Selfie Taker or Selfie Hater?

Selfie Taker or Selfie Hater?

Maybe it is my age letting me down here, or perhaps that I have always tried my best to avoid a camera, but I am in a total state of confusion when it comes to this narcistic ‘Selfie’ trend.

For those who are blissfully unaware, or have managed to avoid this new breed of ‘duck faced’ amateur modelling contestants, according to the ‘Urban Dictionary’, which we all know is 100 percent accurate and completely scientific, A Selfie is:

‘A picture taken of yourself that is planned to be uploaded to Facebook, Myspace or any other sort of social networking website. You can usually see the person’s arm holding out the camera in which case you can clearly tell that this person does not have any friends to take pictures of them so they resort to Myspace to find internet friends and post pictures of themselves, taken by themselves. A selfie is usually accompanied by a kissy face or the individual looking in a direction that is not towards the camera.’

 

For some freaky reason it has become social vogue to take a photo (or even ten photos) of your own head, usually looking nothing like your own ‘every day’ head but a slippery, lip glossed version of yourself, and then publishing it as many times as humanly possible on the internet. The ‘Selfie’ person then acts really overwhelmed and surprised when they receive comments from acquaintances telling them how ‘wonderful’ they look, by responding with utter stupidity.

For example:

‘You look so hot’

‘I do not, you do’

‘No, you do’

‘No you do…..’

‘Thanks babe, I love you’

‘ I love you more’

(Yes as sad as it is I actually copied this from Instagram)

Sometimes the Selfie Addict will repeat the same stupid looking face the next day, but with a different comment that will usually have nothing to do with the picture. Think big lips, stupid pouting face, enough cleavage to house a small family from Cambodia and a caption reading #myfeetaresore. Err I’m sorry, have I missed something? I can’t even see your feet?

 

Okay, so after speaking with some little people who know nothing of life before the internet, I am beginning to understand that this is the tool teenagers now use to gain an instant self-esteem boost. Apparently there is an acceptable number of ‘likes’ that you must receive in order to avoid being a ‘loser’ or god forbid the subject of an ‘ugly’ photo. It’s almost like an instant popularity poll. As troubling as it is, I can at least see the motive here. But can someone please explain why the hell grown adults jumping on board with this?

There is usually a ‘type’ that fits the ‘Selfie’ taking profile.

  1. Recently separated, back on the prowl.
  2. Just bought a new lipstick.
  3. Just lost 40kg and need to show everyone my new skinniness and receive many shocked comments about how much weight I have lost. Preferably from people I use to go to school with when I was fat.
  4. New haircut recipient
  5. Idiot
  6. Drunk Idiot
  7. Person over 60 trying to take a photo of something else but accidentally snaps their own head.
  8. Teenager
  9. 3 year old on rampage with mums Iphone, mum has not yet realised phone is missing.
  10. People without mirrors?

Some questions to ponder about the Selfie:

Why are there no ugly Selfies? Did anyone ever take a Selfie of their newly ripened pimple?

Why don’t truly hideous looking humans take Selfies?

Is a Selfie only a Selfie if someone else sees it?

Why don’t men take Selfies?

Is it a fear of being forgotten? Is the Selfie a reminder for everyone, or a cry for help? ‘I’m still here everyone, just letting you know….again, and again, and again’

So what are your thoughts? Are you a Selfie taker or a Selfie hater?

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To Work Or Not to work? Go on I dare you……..

 

Yes it is that time of year again. Unless you are one of the odd people who have placed a ‘no junk mail’ sticker on your letterbox (odd because- I personally love a good thick wad of Junk Mail) you could not have missed the mountains of back to school sales dominating the catalogues.

 

 

 

The first day back at school is fast approaching and for some parents it couldn’t come quick enough. Many have run out of interesting ideas to keep bored children entertained, the play dough is mouldy, the textas are all stubby at the tip and the blow up paddling pools have gone a little green and funky. Parents everywhere are shouting ‘What about the two hundred toys you got for Christmas?’ For others it is a sad time of the year when they lose their babies and hand them over to be cared for by strangers for perhaps the first time in their short little lives. For some it also means that they are left wondering what to do with their spare time, and whether or not it signals time to return to the workforce after the ‘childrearing’ has become more of  a part time job.

 

 

 

It is also back to work for many teachers and educators, and for myself a return to work after spending the year with my family. There are certainly mixed emotions about this. You see I am probably in a small minority of people who adore their children but also actually love what they do. For many years my job was my identity and it was what made me tick. I arrived early and left late, and enjoyed the challenges and rewards of each day. I still believe there is no greater place to work than in a room full of fresh and innocent little people. Even if I could afford to have twenty years off, I would still choose to work.

 

 

 

Then there are the financial incentives. For many, working is essential. There is no magical bank account that continues to top itself up. I have worked from 15 years of age and cannot handle the feeling of ‘not contributing’. Yes sure, I realize my contribution is raising the children, his money is your money blah bah, but at the end of the day I have always earned my own money and contributed in some way. I also love the feeling of independence that comes with earning your own income.

 

 

 

It is also time for my eldest son to spend some time with someone other than me. He is ready, and I am ready too. He doesn’t see many people besides myself and is craving that play time with his peers. He tells me he is so excited to go to Kindy. We are the best of friends but can also have the best of battles. It is like arguing with a 3 and a half year old version of my husband and a couple of days at Kindy will do him the world of good. There are lessons that can’t be taught at home and those that can only be taught and understood in the context of a room full of children. I am so excited to get back, but only for a couple of days a week this time around. I just want to dip my toes into the adult world for a bit, whilst still enjoying vegemite on toast in my undies and the musical perfection that is ‘Playschool’ for the rest of the week.

 

 

 

 

 

Then there is the obvious down side. As a worrier, I panic that someone else will be caring for my children. Strangers. Are they really qualified? There is no one who loves my children more than I do, will they hold them if they cry? My ‘little’ one is still so little, what will he think when I leave him?

 

 

 

I was never destined to be a full time stay at home mum, it was never something that I wished or longed for. I still believe it is the hardest unpaid job around. No one knows how hard you work to make it look like nothing has happened all day and the days just roll into one. Whilst I love the clothes and lipstick….I was never going to make a great 50’s housewife. As controversial as this topic is, and always will be, I would love to hear the reasons and circumstances by which mums decide upon their pathways.

 

 

 

Is job satisfaction prior to having children a deciding factor as to whether people even want to return to their jobs?

 

 

 

Is it pressure from our families? Do we follow in the footsteps of our own mothers?

 

 

 

Do we feel less ‘valuable’ to society when we tick the ‘home duties’ box?

 

 

 

Is it just a financial decision?

 

 

 

Is it generational? Most judgement I have received is from ladies nearing retirement.

 

 

 

 

 

I think it is all about the great balancing act. Some families want to live like kings and therefore must work full time to afford the lifestyle. Some want to just ‘live’ and so they work their bums off to pay the bills. Some would rather live a humble low income existence and watch their children grow, whilst the lucky ones stay at home and can still afford to live big. Whichever category we fall into, it is not our role to judge the situation of others, we choose what is right for ‘us’ and for our families.  We do not need the opinions of people who are wearing their ‘Mr Judgy Judgy Hats’.

 

 

 

Go on I dare you, What are your thoughts, should women stay at home, or return to the workforce?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Time for some ‘small’ changes around here

For many people the 1st of January delivers hopes and dreams of a better year to come. For some of us it evokes delusional thoughts. Like a red rag to a bull, it signals the time to make outrageous commitments to impossible and unearthly actions. Like some kind of fat, immoral and unfit super hero ( Slothman? Posturkeybum-woman?  Dranktoomuchwineandcider-woman? ) you commit to losing 203kg in 3 weeks but decide to actually start this crusade when the Christmas food runs out ( because the chocolates were a gift and it would be rude not to eat them). You decide to run a marathon when the only previous running experience you have involves running for the bus. Of course there is also those who swear that this is the year they will do something to help out humanity, because liking a Facebook page that claims to stop cat’s being turned into seat warmers if it gets 99,000 hits no longer counts.

 

I’m not here to mock the efforts of my fellow man. Yes, I am some of the above. I will also be relieved when the Chrissy chocolates are finally gone, I cannot sit by and watch them shout helplessly from the plate ‘eat me’. It is of particular annoyance when the Quality Streets have whittled down to the last crappy toffee penny’s and that unidentified brown one that no one likes, and you feel like you have to eat them just to get a clean slate. I will also try and commit to running a half marathon, which may turn into just the 10km depending on how much time I can give to training , but at least this is attainable as I already love to run. But these are silly and superficial resolutions that ultimately will not affect anyone if they are not achieved.

 

 I mentioned in my last blog, I want to make some big changes around our house and in our lives. I think by December I felt exhausted. Despite 2013 delivering me some of my most precious moments in life, it also handed me my worst. I was tired of the year and felt a real need for change. Not so much physical change, but a mental one. I want to start the New Year fresh and try to hold onto to some of that ‘January’ enthusiasm and positivity well into the year……well, at least June, or maybe this is too optimistic.

 

By February when most have returned to work and the daily grind begins to rear its ugly head, it becomes easy to slip back into our negative and unappreciative ways. Some events of last year made me sit up and appreciate. In those moments of clarity, nothing was more important than having people around me. The material world faded away and I was left feeling like more time should be spent working on ‘us’ and not the objects around us. I want to bottle this feeling and carry it with me, just to open the lid now and then and remember how I felt in my ‘shitty’ moments when I forget and lose my way. So that is what I want to do this year. I want to work on making life simple, stripping back our day to day lives, back to the core of what makes us happy, and that is family, love and the simple things in life.

 

Here’s what I am thinking:

 

I want my husband and I to save our ‘best’ for each other, not for complete strangers or for people at work. Let me explain. You know when you bump into someone accidentally and without seeing who it was you bumped, you provide a fabulously heartfelt apology? And then after realizing it was your husband or brother you say ‘ohh’ almost to say’ if I knew it was you I wouldn’t have bothered’. We tend to use our best manners, give our best compliments and allocate more patience to those who mean least to us, than we do for those closest to us.

 

I want our house to have less luxuries during ordinary time. I want my children to be excited by a trip to get ice cream, not expectant. This really hit home on a recent trip out to a Christmas show where we offered our son an ice-cream and he politely turned it down. I was left thinking ‘what is wrong with this kid? There were plenty of other children brimming with excitement at choosing their flavours and my son was here not even wanting one. It was because it wasn’t special anymore, ice-cream has become an everyday luxury for many children these days. Not by fault of their own, but by fault of their parents comfortable circumstances. I was particularly moved by a mother who had taken her children to the same show and had packed a picnic, and her two small children were quite content eating bananas and drinking cordial. I wondered if she was a single mum who had saved for months to take her children to a show that we decided to attend at the last minute. How lucky we are.

 

 

I want us to be more ‘present’. Instead of being behind a camera lens every time there is a memorable moment, how about actually seeing it through our own eyes and making a real memory? I am sick of being out and about and seeing parents watching their children grown up through their Iphone camera. In the line-up to see Santa this year I even saw a mother who was shouting so hard at her children to look at the camera, she hadn’t even realised that they weren’t really enjoying themselves at all, the smallest was bawling her eyes out. The mother kept persisting and I’m sure she would’ve posted the sensational picture online with some caring and loving hashtag about how nice the day was with her children. In reality they had a crap time being yelled at so mum could take a great picture for Facebook.

 

This leads me to another Iphone related resolution. There is no need to constantly check our phones to see who has made contact with us in the 2 seconds since we last looked. Our children do not need to look up to show us the tower they have just proudly built, and have to wait in line for us to check our Twitter accounts. Should they be coming second place to our fake online lives? Could we just wait until they aren’t in the room or have gone to bed? I’m sure if there is a major world event, we will find out in good time. It makes me sad to watch kids looking up to see if mum and dad were watching them swing themselves on the playground like ‘big boys’ for the first time only to see mum and dad staring like zombies at a plastic screen that appears to be constantly attached to their hand. This surely sends our kids the message that this plastic thing is more important to them. So whilst I cannot promise not to check my phone during the day, I do want to try and make sure that If I am missing out on a moment with my boys, that it is for something worthy. Give them their moments, there will come a day where they won’t ask us to look anymore.

 

I want to try and get out for a few more social drinks every now and then. I don’t want to look at others with envy when I hear they have been out socializing. Sometimes you need to find out for yourself that you would rather be at home and that the hangover isn’t worth it.

 

Finally, I want to spend more time worrying about people who also make it their job to worry about me. Someone once told me it is time to let go a little when ‘They are a priority in your life, but you are an afterthought in theirs’. Such true words. You can’t force people to care as much as you do about things in life, but you can certainly be less disappointed when it happens. The people who will sit by my side and hold my hand in the end are the people I want to appreciate this year.

 

 

 

So this is what I want us to try this year. I say try, because of course we aren’t perfect and a few falls are necessary on the way to actual change. Even if we can do a little bit of each of these, it will be an improvement. What are your resolutions for 2014?

 

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