Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Intimate Conversations

hi guys!
its me again.
i'm not sure how many of you actually like reading my 'thought posts', how many of you actually come to this space to just read about fashion, or food reviews or actually are interested in the little snippets of my life.
once in awhile i'll have posts like this one, where i talk about things that have been bothering me, or things i feel strongly for. 
it might not be the most popular content (ie. fashion/food) but this is as genuine as it can get.

recently i've been feeling quite trapped, in life, in my decisions to let social media dictate so many aspects of my life.
it feels as if i'm living my life for social media, doing things just so it can be published online to be viewed by others.
the other day in psychology tutorial, my tutor asked us if we can think of any undercurrent issues that may possibly be a large scale social or psychology related problem in future.
and the first thing i thought of was this- our obssession with social media, with the idea of a portraying a perfect life, with the conscious synonymous link between 'likes' and self-worth/value.
of course this does not apply to all, but i'm just saying an increasing proportion of people have been speaking up about this or admitting they feel this way.

i was just talking to D about this dilemma i'm facing, which actually has started surfacing a few years back when i first stepped into the commercial world of social media.
back then, my first few posts were all fashion related, i posted outfit reviews, talked about it genuinely, wanted to share with others simply because i enjoy it, it was my passion.
i loved fashion, i loved dressing up, i loved it because wearing things i like made me happy.
it was a simpler, innocent kind of joy, where i do things simply because it made me feel happy.

but then things started getting more 'professional'.
as my blog and instagram pages developed, opportunities came along, and money was involved.
i started planning my outfits to match the places i was going to that day in a bid for 'prettier photos'.
 it became something that wasn't me anymore, i no longer wore what i felt like wearing, but dressing up started to feel like...
an obligation.
a responsibility.

when i go out for my weekly brunch dates with D or with friends, i'd have to plan the whole route for the day.
which includes the brunch place, is the brunch fare photogenic?
are there any spots nearby with pretty backgrounds to take my otd?
if there are none, is there some way to reroute or nearby buildings which are photogenic?
which outfit should i choose to match the colour schemes of the chosen photo backgrounds?
all these planning, just for what could have been a simple day out.
all these unnecessary headaches and worries, just for what could have been a simple good time spent with loved ones.
its annoying, very annoying.

but i chose this route, it was my decision, and i'm not blaming anyone for it.
it might have been a bid to improve and obtain better photos for self fulfilment.
it might have been a bid to gain more attention for my work by producing something of better quality, something which is aligned with what i call the 'social norm' nowadays.
but at the end of the day, yes, it was my choice.

now, to be fair, there are some aspects which is still technically your choice, but the way social media has morphed into today makes it difficult for you to ignore some of its unintended consequences, even though you are conscious you have a choice to defy it.
you know you don't have to be like them, to do these things, but its become something like a culture, possibly your surrounding 'culture', something that is now socially recognized and accepted and liked, that you fear if you don't follow suit, you won't feel like you're in line with everyone else.
so yes, even though we all know we have a choice, as humans, sometimes we experience conflicts between our rational mind and our heart, and so, we falter, we give in, even though we know such a choice may not be the best one for our personal welfare.

i'm not as 'brave' as Essena, the popular model on instagram who shut down all her social media accounts because she was sick of that life and sick of the way she has let herself be dictated.
i still love this space very much, where i documented my growth and changes, memories over the years.
i still love the raw part of instagram, beyond the followers, beyond the likes, where its a gallery of my creative works and passion.
and i absolutely love my dayre account, its the only place i can post anything incoherently, the most genuine form and realest aspects of my life.
 from complaining about annoying pimples, to candid photos in my pjs, no makeup, no editing, to sharing about my quirky thoughts and little, mundane annoyances like finishing my study snack  before even studying.

i still love taking photos, i love taking quality photos and upping my game every time.
its one of the times i can combine my love for creativity with photography and fashion.
it trains my eye for details, for what would dictate a good photo and putting all these elements together.
and producing good photos that are up to my standard makes me happy.
its my original production.
its a mark of improvement, every time.

i guess after this whole realization, these are the aspects that keep me holding on.

i'm not saying we have to be that extreme as well, to distance ourselves fully.
what i'm saying is, don't run away from those midnight thoughts, face them.
if some inkling of feeling is creeping into your heart, that slight gut feeling telling you that something is wrong with the way you're living your life now, then listen to them.
give it a careful thought, address them.
don't compress the issues or dismiss them away, and then years later when it bounces back full force then you regret not addressing them while they were still an inkling of doubt.
so yes, take heart, be brave, have an intimate, genuine conversation with yourself from time to time to discover the fine tuning or changes needed to make YOUR life an even better one, the way the real you would want it to be.
don't blame it on anyone, on social media, because you had and still have, the power and choice to think about aspects of how you're living your life and do something about it.
and if you feel like you're not strong enough or brave enough to step away from the toxic parts of it by yourself, seek help, its the least you can do for yourself.


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