Posted in Social Media

Facebook Rehab: Have you checked in yet?

Facebook is like that bad boy you meet as a teenager. The one who you know is bad for you; The one your mother tells you to stay away from as it “will only end in tears;” The one you just can’t seem to get enough of.

You keep going back even though you often end up jealous, anxious or dissatisfied by the experience. You think about cutting him off and never looking back but you just can’t take the step for fear of “missing out” on something.

facebook addict

According to a study carried out in the US: “Vacation photos caused the highest level of resentment among Facebook users who reported to experience a high amount of envy”. Read more of the study here.

I myself have toyed with the idea of deleting my Facebook account. However, although some aspects of it are annoying I personally still enjoy the experience and find it beneficial to interact with a large amount of people quickly.

Having said that I did conduct a little experiment recently. I went on a week-long holiday to Fiji and left my phone at home – meaning no social media or any online activity for the whole week!

I have to admit it was a little weird at first and took some getting used to:

When I took a great holiday selfie with cocktail in hand, it was strange not posting it on Facebook with the tag: “Life is sweet” and when I shot a video of the kids “cannon-balling” into the pool, I once again automatically went to reach for my phone to share it with the world.

cocktail

I also am embarrassed to admit that although I was having a great holiday there where definitely times I felt the urge to jump into the social media world and find out what everybody else was up to.

So, when we arrived back in Australia, at midnight, the first thing I did was locate my phone and hungrily race to log in to my Facebook account.

And this is what I missed:

– A handful of pictures of my friends’ children receiving awards at school
– You Tube videos of a dad dancing with his daughter when returning from work and a dog who can supposedly talk
– At least 20 videos of people completing their “Ice Challenge”

And this is what I gained:

– Being totally present in the moment. Experiencing something and just letting it be that – an experience. Not something to broadcast to everybody else but something special just for me.

– Actual real interaction. Remember that? Talking and laughing with friends and family instead of liking and commenting on their life from behind a screen.

– Memories. Ones that are stored in my mind not on my news feed.

Looking back I am so glad that I made the decision to take a holiday from social media.

As with everything in life I believe there has to be a balance and I worry about the people who are out of balance with the impact social media is having on them: Those who feel lonely, worthless and envious after the Facebook experience; Those who are losing the ability to have real experiences and proper conversations; Those who believe that the one-sided story of a person’s life displayed on Facebook is actual reality.

I think we need to keep discussing this issue and I highly recommend that everybody takes a holiday from social media once in a while.

What are your thoughts on this? Have you deleted your Facebook account? Are you concerned people are becoming addicted to social media? Do you have positive or negative experiences with Facebook?

Image credits: designtaxi.com and Steve Corey via photopin cc

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Posted in Katz Quotes

A Spring In My Step

Welcome to Spring everyone! BTW Katzrambles is back!

Katzrambles

flowers

There is one month of the year that is special to me and when this month swings around every year, mysteriously things start to turn around in my life. This month is September and this is the time of year things always seem to pick up for me.

I’m not entirely sure why this is?

Maybe it’s because I was born in September.

Maybe it’s because September is the start of spring which signifies new growth, rejuvenation and fresh starts?

Maybe it’s because the flowers begin to bloom and cute baby animals are born?

I’m not sure, but I am sure that as soon as September rolls around I come out of my winter hibernation mode and start to feel that spring in my step.

photo credit: Mukumbura via photopincc

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Posted in Poems

Stay Away Today

If you have no comfort to offer

And nothing nice to say

If it’s only judgement you possess

 Then stay away from me today

For I am feeling fragile

I am feeling weak

I do not want your company

It’s solace that I seek

I can’t give you what you need today

I have less than I need already

I am sorry but it’s true

Today I’m neither strong nor steady

I don’t mean to feel sorry

For little ol’ me

But sometimes things just get too tough

And one day feels like eternity

So, perhaps try to speak to me tomorrow

For then I may be stronger

Ready to face the world again

Battered down no longer

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/brenda-starr/4437507938/”>~Brenda-Starr~</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

 

Posted in Life

Multi-tasking Gone Mad

As I was sitting on the loo this morning, scrolling through my news feed on Facebook and trying to determine which task I would tackle first (out of the many which needed to be completed in order for the kids and myself to get out the door on time) it occurred to me that I spend the majority of my life doing exactly this – Multi-tasking!

Very seldom am I doing just one thing at a time and hardly ever am I doing nothing. Yes, nothing. It seems like a foreign concept these days but back when I was little often when we were waiting for something we had to sit and do NOTHING!

That brings me to waiting. Do you remember waiting? Do you remember how you just had to sit there and think about something, look at your shoes or god forbid strike up a conversation with the stranger who was waiting next to you?

This is what waiting looks like now …

And don’t get me wrong … I am just the same as the folks in this picture. The other day for example: I was waiting for my daughter to finish her dance class and noticed there was a father waiting also. I said a quick hello as I sat down, to which he briefly glanced up from his smart phone and replied and then I sat down, grabbed my phone and this is how we continued for the next 10 minutes.

It would have been the perfect opportunity for me to introduce myself and get to know this ‘Dance Dad’ and vice versa or it could have been a nice chance to just sit back, relax and catch my breath for a few minutes. But it is like it is just an automatic reaction: Waiting = Looking at phone.

So it seems as if I have lost the knack or desire to wait. However, I also fear I may have lost the ability to single-task, and by doing so am missing the opportunity to fully engage and enjoy the task I am trying to complete.

Take my mornings for example: I never sit down at the table and enjoy my breakfast or allow myself time to ponder the day ahead. Instead I scoff something down my gob while preparing kid’s lunches, putting away dishes and giving my children the hurry up.

This makes for a hectic, stressed-out start to the day and one that I feel I need to change.

Sound familiar? I’m pretty sure I’m not alone here.

The scary thing is that my children have evidently picked up on my problem … When my 6 year-old son’s teacher was telling him off for talking instead of doing his work, he politely informed her that he was “multi-tasking!”

Oh god – I have a multi-tasking mini-me!

So, what is a girl to do in this predicament? Well, I am going to try to do some things better and / more often and these are the things that spring to mind:

1) When spending time with my children make sure I give them my full attention
(Trying to read them a story in the ad breaks of my favourite TV show is not working out well for anyone involved!)

2) Try to go to bed a bit earlier – meaning I can get up a bit earlier – meaning I can actually sit at the table and enjoy my breakfast.
(I’m sure that sounds way easier than it’s actually going to be!)

3) Now, here’s the kicker! When I am waiting for something i.e. a dance class to finish, a train to arrive, the doctor to call my name – I will try to either do nothing or talk to someone.
(I’ll keep you posted on how that one goes!)

But in all seriousness: I think multi-tasking definitely has its place and can be a great skill to possess. However, I also think maybe from time to time we could all benefit from just slowing down a bit, fully engaging in the task at hand and avoid having a ‘multi-tasking melt-down!’

Feel free to join me on my ‘single-tasking and waiting’ challenge and be sure to let me know how you get on.

Keep smiling,
Kat

Posted in Poems

Facing Ourselves

When you look at me
What do you see
Can you see the brave woman
I am trying to be

Or do you see my fear
My sense of being inferior
Can you see beneath my mask
Beneath the calm exterior

Sometimes we keep our true persona
Hidden right down deep
For fear of undue scrutiny
For fear we will be weak

But I think it’s quite alright
To show who we really are sometimes
To have the courage to face ourselves
And all that we might find

When we’re honest with ourselves
And all our flaws included
It will help us to accept ourselves
And not be so deluded

So, be true to yourself
And you will find your way
Be kind to yourself
And enjoy what you have today

photo credit: caterina.appia via photopin cc

Posted in Poems

In The Middle Of May

When you are graced with the presence
Of a glorious day
When it’s supposed to be cold
In the middle of May

It puts a smile on your face
And a beat to your step
Your worries disappear
Stresses you forget

The sunshine allows you
A pass for the day
To forget your troubles
And feel like everything’s ok

If only it would last
This glorious day
And the ambient mood
In the middle of May

Posted in Poems

Freedom

Skin hung loosely on a tiny frame
A stoic face masked her fear
Lips parted in a sandpaper smile
Eyes housed the despair

Shivering she sat on a barren floor
Praying to the angel of death
Sunshine bled through iron bars
Seducing her with warm breath

Dancing upon her dampened skin
She pleaded with the sun to stay
But as the stench of night overcame them
Her suitor crept away

She was left alone; exposed
As night defeated day
Freedom’s sweet fragrance
Never enjoyed until taken away

photo credit: Giandomenico Ricci via photopin cc