At the beginning of each new year, I try to pen something hopeful and perhaps even inspirational. If not to you, a reminder to myself. I perhaps issue you a challenge when it comes to new year resolutions (although everyone will inevitably tell me they have none!). This year, I didn’t really have a message.
But I thought about it, as I was on Twitter (where a lot of my thoughts are dumped) and this was my New Year greeting there.
Happy New Year Twitter-peeps. May you not be spooked by fake news and not be triggered by every damn thing you read online and may we have more responsible social media advocates in 2018 ?
— Paris B (@paris_b) January 1, 2018
So, my message to you in a nutshell, is to “Slow Down”.
I do realise that it is a strange message to send out, just as we’re all gearing up, and ramping up to tackle the year head on. But bear with me, I’ve thought about this 😀
As much as I’d like to think the year will be a good, smooth-sailing one, the reality is that it won’t be. Perhaps it will, for me personally, or even for you. But not in the greater scheme of things. National and world politics will ensure this.
While we can choose to close our eyes and ears to political haranguing, mud-slinging and name-calling, I do feel at the same time, that we should be responsible citizens. Step up to the ballot box, and do your civic duty when the time comes. Even if you think what you do doesn’t matter, or that national or international politics do not affect you, the reality is that it does and it will. In little ways. Economic policies. Spending power. Cost of living – Prices of your favourite beauty products or your favourite foods. We will be ultimately affected, in little and large ways.
However, read all news with a sceptical eye, and take everything you hear with a pinch of salt. The reality today, is that opinions are implanted and battles for the collective mind are fought on social media. As much as there are truths, watch out also for the half-truths and the outright lies.
I spent quite a lot of time online in 2017 being bombarded with newsclips, and I’d noticed the increase in the number of people sharing news that were blatantly untrue, or getting upset, or triggered, at perceived slights. I’ve noticed how social media, with its lack of nuance and inflection, and the Dutch courage borne of being anonymous online, has made people ultra-sensitive to the most innocuous things.
So, slow down. Before you react with an angry comment or tweet, think about whether what you are reacting to is just fake news, or if it’s worth reacting to and being upset over. Is it even about you, or do you merely perceive it to be about you? You can have an opinion, and you can share it. But it doesn’t have to be confrontational nor abrasive, nor provocative.
I’ve personally made it a personal goal to slow down. Take a deep breath before I react to situations. Stop being so grumpy and angry, and to filter out the people who make me feel grumpy and angry. I’m trying this year, to find a little inner peace and to reassert my sense of humour. To above all, just not be so angry 😀 Having a hot-head, it will be quite an effort, but nothing good comes easily right? 🙂 For this reason (and because I’ve been curious) I asked my Secret Santa for an eye massager tool from The Body Shop. I plan to get the face massager as well, because if nothing, it will give me 5 minutes of reflection.
Above all, be responsible with what we share online. Before you post, verify the news and think if it’s actually worth sharing, or are you just doing it for the likes and/or shock value. It is easy to check the veracity of news you receive. Just yesterday I was informed by a friend that popular actor Chow Yun-Fat had passed. I was surprised because I’m on Twitter a lot and there was nothing there. A quick check on Google revealed it to be a hoax. I don’t know what these people have to gain by spreading these sort of morbid news but it takes just a few seconds to authenticate it. Do it.
Be responsible with what you share. If you are shilling (advertising) for a brand, be upfront about it. Say you are sponsored and let your readers evaluate it for themselves. People won’t think any less of you. Don’t forget that for every free product you receive in exchange for a shill, someone else out there who believes in you will take their hard-earned money and spend it. Help them spend it wisely. Be responsible.
Before you comment, think about whether your comment adds value, or if you’re just trying to get a rise out of someone. Just because we have a modicum of anonymity on the internet, it does not give us carte blanche to be asshats.
So, this 2018, slow down, be responsible and above all, don’t be an asshat.
Happy New Year 2018, peeps. We got this!
14 comments ... Read or JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Happy new year PB!
People nowadays do get riled up extremely easily. They take everything so personal. Maybe it’s stressful personal or work life, but these defensiveness and pent up anger come from somewhere for sure. I am one to avoid politics because a lot of the news upset me tremendously. I don’t want to be oblivious either, so I manage how much I want to know. Some perceive that as me trying to avoid the truth, but really, there are so many conspiracy theories out there that we have no idea of the absolute truth but what’s fed to us.
I didn’t hear about Chow Yun Fatt, but someone I know from FB said the same about Jackie Chan immediately after a famous KPop star committed suicide. It’s stupid and sad at the same time that people find joy or humour in spreading news of someone’s death. Maybe they find humour in morbid stuff.
Happy new year again and in just a short few weeks, we’ll be celebrating Chinese New Year! We’re already getting ready, like starting to buy stuff for hampers we always customise for family members. Not to mention new clothes for the kids because they love it.
I may not comment as regularly anymore (slowed down in blogging too) but I want you to know I still catch up on all your posts 🙂
Paris B says
Happy New Year Lily! 🙂 I think the blogging slow down is happening to many people, but hey, do whatever is comfortable for you, and thank you for still reading my little ramblings! 😀 And indeed, I think being online just makes people develop a thin skin, instead of thick. So often, I see people jumping at the slightest thing, without even reading through an article properly. Just the headline, and they jump or share. So silly! Oh and I’m kind of glad that CNY is a little later this year. I can’t remember if I’ve got a new outfit for CNY yet! I’m not a little kid, but I always make sure I have at least one new piece. Just to keep the traditions going (and for an excuse to buy something new haha!)
I think that’s a good mantra to follow, which is why I have an appreciation for this new fangled (or hipster) “slow movement”… like slow fashion, slow food, etc. And I agree with your views on politics, people have to do their civic duty and not just sit on the sidelines and complain. As for fake news / hoaxes, they have been around for a long time and I hate to say it but my family (and relatives) are so susceptible that they keep forwarding every little piece of nonsense everywhere. This is why I truly dislike FB because it harbours so much crap.
Anyway, it’s best to just let go of whatever ill feelings one may have. Life is short and unpredictable, so live it the way you appreciate it most.
Paris B says
FB is like a giant chain letter sometimes. I’m glad I’m not on it. I don’t think I could stand some of the absurdities I’ve seen on other people’s accounts 😛 And I’d come across slow fashion, but slow food? That’s interesting! I shall have to look it up. This is going to be quite a year for us politically I think. Already the drums are beating, and really, as you said, everyone should do our civic duty. It’s not every day that we can make our voices be heard (for better or worse)!
Great advice Peebs. I tell myself that too from time to time: Slow THE F down. Sleep on it. Mull it over. Take deep breaths. Step away from the computer/phone/whatever device that connects me to the Internet. Just stop. More often than not, once I’ve calmed down, I don’t feel the need to blast my opinions anymore. The moment has passed. Let’s move along.
My mantra for 2018 is “self care”, both physically and mentally. I neglected myself for the past couple of years and that has got to stop. Another one would be to experience life in, well, real life, and not through a screen. Not every moment needs to be captured on camera. Many times I find that I’m missing out the real moments because I’m too busy looking at the subject through my phone (while I’m either photographing/filming it) and not at the subject itself. It reminds me of the time when I visited the Sistine Chapel and when I took a boat ride on the Danube. People around me were so busy capturing the stunning sights via their iPads and phones than they were actually looking at the real thing. 🙁
May this year be better than the last and no better than the next. xx
Paris B says
I like your 2018 mantra Tine! I think working at home for yourself does cause you to lose sight a little of your self too. So taking little breaks and being mindful of taking care of yourself is important. As you said, it’s time we stop looking at life through our camera lens. I’ve consciously stopped taking photos of everything. Sometimes, if it’s interesting, I still whip out my phone, but otherwise, I enjoy it and file it away in my memory. With food, I take one picture, and I’m done. It’s why I can’t be a vlogger. I am just too lazy, and can’t be arsed to spend all that time filming for the enjoyment of others, when I could be enjoying it myself. So this is a good thing to bear in mind. Live in the moment, because it too will pass 🙂 Happy New Year Tine!
Victoria Shanti says
Happy New Year Paris! I always love your honesty & this post is spot on. So agree on the paragraph about thinking twice before commenting on anything as sometimes I think we only comment on certain things because we want to pat ourselves on the back thinking we have done a better job than others. I am guilty on this & since last year, I have always gave a lot of thought before writing a comment.
One thing I hope to control this year is gossiping. I realised how easy it is to gossip about a person that everyone generally dislikes. I just need to avoid putting myself in a situation which would lead to gossip. Easier said than done but I am going to try harder this year.
Anyway, all the best for 2018 & will be following you as always on your blog & on IG. Will say hi to you again if we do bump into each other 🙂
Paris B says
Oh my you are right about gossiping. Sometimes, we gossip without even realising it! I think it is partly human nature, and maybe a part of it is curiousity. The thing I have tried to control is malicious gossip. I try to give people the benefit of the doubt (not easy sometimes) and try not to engage in spreading damaging stories about others. Happy New Year Victoria, and will look forward to bumping into you some time soon! 😀
lol your last line. <3
I would say don't be a dick, but asshat is way more classy. 🙂
But amen to slowing down. i find myself constantly barraged online and offline, and initial reaction is always to react to it. Your post today hit home. Thanks for another inspirational piece, PB. May 2018 be good to us.
Paris B says
In my head, I thought “dick” but on “paper” I decided asshat was more polite LOL! 😀 I actually find Instagram sometimes, very tiring. Considering I don’t follow that many people, it’s probably a sign I need to cull my following lists even further! LOL! Catch up some time this year, FA! 😉
Happy New Year!
You nailed it on the slow down, don’t react immediately, don’t be so hot headed….my resolutions for 2018 but I’m not sure if I can change it as long as I’m not the asshat, I’m happy to be me.
I’ve come to a stage where other people’s feeling doesn’t matter anymore….ahem….signs of old age. As long as I don’t cause misery nor backstab others and stay true to honesty is the best policy, we can’t go wrong.
May 2018 be a great year for you!
Paris B says
Happy New Year Nvie! 😀 I’m happy that slowing down appeals to you as much as it does to me. With the world speeding past us, I think it’s so important to remember this! I don’t think it’s about going older (although it is a realization that comes with age) but more of maturity and being conscious. We can’t care too much about other people, because ultimately, we must first care about us. If we can’t be happy, there isn’t much else to life is there? 😀 I hope you have a good year ahead. Look forward, never back!
Happy New Year, PB!
May this year be better than the last
Paris B says
Happy New Year Amalia! Thank you for reading and for your comments, and may we all be happier and healthier this year! 😀