The Future Of Vlogging: NEISTAT QUITS THE VLOG

On November 19, iconic daily vlogger Casey Neistat announced the retirement of his vlog. At first I was in disbelief. I thought it was just another clickbait video, and after 2 minutes in, I’d realise he was joking and we’d all go back to our lives knowing that Casey was out there on his boosted board capturing his day for us to see. But after watching the death of his vlog (video below), questions began to surface that I’d been thinking about for a long time, but the biggest

What is the future of Daily Vlogging?

After attending Buffer Festival, I was inspired by vloggers and YouTubers that I’d seen on my screen most mornings of this year. ‘Inspired, motivated, living life to the fullest, experience, risk and dedication’ were all words you could associate with that weekend. And nothing will ever take away from how amazing that experience was.

But I couldn’t help but wonder… how sustainable is vlogging, in particular, daily vlogging? When do they get to put their cameras down? How do they relax? What’s unique? Has this story been told before? What’s the point? What’s the goal? What if everyone starts daily vlogging, will it ever be interesting?

All of these thoughts had been circulating through my mind for a few weeks. I’ve had lengthy discussions with a lot of my friends about vlogging and where the line is between the fragile relationship of work/life, public/private, content/creativity. And then Casey made his announcement… So this post is about my thoughts of the future of daily vlogging. These are some of my questions and concerns for the people , the vloggers, out idols, who capture their daily lives, edit and post it online for the world to see.

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Ben Brown, one of my favourite vloggers, vlogging away. Source

Sustainability

As Casey states, ‘are you really going to be vlogging your life into your 40’s?’ He responds with a definite no. Not discrediting middle-aged vloggers, I think their voices are incredibly value. But how long are people going to keep it up? 5 years? 10 years? 30 years? As we’ve already seen from numerous vloggers, life changes and not always for the best. Relationships end and when you’ve got the entirety of that relationship documented, will they be able to deal with their life changes and be able to move on?

Daily vlogging is a full-time job, so when do they get a holiday? I know it’s a bit of a ridiculous question given that many travel vloggers are ALWAYS on holidays. But a holiday to me is disconnecting with your work life and responsibilities and enjoying time to yourself and with your friends or family.

Privacy

I know that if you willingly put your life online, then a lot of people might think you’re not entitled to privacy. But let’s be honest, whether you live your life through a camera and on social media or not, everyone values, loves and desires privacy. Those little intimate moments you share with someone you love, do they just need to accept that those intimate moments also include millions of subscribers?

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Alfie vlogging away. Source

Creativity

The more vloggers I seem to watch, who are a part of the ‘vlogger elite,‘ the more I come to realise how similar they are. Many of them travel together, shoot with similar cameras, travel to similar places, use similar shots, music and edits… more or less, many vlogs are exactly the same! Just replace the person holding the camera with your favourite personality and you’ve got a new vlog.

The video below is a recent favourite of mine. He touches on how vlogging, particularly Casey, has inspired people to be creating, but not necessarily creative.

Solutions

So I don’t believe vlogging is dead. AT ALL. Vlogging is an extremely revolutionary medium and YouTube is a powerful platform, that should be respected and understood. YouTubers are influential and can encourage, inspire, educate, motivate and connect with people all across the globe. And I particularly think that travel vloggers have a very important responsibility of educating people of other cultures, countries and ways of life. So here are some possible outcomes and solutions for the future of daily vlogging.

Move from daily to weekly

I think that by moving from daily vlogging to weekly or at least every other day would improve the quality of the content, and the quality of the vloggers life. No more late nights up editing and filming every single day.

Diversifying voices

I know that YouTube is a platform that gives everyone a voice and that it’s definitely partially my fault for not looking hard enough… but I seem to be seeing the same type of personality daily vlogging. White, males from America, the UK or Australia. And whilst they create amazing content, I haven’t yet stumbled across daily vloggers from other parts of the world with a diversity. Women, people of colour, disabilities… I think I would be ten times more engaged if I was seeing the same type of content (travel) produced by these voices. On that note, if you have any recommendations for YouTubers with a unique and diverse voice – let me know!

Meaningful Content

I recently stumbled across JacksGap channel and I’m in absolute awe. They’re using their creative talent to produce quality content, with an important message (you can see the video below). I think this is where the future of vlogging and YouTube is going (well, at least the next phase). Short, quality videos that entwine a ‘vlogging’ style with traditional ‘documentary’ style. Just check out Ben Brown and Steve Booker’s collaboration with the BBC for their mini-series ‘Mission Selfie.’ 

Vlogging is not dead. Casey is going to go on to do bigger and better things. And I think eventually, other YouTubers will come to the same realisation and conclusion.

I Don’t Know What I Want To Do After University: And I’m OK With That

So I’m about to finish my 3rd year of university, with only a year to go until that glorious graduation day. So it’s common that I get asked what my plans are for when I do graduate. And of course, I’m OK with people asking me this. I’ve got big dreams and big plans. But people give me a somewhat unsatisfied look when I can’t give them the name of a profession. Like somehow that doesn’t align with their idea of what my degree leads to or their expectation of me. I usually sit there trying to defend myself and the fact that I don’t know what I want to do, but that’s a good thing etc… but I can see it in their eyes. They think I’m delusional.

So this has prompted me to realise and accept the following…

The truth is, I don’t know what I want to do after I graduate, and I’m happy about that.

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What ideas do I have?

Well let me name a few to get us started.

I’m considering doing honours (thesis). Taking a year off to work. Taking time off to travelVolunteering for an NGO. Applying for a graduate program. Doing my Masters. Doing my Masters overseas. Start my own business. Become involved in politics. Be a foreign correspondent. Be a freelance content creator. 

I have no shortage of ideas. But I feel like I shouldn’t be narrow on my focus or goals. That I shouldn’t discount anything just yet, because who know’s where life will take you. Or should I say, where I’m going to navigate my life.

The reality is, I’m only 22 years old. Some people at my age know exactly what they want to do in life and that’s fantastic, and I support that! But I feel that where I am right now in my life, it’s basically impossible for me to be sure which direction I want to go in. There’s endless possibilities out there. They say that young generations are going to switch careers multiple times during our work life anyway. At my age right now, I value life experience and the skills and lessons I’ve learnt outside of a classroom, more than pursuing a traditional lifestyle of finding a job, husband and settling down. Ain’t nothing settling down around here anytime soon.

I think the most frustrating thing is that the people who ask you this question, are usually the people who know you the least. You’ve usually just met and they’re making awkward small talk, which I hate. So when someone doubts my ability, accomplishments or ambitions, it’s extremely frustrating. Because they’re making an immediate judgement and assumption from our first meeting. Not cool.

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So what can we do about this?

Instead of people asking ‘what you want to do when you graduate’, or ‘what career do you want’… let’s ask something more meaningful. Maybe we can ask them what goals they have? Does what they do make them happy? Where do you see your goals taking you? What’s your biggest dream?

I also think that’s it’s dangerous to put so much pressure on young people. I think society perceives us as invincible, but I feel kind of the opposite at the moment. I feel vulnerable and susceptible to societies expectations but I feel strong in my determination to make something of myself and make myself proud.

I think that by asking these sorts of questions and being encouraging and nurturing of people’s ideas and dreams is the way forward. Questions and conversations that mean something to people. I believe that by moving away from the traditional conversations, we can adapt and change our conversations and belief in others to one that is nurturing, inquisitive and encouraging to ensure we leave a conversation inspired and not judged.

[If you’re still unsure what I’m talking about… check out this amazing TED Talk below, explaining why she, and many others don’t have one true calling – and that’s a good thing!]

I’m Not A Fan Of Leonardo DiCaprio: A Critique of ‘Before The Flood’

One thing I miss about home (funnily enough) are my communications classes, where we get to critique, dissect and analyse what’s going on in the world of media. And anyone who’s been paying attention to Mr Leonardo DiCaprio lately (and let’s be honest, who hasn’t?) would know that he, along with National Geographic released the feature length documentary titled ‘Before The Flood.’ You can check out the trailer below.

Now we all know that good ol Leo is an avid environmentalist. We’ve seen him give fancy speeches at the UN, talk with Barack Obama and grow an awesome hippy beard. Whilst I support the fact that Leo (a global sensation) can bring attention to the pressing issue of Climate Change… I’m not entirely sure that this movie did that. And maybe that’s just because I’ve seen my fair share of environmental movies and am pretty well informed about the issue, but come on Leo, I think you just scratched the surface on this one. So here are my major critiques of this film.

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Why was it focused around you, Leo?

Leo, hearing about the painting that hung above your crib as a child was lovely and all but why was this whole documentary focused around you. It was you being shocked by air pollution in China, you being flown in a helicopter to see the tar sands in Alberta, you who met the Pope and Barack Obama. And sure, I’m glad that you found enlightenment and were motivated to take action upon seeing and experiencing these things… but realistically, Climate Change is not going to directly affect you, a wealthy actor from California who will still be able to afford food, petrol, clothes and energy. I know that Climate Change will affect us all, but it affects us unequally. It affects the poor in India who have no access to energy. It affects those who can’t farm their own food. And it affects those who don’t have time to rebuild their communities before another hurricane destroys it (again). It affects First Nations people losing their sacred land to be mined. The focus should’ve been shifted towards these individuals to create a more emotive and real portrayal of the effects of Climate Change. Stop taking all the spotlight man!

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Climate Change is a people problem

I believe a huge issue around Climate Change is the way it’s framed in the media. This goes beyond the whole ‘showing climate deniers on news stories etc’ because we all know that’s bullsh*t. I’m talking about from the environmentalists. We’ve all seen the image of a polar bear standing on a melting piece of ice before. We’ve seen before and after pictures of melting glaciers. We’ve seen the effects of more frequent and severe storm patterns. Climate Change is a human problem. We obviously haven’t responded well to seeing nature suffer, but what about us humans? Given our current refugee crisis – especially Australia’s attitude towards refugees, perhaps nothing will change us.

It perpetuates the idea of ‘developing countries’ 

I’m not denying there are huge differences between the developed / developing world, the Global North / Global South, First / Third World… whatever you want to call it. But I’m sick of seeing countries like China and India be portrayed as countries with no consideration for the environment. And that as they go their their economic and industrial boom, it’s portrayed that they are destroying the environment faster than ‘we’ have. Of course this is a significant issue but these countries and the people who are affected by air pollution, restricted access to energy, flooding, storms etc, are protesting, innovating and acting. If Climate Change is a global challenge then we really need to act globally. Therefore we need to move away from this backward notion that developing countries are bad guys of Climate Change because that’s simply not true… ahem… Australia, United States, Canada…

There was nothing groundbreaking

Ice caps and glaciers melting, sea levels rising, the Pacific Islands going under water creating Climate Refugees, tar sands in Alberta, China has bad air pollution, we should all eat less meat, America and the majority of the West’s economy built on fossil fuels….? This is Climate Change 101. I didn’t feel that this documentary contributed anything new to my knowledge of Climate Change or how to combat it.

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On The Bright Side

OK fine Leo, I’ll give you two compliments. But that’s it.

Firstly was your interview with Sunita Narain. When she shook her head at you, damn did I resonate with that shake. Her perspective an extremely valid point. That people who have absolutely no access to electricity don’t care if their energy comes from renewable or non-renewable sources. It just needs to be cheap. And she strongly suggests that the US and other developed countries should be leading the way in making renewable energy affordable and accessible.

And secondly was his interview with astronaut turned environmentalist and innovator Piers Sellers who has dedicated the rest of his life to mapping Climate Change. He talks about seeing the world from such a unique perspective (from space) and how that experience changed his perspective on Climate Change and it’s representation. I believe he’s nailed the thought that we need to look at Climate Change from a completely different perspective and if it takes someone who’s seen the world from outer space, then so be it.

OK so I know I’ve been extremely critical and it’s not entirely Leo’s fault (I’ll still love you Leo). But Climate Change is urgent, and it’s going to take more than a celebrity talking to some scientists, standing in front of a melting glacier to help. Especially when we’re hearing a repetitive narrative.

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For more information on what you can do or how you can get involved, check out Oxfam’s Climate Change page here: https://www.oxfam.org.au/what-we-do/food-and-climate/climate-change/

 

 

 

An Open Letter To My First Crush: Johnny Depp

**Content Warning: This article discusses domestic violence.** 

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Dear Johnny Depp,

 Mrs. Depp. That’s what I used to write on my school books. Ever since I saw the first Pirates of the Caribbean film I became completely and dramatically obsessed with my very first crush, you, Johnny Depp.

Your performance in that movie motivated me to learn more about the man behind the dreadlocks and eyeliner (which I thought was the sexiest thing I’ve ever seen). This interest (obsession) lead me to purchasing two biographies and a lot of god damn movies, with Edward Scissorhands, The Corpse Bride and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape being some of my favourites (hello young Leonardo DiCaprio as well).

Johnny, you made me believe that no matter what life throws at us, we can get through it. That we must embrace our flaws, our quirkiness, and our uniqueness. You made me feel like it was OK to be different. That is was good to be different. You helped me through those high school nightmares of worry, comparison and self doubt.

You ignited the rebel within me. Whenever I’d talk about getting a tattoo, or listen to heavy rock music, I’d think about the opening chapters in your biographies and your early career in music. You’ve inspired me to pursue my passions, to be daring and to embrace my inner artist.

But lately, something’s been eating me Johnny. Not all flaws can be forgiven despite how quirky or sexy you may have once been to me. Domestic violence is not something that one of your quirky characters can distract me from, yet you’ve done a pretty good job of deflecting it in the media. Somehow you’ve become the victim and walked away stronger than ever.

At first I found myself defending you – ME! An avid feminist and activist against domestic violence. That’s what you made me do. You – your fame, your characters, your artistic flair made me think for one second that, “no that can’t be true.” and maybe that’s why this entire conversation has disappeared from media discussions. Because you’re Johnny Depp, you’re untouchable.

The media reported Amber Heard’s statements as ‘allegations’ and that her reports weren’t ‘verified.’ However, like the majority of sexual assault and domestic abuse, there’s little to no evidence of these violations. This doesn’t mean that we disregard them and attack the character of the woman whilst the male character is able to walk away unharmed. I thought we had finally moved on from victim blaming, however the response from the media would suggest not.

This reflects a very dark side of society. Like Edward Scissorhands, we try to speak up and someone gets cut. Well it’s not going to be me, your wife, or your children. It’s you. I’ve loved you since I was a teenager. A 10-year crush shattered to pieces. Well Johnny Depp, my first crush, I’m letting you go. Maybe you’ll embody your character like in ‘Lone Ranger.’ But sadly, for you, you no longer have our hearts.

From Adelaide

*You can read more here

If you or someone you know has experienced sexual or domestic violence, you can contact 1800 RESPECT which is the National Sexual Assault and Domestic Family Violence Couselling Service.

Call: 1800 737 732

Visit: https://www.1800respect.org.au/

This article was written for Twenty Something Humans. You can check out the awesome things they do here. 

Arriving in MONTRÉAL: First Impressions

The time has arrived! I’ve finally made it to Montréal! It’s so surreal being here! After months and months and months of planning, emailing, organising, getting excited and nervous…. I’m here! Inspired by one of my blogger friends, Assia from Journal by Assia, I thought I would share my first impressions on this incredible place!

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The Architecture

The first thing that really struck me was the incredibly unique architecture! It’s a fusion of classic American red brick buildings, with cute French stair cases, balconies, pot plants and terraces. I really haven’t seen anything like it before and it’s quite amazing just wondering around and being constantly surprised.

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The French-ness & THAT accent

A lot of people told me that it will be useful knowing French in Montréal but no one ever said just how useful it would be! Literally everything is in French! Especially the area I’m living in – near the Mont-Royal metro – called The Plateau – it’s super French! It’s great because it means I get to practice my French on a daily basis!

I was also ‘warned’ about the Quebecois accent. But again – no one warned me enough! The first time I heard it I just assumed they were speaking a completely different language and were from out of town. Then I understood a word or two – then a phrase… and then it clicked that ‘oh my god… that’s French!’ It’s quite difficult to understand because they speak really fast and the accent is quite thick but I’m getting by!

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EVERYTHING is in French

It’s a good place to be creative

Even the streets of Montréal ooze creativity and artistry! There’s murals everywhere and they’re absolutely spectacular! On my first day here I went to a cafe to get some much needed coffee and read a book. In the cafe there were people filming a video clip for a song they were about to release! I said that I could leave so I wouldn’t disturb them, but they insisted I stay. It was pretty cool just chilling in this hipster cafe with such cool art everywhere, watching the making of a video clip! Definitely feeling the inspiration!

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Just a causal mural off of the main street

My apartment is simply gorgeous

It’s all well and good to see pictures of where you’re going to be living and thinking it looks nice. But it’s such an amazing feeling when you arrive to find it is even more beautiful than in the pictures! My room is ENORMOUS! I don’t even know what to do with all of the space! It’s got beautiful wooden floor boards, the wifi is fast, the shower is hot, and it’s in the perfect location! Literally 2 minutes to the metro and there’s coffee shops, restaurants and boutiques on each corner.

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My room slowly coming together with some photos, pillows and plants

Greenery is a must

Right outside of my metro is this cute plant store (picture below). And wondering around, the streets are lined with gorgeous trees, there’s pot plants and flowers on balconies they’re just absolutely adorable. Naturally, I had to get my hands on some!

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Flowers, pots, herbs and succulents galore!

So for just $3 each, I managed to get a cactus, a succulent and a purple thing (I forgot the name). They just make my room feel like home. Along with my cute candle, I also bought some incense too which is so soothing and relaxing! Positive vibes all around!

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So it’s only been 2.5 days here but I think I’m in love already! My housemate arrives on Monday (tomorrow) and I’m excited to meet him! It’s been good having these first few days to figure things out for myself. To speak franglais, to find cafes, supermarkets and my way around.

It’s scary and exciting at the same time! This place is going to be home for the next few months and I’m just so relieved I’m living in a nice place in an awesome part of the city! These are just my first impressions and I’m sure as time goes by, and I meet more people and get started at uni, my thoughts will continue to change and evolve!

 

Learning A Language: Why It’s Important If You Want To TRAVEL

Having the ability to speak another language is one of the most admirable, useful and incredible skills we can have. Nothing else quite compares. Yet in Australia, learning a language is not overly encouraged or common. We already speak English, which has become a sort of universal language in itself, so why would we need to learn another? Since I was young, I’ve always had an interest in other cultures and ways of life and as I grew up, I came to realise the extremely important role that language plays in a culture.

At my high school, it was compulsory to study French for a year. However, that year was year 8, when everyone’s about 14 years old and really doesn’t care about school, let alone learning another language. I really took to it, and chose it as an elective for year 9 & 10. I wanted to continue it for year 11 & 12 however my school put French and Mathematics on at the same time so I had to make a decision. I chose French, however because of it being the same time as Mathematics, they didn’t have enough numbers. So I looked in to doing French by correspondence. I remember my year advisor taking me out of class one day to talk to me about my subject selection. He told me how French was not going to contribute towards a university degree or a career, unlike Mathematics. He told me students who take Mathematics at high school do far better in their HSC (high school certificate) and go on to get better ATARS (an ATAR is a number we use in Australia to determine what university courses you can get in to – so it’s pretty important). So… listening to my teacher and his ‘world of wisdom,’ I decided against doing French and chose Mathematics instead.

Fast forward a few years and I’ve never used that Mathematics in my life, that subject didn’t even contribute towards my final HSC mark, it’s compulsory for me to study a language as part of my degree, and I’ve just finished an intensive short course in France. Mmmm…. Yep, it seems that French really has not been beneficial in my life at all.

(To read about my short course in La Rochelle, click here).

Travelling and meeting people from across the world has helped me realise the true importance of learning a language. So here are my reasons for why learning a language is one of the most valuable life skills you’ll ever learn.

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It’s respectful

In Australia, we never have people come up to us in shops, restaurants, on the street to ask us something in their native language. If they did we should shoo them away and  think ‘you’re in Australia mate.’ However as soon as the role is reversed and you’re on a Eurotrip trying to order tapas and beer, it’s OK for you to speak English and expect the other person to know English as well?

Even if you’re not perfect and make mistakes, that’s OK. They’ll appreciate you trying.

It’s so much more than being able to say hello

When going to a new country, a lot of people learn hello, thank you and good bye. Whilst this is a good start, being able to be conversational in a language opens you up to so many more experiences. Sadly, French is the only language I (partly) speak. At the beginning of August I spent a week in Spain (awesome right?!) And yes it was indeed awesome, but I genuinely struggled with the language barrier. Sure, everyone spoke English and we could get by, but I couldn’t help but constantly feel reminded of the fact that I was a tourist. I felt like I was missing out on something. Whilst of course I had an amazing time, I’m sure that if I spoke Spanish, even just a little bit, I would’ve had an even more incredible time.

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It allows you to have a much more genuine travel experience

By being able to speak the language of the country you’re in, you’re going to feel much more immersed in their authentic culture. You can meet locals at bars, tell them about your life and learn about theirs, discuss current topics and the country you’re in.

It’s a skill that you have to keep working at

Sure, knowing a language is a lifelong skill, but you have to keep practising. And the best way to practice isn’t in a classroom or on an app, but by travelling or better yet, living in that country and speaking that language all day every day. Is there any other skill you can think of that forces you to travel? Cool right!

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You’ll learn a lot about yourself

By learning a language, you not only learn about verbs, tenses and vocab, but you also learn a lot about yourself and your personal style of talking and about you. This one is hard to explain so I’ll just use an example. My grammar is by far my low point of my French skills. Tell me a rule and I’ll remember it and use it. But don’t then tell me there’s a million exceptions to this rule… hello passé composé! But my speaking and oral skills are by far my best. Sure, you need grammar to talk properly, but it’s not the biggest deal if you use the wrong tense or use ‘tu’ instead of ‘vous.’ Many of my French friends have told me and sure they notice it, but personally I’d prefer to be able to talk to people and express my opinions and thoughts that be able to write an essay with perfect grammar.

I think this just says about me as a personal that I don’t sweat all of the rules and I’m happy to go with the flow and just have some fun, even if you make a few mistakes along the way.  Well, that’s just my little psychoanalysis of myself.

 

My month studying French in La Rochelle is probably one of the most challenging yet rewarding things I’ve ever done. I’m incredibly proud of myself and that I managed to learn more about a language and culture, but also myself.

Who’s To Blame?

So it seem like everyone lost their sh*t when Essena O’Neill ‘quit social media.’ In a vulnerable and honest youtube video she uploaded last week, the 19 year old confessed how ever since she was 12 years old, she’s been obsessed with being the ‘it’ girl. With hundreds of thousands of Instagram, Youtube and Facebook followers, O’Neill had it all. Or at least, she made it look like she had it all. She confesses to staging photos, not having to pay for designer clothes and being critical of her body and appearance, all to get the one good Instagram shot. The main message behind her ‘confession’ is Social Media is a Lie! But is it?

I’ve written about our portrayal of the ‘Ultimate Self’ here, expressing that we should be aiming to create more intimate and genuine connections with one another. And I genuinely believe that social media has the power and capacity to do this. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter… these platforms have revolutionised the way in which we communicate and revolutionised our world. Literally! Twitter had immense mobilizing power during the Arab Spring and we see activism and hashtags crossing our screens daily, allowing us to speak up about issues that matter to us. So to hear the social media is a lie, is somewhat confronting and unnerving to myself as a content producer and a consumer of social media. I’m not defending social media or trying to attack Essena for her statements, but I think it’s important to think about what we can do as users of social media to create a better way of interacting with others and a more genuine and real world.

Self reflection is crucial. Source
Self reflection is crucial. Source

Self approval is the most important thing.

The world we live in is extremely judgemental. Whether we like it or not, we subconsciously judge people on what they wear, how they talk or the way they present themselves. We’re not going to be able to change that overnight. But the thing that we can change is the way we view ourselves. What’s the point in impressing others when we’re not truly content with ourselves? There is no point. If we constantly thrive off of societies approval, then we’re setting ourselves up for failure. And if, like me, you like running your ideas and thoughts by people, then make sure you surround yourself with people who share your values and are here to support you. Whether it’s a housemate, your Mum or your colleague, getting the approval from someone you truly know and care about is so genuine that it motivate you to keep going.

Be true to yourself. 

Stemming from self approval, is just being true to yourself. At the end of the day, all we have is ourselves. Happiness is more than just an emotion, it’s a lifestyle. Doing things that make you happy, excited and full of life is so much more fulfilling than a superficial high that you get from likes. Stick to your values and know your limits but don’t be afraid to push them. At the end of the day, if you surround yourself with things that make you deeply happy, then you really can’t go wrong. Like the pictures says below ‘ let your smile change the world!’

Resilience and persistance are the key. Source
Resilience and persistence are the key. Source

Isn’t everything we see curated?

You don’t look up pictures of Paris and see it’s dark, dodgy and below average alleyways… you see the Eiffel Tower. Artists put their best work on display, musicians play their hits and we share our best photos. It’s not exactly something new that

Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Life isn’t just a picture with a Valencia filter over it. Things go wrong. Life happens. And things certainly don’t go according to plan. Admitting that you may be struggling a little bit is the best way to ensure that you get the support that you need. Asking for help doesn’t mean that you’re weak or vulnerable. In fact, it means that you have the strength and bravery to work on yourself and seek to grow as a person.

With great power comes great responsibility.

To quote Spiderman here, with great power comes great responsibility. And not just social responsibility but personal responsibility to look after yourself. Following on from everything else I’ve covered, being true to yourself, surrounding yourself with positivity and accepting yourself for who you are. Social media is powerful so it only makes sense that people using it, use it with care.

Photography and social media should inspire creativity. Source
Photography and social media should inspire creativity. Source

So what does this have to do with social media?

Social media can either be a destructive or uniting force. It should be used to innovate, inspire and create. It’s a way of sharing our thoughts, opinions, emotions and values to our friends and the rest of the world. If we let ourselves get caught up in a superficial world of likes and editing the real you out of photos, we’re only setting ourselves up for failure. Through blogging and engaging in social media I’ve been able to not only express my ideas and connect with people across the world, but I’ve also been able to grow and evolve as a person.

It’s how we use it! 

But is social media really to blame here? Isn’t is us, as content creators, the ones abusing the power of social media? Are we the lie? Are we just trying to fit the mould of what society wants us to be at the price of our own happiness? Let’s use social media to our advantage. Let’s be strong together and create the change we want to see in the world. If we start with our own happiness, then it will be much easier to spread happiness and lead a fulfilling and genuine life.

Social media is only a lie, if we allow it to be.

My Love/Hate Relationship With The Bachelor And The Bachelorette

My heart skips a beat when I see an advert for The Bachelor. You’ve got women in stunning dresses, men in gorgeous suits and of course, Andrew G (Osher will never catch on, it’ll always be Andrew G!). But as this season’s Bachelorette draws to a close, with the finale this week, I can’t help but reflect on my love/hate relationship with the TV show.

The 'contestants' on The Bachelor. Source
The ‘contestants’ on The Bachelor. Source

So I feel like I don’t have to go into too much detail as to why I love this show. It’s dramatic, it’s easy watching, it’s funny, awkward and entertaining. Don’t get me wrong, I’m completely aware that it’s created by producers, it’s not natural and it’s all for entertainment purposes, but sometimes my moral brain kicks in and asks ‘why are you watching this shit?’ So here comes the hateful side of this relationship… and it ain’t pretty.

There’s just something so morally wrong about fighting others for the affection, attention and eternal love of Sam (just in case you’ve been living under a rock, both the Bachelor and the Bachelorette’s names are Sam, so I’ll be referring to ‘Sam’ as both the bachelor and bachelorette). Why should we be competing for someone’s attention? It only encourages insecurity and doubt whilst fuelling bitchiness and the breach of the ‘brocode.’ Just think of it locally, on a small scale… imaging you and your three best friends all had a crush on the same guy. You wouldn’t spend the next few months flirting with him and going on weird group dates. In fact, you and your girlfriends would probably just settle on going out for dates with one another. The whole concept is just wrong!

It’s ridiculously white washed and clone-ish. As in, all the girls are attractive, tall, thin girls… and the guys are attractive, tall, muscley, blokey fellas. Has Channel Ten heard of diversity? It’s extremely misrepresentative of Australia and the men and women who live here.

Nice group of average height, toned, white clones, I mean men.... source
Nice group of average height, toned, white clones, I mean men…. source

Love isn’t a game. The amount of times the phrase ‘i’m looking for true love,’ is mentioned is enough that my friends and I managed to turn it into a drinking game. While yes you may be looking for true love, would you like some high resolution glasses because I think you’re looking in the wrong place. Literally. Think about it. For one minute. Imagine all of the millions of people we’ve passed in our lives, subconsciously thinking ‘they could be the one,’ and then being put in a mansion with 12 people and apparently, one of them is your ONE! Nope, nuh uh, don’t buy it.

How does living in a beautiful mansion and wearing dazzling dressed and suits allow you to get to know anyone personally? Wand to get to know people for who they really are? Take them camping for 3 months to the middle of a forest or dessert. I’m pretty sure that dealing with real life situations and not dates where you get a private helicopter tour is a much more efficient way to get to know someone. Also, it’s kind of setting the whole relationship up for failure. Unless the Sam’s can actually afford the frequent helicopter ride or bridge climb or snow trip or insert over the top romantic date here date… then they’re going to be disappointed when their weekends consist of movie nights in a dominos pizza.

However, we do learn some very valuable lessons…

Guys can be emotional.

A sequined dress doesn’t guarantee true love.

A kiss over 4 minutes long on top of the harbour bridge is just awkward!

Ritchie is the cutest human alive and shouldn’t marry Sam… hello Ritchie… I’m single.

And… the bro code should NEVER be broken… isn’t that right David?

Don't break the brocode David. Source
Don’t break the brocode David. Source

What do you think? Do you love it or hate it? Let me know in the comments below!

How to deal with conflict

I used to hate conflict. Try to avoid it at all costs until I went quiet and just had to leave the room. Sometimes, these urges and old habits come back and I just want to run and hide under a rock. But I think as we grow and learn more and more about ourselves and our values, you don’t want to do this. Instead, you want to stand up for yourself and deal with it in a healthy and productive way. This is something I’m still learning and trying to master, but conflict and awkward moments are just something we all have to deal with. So here are my ways to deal with it effectively and with as little drama as possible like this guy below.

What you want to avoid. Source
What you want to avoid. Source

Respect. It’s important to respect the other person you’re talking to. Yes they may have different opinions or perspectives on things but that’s OK. It would be boring if we were all the same. You want your opinion to be respected to it’s vital that you acknowledge their point of view.

Understanding. Along with respect is understanding. You need to understand that everyone comes from a different family, background and way of life. By understanding and trying to put yourself in their shoes, you’ll ensure that you’re not attacking them.

Confidence. Speak with confidence and conviction. If you believe that LGBT people have a right to marriage, then say it loud and proud. If you’re interested in a particular issue, you’ll arleady know a lot of information about it (a recent protest or march, a celebrity that advocates for it, the positive effects it will have on society…).

It's OK to express yourself. Source
It’s OK to express yourself. Source

Educate. If you’ve already done the above things, try and educate the other person about why Viola Davis winning an emmy is such a significant thing. If the other person is respecting you and trying to understand where you’re coming from, they’ll be more than happy to listen and learn from you. As long as it’s reciprocated.

Stick to your beliefs. Of course it’s difficult when someone is questioning and criticising what you believe in. However that doesn’t make it any less valuable. If it’s something you truly believe in and advocate for, then one persons criticism really wan’t effect that.

Walk away. If you’ve covered all of the above, and the person you’re talking with is still attacking your words, questioning and criticising what you’re saying, then just leave that conversation alone. You don’t need to make everyone believe what you believe and think what you think. You’re just trying to share some light on why you’re passionate about feminism or One Direction, you’re not trying to brainwash them. But if the other person isn’t respecting or trying to understand you, then maybe they’re not worth talking to.

Don’t hold grudges. Holding grudges doesn’t get anyone anywhere. There’s no use resenting someone becuase they said they hated French movies that one time. Just accept that everyone is different and will have different opinions on which colour jelly bean is the best.

So remember, it’s totally fine to have heated or intense discussions. They’re stimulating, interesting and allow you to express how passionate or concerned about something you are. These are just some of my little tips to do so in a productive and respectful way.

Do you have any tips of tricks that I’ve missed? Share them in the comments below!

The UN’s International Day of Peace: Why It Matters To Us All

“When the power of love overcomes our love of power, the world will know peace.” – Jimi Hendrix 

Peace. It’s one of those words which is thrown around here there and everywhere. Along with a cute little hand gesture which seems to sneak in to all of my photos, myself, along with many others would say that they wish to see the world become a more peaceful one. But if you watch the news, you would think that this world is anything but peaceful. From civil wars, a refugee crisis, poverty, the rise of terrorist groups and a growing gap between the rich and the poor, it’s easy to believe that peace is unreachable. But we cannot accept this. We mustn’t. Because the second we give up hope, is the moment that peace escapes from us. There are many types of peace and there are many forms it takes… but the most important thing is that we believe that peace is achievable. 

Winston Churchill peacing out. Source
Winston Churchill peacing out. Source

So what can I do to bring peace to the world?

Find inner peace. Before you can possibly start to try to bring peace to the world, you first must be at peace with yourself. And it’s not an easy thing to do. It involves knowing your flaws, your weaknesses and knowing what you can do to always be improving yourself. I’m still trying to find inner peace. By not being so judgemental of myself when I look in the mirror, by trying to accept the fact that not everyone I meet in life is going to like me (and that’s not my fault) and by realising that I am unique and it’s up to me to share my voice, my values, and my views with the world.

Discover what makes you feel peaceful. This one’s a little bit easier. Ask yourself… what do you do that makes you lose track of time and forget about the stresses of everyday life? Personally, it’s listening to music, reading a book, going for a bike ride to the beach, blogging, being with friends or doing yoga. All of these things are just as important in my life as the big things like my job and studying. Without these things, I’d be full of stress and anxiety, and it’s by doing these things often that I can actually deal with the stresses of every day life.

The ocean always makes me lose track of time
The ocean always makes me lose track of time. Source

Dignity for all. This is the theme for the UN’s International Peace Day. Dignity is also one of those words which is often thrown around and not many people may realise the significance and power of dignity. Dignity is defined as ‘the quality of being worthy of honour and respect’ (Dictionary.com) and don’t you think if we all treated everyone with dignity, the world would be a better place? Dignity is not only about the respect you give to yourself but also to others, so never lose sight of the fact that underneath all of the wealth or material things we have, we are all born as equals and we should continue to treat everyone else this way too.

Try and spread the peace. Feeling extra happy or peaceful today? Try and spread it. You never know what someone else is going through so why not offer to give them a hand, ask if they’re OK, invite them to one of your beach adventures… you never know how far some kind words can travel.

And the least you can do to help keep the world a peaceful place, as Mother Teresa said Peace begins with a smile.” 

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