In (Self Imposed) Exile.

Twitter. Facebook. Instagram. The holy trinity of social media. I scrolled through them everyday looking at updates, funny gifs and random shit because let’s be honest, that what we all love: the lack of thought that goes into reading these things. It was a bit of escapism.

I was going to give up Twitter for Lent because over the past few months, it appears that the lunatics have taken over the asylum. Even though I try to stay away from all the nonsense swirling around the Twittersphere (especially since Brexit and Trump becoming President), it feels like it has been hijacked by the alt-right and leftists slating and baiting each other online.


It is full of trolls and jackasses who need little invitation to act that way. There have been times where a picture of a beautiful black woman is posted with a caption along the lines of, ‘she’s too dark’ next to it. It’s usually followed up by the tweeter gloating about how much attention he got from those who took the bait and snapped. It’s unbelievable and mind-numbingly stupid. I started muting and blocking people who were getting on my nerves or receiving too much attention for their trolling. And still I scrolled through my timeline everyday, reading about various events (or non-events) in people’s lives, various arguments unfolding before my eyes, constantly refreshing the page to see if anything new came up even though the last update was five seconds ago. It got to the point where it became exhausting to look at yet I couldn’t turn away, almost like I was rubber-necking an accident. Also, I realised the amount of time I spent reading tweets was time that I could have been doing something productive, which annoyed me even more.

This was also the case with Facebook, where I scrolled down the list of friends posting about their lives or some random video that they wanted a reaction from. As for Instagram, that just made me feel like I was wasting my life or I was inferior. All these people posting selfies with their X-Pro and Mayfair filters and pouting like models when I don’t even know how to pout like that (and when I try I look like I’ve been punched in the gob), talking about how amazing their lives are. I know 98% of the time it is a picture that is not a genuine reflection of their life at the time, but sometimes it made me feel like crap and was not what I wanted to see when I was in a mood.

Before this sounds like an ‘I hate social media’ rant, let me say that there are positives to all these apps. I found some of the funniest things I have ever read or watched in my life on Twitter, tweets that made me howl with laughter while thinking ‘I’m going to hell’ at the same time. Not everybody is a troll- there are decent people behind some of the usernames, it’s just that so many of them get caught up in the madness. 

Facebook is a good way to keep in touch with people from your past, whether it be former classmates or colleagues. Also (like most social media) you control who sees your life- I have friends who have 400, 500, even a thousand ‘friends’. I’ve barely got eighty. A few years ago that actually bothered me for some stupid reason, then I quickly realised that I didn’t give a shit. At least the people who are on my timeline are people I don’t mind reading my business. 

Anyway, I was going to give up Twitter for Lent but decided to do it sooner rather than later. When you’re talking to your family or friends and only half-listening to what they’re saying because you’re reading some nonsense on social media, you need to make a change. Or you’re bored and end up absent-mindedly scrolling through a shedload of tweets before moving onto see who’s saying what on Facebook then rolling onto Instagram where everything makes you feel inferior. It was like some weird form of punishment/self-flagellation. I was addicted to it (especially Twitter) and found that social media became a habit that I could not kick. Well, not this time. It’s been seven hours and fifteen days (not really, more like twelve hours and six days) and it’s going well. The first couple of days were a bit odd- I found myself opening my phone looking for those apps and realising they were not there. But since then, it’s a case of so far, so good. 

Social media can be like a drug if you’re not careful. The need for validation from (mainly) strangers…the constant pressure to post the perfect selfie…or tweet something funny…or look like you’re doing something amazing for fear of looking like you live a boring life. Honestly, who gives a toss? It was addictive to me for various reasons and it became unhealthy for me. So I’m in self-imposed exile for a while, bar posting some of my articles on Facebook. Wish me luck. 

Popping My Intergalactic Cherry.

Tonight, the force awakened and I did something I never thought I would do. I lost my cherry…with Star Wars.

I am one of about seven people on this planet who has never watched a Star Wars film. I didn’t care for it- a bunch of people in space fighting each other. A battle of Good vs Evil within one family that affects the entire Galaxy (I’ve known the spoilers for years so it makes no difference to me). I once confused Star Wars with Star Trek and my friends were so stunned they actually gasped and shook their heads at me. I’m still not sure they are over it.
But tonight- to coincide with ‘May the 4th and With You’ Day (still can’t believe that is an actual thing) -I am no longer a Star Wars, ahem, virgin. I watched The Force Awakens…and do you know what? It was rather good!
Despite some slightly cringeworthy bits, I was surprised how much I enjoyed the film. It was exciting, scary at times and delivered some shocks (although my friend told me the big twist before I went to see it). Yes, there was no Jar Jar Binks in this movie so that was a bonus (I’ve been warned about that character many times) and found myself thinking that I wouldn’t mind seeing the next one. Considering that I often wondered what the fuss was about with Star Wars, I’ve come a long way(from a galaxy far, far away…ok I’ll stop there).
There is still no chance of me turning into a Star Wars geek, but I’ll admit I can see why people lose their minds whenever a new film is announced. It’s literally another world where everyone can escape- a bit like a futuristic soap opera. Looks like I’ll be hitching onto its next ride into the Galaxy in 2017.

Sixteen Stops.

I’ve had a couple of glasses of wine
One each of rosé and white combined,
I’m feeling tired and slightly drowsy
On the train but won’t get rowdy
‘Cos that is indefensible,
And acting that way isn’t sensible
My stomach is empty, for I didn’t eat
What was I thinking? Must not repeat
This foolish idea, don’t be so bold,
Lord have mercy I’m so damn cold
I want my bed and I want some food
Sex would be nice, but I’m not in the mood.
I’m still far from home, another sixteen stops
Maybe they’ll fly by- fingers crossed.
The train driver can’t drive well at all,
Sends us flying and down we fall
As he slams on the brakes for no good reason,
Leaves on the line? Well, it’s the season.
It’s getting late but I’m almost there
Trying to be patient but I’m going spare
Come on! Get me home, no time to waste,
Got things to do and food to taste,
I’m trying to fight the sleepyness
So let me get home and eat and rest.

Random Thought of the Day: Mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes are dirty bastards. During this heatwave I have worn shorts, a skirt and cropped trousers and haven’t had one mosquito bite to deal with. The past two days I’ve worn jeans, full length jeans and to my astonishment, three big ol’ mosquito bites have swollen up on my legs. How the hell did that happen?!

Clearly they like a challenge and they found it in me. I know mosquitoes are sneaky little creatures that feast upon whatever they can find but they ignored my bare legs when they were on show, but flew into no-go zones such as MY TROUSER LEGS and bit me and I am outraged by their brazen ways.

I hate them. I hate their smallness, I hate the way they buzz past my ear on some summer nights and force me to fight them at 3am with a rolled-up magazine. I hate the way they made me hurt my finger the other night when I tried to squish one into the wall (I got it eventually). They are probably the only reason why I don’t like summer. Irksome little sods.