Friday, July 16, 2010

The 10 most unexpected consequences of being online

As our Media Studies class for B-Tech has us pretty elbow deep in social networks, I have used my own experience of being online (both educational and private) to compile the 10 most unexpected consequences of exactly that:

1. Being online is like entering into a new dimension – it consumes you. You forget about everything else. You forget about the real world and as opposed to living in it (the world) you become a critique of it. Your hands-on experience falls by the way side and is replaced by a new life, one created in a space where your world is determined only by text on a screen.

2. Being online is like being listed on a high school registry – anyone and everyone you DON’T want to be in contact with finds you.

3. Being online is like being in the celebrity section of a glossy magazine – people who don’t know you anymore, nor have ever met you, feel compelled to engage in gossip criticizing you publicly on a global network so enormous you just can’t miss it (the problem here is that nobody else misses what’s said either).

4. Being online is like being told for the first time that there really is no Santa Clause – people are actually free to share their honest opinions and these may not always be quite what you were hoping for, nor always what you want to hear.

5. Being online is like heading a society for people who have no direct influence in your life - yes you make friends but are they of any real significance to you? I mean hello…they exist only in cyberspace. Good luck planning a road trip/taking a photograph of/or simply being with people you never meet. P.S. That person you’ve committed your every evening online to – is an axe murderer/has a husband or wife/is only 12 years old/runs a trafficking racket/couldn’t make it in the real world.

6. Being online is like being popular – yes you have ten trillion friends following you on myspace/Facebook/Blueworld/website/blog/LinkedIn/etc but guess what? No one really cares. P.S. All those 'friends' you love to brag about don’t care about you either.

7. Being online is like living in the Victorian era – people are shocked to learn that your personality runs deeper than the square, well-behaved and polite person you are expected to be when at school/at varsity/at work, not realizing that it is not being ‘online’ that changes you but it is being online that provides you with an opportunity to share what really defines you – something apparently forbidden otherwise. These people are idiots; post something extravagant to really get them talking.

8. Being online is like taking candy from a stranger – it encourages you to participate through all of the ‘possibilities’ as promised by being online…and once you take the first bite it’s not very easy to walk away from.

9. Being online is like not having a life – eventually you will become a social network stalker. It will happen. And it is pathetic.

10. Being online is like being friends with the Grim Reaper - you give away a little piece of your soul every time you make something of yourself public.

Blogging perceptions

The general public (please do not crit this description…I quite literally mean general) have no clue what blogging is, what it’s for, who uses it or why. I’m not parading myself about as an expert (because I am far from an expert) but I like to think that my stumbling through self-experience has taught me if not some, at least a few, blogging basics.

When asked in conversation to share my URL address, I am generally forced to endure (by some putsy individual participating in the conversation), the following 10 lines of dialogue:

Other: ‘So you blog right?’

Kerry: ‘Elementary, my dear Watson.’

Other: ‘Ah (the irritating, self-satisfactory kind of ‘ah’ when used in any other sentence would sound like ‘Ah, I’ve got you all figured out’) so you blog about your day right? What you’ve had for breakfast, what you did, who you met up with…how often you went to the bathroom?’

Kerry: OH.MY.WORD. ‘Uh, no not exact…’

Other: ‘What makes you think people care about you and what you do in a day? I wouldn’t read your blog. Jeez, just keep a diary. ‘Attention-seeker’ much?’

Kerry: ‘Like I was trying to say, no, that’s not wha…’

Other: ‘Well, I wouldn’t have time in day to read what someone else has to say anyway. Far too busy with my own s**t.’

All the while I'm thinking, 'Yes, well, they'll never find your body...'

Kerry: ‘Okay…good thing I wasn't giving the URL to you then.’

Other: ‘No well, maybe give it to me; I’ll have a look.’

Kerry: ‘Ah…’ (Yes, the very same ‘Ah’ as explained above).

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The elephant in the room (and a list of promises)

The elephant in the room; generally that elephant is me. I’m carrying weight – not too much but not exactly too little either – and in a room of people you would probably be able to pick me out of the ‘skinnies’ as being the more ‘sizable’ of the ladies, if you know what I’m saying (I.E. A telltale sign; I can’t wear skinny jeans because my calf muscles are too big – promise).

I’d have to say that my diet (read: my implausible inability to say no to fried foods, fast foods, anything chocolate, baked goodies, salt, cheese and oh, pasta with cream) is my downfall - I'm a gobbler - gobble gobble. Well, that and my hate for the gym (it’s not that I hate exercising, it’s just that my ideal is exercising outdoors…something I’m now too scared to do on my own thanks to a flaw in the universal plan of public areas called CRIME).

I have to admit however that my weight doesn’t get me down very often; I am an avid believer of loving yourself for whom and what you are and not loving yourself because others love you (or should I say, rate you ‘acceptable’ in everyone’s high school mentality of what is socially acceptable – they’re called curves, get over it).

Extra weight comes with its perks too; I’m warmer than most in winter, I’m comfy to snuggle up to and I pretty much get to eat whatever I want, whenever I want (BONUS!).

What I hate the most about - shall we call it, comfy weight? – is the knock to my confidence whenever I am comparing myself to others. By recognizing my weight as a hindrance to my personality provides others with the right to judge me according to my size. If it doesn’t bother me, it shouldn’t bother them. On the contrary should it bother them, I just couldn’t care less.

The truth is that clearly it doesn’t bother me enough to make a compelled effort to shed the extra kg’s even if I don’t look good in the devils invention – a bikini. Why not? Because I am pretty content with who I am and although weight is my issue, I know that others have similar issues; funny toes, bad breath, gangly teeth, ratty hair, too-pale a complexion, too-dark a complexion, too short, too tall, too thin (yes, these people do exist, I have met one in real life – promise) etc, etc, etc.

My point? We are not perfect, we are simply ourselves and the sooner we come to realize it, the better for us – promise.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Lyrically sound sentences

Just as the sounds of nature may inspire music, every element of life offers the potential to encourage creativity.

I recently had a silly dispute with a square-minded friend regarding sentence structure and the idea that anything and everything has the potential to encourage creativity and the make shift compilation of art, design and…sentence structure. This blog is dedicated to adding meat to my side of the argument. Enjoy.

• ARTISTS AND ALBUMS SELECTED AT RANDOM ON iTunes ON MY PC (Yes, it is possible to make a sentence out of anything. Really.)

The Fray – How to save a life (Great sentence for a personal conversation)

‘Heaven forbid’ you think I want to live in a ‘Little house’ forever because you would be ‘Dead wrong’, ‘Trust me’ (I want a house so huge it has a ‘Cable car’) that’s why ‘She is’ teaching me ‘How to save a life’ ‘All at once’ so that I can ‘Look after you’ until you’re a ‘Hundred’ and we can finally move away, ‘Fall away’, and grow old in ‘Vienna’.

Katy Perry – One of the boys (Great sentences if placed at the lips of a drunken twit trying to piece together an insult)

I’m ‘One of the boys’ because ‘I kissed a girl’ while ‘Thinking of you’; you’re so ‘Hot ‘n cold’ I’m ‘Lost’ but ‘I’m still breathing’. You know ‘You’re so gay’, dolled up like a ‘Mannequin’ you’d look perfect ‘Waking up in Vegas’ with ‘Self inflicted’ ‘Fingerprints’; bruises on your body. Call me, ‘If you can afford me’.

Lydia – Illuminate (Fantastic sentences if spoken over a phone after a night out…eep)

Yes, it was ‘A fine evening for a Rogue’ but ‘Now the one you once loved is…’ well, in ‘Hospital’; ‘…Ha, yeah it got pretty bad’ but all ‘I can see’ is that it’s ‘Fate’ because ‘This is twice now’ ‘I woke up near the sea’ so, what a laugh. Um, he’ll have to stay here ‘One more day’ but he can’t ‘Stay awake’, they need him to ‘Sleep well’.

Everyday is a good day

Picture this:

1.Your alarm clock didn’t go off (well, to be truthful…it did…you simply chose to ignore it – four times) and as a result the rest of your morning was kicked to the curb. Hence the reason you spilt coffee down your shirt (your only ironed shirt), messed tooth paste down your pants AND managed to get tangled up between your two puppies so desperate for your attention, resulting in your fast collision with the book shelf. Nice bump on the head, by the way.

2.With an ice pack to your skull, your now changed (read: crumpled) shirt and a fat white stain on your pants – rubbing tooth paste off a garment never works, rubbing tooth past into a garment, well, you see my point – you now sit stuck in the morning traffic you would have missed every other day of the week but as earlier mentioned, ‘kicked to the curb’.

3.Late, rattled and receiving disapproving glances from every passer-by, not to mention the open gawking of work associates at your dishevelment, you slump into your help-me-I’m-so-bored-in-this-place desk job only to realize you missed the(detrimental) weekly meeting, three calls from your Rasputin supervisor and oh hell wouldn’t you know it, you also forgot that it was your turn to bring in the milk. Joy.

4.A long day, longer than usual (your late-coming earned you the wonderful task of editing a last-minute report due tomorrow morning) was made worse by a ranting boss, a sad phone call from a friend and a nagging phone call from a relative. That AND your credit provider contacted you not five minutes before you were on your way out and YES you had to fax them every single sheet of anything they’ve ever communicated with you. Everything. Right then. That second.

5.Guess what? Car battery died. Had to call for a pick-up.

6.Guess again. Locked out the house. Had to call for a locksmith.

7.Finally you open the door to your space for some extreme recovery time. Bounding pups at your ankles, baked goodies on the kitchen counter with a sweet note – your mother stopped by – an indication that someone loves you. You call for Chinese cherry chicken, enough time between its arrival to have a hot shower. With your towel in your hair you go out to collect the Chinese take-out parcel and notice the stars – they’re beautiful tonight – and sit down in front of the T.V. just in time for Gray’s.

8.Feeling very suited to the cliché ‘every cloud has a silver lining’, you come to realize that in a Universe so enormous, in a World so huge, being alive and able to share in it is a phenomenal gift...and that everyday is a good day.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Our greatest strengths are our greatest weaknesses

Without an open mind, there is no opportunity for growth.


Or as most like to say, just plain, old, full of yourself.

Yes, were all good at something, everyone gets it. Others understand that we are all awesome in our own right. What is a problem is when we allow our heads to swell the size of bloated watermelons in the summer heat after telling ourselves, oh say about one hundred times, just how amazing we are at our certain something, whatever it may be. It is at this stage that we allow our greatest strengths to overwhelm us and become the only thing we see. They blind us, overpower us, they become in this instance our greatest weaknesses.

We are no longer motivated to achieve; what more could we possibly need in our lives other than our greatest strengths?

As I said. Blinded.

Let’s all do ourselves a favour and go and eat a friggin’ piece of humble pie (myself included) before it’s too late.

Yes the big wide world is scary…now suck it up and get out there!

We’ve studied and qualified. We’re on the bridge of a new world, a new era in our lives. We’re saying goodbye to childhood, teens and establishing ourselves in our new ‘young adult’ space - ready to look out for ourselves, ready to venture into the unknown.

They say we should feel empowered; ready to take on the world. Intrigued; ready to see, smell, taste, hear, feel the world.

R.I.G.H.T. Sure we are.

The truth is we are all these things and more…we’re also doubtful. We fill our sentences with ‘what if’s’ and ‘maybe’s’. We’re excited to meet new people and make friends but scared to lose the old ones. We’re unbelievably psyched about stepping out of a broke-student mentality and ready to reap the rewards of four years hard studying (read: PAY US FUTURE EMPLOYERS!) but skeptic of moving into a space ruled by materialism and greed. All these things and more…

Know what? When we were young we learnt to walk at age 9-18 months! We learnt to communicate at 4 months, speaking fluently by +/- age 3-4. We went to nursery school, we motored into primary school and we missioned, all legs-shaven-eyebrows-waxed-and-dress-hems-hoisted, into high school. We did all these things and more.

So what is different? What has changed? Yes, we have become more aware of our surroundings and eerily more so aware of a little thing I like to call (but hate to call on) CONSEQUENCE! Everything we think of, every idea we sprout is stomped to the ground by ‘consequence’.


Let’s scrap the worry-pot mentality and rise to the occasion. Lets suck it up (our fears, our worries, our desperate concern at having to achieve achieve achieve!) and choose instead simply to live as we did before, as we are doing now.

Try a cliché – ‘He who laughs last, laughs best’

Yes my butt is twice the size of yours. It also stings twice as hard.

‘He who laughs last, laughs best’. Bit sinister for a cliché wouldn’t you say? Actually, that doesn’t quite cut it. Incredibly sinister wouldn’t you say?

It’s all ‘Well laugh now sonny but I’ll be back to take my revenge, MWAHAHAHAAaaaaa’. Urm, C.R.A.Z.z.Z.z.Z.Y! I suppose the cliché itself does allow room for belief in a brighter tomorrow (for the poor person being laughed at) but still, I feel as though it really encourages a sort of (dark) belief?

All like, ‘Oh well sorry for you, guess who’s HOT now? Guess that car accident didn’t help your looks did it? Booya!’


‘Well guess what, I gots me the hottest truck in the highlands now! Hot damn, don’t you take public transport since you lost your leg right?!’


‘Uh yes well (nose in the air) I do belong to the (put fancy-shpancy name here) lifestyle estate and sport club - best in the area. Hm-mmm, costs me a FORtune. Heard you’re battling to put your kid’s through school. Tut-tut.’

Right so who is really winning in any of the above situations? …Not the person having the last laugh.

If I am allowed to give one piece of advice (and I am – because this is my blog – so get over it) it’s better that you do things for yourself and not be motivated by ‘they’ll be sorry when’s’ and ‘I’ll be back’s’.

Be the better person. Hold your head up high and just WALK AWAY! Don’t you have grandparents? Didn’t they teach you this stuff? Self motivation trumps sinister I-was-never-good-enough-for-you-but-I-will-return-the-WINNER! FYI It’s not a competition. It’s about living happily ever after. Unless you’d like to remain the witch in your own fairytale. Ya, didn’t think so.


Oh my word. Go away. No, I do not want to share my freshly deep-fried, decadently-oh-so-smothered-in-chocolate-icing ring doughnut with you. No, not even one little bite. Seriously. Go away. GO AWAY!

Oh my word. Go away. No, I do not want to share my hot-out-the-oven farm bread drenched in melted butter, just a little bit of salt and a mountain load of apricot jam with you. No, you can’t have the crust. Seriously. Go away. GO AWAY!

Oh my word. Go away. No, I do not want to share my creamy basil pesto, bacon-and-mushroom-rich linguine with a side serving of rye. No, you can’t ‘just lick the spoon’. Seriously. Go away. GO AWAY!

Oh my word. WhatchaeatinnnnnnnN…..? That looks amaZING! Could I have just a small, smidgen-sized-taster? PUUUlease? (Move to pouty lipped plead, droopy-dog eyes and small whimper). Really? Are you sure? Not even a teeny-tiny-tit-bit? Oh fine…

Hmmm. Food for thought.

Feelings follow behaviour

Take it from one who knows: Mind your behaviour or your behaviour will mind your ass.

Right so we all know what it’s like to feel an utter emotional mess, be it gleeful or completely miserable, irritated, annoyed, upset, totally depressed, seam—splittingly happy, self satisfied or totally mellowed after having walked (danced, pranced, run) away from some or other instance of behaviour (read; fighting with a friend/boyfriend/boss, receiving a first kiss/first car/or equally bad first failure) and our actions as part of our behaviour.

Oh yes, our actions… thereafter we are left with feelings of regret, joy, frustration.

My interest however does not really lie on how we feel after an incident of (whatever) but how we choose to express our feelings. Consider a [behaviour = feelings = behaviour] equation. I am typically a thought-to-paper type of person; writing, drawing, erratic sketches, doodles, paint, notes, scratches…yup, I’m pretty nerdy that way but if

a. Most unfortunately (if I’m clouded with bad feelings) or
b. Fortunately (if I’m clouded with smiley-face happy feelings),

I do not have a piece of scrap paper nearby I typically take it out on whoever is around me.

I am however, working on this character trait somewhat because I believe that it’s not always about how we feel, but what we do with our feelings that really counts; another personal objective to be crossed off a mental check list of ‘must-do’s’. That and actually remembering someone’s name after being introduced, because that is something I really suck at. That and birthdays. Oh well, best get started.