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Why I’m Quitting Social Media

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We are told to love ourselves, but we all have the ability to construct our lives and stage illusions of who we are – especially on social media. This doesn’t always match what we feel inside. 

It’s easy to blame social media for this problem but it goes deeper than that. We are afraid to be ourselves because we don’t think we’re good enough. But on the inside, we have stories, inspirations, passions, that we have almost an obligation to share. We should all be sharing these to be authentic, to connect with others who feel the same way. Instead, we share to impress.

I’ve noticed recently a lot of targeted ads on social media about young 20-somethings who quit their jobs and make money documenting their travel and leading completely frivolous and useless lives. But it is important to learn that this doesn’t make you more interesting. It doesn’t make you a better person. It’s not giving back meaningfully to society. The inspiring people are the ones who are honest about their insecurities and are open about their stories. This isn’t confined to social media either, this is adaptable in all areas of our lives.

I am still anxious about things I did years ago and worry about what people think of me. Even on this blog, I sometimes worry that my writing can come across to readers as some pseudo-intellectual dribble. But nowadays I am more able to accept myself as ‘good enough’ and feel comfortable with who I am. Knowing that I have a small readership on this blog has also helped as a stepping stone, as I find that I am free to be myself, speak my mind, and prattle on and on knowing that few will notice or care.

And I love it.

No pressure at all!

But on occasion, I relapse into old ways (ie. being opinionated online, being depressed by countless profile filters for supporting victims of terror with no meaningful action, counting the acquaintances who are engaged or married or generally comparing my life with others – sad I know, but true). The result is that I end up with self-deprecating and negative thoughts that I have been working to avoid. Like discussing politics or religion, social media is that instigator of anxiety and frustration.

Ultimately, we all want to be loved, valued, and heard.

On social media, people seek love, value and a listening ear from people who … well, really don’t care, unless it includes contributing their own two cents. We’re not connecting with people who are important to us, we’re connecting with strangers who don’t have our best interests at heart and gaining validation from the amount of ‘likes’ or followers we have. And even comments of a positive and supportive nature feel non genuine simply because it’s easier (for example) to rely on a Facebook reminder to wish someone ‘happy birthday’, rather than giving a person a call, hug or even a card. Social media has allowed us to become lazy and take shortcuts. Cancel plans in the last minute. Not respond to plans. Excuse rudeness. I could go on.

If happiness is found through meaningful action, the first step is to eliminate identified causes of unhappiness.

This is my new resolve. To quit social media indefinitely in order to dedicate more time to myself, build close relationships and seek purpose in this world.

What do I think will happen if I went off the grid?

This is not a new concept, but eventually I hope I will find myself in a better place mentally. I hope it will eliminate the anxiety I often feel when interacting online, and learn to become authentic and happier within myself by comparing my own past as a measure of how successful I have become.

I’ve already quit Twitter a year ago with positive results. Initially I had withdrawals, but eventually the addiction for it wore off. Really, how was I contributing anything by retweeting a celebrity, or attempting (poorly) to be witty in less than 140 characters?

How will I document the process?

I am journalling more frequently offline, but I would like to use T27R as a means of recording some aspects of how I use my time more productively and tackling issues around self-development.

How this will turn out is unknown and part of the excitement of the journey. Who knows? Maybe this will lead The 27 Resolve to new territory! Maybe you won’t hear from me for another 6 months because I’ll love my non-digital life! Maybe I may fail and fall back into social media after a week! Who cares? I’ll reflect on that if and when I’ve come to that, and when I’ve learned something valuable to share!

Have you quit social media before? How did it change your life? Was this for the better or worse? I want to know your thoughts.

 

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Love WILL Trump Hate

I was raised to behave with dignity and grace in the face of a loss. I was taught to congratulate the winner, and while it’s ok to be disappointed, under no circumstances should I ever behave like a sore loser.

But this circumstance is different. This circumstance is not okay.

Everyone has the capacity to do good and the capacity to do bad. What matters is which they choose to act upon. This is not a political issue. This is far bigger than that. Remember this day folks. This is the day that people chose hate, bigotry, ignorance, corruption, arrogance, double standards, narcissism, misogyny and discrimination.

Hillary represents the everyday woman who has been held back, told she isn’t good enough, labeled and criticised, unfairly condemned. Despite everything, she has persevered and demonstrated intelligence and calmness and compassion. For this, I respect her more than ever. For her, I am more determined to fight for gender equality. This election has shown how rampant bigotry is.

You may think that I am overreacting, but understand that every value I stand for has been crushed. A hurdle for women and people who are different has become, ironically, a wall.

Putting political affiliations and preferences aside, America has voted (overwhelmingly, despite the popular vote for Clinton) for a man who spews a rhetoric that targets the fear and hatred in the people. He never had the slightest clue about policy for the people, he just made a show and entertained the masses. But let’s get real here.  This isn’t just a man who behaves like a bullying school child. It’s much darker:

  • This is a man who is due in court for child rape charges
  • This is a man who boasts about sexually assaulting women.
  • This is a man endorsed by the KKK.
  • This is a man who scorns veterans, POWs, and Gold Star families.
  • This is a man who mocks the disabled – among so many other groups.
  • This is a man who denies climate change.

But what is the use of speaking the truth? Many people have not listened.

I can’t believe I’m even here writing this. America has failed…The system has failed.  I feel like Harry Potter has died, and Voldemort has won the outcome of the prophecy. In the story books, the good guy always wins. Reality has proven much different.

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Like my American friend, I take this very personally. I campaign and battle for gender equality and the ending of a misogynistic culture. I’m sure many other people have also lost their faith in humanity’s capacity to believe in good.

When did humanity get so unkind? When did people have more faith in a reality TV conman who verbally spews ideas with no substance or value than a woman who has publicly given her life to help others? You don’t have to LIKE the candidate, but the values that underlie their policies should be the key drive in your vote. I’m sick of people comparing them and saying Hillary was just as bad. She wasn’t. She never was. And history is going to tell a whole other story that will make our generation look more appalling than we are proving to be. Don’t also tell me he will have “brains” working for him behind the scenes, to manage his antics. That is what people thought about Hitler! This is a man who has largely worked alone, a demagogue who has insulted a LARGE majority of people, – not just people who oppose his ideology. A man who has torn apart the GOP, never mind the Democrats. This is a man has dictator tendencies. I wish I was exaggerating. His supporters enjoy trolling the opposition, they live off bullying behaviour and ignorance. These people are a disease to prosperity, growth, and basic human decency.

The most horrifying part of this is the idea that Obama has to hand over the keys to a smug-faced man who will wipe out all those achievements he fought so hard, against a corrupt GOP senate and house, to gain. This is a government who still is run by fundamentalist religious values that are backwards and obsolete. It’s like the movie Idiocracy. This is not a world I want to raise my daughters in, let alone all my children. We have to do something.

I just feel so bad for Hillary. She’s a symbol for women right now. Despite her innate ability and potential, the media has crushed her image, man has lied and degraded her. She’s had people ripping into her based on her likability rather than her ability to do the job. Is this women’s lot in life? To face setback after setback for thousands of years to a patriarchy who values money-making machines and sexist entertainment over equality for all?

All over social media, people across the world have been pouring out their shock and sadness in what has happened. This man doesn’t define all Americans. This man is not a symbol or a figurehead for all Americans. To those Americans who voted for progression, we share in your pain. We know there is still some good left in the heart of America.

But while I mourn tonight for those minorities who will take this as a huge loss, I will wake in the morning more determined than ever to fight on. Dark times lie ahead, and it’s important to get involved, not stay passive. I will continue to fight Susan B Anthony’s battle to see the first female President of the United States. I will fight to make sure Obama’s legacy is sealed. And I’m sure many others will continue to fight the ideology that Trump stands for. American or not, we will unite, stronger together, to target this medieval mindset.

For those who need to know how to:

  1. Deal with this massive upset

  2. Educate themselves on what the hell just happened

  3. Find out how to protest and stop Trump’s ideology

Links to help can be found here.

We’ve hit a hurdle. But let’s not give up hope. Love will win. Equality will exist. We need the whole world to stand up against this.

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Enough is enough.

I usually avoid spontaneous posts, but recently I have had thoughts in my mind that I’ve been too angry to talk about, and just today I stumbled upon this inspirational (and now somewhat iconic) speech that eloquently covered what I haven’t been able to say. I felt the urgency to share it.

Michelle Obama’s recent speech in New Hampshire managed to convey what I’ve been feeling and thinking about the US Elections of late. But this speech goes beyond politics. It goes into the realm of basic human decency, and is a timeless speech that addresses a major issue that we are still facing every single day. I hope that all people make the time to hear it. Politics aside, this is an issue men and women need to listen to, and acknowledge.

Enjoy your weekends and stay positive!

 

EDIT: On another note .. have you seen Emma Watson’s latest He for She address? Watch below!

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On Growing Up

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On October 3rd, I turned 27.

It turned out to be a very busy time, not momentous enough to inspire a burst of thought for this blog, so the writing was delayed in the meantime.

In anycase, I have had a lot of growing up to do recently. I’ve avoided it for years. Bill paying, living away from home, travelling and making your own decisions are all VERY ADULT, but this is possibly the year where I acknowledge that I am an adult and accept the bigger responsibilities that come with it.

  1. I’ve recently accepted a job promotion at a new workplace
  2. I have to manage my money better now that I’m upgrading from a small town to a small city
  3. I’m looking into buying my first house
  4. I’m also finding out that number three is virtually impossible in the current NZ housing market
  5. As a result I am finding myself more stressed and depressed (this makes me a real adult, right?)
  6. So to avoid this, I am continuing to make an effort to recognise and realise my purpose on earth.

Obviously I haven’t figured out the last one, but this is what the blog is for. As an adult, your personality and traits are pretty much formed, so utilizing my big mouth, obstinate nature and confidence and channelling them into something positive and productive is pretty important and pretty mature … right?

But let’s be honest, I’ll never grow up. It’s all a facade! We’re all pretending we have it together – I think the important thing is to try to make something of the small hours of the day rather than waiting for another Friday to roll around. This being said, I’m continuing to be as determined as ever to make 27 the most productive, fulfilling and action-planned year! With Amy Poehler in mind, I want to grow up to be the best version of myself possible. Thanks for joining me and continuing to follow me on this 27 Resolve journey.

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The World needs this as a Regular Chat Show

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I’m a part of Emma Watson’s Our Shared Shelf on Goodreads. I don’t actively participate, but I got involved when Caitlin Moran’s memoir ‘How to be a Woman‘ was selected for book of the month.

Initially I wasn’t drawn to Moran, I found her a bit too brash. I also didn’t like her views on how women were portrayed in history, which I found surprisingly assumptious for a published writer. She said, and I quote, For even the most ardent feminist historian, male or female – citing Amazons and tribal matriarchies and Cleopatra – can’t conceal that women have basically done fuck all for the last 100,000 years. Come on – let’s admit it. Let’s stop exhaustingly pretending that there is a parallel history of women being victorious and creative, on an equal with men, that’s just been comprehensively covered up by The Man. There isn’t. Our empires, armies, cities, artworks, philosophers, philanthropists, inventors, scientists, astronauts, explorers, politicians and icons could all fit, comfortably, into one of the private karaoke booths in SingStar. We have no Mozart; no Einstein; no Galileo; no Gandhi. No Beatles, no Churchill, no Hawking, no Columbus. It just didn’t happen“.

Many people on the OSS forum thought it might have just been her sense of humour, but most of us (quite confused and frustrated) went on to challenge this; making a point that most women weren’t given the opportunity to learn and make a difference, or had male superiors take credit for their work and achievements. But I softened after watching the clip below. This clip comes from an extended interview between Watson and Moran discussing issues raised in her book (these two make good discussion TV). What Moran says does not only support the views I already had, but she also acknowledges that she wasn’t enlightened when she wrote the book five years previously (a feminist who admits faults, how refreshing) and that school had never taught her why women were absent in history. I really encourage you to watch the following clip(s) discussing this.

“You make a point why women didn’t play a role in human history. How did you come to these conclusions, how did they enlighten you?”

(I’m super excited to source The Ascent of Women by Dr Amanda Foreman. I don’t have netflix, but I will no doubt read up about it if I can!)

I also found one aspect they talk about in the video very interesting. Possibly, at some point in history, men and women were equal. And in ancient times when laws were being constructed, men made specific laws that defined women as inferior. This is such an interesting aspect of our history – I agree – why aren’t we taught it specifically in schools?

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