up, we might have heard a rumour or two or bumped into them and their wonderful new girlfriend 5 years later, but we didn’t get the never-ending barrage of new haircuts, trips, weddings, birthday parties and flavours of the month like we do now. No, now we are all glued to our devices to one up another, see who is thinking about us, what’s going on, and to have 24/7 validation for the meaningless life we really lead.

Social media is a very dangerous tool. A tool that makes mothers feel bad about the birthday parties they didn’t throw, the cakes they didn’t bake, the vacations they can’t afford and the divorces they lived through. A tool that makes children feel less popular if they aren’t on it and pressured to do things when they are. A tool that makes single people sit through never-ending baby photos, stare into the eyes of happy couples and families and constantly be reminded of the ruins they didn’t visit or condo they can’t afford.

With so many more things than we ever had…and so much more access to friends, family and information than ever before…why have we created a society that is more discontent than ever?  Well, life is now just a big, public game of keeping up with the Joneses. Except the Joneses are now your elementary, highschool and university friends, co-workers, exes, some guy you met on vacation, some neighbour you haven’t seen in 10 years and some girl you talked to twice online. The pool of people to compare from is larger than it ever was and the access we have into people’s lives is overwhelming.

http://news.discovery.com/human/psychology/facebook-can-make-you-unhappy-130814.htm

And I’ve had this very conversation with a loved one. A successful, but incredibly frustrated loved one.  Very seldom do people post photos of their children telling them they hate them, the moment they sign the divorce papers, the visit to the ER, the funeral of their father, or the day they were handed their pink slip. She made sure to tell me that behind many of these beautiful family pictures and smiling photos are bad marriages, financial woes and a general feeling of despair. But, would you show that publicly? Of course not, because that wouldn’t get you many “likes” now would it? And that would be too real.

No, we now live in a world of trying to convince everyone how great our life is, when in reality the people sitting on their front porches reading a book without an instagram account are most likely the happiest there are. They are living in the present, in their own life and don’t give a damn what anybody else is doing. They are the ones who despite being called dinosaurs are indifferent to Bobby’s barbecued ribs, Sonja’s newest marathon, Alex’s latest trip to Japan, or Tommy’s favourite beer. They don’t give a damn that they have less quote-on-quote “friends” and they don’t give a damn if their selfie was unliked or their slippers are uncool. No, on a Saturday, all they want to do is turn up the music, clean their house and remember what it was like to be a kid…and maybe, just maybe…pick up that cellphone…and call their mom.

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. ~Confucius

The Ginga Ninja

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