It’s been a hot minute since I’ve logged into WordPress and written a blog post.
I think that boils down to two reasons.
- I have developed more of a preference to writing lengthier captions on Instagram and almost micro-blogging each day
- I have been genuinely trying to get the fine balance between processing negative emotions in a constructive way, and also projecting positive emotions outwards. In layman’s terms: I’ve been trying to complain less online and put more positive energy into the sea of misery that the internet can be. Therefore I steered away from blogging, as sometimes I can slip into a bit of a complaining pattern.
Writing, for me, is a lot like running. I am not particularly brilliant at either one, but I find that I sit on the cusp between average ability and some potential. Writing is also like running, because it allows me to just get all the built up and pent up energy out of my system and into something productive. Once I’m in the zone with either writing or running, I lose track of time and only stop when I need a wee.
Both activities are ways for me to process my mind, feelings and get some sort of outcome at the end of it. Both activities are also fairly anxiety provoking for me – as running involves being all sweaty and red faced in my local neighbourhood, and blogging also requires some degree of putting myself out there (we could argue that I should just get a journal and write my feelings in there. I do, and I would – but there’s something a bit more finished about putting my feelings out into a public sphere – welcome to 2020).
Anyway, I digress. The point of this blog post is for me to just fu*king say everything that’s making me angry. To take the happy-cap off my head and just admit that certain things really fu*k me off.
- Female Contraception:
The perks of being an awkward teenager is that I never really had to think about contraception or anything to do with preventing babies happening; as my lack of interest in anything beyond a hug did that for me. Paradoxically, I also longed for a happy and fulfilling relationship, which I now fortunately have – but unfortunately have the burden of choosing the most effective form of birth control.
I’ve tried two types of contraceptive pill in the past – which I can’t speak too highly of, as the main side effects were a delightful 10 kilogram weight gain and an even more turbulent mental health dashboard.
I’m currently on my second copper IUD, which is one of the very few non-hormonal forms of contraception. I thought this was the best choice in the world, up until the last 5 months, when for some reason it turned against me and decided to attack me for 10 days out of every month. Thanks for that!
It turns out, the world of female contraception is highly confusing and somewhat degrading. I am eternally grateful that I can just show up at a health clinic and pick from the delightful array of baby-preventing methods, all for a fixed cost of £0. I am also grateful that I can chop and change my contraceptive choices to find what best suits me – thanks NHS.
But I’m just angry that the weight of the contraception lies with the woman. A weight of which is part physical weight gain from side effects of different pharmacy pills and part a mental weight of not knowing what the hell your hormones are doing and why you keep feeling like that.
2. Instagram and influencer culture
As someone who uses instagram for over 1 hour every day, posts regularly and engages regularly – it seems strange that Instagram is one of the main things that fu*ks me off.
The problem with instagram is that the downfalls are also the successes. Instagram is a platform which is really easy to customise to your own tastes and preferences. Every single person has a slightly different explore feed – the app knows what you want to see. It’s also very easy to share snippets of your life in a cultivated way – turning your life into an aesthetic or brand.
However, it’s also very easy to spend hours deep in a hole of different people’s profiles, different cultivated lifestyles and different highlight reels. It’s also greatly normalised the prospect of creating an income and a living from monetising your life in exchange for followers, likes, invoices and bank balances.
The idea of being an influencer is appealing to the majority of young people – free gifts sent in exchange for taking a selfie with the product, massive pay-checks for writing a caption, and the ability to wake up everyday and your main concern being what filter to use on your fashion post.
However, there are so many downsides to the life of being an influencer – this obviously isn’t based on personal experience, more based upon research and personal stories I’ve read.
Being an influencer is dependent on a few things, but the most important factor is the app itself – whether that is Instagram or Youtube. You are dependent on staying relevant, keeping on top of the ever changing trends and app structures. You are dependent on ensuring that the content you push out will pay your bills. You are dependent on ensuring that you stay relevant, look good for the gram and can cultivate a large following. You are also dependent on Instagram staying relevant itself.
We live in a world where it is almost impossible to exist without some form of social media. Especially due to the pandemic driving people online – the majority of companies operate on a social sphere; branding and marketing themselves through adverts before youtube videos or in your instagram feed.
Signing up for most websites requires you to login through your Facebook portal. Friendships reach that next level when you’re following each other on Instagram or sending a Snapchat. Birthday cards have been replaced with an instagram story, and existing in 2020 at least requires a smartphone (have you signed into our track and trace QR code?).
My issue with instagram, is that you can’t live without it but also can’t live alongside it. If you are receiving the content for free, then you are the product, your scrolls, double-taps and screen time is plumping the bank balance of some rich CEO in a black cashmere vest.
And yes; you know I’m going to share this blog on Instagram the minute I finish writing it. Don’t hate the player – hate the game.
3. The Pandemic / Plandemic / Rona Season / COVID-19 / whatever it’s called
I’m sure I’m not alone in saying I am fu*king sick of all this now. Of course, on a human level I understand that lockdowns, restrictions, facemasks and social distancing are necessary to prevent the unnecessary deaths of others. I think this was well understood and accepted by most people in the first few months.
However, I fail to understand the logic behind a year which has involved the following variations:
- Stay indoors and do not leave the house unless you absolutely have to
- You don’t need to wear a mask, they’re not proven effective
- Everyone is dying and if you go to the shops twice in one day, you will kill someone’s grandma
- The NHS doesn’t have any protective equipment
- Oh shit we spend too much money on PPE from dodgy manufacturers
- Isolating yourself for 4 months in a small flat, by yourself is better for your health than getting Coronavirus for 10 days
- You can leave the house as much as you want. Go to the shops 10 times if you like; you don’t need a mask in their either
- Suddenly every tech company is making ventilators
- You can walk around a city centre Primark for 2 hours, but you can’t have a tattoo done in an incredibly sterile tattoo parlour; because that would increase infections
- You must wear masks on public transport
- Eat out to Help out. Eat as much as you want, wherever you want between Monday to Wednesday. Literally you can go wherever you want and eat half price food
- You’re all fat and that’s why you all have the virus. Stop eating out and have a salad at home
- Masks must be worn in shops now
- over 1 million students moving around the country for university is fine, that’s not an issue, that’s not really going to contribute to any statistics or infection rates
- You can’t drink after 10pm because the virus gets fierce at 10:01pm
- Wear masks everywhere, even when having a poo in a public bathroom. Wear them 24/7 unless you need to eat; but remember; you need to stop eating because COVID-19 only gets you if you’re fat
- You can only leave the house at 4pm on a Tuesday and you must have a substantial meal with every 100ml of fluid that you intake. Sign in via the track and trace and wear three masks
- Wait apparently the student thing has caused a massive spike in infection rates? that’s weird
- Lockdown 2.0
Okay I’ve finished now. You get my point. How are we meant to feel any sense of normality or contentment within outselves, when the rules on existence change so frequently?