Hanging Out the Dirty Laundry…

I don’t know about you but I can’t help wondering why people feel the need to share every teeny tiny little detail of their lives on social media or, even more bizarre, why they want to drag the world and his wife into their familial disputes. Take, for example, the Mum-in- law who wanted to charge her son £17 for Christmas dinner; it prompted a debate on Mumsnet and has now found its way into the mainstream media. Why???

I don’t know about you but I can’t help wondering why people feel the need to share every teeny tiny little detail of their lives on social media or, even more bizarre, why they want to drag the world and his wife into their familial disputes. Take, for example, the Mum-in- law who wanted to charge her son £17 for Christmas dinner; it prompted a debate on Mumsnet and has now found its way into the mainstream media. Why???

Are our lives really so insular nowadays that we want to get involved with this kind of petty dispute? Are virtual reality shows not enough to fulfill our lust for rifling through the minutiae of other people’s lives? Maybe it’s just the case that reading about this type of nonsense makes us feel better about our own lives, who knows!

Am I being a hypocrite? I post all kind of personal stuff on WP that I possibly shouldn’t share with the world….is all this endless navel gazing healthy I wonder? Has social media unleashed something within us all that we are now happy to have our lives under constant scrutiny? Is there a positive side to it? Are we all being more open about our emotions these days behind the safety of an online account?

I’m not really going anywhere with this, I’d just be really interested to hear your thoughts; social media worries me a bit if I’m honest and I’m not sure if it should or I’m just behind the times……what do you think?

Lisa x

Am I Missing Something????

Do you know who this is? You’re going to say “well duh! of course I do Lisa it’s Kylie Jenner” aren’t you? I’m guessing you might even have a tiny eye roll when you think I’m not looking? Seriously, how do I not know about these people?? Admittedly I don’t spend a huge amount of time on social media but still! I’d never even heard of her until this morning but apparently she ‘earns’ $1 Million per sponsored post on Instagram which tops even Beyonce (who I have actually heard of) and has 110 million followers…….no scrap that, I’ve just checked Instagram and it’s now 111 million!

Do you know who this is? You’re going to say “well duh! of course I do Lisa it’s Kylie Jenner” aren’t you? I’m guessing you might even have a tiny eye roll when you think I’m not looking? Seriously, how do I not know about these people?? Admittedly I don’t spend a huge amount of time on social media but still! I’d never even heard of her until this morning but apparently she ‘earns’ $1 Million per sponsored post on Instagram which tops even Beyonce (who I have actually heard of) and has 110 million followers…….no scrap that, I’ve just checked Instagram and it’s now 111 million!

 I’ve got to be honest here and say that I don’t really get Instagram. I mean, I like photos as much as the next person but, let’s face it, how much interest do we really take when someone shares their holiday snaps with us? Sure, if it’s a place we’ve never visited, the first half dozen can be pretty interesting but would we want to sit there and look at hundreds or even thousands? How is Instagram any different? Can someone please enlighten me?

Of course I get the concept of ‘likes’ (or loves as, in this case, it’s little hearts that indicate your approval of someone’s photos), everyone appreciates admiration for their efforts but what do the 111 million people who have followed Kylie hope to get from it? Do they think that she will notice them and they’ll be catapulted into instant fame and untold wealth if she ‘loves’ one of their photos? Is it just a fascination with beauty and fame?

I can’t help but admire the woman as, at age 20, she is on route to being a self-made billionaire before she reaches 25. She is evidently a master media manipulator and that’s not to be sniffed at but she is described as ‘a make-up connoisseur’ (an expert judge in matters of taste) and I really can’t help wondering how this has become a profession that commands $1 million per post???

Ok never mind, you can forget all that, I’ve just read that she’s somehow related to the Kardashians, that explains everything. Now how did they become famous again???????

In the name of research I’ve decided to follow her for 24 hours. If I don’t post anything tomorrow you’ll know it’s because I am now best friends with a social media superstar and I’m jetting of to LA. I’m guessing we’ll be catching up again tomorrow ;O)

Lisa x

 

 

Is Woke the Path to Enlightenment?

People should not be treated as sheep unless the intention is for them to become like sheep – mindlessly following popular opinion without applying their own moral standards – that can never lead to anything positive!

For those of you don’t know (and I was one of them until recently) ‘woke’ is a widely used term for people who are ‘aware’ of social and racial injustices but does being aware make them enlightened or just intolerant of the intolerance of others?

If you have a quick whiz around Google you’ll soon find this comment from David Brooks (who is an American journalist apparently):

“To be woke is to be radically aware and justifiably paranoid. It is to be cognizant of the rot pervading the power structures. The woke manner shares cool’s rebel posture, but it is the opposite of cool in certain respects. Cool was politically detached, but being a social activist is required for being woke. Cool was individualistic, but woke is nationalistic and collectivist. Cool was emotionally reserved; woke is angry, passionate and indignant. Cool was morally ambiguous; woke seeks to establish a clear marker for what is unacceptable.”

face palmWhen I first started thinking about ‘woke’ I thought yep OK we need a bit more tolerance and understanding of other people because, with that, comes acceptance and with acceptance comes peace but then I read this explanation and face palmed….It would appear that, in modern parlance, woke is merely calling other people out over their ideas and opinions which the ‘woke’ collective deem as being unacceptable. It has led to a culture in which some people, who presumably consider themselves woke, criticise the comments or actions of others and, furthermore, are offended on behalf of others. 

A sad example of this was the online castigation of a young girl who posted a photo of herself in her prom dress. Pretty innocuous right? Nope, because she was wearing a traditional Chinese dress called a cheongsam and she’s not Chinese which apparently means that she committed the crime of cultural appropriation which prompted responses such as:

“Was the theme of the prom casual racism” (this from a girl whose profile picture indicates that she is not Chinese)

This was followed by:

“I’m Asian and not insulted in any way. You look beautiful”

This thread prompted over 6,000 comments, some condemning and some showing support. Those condemning appear to consider themselves woke; they are pointing out that a dress choice could be interpreted as taking something from someone else’s culture without having the proper respect or understanding of that culture which is, apparently, inappropriate. If you take this theory to the nth degree then, surely, it means that everyone must stay within their own cultural boundaries in case they offend someone by stepping over theirs. Whilst I can appreciate patriotism and pride in our heritage I do find it incredibly sad that we should not be able to appreciate the wonders of someone else’s culture without fear of inadvertent appropriation.

Your rights endThis phrase from Mr Brooks “woke seeks to establish a clear marker for what is unacceptable” really concerns me not least because who will be deciding what is ‘unacceptable’. Is it the case, as it seems to be with advertisements these days, that if more than 0.00000001% of the population is offended then it naturally follows that the rest of the population should be offended?

There is currently a battle ranging between trans women (biological men who identify as women) and extreme feminists and both sides are gaining a lot of traction in the media because they are trying to force people to accept their beliefs by saying that, to have a contrary opinion, is offensive and unacceptable. So, to take this example, does ‘woke’ mean that you have to accept both sides of the argument as being offensive? If that is the case then where does the positive on each side fit in? Where is the place for the individual in all this?

sheepApparently woke is collectivist which means that the good of the society has to be considered over the welfare of the individual. That’s dangerous ground for me I’m afraid; what is ‘society’ other than a collection of individuals and who gets to decide what is good for the majority of an individuals other than a minority of other individuals? People should not be treated as sheep unless the intention is for them to become like sheep – mindlessly following popular opinion without applying their own moral standards – that can never lead to anything positive!

Lotus isolated on blackSo, is being woke the same as being on the path to enlightenment? In my opinion, that would be a resounding no. True tolerance and true harmony between individuals doesn’t come from being offended, angry and indignant, it comes from acceptance and understanding. It’s a rare thing to be able to accept others just as they are but I believe that’s the way to peace so I will try to be awakened and not woke if that’s all the same to you ;O) x

 

A Problem Shared…….?

People will share the most intimate details of their lives with complete strangers; sometimes their hopes but, more often than not, their fears, their worries, the things that make them angry and resentful………in other words the negative things in their life. 

There have been questions raised recently as to why mental health issues are so prevalent among children and young people these days when awareness and help for things like anxiety disorders has improved so much. It’s an incredibly complex subject and I’m no psychiatrist but I do wonder how much social media is contributing to anxiety and depression in the young.

When I was at school, we had a few bullies who would verbally and sometimes physically intimidate others but, if you just stayed away from the nasty few, the encounters, although traumatic at the time, were few and far between. Now, however, bullies have any number of ways of tormenting their victims because, not only do we have real life to contend with, but almost all of us also have a virtual life. Many people seem to spend half their lives on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. and it has become the norm for them to become far more open and honest in their virtual existance than they would be in a face to face situation. People will share the most intimate details of their lives with complete strangers; sometimes their hopes but, more often than not, their fears, their worries, the things that make them angry and resentful………in other words the negative things in their life. depression 1

Before the advent of social media individuals would discuss their problems with just one or two of their closest friends who would invariably listen attentively and maybe offer some advice or just a hug. Now a single post can attract dozens or even hundreds of responses. With Twitter especially, many of the people who reply will know nothing about you other than what you share online so they may ridicule or they may try to ‘help’ by giving you advice, offering words of support or sharing their own experience. What you then end up with is a timeline which is accusatory, sympathetic and empathetic but which, if any, are of actual benefit to you?

 

depressed 2The people who mock or ridicule you will lower your self-esteem even further and make you regret sharing whatever it was that you shared. If you decide to engage with them it will end in one of two ways – they will become increasingly abusive, feeling safe hiding behind the avatar of their virtual self or you will become angry and attempt to hurt them in the way that they’ve hurt you.

Sympathy tweetSympathy and words of support can make us feel loved and, in some ways, special. We are all craving love in one form or another so there follows the temptation to try to generate more of those feelings by posting again. If we’re having a bad day, feeling anxious or depressed, and someone sends us a message of love and sympathy it can give us a lift there’s no doubt about that. However, if the way that we attract positive attention is to constantly post negative comments, how long will it be before we are looking for negativity in our lives merely to have something to say that will encourage loving words from others? What we focus on in life determines our mood and our state of mind so, if we are constantly looking for ways to generate sympathy our focus will be on the things that we are lacking.

 This can lead to a vicious cycle. People will usually only be sympathetic for so long            so, although you may attract new followers who will give you the words of love and support that you crave, the messages will slow down or even stop. You continue to pour your heart out, writing down all the negative things in your life (which will reinforce their significance in your mind) but they don’t attract attention. The only way that you can continue to get those positive vibes is to make your posts more and more negative which means that you will be more and more focused on the things that you see as being wrong in your life. anxiety-tweets-memes-45-59d787f3c5dfa__700

Empathy is a wonderful quality; to be able to understand and share the feelings of others is a rare and beautiful thing. If you ever meet someone who is truly empathetic you will feel as though you have known them all your life and that you can share anything with them. It can seem like that on social media when you come across someone who seems to understand your problems completely because they have experienced them themselves. However, just because someone wants to share their experiences with you, it doesn’t mean that they are empathetic or that they truly understand what you are going through. Human beings, for the most part, like to talk about themselves and their experiences and those who think about what they want to say next are far more common than those who actually listen to what the other person is saying. Someone with real empathy will listen attentively and with compassion; they won’t launch into their own tirade of misery the second that you have finished recounting yours.

As there are so many stories being shared on social media 24/7 you can always find someone to share your misery with. Whilst this may feel liberating and helpful, what you are actually doing is constantly enforcing your own negative thoughts by writing them down and then having them verified by someone else who is doing exactly the same thing.

If social media was full of positive and life affirming comments and stories of people over-coming adversity I truly believe that we would focus far more on the things that are right in our lives rather than the things that are wrong but, you know what they say, misery loves company! Personally, if that’s true, I think I’d rather walk alone………………

Osho happy quote

 

In Pursuit of Beauty?

…beauty is in the eye of the media

It would seem these days that beauty is in the eye of the media; there are millions of images on the TV, in magazines, on the internet etc. all telling us what we should or shouldn’t look like. Unfortunately, as with all things, the media is not exactly consistent.

How many times do we see pictures like these? ‘So and so celebrity has really piled on the pounds!’ Then the next day ‘so and so celebrity is too skinny’; ironically it’s often the same celebrity who was lambasted for being overweight 6 months previously.

If you type ‘celebrities who’ve let themselves go’ into google it will bring up hundreds of people who have simply got older or lost/gained a little weight. So celebrities are human huh? Shocker! (This comes with rolling eyes and a slight feeling of exasperation).

The question is where does this leave the rest of us mere mortals? Well, we now have young people who become anorexic or bulimic because their onscreen role models are a size 6. It doesn’t occur to them to question whether or not said idol is happy being that size or whether their job (and the media) demands that they are slim and actually they’d really like to be able to have a dessert occasionally. It doesn’t occur to them to question whether or not they will be healthy as a size 6; if you’re naturally slim it’s one thing, if you’re naturally a size 14 and shrink yourself down to a size 6 is another thing altogether. They also don’t consider the fact that many stars have personal trainers and spend hours in the gym with them every day; to lose weight without exercise will mean a big and potentially dangerous reduction in calories.

On the flip side we now also have Fat Acceptance (or Body Acceptance) which is essentially people who are overweight, and know that they’re overweight, fighting back against Fat Shaming. fat shaming 2(This is the charming past-time of being unpleasant to people considered fat by ‘shamers’ on social media.) There is even a Fat Activist movement which addresses the issue of, what they see as, society’s ‘bias’ against obese people.

This means that, on the one hand we have young people desperate to be skinny and, on the other, we have those who are obese calling for fat-shaming to be considered a hate crime. It’s well known that both anorexia and obesity come with massive health risks and yet both are on the increase.

Part of the obesity problem can certainly be attributed to the fast and convenience food that has become a staple for many people. Sugar is believed to be more addictive than cocaine and yet these type of food are absolutely packed full of it. However, another part of the problem is our attitudes to ourselves and our bodies and the fact that open and honest discussions are few and far between. The Government is seen as ‘the Nanny State’ if it advises people on the health risks of obesity and anorexia, schools no longer teach classes on cookery and nutrition, children are happier in front of a computer screen rather than being outside running around and the internet provides a safe haven for advocates of over-eating and starvation and the bullies that follow them. If we could all see the damage that’s being done to our insides maybe we’d be less concerned with how we look on the outside……….

 

Beauty and the Bitches

We have only one life. It’s very short. Love who you are and find happiness

THE BEAUTIFUL YOUNG GIRL IN THIS VIDEO SHOWS US, IN THE MOST HEARTBREAKING WAY, THE EFFECT THAT OTHER PEOPLE’S WORDS CAN HAVE UPON   US. SHE SAYS: “SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO LET PEOPLE GO BECAUSE THEY ARE TOXIC TO YOU. LET THEM GO BECAUSE THEY TAKE AND TAKE AND LEAVE YOU EMPTY LET THEM GO BECAUSE, IN THE OCEAN OF LIFE, WHEN ALL YOU’RE TRYING TO DO IS STAY AFLOAT, THEY ARE THE ANCHOR THAT’S DROWNING YOU”.

BE HAPPY WITH YOURSELF.

LOOK IN THE MIRROR AND LOVE WHO YOU ARE.

YOU ARE UNIQUE AND THEREFORE VERY SPECIAL.

REMEMBER THIS, BELIEVE IT AND NO WORDS WILL EVER HAVE THE POWER TO HURT YOU.

If people attack you with words, it’s not because there is something wrong with you but because there is something wrong with them. They don’t like themselves and they can’t cope with that feeling or find a way to resolve the issues that they have so they lash out at others. Often you will find that the people who are the most cruel with words are the ones who hurt most inside.

Young women who are bitchy to other girls often seem to be very popular, not because they have the sort of personality that naturally attracts other people but because it’s easier to show affiliation than to risk becoming a target. For them there is the illusion of popularity which is the very thing that they need to boost their self-esteem but, unfortunately, it  stems from cruelty to others. Therefore, in order to maintain their own self-esteem they must bully others and so the cycle continues; pity them and don’t allow them to crush your beautiful spirit.

In order to be hurt by the words of others we must, on some level, believe that what they are saying is, at least partially, true. If someone says that we are ugly and that’s what we fear ourselves, those words will cut us to the quick. However, if we accept that the way we look is the way we look and there is little that we can do to change it, the cruel words have far less impact. Further, if we are at peace with ourselves and accept completely our personalities, flaws and all, we will find pleasure in the company of others, whatever their faults, and equal pleasure in spending time alone.

We have only one life. It’s very short. Love who you are and find happiness

#Not Waving But Drowning

It begs the question would Twitter would be so popular if tweets were not ‘liked’ or re-tweeted and if people could not follow each other? If that were the case people would just be airing their views based on their own moral standards and not as a way to gain acceptance or approval from others………..

“I was much further out than you thought   And not waving but drowning”.

This line from the poem by Stevie Smith seems, for me, to sum up many of the posts that we see on Twitter these days. Social media seems to have opened the floodgates for people to share their deepest thoughts and feelings, be they negative or positive, without restraint. What we have ended up with is a section of society who are so absolutely desperate for their voices to be heard that it’s pitiful. Abuse, bullying and foul language are common place and, in some instances, actively encouraged but why?

There are accounts which have obviously been set up to try and promote hope, tolerance and positivity twitter positivebut, unfortunately, they are far outweighed by those which seems to serve no purpose other than to stir up anger and hatred in others. DWPm_5oWkAETuiG I wonder what that says about the owner of the account?

People who are happy with themselves and their lives are rarely unkind to others so how low must someone’s self-esteem be for them to constantly hit out? The vast majority of people look for attention from others and what better way to get it than on Twitter? You receive a notification when someone ‘likes’ something that you’ve said; people will re-tweet posts and you’ll receive another message which, effectively, tells you your views have been validated however negative, unpleasant or inflammatory they may be:

“If we can fund Planned Parenthood to murder babies, I think funding our schools with armed security guards to keep our children safe is more than a reasonable suggestion”.

Added to that people ‘follow’ you which is indicative of approval and something that many look for in their friends.  This results in people of like minds ‘following’ each other and using their sense of unity to bully others. Celebrities are often targets of this type of online abuse but they are also part of the problem; they are ‘accessible’ and some people will literally do anything to attract their attention. From fawning applause of even the most banal comment to threats of injury and death, to be noticed by someone famous can be seen by some as a huge boost to their ego. If they had a genuine sense of self-worth would they still be so desperate?

If Twitter were real life the world would be in a state of complete anarchy and war would be the norm rather than the exception but it’s popularity continues to grow. Even the President of the USA is in on the act and, as a hugely powerful and influential man, his words could literally divide a country:

….If a potential “sicko shooter” knows that a school has a large number of very weapons talented teachers (and others) who will be instantly shooting, the sicko will NEVER attack that school. Cowards won’t go there…problem solved. Must be offensive, defense alone won’t work!”

It begs the question would Twitter would be so popular if tweets were not ‘liked’ or re-tweeted and if people could not follow each other? If that were the case people would just be airing their views based on their own moral standards and not as a way to gain acceptance or approval from others………..