February 21st 2019 – Internet Influence

Influences can be good or bad it’s a fact everyone knows, but in this blog I want to talk about the internet influence in general. I know there are bad influences and good influences on the internet, but as whole and overall is it good or bad and for what reasons. I’m going to identify general stuff in the internet that influences us and in what way does influence us. This is all my opinion there are no real facts here so you can by all means disagree with my point of view, all I ask is you try to understand where I’m coming from.

I think I will start of with something that’s controversial just to get you thinking. So let’s start of the the #MeToo movement. Now before you jump on my back and call me all kind of names your parents wouldn’t be proud of allow me to explain. The good this has done is by far the best thing to come out of 2018 in what was otherwise a….excuse my language for a second but 2018 was a shit year. Women all over the world have benefited from this in more ways than one, and I now hear that China is having it’s own #MeToo movement, however there is a downfall to all of this. Unfortunately are those that use this movement to jump on the bandwagon so to speak and innocent people have been blamed for things they neither said or done and it’s affected their lives negatively. This is extremely disappointing to see considering what the #MeToo movement originally stood for, and that is sexual harassment. However we now live in a world where if you are famous your words and actions carry more meaning than those who aren’t. This in itself is a problem to which I wish to discuss with you another time. Back to the subject at hand, I’m glad that such an important subject has gained the attention of the world, but let’s be honest this should of happened a long ago and now we seem to have women coming out the woodwork claiming to have been sexually abused in some sort of way or another. The difficult thing for us is to determine who is telling the truth and who is just straight lying. Overall I think the #MeToo movement was a great idea to start off with but now I feel it has spiralled out of control and that’s down to internet.

The second thing on my list is this not so recent trend of giving generously to the homeless. I’m sure if you’ve been on YouTube or even Facebook over the past year or two you would of seen videos of this nature. If you have read through my previous blogs you would know that I whole heartedly welcoming the idea of random acts of kindness and I try my best to make sure I do this. My problem with these videos on giving generously to either those that are less fortunate than most or homeless people, who seem to be the main target for the kind of videos is that I feel it is mostly just done for the views and doesn’t seem to me that the person or persons they give generously to have a say on wether or not they want to be filmed. Why do people feel the need to film themselves doing this anyway? It all seems odd to me. Surely you’re doing it because you want to and therefore it shouldn’t matter who sees you doing it, and not because it’s the next big trend. I recently found out that Rhianna has been over in Africa helping to build schools and yet there is nothing on any of her social media about it, see how easy it is to do something for someone and not shove a camera in their face to let the whole world know? People need to realise that as long as you’re happy with your act of kindness then there is no need for the cameras because the feeling you get from doing it means so much more. What I’m trying to say is this culture of filming yourself doing random acts of kindness seems to be over exaggerated in more ways than one and I think it’s a rather negative influence. For example for all the goods it’s doing, those that are giving don’t seem to enjoying the actual feeling of helping someone out.

The final one I’ll do for today is social media, your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter just to name the obvious and arguably the most popular of the many that are out there. I’m going to try and tackle each of those three main platforms individually as even though they are all social media websites they each bring something different to this discussion. I think it’s fair that I should point out that I have an account with all three of these even though I’ve found myself using them less and less as time goes on.

First let’s start with Facebook. Now out of the three mentioned above Facebook has been around the longest and it’s important that I point out that I’m not necessarily the company itself I’m talking about but rather what people are using it for. Facebook is a rather large platform with millions upon millions of users, and I see it as really a platform that allows you to keep in contact and share things that happen in your life with friends and family. Unfortunately it’s not really what a lot of people are using it for and again this is all in my opinion you may use Facebook a lot and enjoy it, I’m just telling you what I think. I find Facebook a rather toxic place and find more arguments there than either Instagram or Twitter. Most of my “friends” of Facebook seems to have random people on their friends list that they have never met. When I asked one of my actual friends that I see regularly why this is his reply was simply “they sent me a friend request so I just accepted”. Now many of you may do this too for either the same reason or you may have your own reasons, but my problem with this is if you don’t actually know the person but accept the request you’re allowing someone you have never met an inside look into your life. For many us who say we care about our privacy this seems like a hypocritical thing to do. Overall I find Facebook out dated on a lot of aspects and views of the world and I find a lot of negativity whenever I go on there, maybe I’m just not looking in the right places.

Next up is Twitter. When I first joined Twitter I found it exciting to use and very informative, as a matter of fact for many years it became the only social media platform that I actually paid attention to. I liked the idea of talking about almost anything and not getting smart little comments or remarks like I had experienced on Facebook. I used it as my daily news source and found the whole experience quite uplifting. However after a couple years I started to realise more on the more popular people’s accounts rather than mine, an increase in negativity. You see Twitter makes it extremely easy for you to remain anonymous which I think on social media platform isn’t really the right thing. Due to how easy it is to stay anonymous I see that certain people use this as an excuse to say some really hurtful things towards others knowing that there will be practically no backlash from it as no one know who they are. I find this disturbing as what you find on Twitter are some of the most degenerating comments you will ever read, but again maybe I’m just not looking in the right place.

Last but not least we come to Instagram. I find this social media platform the most disturbing of all. What I take away from Instagram is the fact that everyone seems to be living this awesome life and they’re constantly happy when this really isn’t the case for the majority of them. This false pretence that everything is just fine and I’m living my best life is getting out of hand on Instagram and I feels it’s pushing people to do some really worrying things just to get those extra likes. I feel that it can be used for so much good like teaching people to love themselves and to love their body but instead we have terms such as ‘Instagram model’ and ‘Instagram famous’ To me this just sends out the wrong message to those that use this platform. However having said all that one thing has come out of Instagram this year that gave me a little hope that there are people using it in the right way and do truly have kind intentions when using it. What am I talking about? Well it’s that egg. The world breaking egg. The one that currently has the most liked picture on Instagram (a little over 53million at time of writing). Whoever it is that runs that account is a genius. Not just because they achieved this feat with just a picture of an egg, but for using their new found fame to not only stay anonymous but to bring a subject such as mental health to the forefront of a global conversation and is promoting love and kindness in more ways than one. With that said my hat goes off to you, whoever you may be egg.

To you with love, your friend THC x

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February 19th 2019 – Mindset – In memory of my mum

I want to talk about a subject that I believe is mostly a matter opinion rather than straight hard facts and that is your mindset. For years I had a negative mindset which caused more problems than it solved. I had a negative mindset without really knowing it. It put me in difficult positions and also invited depression and anxiety into my life, of which I have dealt with for many years.

The benefits from having a positive mindset are virtually endless, but how exactly do you change from a negative to a positive mindset? The answer to that question is one only you can answer for yourself. It’s different for everyone because everyone is different no matter how basic or normal you feel you are. I felt like that once. Just another star out of millions of others, but the truth is when you look up to the sky at night and look at the stars even though they all look the same at a distance, close up they are all different and unique their own way.

Living with a negative mindset completely changes the way you view and deal with certain problems life throws your way. You see if I still had a negative mindset I wouldn’t be able to write blogs out of fear of criticism as I would take it the wrong way rather than looking at it as constructive criticism and using it to become a better person.

When I think of a positive mindset the first thing that springs to mind is the film ‘Pay it forward’, which is about how a young kid has idea to change the world for the better and that is to perform 1 random act of kindness for 3 strangers with asking for one thing in return and that is that they simply pay it forward and do the same for others. The idea behind it is that in the end everyone performs and receives a random act of kindness that changes their life for the better. I first watched this movie at a young age the idea seems to have stuck with me as I’m the kind of person that will go out of my way to help and please others even if it puts me in a bad situation.

However it wasn’t this film that made me change to a positive mindset although it was a good foundation for one, but a hard hitting life experience that did. Living with depression and anxiety forced me to look at certain situations and people in a negative light when in reality there was no real reason to, and just made life difficult to get through. The hard hitting life experience im about to tell you is one we all go through at some stage in our lives and that is losing someone you’re close to wether it be a friend or family member.

I lost my mum to cancer when I was 17, to this day it’s the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to go through, it put me at my lowest point as I was forced to see my hero on ground zero. There are no words to describe the feeling of going back and forth to the hospital only to watch the woman that raised me be in pain while I was helpless to do anything about it. Ironically it was during this time in which I was taught a life lesson that will be forever imprinted in my brain and which ultimately led to changing not only the I way I think but the way I viewed life as a whole.

Around a month before she passed I had a heart to heart conversation with her as she lay in the hospital which broke my heart. She told me of all the things she wished she had the courage and belief to do before she was diagnosed with cancer. She told me that all she wanted now was to be safe in the knowledge that she had raised her children not only to be kind, loving and caring but that we be ourselves and not let anyone try and change who we are no matter what.

It was this conversation that made realise I wasn’t living my life to not only the way she would of wanted but the I wanted as well. This in turn made me realise that I had quite a negative outlook on life and I needed to change my mindset for the better. I decided from that moment that I would be the very best version of myself that I could be as no one else could do that for me. I didn’t want to have the same regrets about how I could of lived my life, but at the end of my time be able to look back with a smile on my face knowing I had achieved all that I could of and wanted in life. It’s been a journey in which has taken me a couple years to change the way I perceive the world as whole. There have been many ups and downs but I can now honestly tell you that 99% of the time I have a positive outlook on life, I no longer wake up in the morning thinking that the next 24 hours are going to be a hindrance but on oppurtunity to live life to its fullest and leave nothing but happiness and kindness everywhere I go.

I would like end this with something my mother said to me just a few weeks before she passed that truly changed the way I think – “When a turtle gets flipped onto it’s back it does everything within it’s power to get back to the right way up, no matter how impossible it may seem.”

To you with love, THC x

February 18th 2019 – Love is in the air?

Love. Such is a powerful word. I feel this blog is fitting as Valentine’s day (In which I do not believe or wish to take part in) has not long passed. Love comes in many different ways and doesn’t always make you feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside, as matter of fact I think that Love can be cold hearted and relentless. I hear people talk about when you find the one you love you just know. This baffled me for many years as I’m sure it has many people. I used to think I knew what love was, that girl I dated back when I was 16, i thought I was very much in love back then, and even though that relationship never ended on bad terms I understand in hindsight that it’s was just admiration and not Love. You see I think we misoncieve admiration for Love and never really realise it.

Some would say that the word Love is used so often nowadays that it’s becoming more and more meaningless, on which I do agree to some extent. Everyone wants to feel Love but I don’t think anyone could put into words on what it actually is or feels like. There are no set rules or guidelines to Love either which only adds to the confusion. Everyone has heard of the saying “Love can make you blind” and to be honest I feel this is the only statement about Love that is in it’s entirety is 100% true.

As of right now I do believe I am in Love or unconditional Love as some would call it. However at the the same time I can’t help but think to myself that this is just another phase, but if it is then it’s went on for some 2-3 years. Let me tell you about it.

Some 3 years ago I met this girl and for now her name shall remain anonymous (I hope you understand) for the time being she will be known as ‘JT’. Well I met JT on Christmas day, ironically the first Christmas I didn’t spend all day with my family. It’s was night time and I was bored as hell so asked a friend of mine if I could pop round and just hang out. He said this was fine and so I did just that. Now I’m not sure what I was expecting when I got there but he had a few of his family around and as I entered his house and went through to say hello to everyone, that’s when she caught my eye for the very first time. That silver sequin dress is forever imprinted into my memory. After formalities had been exchanged between me and my friends relatives I grabbed a drink and and went through into the next room where my friend and his girlfriend at the time had been hanging out. It’s wasn’t long before JT came through to see what we were doing. I feel it’s important to tell you that JT was in fact my friends cousin and close cousin at that, which puts me at a slight predicament. I couldn’t tell you exactly what the next few hours consisted of apart from drinks, jokes and just your general messing around. As it got close to midnight my friend said there was party going on and that we should go too, as much as I didn’t want to at the time, mainly down to the fact that I was having such a great time with JT. I agreed to go nonetheless.

It’s wasn’t until the next the day when I met up with that same friend, that I told him that I was in to his cousin,I felt out of respect this was right thing to do before I made any more advancements. To my relief he was totally fine with it, if my memory serves me right he actually told me to go for it. To which I proceeded to do, and within the week it’s was clear that we were both had feelings for each other. Now this is were the difficulties started. Not long after that Christmas day I would say less than a month she moved. Devastating I know, especially as it was entirely out of my control. There was gradual decline in conversations after she moved and I came to realise my opportunity had went just as quickly as it had came, like I said before Love can cruel. Not long after the conversations between me and JT had became the bare minimum, my luck changed and she moved yet again but this time closer to where I was staying. I couldn’t believe my luck, and so I tried for the second time as my feelings towards her had not changed in the slightest.

It was this second time round though that would prove to be the most difficult. The spark had not gone but she had attempted to move on thinking that what we had had finished when she had moved away which I think left her at a crossroads. I mean by the time she moved back, she had a boyfriend so there was really only so much that I could do without crossing the line, which let me tell you is an extremely hard thing to do when you have to suppress your feelings. Over the next about year and half I watched her go in and out of a few relationships whilst giving her relationship advice along the way. I guess you could say I allowed myself to put in the friendzone in a way. To me though just helping her out through difficult times gave me a good feeling that I just couldn’t deny. It even got to the point where her mum would say that we make cute couple but we would both just laugh it off and tell her she was being silly, even though I couldn’t of agreed with her more.

This cycle of her going in and out of relationships whilst I sat on the sidelines playing the coach role went on for a while, to the point where I started to doubt my own actions. I had helped her in very way possible, literally from relationship advice to family problems, from a shoulder for her to cry on to paying her bills. Even my closest friends were starting to feel that I was the one getting played for the fool, to which I profusely denied. In the end the time and effort I had invested into this girl had drained me mentally to the point where I had to speak to her and tell her exactly how I felt

What stopped me from doing that? Love. I was scared that if I told her all that I felt towards her that she wouldn’t not only push me back (that I could of dealt with) but also I would ruin the friendship and that was something I was not prepared to lose. So even though I felt that sticking around was just the same as being stuck I did anyway and in a way I still am.

She’s currently about a year and a half deep in a relationship with some guy and even though I’ve had plenty of time to move on I still haven’t done it completely yet. I still think about her all the time and we still speak just nowhere near as much and that kills me slightly. You see for all the joy and happiness that Love can bring you it can do just the opposite just as quickly. One day maybe I will tell her how I feel and how I’ve always felt, though if I’m brutally honest with myself I lost my chance to do that ages ago and will now have to live with that painful regret.

I will now ask something of you…..yes you. If you ever find yourself in the situation that I was in where you’re torn between telling the person you Love about how you feel but are worried about losing the friendship I implore you to just sit them down and tell them because the regret you have to live with if you don’t is just as bad if not worse if you don’t.

To you with Love, THC x