The Un-Social Media.

This morning, in the office, a colleague was making a huge noise about filling the printer with paper. Boxes were being dumped on the floor, printer draws were being opened aggressively and grunts and sighs could be heard while she did.all.the.things. 

I caught myself rolling my eyes back into my brain and getting annoyed by her very obvious effort to attract attention – and then I realised – I am guilty (as are you, sorry) of doing this every single day.

Except nowadays we aren’t chucking red Typek boxes of paper onto office floors but rather posting ranty-ravey messages on Facebook, taking mysterious selfies and alluding to things on Twitter and Instagram. We are all basically spending our lives hiding away from people online whilst simultaneously looking for human connection.

The reason I say I am guilty of this is because – without knowing it – I have come to trust relative strangers over those closest to me.And if you are doing the same, you probably feel how I do. I write blogs, I post a lot on social media and I share my photography images on various social platforms. I do this for two reason; A) I adore writing and sharing my ideas and B) I’m exceptionally proud of my photography business, and as we all know, word of mouth is one of the biggest marketing tools there is. So, whats the problem? The problem is that the more I share the less response I get from actual physical flesh and blood friends. I get tons of compliments and likes and shares from people I have never met, but people who like my work, enjoy my writing style or simply find me interesting enough to follow. Which is superb. I am so grateful for this body of support and love that gets shown to me on a daily basis.

But. And there’s a big but. Where has the actual friendship gone? I’m talking about the mate-to-mate connection that was so much more prevalent before it became easier to watch a buddy’s life through a smartphone screen. Has Facebook made us into an insecure and jealous society? I physically ache for the acknowledgement of my peers and so, I believe, that if I post pretty photos and witty anecdotes on my socials, then those friends will respond and react. Except they don’t. I’ve become that lady in the office shoving paper into the printer hoping someone will ask if they can help.

I put this theory to the test recently when – after driving home from a shoot on Mother Day – I was in a car accident. A taxi rear ended me and what could have been a simple swopping of insurance details turned into a really frightening experience when he became aggressive and intimidating and with me fearing from my life. Normally I would have gone straight to Facebook with a woe-is-me tale of the incident – but instead I sent some friends a message telling them what had happened.

I’m no expert but I truly believe (and like to think) that it’s not a lack of love but rather an over stimulation of the senses, that has made connectivity grow but connectedness die. If you see everything you need to see on a 24/7 channel, then you become an expert in that subject matter. Admit it – without having ever met them – you thought you knew Ross and Rachel better than anyone, right? Well, just like they were or (or weren’t – #TeamRoss!), we need a break. We are watching the TV of our friends lives and because we see everything, we assume they know that we know and that we care.

So, with that in mind (and I probably wont cut down on the amount of time I spend on social media) I am going to make a conscious effort to be more involved in communication and to re-establish real and physical connections. I want these people, who’s lives are now so visible, to know that they aren’t actually invisible. I want them to remember that I genuinely care about them, am happy for their successes and want the best for their lives.

PS – This is now way means you should’t please share my blog or book me for shoots. I need to pay for all the nice things. 😉

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"The One With 5 Steaks and An EggPlant"

Do you remember this episode of FRIENDS? The one where they all go out for dinner, and end up splitting the bill even though 3 of the 5 ordered the bare minimum off the menu to save some bucks? 

That was me yesterday. Not with regards to the food thing – I’m quite a splurger when it comes to my grub – but I felt like the ‘Phoebe’ of the group at our girls dinner last night when the conversation turned to holidays. It went a little something like this:

Guys, let’s do another girls trip!

Yes! Keen, November?

Me: “Sorry? November, as in TWENTY FOURTEEN? (Secretly hoping that somewhere like Magaliesberg would be on the list of choices)

Alas, the destinations that cropped up were closer to Prague, Amsterdam, Greece and Brazil, and with every new country that was thrown out my heart sunk a little bit further into my chest. Knowing full well I could never afford an overseas holiday that soon, let alone anytime in the next year.

The conversation went on, and on with each person delegated a task of researching certain destinations, while I avoided eye contact and tried not to cry into my Chenin Blanc. 

How do they do it, I asked myself – why, when we all work hard am I the one who is (seemingly) constantly worried about money. This of course then turns into a self hating spiral of despair. You’re not as thin as someone, not as talented, not as good an athlete. Your car isn’t as nice, your home isn’t as big, your partner not as generous. I bet people never complicate you behind your back. I bet they never consider you to be amazing. 

STOP. 

Needless to say a gorgeous evening out with my incredible mates left me feeling really sad – and the only person to blame was myself. 

It’s so hard to not compare yourself with others. And it’s also very dangerous too. I need to stop. I don’t want to be the Phoebe anymore. 

rule-of-a-lady-stop-comparing-yourself stop-comparing-comic2 images

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