Archives for posts with tag: culture

I recently only realised how much I dread meeting new people. I suddenly become an awkward yet withdrawn klutz, hyper aware and oblivious at the same time. I turn into a walking oxymoron. This though, is when I’m in an environment I’m not used to, with very few people I know. It’s just…stressful.

I write this with a terrible headache from one of these occurrences. I had to encounter (and interact with) someone I’m a fan of and have a slight crush on. It was horrific. I wasn’t expecting to meet said admired person you see, so my brain went straight into fright, fight and flight mode all at the same time. I became withdrawn not wanting to appear too eager, and then my responses became slightly rude in an attempt to assert myself and appear confident. I could tell my friend was confused at my behaviour and eventually asked why I was being ‘stuck up’. Stuck up?! Sigh. Perhaps subconsciously, I did judge him too quickly, thinking he’d be full of himself due to his status, hence an automatic defence wall coming up. Vicious cycle.

I’m frequently told I appear arrogant until after a conversation has ensued- then later on they say wow, I didn’t know you’d be so nice. Then there’s the countless times that I’ve met people and was completely shocked by how deceiving their looks were. I’m guilty of calling people stuck up in the past when I only just met them. We all kind of are. This is such a daily occurrence that I can confidently say… first impressions suck. I don’t even want to think of what ‘admired person’ thought of me today.

I guess human beings may have adapted to society in such a way that impressions are a time-saver for us. A quick selection process till the next stage. A sift.

I’m learning to give people the benefit of the doubt. Not to take anyone’s behaviour too personally, to be a little kinder, a little more merciful, a bit more gracious. Just not to the point that I’m acting. The world would be a nicer place to live in if we just extend ourselves a bit more to the next person, and judge less. It’s one love, you dig?

(P.S; someone please leave tips on how not to be an awkward mess without betraying one’s authenticity- just so I don’t die from one of these post-social situation headaches. save a lifeee.)

love.

Advertisements

Well, who hasn’t joined it yet? Be it an empty, dormant account or one that garners at least 400 likes in the first 6 minutes of a picture hitting timelines-  everyone wants to or has interacted with this new phenomenon. It’s the recent wonderful world of instant glimpses into peoples lives, who wouldn’t?! But like all social networks, Instagram isn’t all roses and pretty filters.  As a recent ex-Instagrammer (and relieved), here’s what you should keep in mind about Instagram if you want to become part of the Insta-world:

1) At some point, you will have ‘like-xiety’…somewhat like ‘textiety’ except it’s the anxious moment between when you post a picture, and when you receive a certain number of likes. Now, this varies depending on a person’s level of self-esteem and/or personality. For instance, the social climbers will need at least 100 likes pronto.

2)The aforementioned social climbers are likely to have a network of ‘likers’ – people that are forever on standby to stroke their egos. This, of course, is in return for the same treatment. It’s like an unspoken agreement- an Insta bro-code, don’t break it. If you do, you may earn yourself a ‘ghost follower’ (will get to that shortly).

3) Self acclaimed Insta-celebs (not actual celebrities that happen to be on Instagram- that’s different) market themselves. Some create awareness of their posts via a discreet link post on twitter announcing each new Instagram post. For the social climbers, this is to notify said ‘band of likers’ of a picture in need of liking in case they didn’t already see it yet. In many ways, this is a social contest. A battle of the popular. Of course, this method of marketing is  most successful with those that have amassed a healthy following on Twitter already. So if you frequently post pictures and receive 0-10 likes when you’re almost convinced your picture was a lot more aesthetically pleasing than girl with the middle part Brazillian and short dress- do not despair! This is politics and marketing all in one baby.

4) As with all social media, people will only show you the best part or their lives. With Instagram though, there are even more filters! Do remember this, when you begin to wonder why your life just isn’t as fun/lavish/awesome/pretty/cool as everyone else’s. It’s all a mirage. All about appearances, no?

5) Ghost Followers: Def.n., the group of Instagram followers who never like your pictures. This may be due to them a) hating, b) beefing, c) envying d) all of the above. Only a few Intagram followers are ghost because they never come on Instagram. You will be able to tell. You will have them. You will also be someone’s ghost follower.

6) Instagram is essentially self-advertisement (as if it wasn’t obvious already). This can be good, and it can be terrible; expect a few cleavage filled shots tagged ‘new earrings’ and some apparent shots of  ‘nice weather’ with *insert expensive branded object here* obnoxiously taking up half of the screen.

7) In relation to the above point, it seems some people eventually see what garners the most likes for them and they post the same type of thing over and over again.

8) Instagram will take up a LOT of your time. It’s amazing how much time you can spend scrolling down the timeline, Insta-stalking someone you admire, editing a picture/ group of pictures just to put it up. Don’t be fooled- a lot of people don’t just instantly take a picture and upload. There will be several to begin with, there will be selecting, cropping, editing, the entire works, before it goes up to those followers. I for one know how much time I sometimes spent doing this.

 

I realised most of this as I went along, but I decided the situation is worse thank we think, when one day  at 3am, one of my friends in University frantically announced that we should all go like her pic immediately (she had forgotten how late it was and that hence, people would be unable to like her picture because they were asleep). Let’s just say she got a sudden wave of like-xiety. 

We live in an increasingly self-obsessed world. With the increase in all the different types of social networks, and hence, several representations of ‘self’ on the internet, people (especially young people) are more and more concerned about how they appear to others in the virtual world. The importance of this virtual image and this in relation to others’ is causing people to be increasingly petty, self-promoting and stuck up. And it’s soooo easy to get sucked in- I say this with all confidence because I’ve been there! And it took me a while to realise it until one day I scrolled through my Instagram page and was disgusted at who I was becoming-: self-absorbed, self-promoting, petty and stuck-up. I deleted my account, and fast. There are many ways to keep in touch- and I’m all for making meaningful connections with people. So don’t take me for one who is bashing our world all the technological advancements that make life -and keeping in touch/socialising  a lot easier. But things also quickly become cultural toxins.  I’d just really like  to see us, especially people in my age group, become better people, who love, are empathetic and genuinely care about the next person.

Now, I will give credit where credit is due; I just read a passage in the Bible whose words I just lifted as they fit perfectly into this- 1 Timothy 3: 1-5 (MSG) : “Don’t be naive, there are difficult times ahead. As the end  approaches, people are going to be self absorbed, money-hungry, self-promoting, stuck-up, profane, contemptuous of parents, crude, coarse, dog-eat-dog, unbending, slanderers, impulsively wild, savage, cynical, treacherous, ruthless, bloated windbags, addicted to lust, and allergic to God”. 

How much of this do we see in our social media/networking today?

*Can I just add, there is so much wisdom and truth in that book! It has survived through the ages, and it’s core message is love. How can people ignore it so much??

 

Love and peace,

The Voice-Over.