Socially Anti-social

Social media

So much for calling it social…

Facebook, Instagram, Tumbler, Twitter, Flickr, the list goes on. Bet money that you probably have a profile on at least one of these sites. Heck, some people have a profile on ALL these sites. Sadly those people have no friends, even though Facebook says that they have over 1,000… I call BS! Most of these sites are connected, so you have Facebook as kind of your home base and then all these other sites create a copy on your Facebook. You know, for those poor unfortunate souls who refuses to have Instagram.

Little Mermaid, Poor unfortunate souls

What do you MEAN you don’t have Facebook? How do you live?

When Facebook first became popular a lot of people used it as a way of connecting to friends and family. Kind of a way of having a shared photo album without the added expense of having photo’s developed or printed. Its an easy, lazy way of knowing what is going on in a friend’s life without having to make more effort than selecting the blue “f” on your phone. Nowadays it’s way more (and to an extent way less) than that. Facebook is now aflood with selfies and hashtags (that doesn’t mean number) and status rant and raves.

Studies have obviously had a field day with the new trends emerging on Facebook and the like. Trends like selfies and #. This article, written in 2013, showed that 55 million posts had been labeled with #selfie. Upon further inspection it looks like that number has gone up to 309 million. And that is just taking into account the selfie/selfies label. Not to mention any of the other 50 selfie based labels.

There’s even a freakin song…

So why so many selfies? Some theorists suggest that it is because the pos(t)er can control what image is portrayed to their following. And who doesn’t like control? You can’t say that you post the FIRST selfie you take. You take about 20 and then choose the best one. Then you STILL go to work and filter the crap out of it. Don’t deny it. Don’t be that person. Another study shows that “sharing selfies too frequently can lead to a decrease in intimacy among friends and romantic partners.” Another one showed that “women who base their self-worth on their appearances or others’ approval are more likely to share photos online, suggesting these photos may not be doing anything to improve self-esteem. The study also concluded that women are more likely to share selfies than men as a result of a cultural fixation on women’s appearances.” A lot of the studies point towards a growing narcissism, and people basing their self-worth on the amount of likes they received. We won’t even discuss the TYPES of selfies that are being posted. The super close up, the mirror selfie, the laying on a bed selfie, the duckface. It goes on and on.

Ok so you aren’t constantly sharing selfies, but you constantly share images of your food, cat, dog, exercise regime, car… the stuff that surround you. This gives out a ME! ME! ME! image. It’s all about ME! That’s just the image we, your audience receive. Even if you are trying to tell a different story. The constant status updates about all the negatives in your life, of how you hate/dislike a certain something about a certain something be it a country, a store, a person. We have become narcissistic AND cowards. We say stuff on these sites in plain sight and then scream FREEDOM OF SPEECH!!! At anyone that tries to reprimand us. “I feel this way and you can’t say anything about it to me because I can say what I want”

Listen, we all have voices, but if we all screamed our views pretty soon everyone would be deaf and nothing would be fixed.

Socialy Anti-Social

Hey, you guys wanna go have coffee and chat?

Just try putting your selfie-taker and status-update-poster, down for a bit and talk to the person in front of you. you never know, it might even be a person that you love…

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Pregnant Phoenix: The Interview #1

I live with my best friend, Roeline, and her husband, Eric. They have been married for a year and 5 months now and before that they dated for 10 years. Roeline has always wanted children and 16 weeks ago, God made it happen. I felt it was the perfect opportunity to do a little interview about the first trimester, from a normal person’s point of view. (She wrote a blog about her feels also… go read it here).

  1. You’re 16 weeks pregnant at the moment, what is the first thing you did when you found out?

I laughed, and said “well this has never happened before.” Referring to a positive result on the pregnancy test as a few tests have been negative in the past.

  1. How did you expect Eric to react when you told him?

Teary eyed, overjoyed, dancing together. All round tears of joy. Must have been the pregnancy hormones. I knew he wouldn’t react that way.

  1. How did he react?

Not as per the above.

  1. How is he now, and do you think a man only becomes a father when he first holds his chid?

Now that the child has taken on more human like qualities (is no longer looking like an alien) and when we saw the baby move during a sonar, he got a bit more excited and realised that there is a human inside of me. He now enjoys all the weekly updates of what the baby’s development. For instance, during week 15 the baby can suck its thumb, frown, pull funny faces, move their fingers and if you shine a bright light on my stomach the baby can move away from it.

I feel a man can decide when he feels more like a father, or when it’s more real for him. Obviously he’s not experiencing the symptoms of pregnancy but he can still decide how involved he wants to be. I don’t agree with the term mommy-to-be or daddy-to-be, I already have a child that is living and breathing, even if it is only amniotic fluid.

  1. Did you track your ovulation and menstruation periods to plan your pregnancy?

Yes I did. I had an app on my phone which tracked my period and days of ovulation. I also used an ovulation home test. I eventually deleted the app as I felt it was putting too much pressure on the conception thing. It’s better to just let things happen naturally. Once I realised that it is only God that can decide whether life happens or not, no app or home test was needed.  A month after we stopped trying the miracle happened.

  1. Do you want to know the sex of the baby?

No. We did want to originally, but after some convincing from my VERY convincing husband we realised that there are very few real surprises left in life and this has got to be the most amazing one.

  1. What do you wish you could say to people when they react negatively towards your choice of not wanting to know?

Knowing or not knowing does not make me love my child any less. The decision isn’t about you or me, it’s about my child and who they already are. No blue or pink strings attached. When did we become so fixated on gender that a sonogram is more about the gender than the health of your child?

  1. Up until now, how have you changed your lifestyle and what has been the most difficult change?

Obviously being more conscientious about what I eat or drink. Contrary to other pregnant ladies I do not think smoking or drinking whilst being pregnant is ok, luckily that was not a big change for me as I did neither of those things prior to falling pregnant. I do pay very careful attention to any medication, whether it ranges from headaches tablets to anything like flu medication (which btw, does not exist when you are pregnant).

I try to drink my pregnancy vitamins and loads of water daily. I do exercise but not as strenuously, for obvious reasons.

I struggle with taking it easy, which everyone is always reminding me about. How I cannot lift this or do that as much. It is hard to now be the constant centre of attention, everyone is more concerned about the health of your baby than your own health. Ek hou nie daarvan om op gepiep te word nie.

  1. How is being pregnant different from what you imagined it to be?

For starters I had a really easy 1st trimester as opposed to other pregnant ladies. Easy as in, I had no morning sickness, it was more food aversions than being physically ill.

You don’t realise how lonely you feel sometimes, because even when you are surrounded by a bunch of mothers, no 2 pregnancies have been the same. So you end up feeling sorry for yourself because you think you are the only pregnant female ever to grace the earth.

You notice how quickly your friendships change. I shan’t elaborate.

I didn’t expect that I’d be so bothered with weight gain and clothes not fitting and your face getting rounder. Stretch marks don’t bother me cos I had those to begin with.

I used to always try and make a point to tell other pregnant ladies how beautiful they look, because they are. But now that I am pregnant I don’t believe people when they say I look beautiful, I don’t want these feelings to continue once the child is born. Lastly, I didn’t think that I’d already be so protective of my child, especially with us being so involved in church and a lot of people wanting to be so in the pregnancy and our lives. I am already trying to brace myself for when the baby is here and everyone wants to hold it, or feel like they can lay a claim over the child because they are part of the church family. I also don’t like the thought of people sharing anything regarding my child, even my baby scans, on social media. I am a very private person and posting pictures like that makes me feel like a part of me and my child is being exploited.

  1. How are the cravings treating you?

Nothing out of the ordinary, I have had more food aversions than cravings. I will say that I have been craving flapjacks (American pancakes) for a long time, which no one seems to want to make for me.  That funny joke that people make about pickles and ice cream? Yeah, that applies to me. Obviously not together, that’s just gross.

What food aversions or any aversions? Meat, the smell, the sight, the presence of meat. Some cleaning products (fabric softeners, body wash) and due to my heightened sense of smell, I can very quickly pick up on bad body odour.

  1. Do you feel like you are on an emotional rollercoaster or has it been smooth sailing?

It’s hard to say, as I am already a very emotional person. I tend to feel things thoroughly. I will say I feel more emotional and more easily driven to tears, especially when it comes to children. This is open to interpretation from the people that I live with. I think, I THINK, my road rage is worse. (Yes I know, I need to tone it down, I have a child on board)

  1. How does it feel to be pregnant, and how are you mentally and emotionally preparing yourself for being a parent?

So far I’ve only have the classic pregnancy symptoms. For me, being pregnant is when you start seeing and feeling the signs. I am only getting to that stage now and I cannot wait. Because I have such a love for biology and I am so intrigued with the baby’s development I find it interesting tracking its growth, but I so badly want to start feeling the life and connecting with it on a more physical level. I don’t think you can ever be fully prepared, but my preparation comes in the form of praying for my child and celebrating their life. I am already working on myself to ensure that I am the mother that they deserve to have. As for being prepared when the baby is here, I believe they come with a manual, it’s called the Bible.

  1. What has helped you the most thus far that you could recommend to other pregnant ladies?

Choosing to stay positive, reminding yourself that even though you are feeling like crap and there are all these changes, being pregnant is the best thing that can happen to anyone. Spending time with new moms who are eager to help and support you. Choosing to abolish any little speck of fear that you may have, whether it be for the baby’s health or of the days that are yet to come.  Whenever fear comes, you nip it in the bud. Spending time with God and in the Bible. Praise and worship has taken on a whole new meaning to me, you realise that this is the only time in life that you are working with God to create a miracle. Jy moet ook jou deel bring.

  1. What are you most excited about for your baby’s future?

To see what God has planned for them.

  1. If you could ask God to change one thing regarding pregnancy, what would it be?

*Laughs* Does it have to be only one thing?

“No”.

I would ask that parents who are not fit to be parents, e.g., people who will abuse, abandon or neglect their child, should not be given the blessing of bringing a child into this world. Also, that all babies are considered as valuable, no matter what their gestational age or the circumstances around their conception are… in other words… PRO LIFE.

Thank you Phoenix for the interview. May your pregnancy be as graceful as you are.

5 Weddings and 3 babies! (No funerals)

5 Weddings in a year… FIVE! Let’s narrow it down some more, 5 weddings in the space between 25 April and 1 November. That’s not even an entire year, that’s like 6 months and a few days. So, half a year. 5 WEDDINGS IN HALF A YEAR. If I wasn’t acutely aware of how totally single I am, 5 weddings made that very clear to me. The fun part is that the year is not over yet, Murphey might invite me to another wedding.

Friends, Rachel

I agree, Rachel, I agree!

Believe me, I am not saying I didn’t enjoy every wedding that I attended, 4 of the 5 were of really close friends, for whom I am extremely happy. All the weddings were beautiful from big to small, extravagant to minimal. They were all exquisite and God was there, which makes me happy. I am not anti-wedding, or the wedding Grinch, just saying. What would the wedding Grinch look like, if one existed? There’s a story in there somewhere and by golly I will find it.

It’s easy attending weddings, doing make-up, getting dressed (After the age of 13, if you can’t dress yourself, there are problems), dancing, laughing, eating… etc. You know what is not easy? Being at that age where people are getting married, having babies and falling pregnant. Having people come up to me asking when, why and where? As if they have not known me for an extended period of time. In my parent’s life the acceptable age age was between 18 and 22. Now, in today’s age it is between 25 and 35. I know, here and there a few slip through the cracks, there’ll be a 21 year old for every three 27 year olds. Those are crappy odds.

3 Babies. To be fair, only one baby was born this year. Right after a wedding. This way I can’t forget the date of either. SILVER LINING!! There was however another pregnancy announcement. Sure there are babies born every 6 seconds around the world, but it wasn’t in MY world where these babies were being born. I could walk around oblivious to the infant population growth happening everywhere except in my own world. I can’t be oblivious anymore.

Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely happy for all the weddings, babies and families and whatnots. I am also just walking around pet stores looking at the cute kittens, trying to figure out what the correct crazy-to-cats-ratio would be (I wonder of Barney Stinson has one like his crazy-hot-chart?). I already have a cat and I am already pretty crazy, there’s a healthy balance… so how many more cats until I am a spinster with a house smelling of potpourri and cat excrement? Do cheetahs count? Cos I am all for having a bunch of cheetahs, I don’t care what you say.

On the flip side, I don’t want to have children and I could totally pack up everything, or SELL everything, and go live in a shack on the beach, cleaning hotels and trying to make it as a big shot surfer.(Can yah name the movie?)

Blue Crush

Blue Crush: Living the dream, one struggle at a time.

Roots? What roots? I shall be a bonsai tree, small and portable, I shall teach karate masters the art of patience. I don’t have the responsibility of having to report my whereabouts to another human being for the sake of pretending that I care about his feelings by letting him know that I am still where I was an hour ago. Ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat.