Tag Archives: technology

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

Tight Ropes and True Love

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Relationships are a delicate balance. Not too long ago, I was texting with a friend and we both realized just HOW MUCH goes into whether or not you and another person will work out.  Geography, Religion, Politics, Education, Finances, Family, Values, Looks, Friends, Interests, Sex Life and maybe most important of all, that bitch called Timing.

There are just so many things that can make a relationship unwork itself. And often that is after it’s already started. Don’t even get me started (see that?) on dating in general. It is so easy to rule somebody out early on for a fault, or let’s be more accurate a perceived fault. It takes years to get to know someone and technology has made dating harder. If you have different text rules, don’t use the right punctuation or seem to be too endearing too quickly, well, you are out. This doesn’t even include those who were already discluded for poor grammar, salary, height, the wrong education or wrong town. Hell, this definitely doesn’t include those who just fell out of the ugly tree. True love, or true tolerance, you be the judge.

Dating is a fragile tightrope that more often ends before it has even begun, even if you can stay balanced, you may just run out of rope…particularly as we get older and more set in our ways. That intricate interwoven security can unravel in an instant – seamlessly, effortlessly, carelessly, pointlessly. (I’m surprised that’s even a word, go me). So, every time you feel frustrated, unloved, uncertain, unfulfilled – just remember, there is a lot that goes into relationships, and life, and you. And when you feel a loss of control, just focus on that last one, because, really, it’s all you can do.

Be careful with alterations.  Pull the wrong thread and the whole thing comes undone.                                                       Samantha, Sex and the City

The Ginga Ninja

Will you text with me? Modern Love.

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So, there are times I think I am soooo witty and funny, or more appropriately, hope I am.  But, just like everything in life, almost every thought, every moment, every feeling, every job you have (which is monumental to you!) has all been had before.  As it turns out, this proof rears its ugly head once again, that I am in fact NOT as special as my mother made me out to be.

(Funny thing about that is as child I was told to reach for the stars and never settle, as an adult I was told that life was not meant to be extraordinary and that I must envision less…oh mom…how I love your mind-messing schizophrenia).

Anyways, have you ever noticed that today’s version of dating BY TEXT is somewhat equivalent to the grade school pastime of passing notes to one another?  It’s impossible to know whether you are actually “dating” anymore or just passing time… and so many people hide behind modern-day technology and cannot live without those little screens. We are all so afraid of actually talking to one another, wasting our oh-so-precious time and wanting to appear non-committal, we just seem to have resorted from one version of passing notes to another.

In the movie “He’s just not that into you”, the character Mary rants, “I had this guy leave me a voicemail at work so I called him at home and then he emailed me to my Blackberry and so I texted to his cell and then he emailed me to my home account and the whole thing just got out of control. And I miss the days when you had one phone number and one answering machine and that one answering machine has one cassette tape and that one cassette tape either had a message from a guy or it didn’t. And now you just have to go around checking all these different portals just to get rejected by seven different technologies. It’s exhausting. “

You know, she’s kind of right.  When this phenomenon hit a few years ago, I was somewhat taken aback that gone were the days of 4 hour phone calls, falling asleep on the line together whispering “you hang up…no YOU hang up”…and it was replaced by constant little one liners of “how was ur day?”, “what r U up to right now”, and “just out with friends 4 a beer, U?”.  I was frustrated as hell when I actually liked the guy that his cell phone didn’t seem to get coverage in a voice-to-voice conversation, yet somehow I magically received texts 24/7.  However, also elated about the ability to hide behind this little screen when I was busy, but still wanted to check in, or frankly just “wasn’t that into him”.

But, the old-fashioned days of actually meeting in person for coffee or having long and meaningful phone conversations appear to be gone.  We are now in the age of technology where only by the trail of little e-notes you carry around in your iPhone you can actually prove to your friends that you do, in fact, have a boyfriend.  Which is really, essentially the same as when you were in grade 5 and somebody asked you out by note.  Check the box, “Yes, No, Maybe” and there you had it.  You didn’t speak, you didn’t hold hands, you rarely looked at each other without giggling, yet the proof was there, clear as day…you checked the box marked YES and had a bonafide BOYFRIEND.

I wish, oh how I wish that dating was simpler.  That it wasn’t through phone, that maybe you did have the anticipation of talking to one another instead of the instant gratification of a text, and the WORST is when you know the text is read and yet they haven’t answered back (DAMN YOU iPHONE!!), but once again, it appears I am not original in these thoughts, nor am I alone.

My friend, the Single Girl says it here and says it well.  http://adventuresofasinglegirl.com/index.php/2011/11/e-t-phone-home/.  Don’t worry, someday, someone will find you important enough to pick up the phone and dial those simple, little, digits.  Someday my phone call will come.

The Ginga Ninja

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