this is not a competition

We are often warned not to take social media too seriously. People often selectively share life events on the good to amazing scale, and leave out the mundane to disastrous. Looking at the social media of one’s friends might lead one to believe that everyone has the cutest, most well-behaved kids; or that they are always getting flowers and presents from people; or that they frequently go to the beach, where they enjoy picnics with elaborate charcuterie platters.

I’m sure this is all very obvious to my readership and to most of my friends, and there’s no need to warn any of you about this; but while I thought I was also above this petty social media envy, I realised the other day that I am, quite possibly, not totally immune.

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obligatory Instagram post

I only joined Instagram in late April this year. I’d been avoiding it for so long because I was convinced it’d only be another distraction, another implement in the procrastinator’s toolbox. But I joined this year so that I could more easily “follow” my nephew.

The only other people I followed initially were friends of mine who exclusively used Instagram, and did not have Facebook accounts; friends who were on holidays at the time; and friends who happened to find me, so I followed them back.  Continue reading

just some ramblings about blogging and that time I went on a TD binge

In a moment – inspiration. In another moment – inspiration lost. But some remnant of it is still there, like ripples on the surface of a lake, hinting at something that’s passed.

Sometimes I wonder what I used to write about before I started writing so much about my holiday to Japan, and about this Meditations book I’m reading. Well, I suppose it’s easy enough to look back at my blog archives and see that it’s just a bunch of random ramblings.

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lessons from the internet

I’ve been noticing something rather strange and ironic that seems to be happening more and more lately. (Well, it seems to have plateaued or abated a bit since I wrote the draft for this post – handwrote, mind you – but still worth posting, I suppose. I don’t usually handwrite drafts for posts, but I was being lazy and didn’t want to turn on my laptop, so I just grabbed some scrap paper and a pencil. And then I forgot about it for a few weeks…)

The phenomenon I speak of is this trend of using social media against itself. More specifically, it’s all these videos and photos (or “memes” if you will) that are circulating on Facebook that either encourage people to stop spending so much time on social media sites, or that make fun of how obsessed everyone is with FB/Twitter/Instagram/whatever other sites people use to consume every spare waking second of their lives.

Now, to be clear, I have nothing against these things, just as I have nothing against social media, as such. I just thought it was ironic. But, then again, how else are people going to get these sorts of messages out?

While on the subject of social media, I’ve also been noticing a lot of people “sharing” articles about life lessons and stuff like that. These are usually titled something like “Ten things you learn in your twenties” or “Seven things every 30 year old should know”, and (from the ones that I have been bored/curious enough to read) these articles tend to offer very generic/repetitive advice like “prioritise your life – work isn’t the most important thing” or “it’s impossible to keep every friend you’ve ever made”.

The funny thing about a lot of these sorts of articles is that they also tell readers to not worry if they feel like they don’t have everything figured out, because there’s no master formula that will work for everyone. If the article does include a point like this, it’s usually at the end, which basically translates in my mind to “just ignore everything you just read – you’ll probably figure it out for yourself and still survive”. Great.