Monday, 20 January 2014

The disputed issue of the instagram selfie

Instagram. Everyone's got it, seen it, or at least heard of it. Connotations of hashtags, the selection of filters that range from 'Toaster' to 'Walden' to 'Kelvin' (but let's be frank, who actually uses 'Kelvin' and its accompanying hideous frame) and #instafood are brought to mind. But Instagram also prompts a more disputed issue - the love hate concept of the instagram selfie. 

On the one hand, for the selfie lovers, Instagram has made the concept of the 'serious' selfie where one actually tries to look attractive acceptable for users on this social media platform. Before instagram, we were all cringing at the very thought of such an image, reminiscent of our days on Bebo where if you didn't comment on my picture, give me a love or had me in your top 16, our friendship was effectively as over as MSN. But now, with optional filters and frames, it has suddenly become acceptable to post a photo with an accompanying caption about our plans for the evening. Typically, I will come across several selfies with captions that read along the lines of 'Can't wait to see my girls tonight!' accompanied with the appropriate hashtags of '#predrinks #girls #fun #drunk'. (I ask - does the quantity of hashtags reflect the level of the need for the affirmation that your social media life is successful?) On the other hand, there is the 'not-so-serious' selfie, which has a vital ingredient: one or more other bodies other than yourself present. With this selfie, regardless of the accompanying toe-curling hashtags, there is photographic evidence of a social gathering, which to be honest is a lot more interesting than you posing in your bedroom solo. This image contains something that the 'serious' selfie doesn't: spontaneity, while the 'serious' selfie screams the need for likes in order to be affirmed as instagram-acceptable. 

I must confess, the instagram selfie is my pet hate. To begin with, if I'm following you, I probably know your face, and I don't need to see it every day as you interchange your angles and filters. For one, I am certainly not going to turn around and say, 'babe, I think you look better in Valencia, Rise washes you out'. I also don't need to see it on other social media platforms such as facebook and twitter, which you've so kindly gone out of your way to share your picture on. I also do not understand those who take these selfies on public transport. It's precarious enough trying to reply to a snapchat in public, but a perfectly angled instagram selfie must have required some serious and obvious arm work that probably knocked out the person sitting next to you. 

At the end of the day, each to their own with regards to expressing yourself (or your face, perchance in a more sepia tone today) on instagram. Some of these instagram selfies are posted by friends of mine, and I simply must grin and bear it as I scroll through. Heck, they're probably sick to the back teeth of my attempted creative snaps of sunrises (#notahipster). Instagram is what you make it. However, you can count on one thing. I certainly won't be joining in on the 'serious' selfie crew any time soon - especially in Kelvin. Ta for now. #nofilter

Friday, 11 January 2013

Three things to do when you're bored (because I couldn't think of any more)

Everyone has experienced it. A long stretch of days where all that faces you are hours of facebook scrolling, shit film watching, and, let's face it, eating. At the moment I'm on my university christmas break, and unfortunately, I seemed to have picked the university with the longest holiday imaginable. I am quite literally left alone as all my friends gallop back to their respective institutions only a few days into January, whereas I am here until the 26th. In order to stop myself from going completely insane, I have compiled a list of things to do that will hopefully cure the vegetative state I seem to have got myself into. So, if you're bored, try one (or all) of these three things:

1. Learn a rap to a song
Yes it seems ridiculous and you probably will FEEL ridiculous having to bring up the lyrics of your chosen song on your computer and helplessly stumble along trying to keep up with the likes of Jay-Z or  Kanye. Initially, the sounds you'll make will not sound like words at all, more like you've got a mouth full of marshmallows, and sometimes you'll find yourself questioning the very structure of the 'sentence' you're trying to memorise. But, if you can get through that, and you're not found in your darkened room by your mother attempting to swear like a trooper, then honestly, I couldn't think of a better use of spare time. Think of the benefits. Whenever that song comes on at a party, or in a club, you will feel euphoric. Just think, when the opening bars play, 'THIS IS MY JAM'. Or, depending on alcohol consumption, you may just scream it out like a madman. When you can accurately and professionally rap along to a song, you WILL feel like Jesus. Trust me, being able to accurately scream every lyric to  'N***as in Paris' with accompanying hand actions in a club has personally been a life highlight.

2. eBay
I'm not sure if eBay is a curse or a blessing. Although I have managed to grab some great bargains (Holla a top for £1.50 anyone?), the bidding process is more than stressful. In the space of a micro-second you can go from winning a bid to being outbidded by some aresholes who think its fun to raise the price of an item to £10.00 (Plus postage, no thank you), on a top that would have been a great wardrobe staple. As a student trying to scavenge for a bargain on eBay, £10.00 for a top does not make me a happy bunny. Yet, when you do win a bid, it is a euphoric feeling and makes you want to scavenge for more items that you're not even sure you really need. Either way, eBay is great for a bargain and time wasting (but also potentially money wasting). Happy bidding.

3. Find the exercise channel
If you're a potato like me then finding the exercise channel could take up to a whole day if you really put your mind to it. But, if you do manage to find it, it is either a God send for those who can't be bothered to leave the house but who actually want to exercise (if such a person exists, somebody please let me know) or Hell on earth for those who try it after not exercising in months. For example, my first brush with the exercise channel involved an annoying man called Pierre telling me to squat for twenty seconds while he shouted at me through my television screen, which apparently, was meant to be motivational. Sorry Pierre, but while you were standing there doing nothing, my pyjama bottoms were on the verge of ripping while you forced me to do some insane exercises that no man or woman should ever have to endure. Having said that, it is probably best to do exercise in proper exercise gear and not straight after eating breakfast, in your dressing gown, and in full view of the neighbours as they pass by your living room window with shocked expressions on their faces. But either way, it got me moving, and in my books, that is definitely progress.

An optional fourth is to try and make a list of things to do when you're bored. Oh dear.

December Snaps

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Me being arty.

I'm going to bore you with photos, because, if I'm honest, it makes my blog look prettier.

If you're reading this you're procrastinating.

Right now I should be writing a dissertation, but my good friend procrastination has decided to take me swiftly by the hand and lead me into a world of endless YouTube video watching, Facebook trawling, and tweeting.
There are several reasons as to why I procrastinate.

1. To stick a middle finger up to society. No, I will not comply to the rules and regulations. Society, stop trying to take away my free will. I am an independent woman, shouldn't I be spending time trying to communicate with my inner self like Julia Roberts in Eat Pray Love? Shouldn't I be meditating in a barn somewhere, claiming I'm 'getting back to nature' and 'finding my inner calm'? I would quite happily take part in a hard-core tai-chi lesson on the top of a hill if it meant avoiding my dissertation.

2. Because suddenly tidying my room and organising my clothes into a coloured tonal spread in my wardrobe suddenly seems a lot more appealing. I mean, its life skills. Aren't I supposed to have a de-cluttered work space to help my creativity/motivation flow seamlessly on to the word document that currently has a word count of 0?

3. My favourite TV programme just happens to be on the telly and if I miss it I will probably have some kind of nervous breakdown about being behind in society and on the twitterverse. Also if I don't watch the TV programme, I will have to force myself to avoid twitter, as it will probably be trending, and I will find out the ending which will take away my ultimate enjoyment of the programme. And I don't want to avoid twitter. I am officially a Tweek. Is that an official term yet? Who cares, I'll make it one. Get your Tweek on.

4. Dissertation is boring. Therefore my quality of life goes dooooowwwwwn. Is that not compatible with religious/utilitarian/humanist/MY views?

5. I just can't be fucked.

I probably ought to get back to my dissertation now.

Monday, 26 December 2011

Merry Christmas and that

I hope you had a good Christmas and you have a happy new year. 

May the year ahead be filled with rainbows, sunshine and happy times.  DARE TO DREAM or whatever.

Okay now we've got that out of the way, I thought I'd take this opportunity to eventually upload some of of my photos and show off my new camera lens -  Canon f1.8 !

There. Merry Christmas.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

The art of slyly meandering your way to the front at a concert

Last night, I went to see Coldplay. It was incredible. There was confetti, balloons, light-up wristbands, lasers, and of course Chris Martin and the gang, who at one point, were no more than a mere three metres away from me. Exhibit:

And there's a pretty picture of some confetti.

As you can see, I was in a pretty good spot at the end of the walkway, however, to my surprise, gaining this position wasn't down to waiting for hours and hours in the freezing cold. Even if you arrive a little later than others, say, 15 minutes after the doors open, it is still perfectly possible to get a good position, if you play your cards right. 

1. Try and look as young as possible. For me, wearing glasses and tucking my hair behind my ears allowed me to play the part of the vulnerable teen girl. Yes, it did make me more of a target for rapists. But, when attempting to make my way through the crowd by sweetly saying "sorry, excuse me", I was faced with less aggression than say, the loud middle aged woman with sun-transition glasses.

2. Always attack the crowd from the side. People will not move if you try and work your way up to the front. Go for the side and squeeze through the gaps in a line. Move swiftly and efficiently. 

3. Talk very loudly on your mobile phone. People will be glad to let you through to stop the verbal diarrhea. 

4. Pretend you are looking for someone "over there". For me and my troops, we actually WERE looking for a few friends, and had the advantage of being able to see and wave to each other, making our case for moving forward in the crowd valid. If in doubt, combine steps 2, 3 and 4 and move through the crowd talking to whoever you are trying to find very loudly on your phone. This triple-point tactic is always a winner.

5. Once you have your prime spot, stay rooted. Don't let someone purposely breathing very heavily on your right shoulder make you move. This happened to me, it was not pleasant.

Bear in mind, these tactics will not guarantee you a place right at the front, but a good place all the same. Also, if you are in a crowd, make sure you are hydrated. Last night, I was a keen bean and refrained from drinking fluids so that a toilet break would not be necessary. I ended up almost fainting at the beginning of Charlie Brown. I would like to clarify this was not because I am an insane fan and was overcome with emotion. STAY HYDRATED.