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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Ipads and Toddlers : Babysitters or Brainfood?

Just scan around any family restaurant or shopping centre and it is clear to see ‘Times are a changin’. Toddlers as young as one can be seen scrolling through Iphone Apps, playing with Ipads and navigating their way through complex web sites and it seems we as a society are still divided on whether or not this is best practice.

This controversial topic has been bouncing around in the media for quite some time. Although not a new debate, the issue of parents using technology to ‘babysit’ their children has now reached fever pitch, with our heavy dependence on Ipads, Iphones and other portable ‘Smart’ devices achieving a record breaking level. A recent U.S marketing poll revealed the ‘average’ user to be spending no less than an hour a day surfing and pinching our touch screens.

The ‘for’ camp are all about keeping up with the times and preparing our children for a techno dependent future, and yes there are also the damn ‘lazy’ ones who think that Ipads are the new ‘pacifiers’. Those against are screaming ‘Bad Parenting’ with the implication of negligence and a call for parents to spend more quality time with their children.

My tongue is now the size of an emaciated Tic Tac. It has been bitten too many times, during too many ‘silly’; conversations between groups of parents, so now it is my time to weigh in.   Am I qualified to do so, well probably not- I am no expert, but I am a mum of a toddler and I have also experienced the consequences of ‘parental choice’ (positive and negative) in the classroom, so from both ends of this loud and opinionated spectrum.

After hearing one particularly ignorant and stupid parent say ‘It’s disgusting that kids are allowed to just play on computers at school instead of doing proper work’ it was time to unleash some truths…well my truths anyway.

Firstly, we need to wake up and realise that Ipads and Smart devices and technologies in general are not a choice, they are now a necessity. No longer do we as a society have a ‘choice’ as to whether we participate, they are our present and our future. Our school Frameworks and curriculums have had provisions for Technology outcomes since the late 1990’s, and our current Australian Curriculum clearly defines the place of essential technology skills as paramount in any contemporary education system.  It seems those that lack skills in this areas are the greatest opponents of change.

Children in Kindy/Prep/Reception are currently using Ipads and Smart boards everyday as part of their core Literacy and Numeracy lessons, surprise, surprise- they are not playing candy crush or updating Instagram! One could suggest that it was be negligent ‘not’ to allow your child opportunities to experience technology before school age. Success during the schooling years will be highly dependent on their ability to use these devices to their advantage. Technology is the tool we use to facilitate learning, just as a painter uses a paintbrush and a butcher uses a knife.

Of course the benefits of Ipads can only be realized when used appropriately. If your toddler is checking out Miley Cyrus trying to ‘wreck another ball’ on Youtube, then of course little will be gained here. If the Ipad is purely another way to transmit a movie or cartoon while mum or dad scroll through Facebook in peace, then again, there is no value. It is all about choosing educational content. Apps are the ‘new’ books, and if you’ve bothered to look lately you too would be blown away at what the children now have at their fingertips. There are many Apps directly linked to curriculum outcomes including a great Aussie series from the makers of the high;y successful Reading Eggs Program ‘Eggy Phonics, Eggy Maths etc. I’m not sure about you, but I have never told a child they are spending too much time reading, and learning!  ‘Hey kids, put that book away’ mmmmm…..not lately.

I could also talk for hours about the proven benefits of Ipads and Apps for children with Special Needs, in particular Non- Verbal Disorders such as ASD and Vision Impairment

There are those that say ‘It’s creating a generation of people who lack communication skills’. Well this is very true, we’ve all encountered groups of teenagers sitting in the same room instant messaging each other and giggling to their screens….me included, not the teenage part of course. Is the device to blame or the way in which it is being used? Or perhaps we’ve dropped the ball in explicitly teaching our children social skills and face to face etiquette such as greeting people, and polite conversation?

It is all about contents and limits. There are thousands of exceptional educational Apps which when used ‘with’ your child, can be a fabulous way to spend some quality time together. Another point that I hear spouted often is ‘Parents shouldn’t be shoving their children in front of computers, they should playing them’. It is absolutely ridiculous and irresponsible for parents to ‘occupy’ every minute of their child’s life. The development of Independence and independent play skills are vital, and this means giving them ‘unstructured’ time to be in their own space, playing by their own rules for a little while. Children who have been over managed, over parented and overscheduled stick out like Rudolph’s nose in a classroom setting. They are the ones who cannot work independently and have poorly developed problem solving skills or put simply the ‘needy ones’. But that is a blog for another day!

Anyway, end of rant. You have probably guessed that my own son is allowed to use our Ipad on a regular basis. I feel it is my duty to provide him with essential ‘life’ skills, and whether you like it or not…using technology is one of them.

 

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Dear Auto-correct

To my dearest Auto Correct,

I’m just writing you this little letter to show my appreciation for all the fabulous work you do. I know I don’t often tell you, but you are a real star. Some days you are so efficient that I can get a whole text message finished while not even looking at the screen. Which I guess is why so many people can drive so beautifully while they are texting (or not?)

You have come in handy on numerous occasions (like when I’m waiting in the toilet for 20 minutes with my 2 year old while he decides if ‘his poo is finished’ or not, or when trying to reply to the silly person who thinks 6pm is a good time to communicate with a mum. Which  of course is the ‘very’ best time to call. I’m not busy at all during this time except for making dinner while breastfeeding, running baths, doing dishes and probably going back to check if the 2 year old’s poo has in fact ‘come out yet’.)

So, we both know that sometimes it doesn’t turn out the best, but that’s okay. I’m no fair weather friend. Like the time I messaged Christine to let her know we were in town, to which she replied ‘ I don’t know who the Arab men are, but It sounds like a good night’. Bless her for being so ‘up’ for a good night with unknown Arab men, but I was only inviting her to my brothers place for a drink. Also who could forget the time that I was sending a message of love and instead of professing my love to the recipient….you made me ‘loathe’ them instead. It’s okay. No damage done. I guess the message here is…don’t be so over eager to help out. Hang back a bit sometimes…see if it just comes naturally!

Anyway…keep up the great work! It doesn’t go unnoticed.

Lots of Loathe (oops… love)

See you again spoon. *soon.

Iphone Abuser *user

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Begotchinawa has a capital B

I have just wasted ten minutes of my life trying to read a stupid electronic ‘Captcha’ code! I feel a little bit embarrassed and slightly shamed by this electronic code. Firstly because I now know that ‘it’ has an official name. This indicates that some ‘actual’ person must be responsible for developing such a silly time wasting activity, but also that I can imagine this person at a BBQ on the weekend having a conversation like this:

Potential new friend: ‘What do you do with yourself?

Silly Electronic code person  ‘ yeah, I developed electronic Captchas’

Potential new friend suspects boringness ‘ oh, what’s a Captcha?’

Silly electronic code person ‘ Well..you know when you have to read the letters but you can never really see them properly?’

Potential new friend (now has been renamed ‘Can’t believe I picked boring person to talk to at this BBQ person’) ‘ I just have to get a drink’….(and hide from you for the rest of the afternoon)

Secondly I am embarrassed, as they do say ‘ It’s purpose is to protect the site from electronic spam‘. As a result of my human failure to read made up words three times in a row,  I am starting to seriously question whether or not I am actually a computer program in disguise? Maybe all of this time, I have been ‘spam’. Surely any human being would be able to immediately recognise words such as ‘pqustin‘ and ‘sQyTT.P’ . Maybe me being ‘computer spam’ all of this time is the is the reason that I find typing easier than talking?

The first failed attempt is always expected. I would be surprised if they gave you such an easily identifiable word on the first attempt…fair enough. It’s not meant to be easy.

But by the third failed attempt to read a word slightly resembling ‘bgotchinawa‘ You catch yourself saying ‘ Oh right, Begotchinawa has a capital B!  Also at this point you begin to question how badly you want to progress to the next page anyway. Is it really worth playing ‘Guess who?” for the next twenty minutes just to sign up for a newsletter you didn’t really want anyway?’ I only pushed ‘Yes, Sign me up’ because they offered it so nicely, and I didn’t want to hurt someone’s feelings.

So by the fourth attempt….I shout something rhyming with ‘for trucks bake’ and vow never to use anything that needs the superhuman ability to read made up words again.

Needless to say I will not be receiving my monthly subscription from ‘Some’e’cards’ until I have stopped sulking.