What kind of friend are you?

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There are many types of friends out there, but for the sake of this blog, I am only going to list 5 types. Choose which friend you think you are and send this blog to your friends and see what they think.

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Pretty Little Secrets

Pretty Little Secrets

Over the past month I have been busily reading all 17 books of the Pretty Little Liars series. At first I was not impressed with the books, much preferring it’s TV show counterpart. However as the series wore on, I got addicted. As I’ve been reading through the books, all it could think about was secrets. Although not everyone’s secrets are as big as the girls from Pretty Little Liars (stealing a priceless painting and pushing an innocent girl off a cliff for example), everyone does keep a secret at some stage.

Since I’m only young, I don’t have any major secrets to keep. I don’t cheat on anything (non existent boyfriends and math tests alike) and I have never stolen anything. I’m not part of a group of girls who like to go around blinding people (I did say that the liars had twisted secrets). When mum told me to write a new blog, I knew exactly what I would write it about. Secrets.

The idea of secrets can either be really good or really bad. There is no in between. Secrets can bring people closer, give them a common ground to talk about. Secrets can also be dangerous, a harm towards a relationship. Some secrets are safe to keep whereas others aren’t.

A line frequently mentioned in the book series, and is THE line from the TV shows theme song, “two can keep a secret if one of them is dead”, is false. As much as it rings true, it just doesn’t work in everyday situations. In normal cases, you keep a secret with someone close to you (such as a best friend or partner) and it is usually harmless. It doesn’t cause anyone physical harm. Unlike the girls on PLL, no one has the secret of a murder hanging over their shoulders.

Instead of having the other half you’re keeping a secret with being dead, I’ve decided to give a few healthy tips on how to keep a secret.
1. First decide if the secret is worth keeping. If someone is going to be hurt, in any way shape or form, then don’t keep it. That means anything from self harm to murder. If anyone is going to end up hurt.
2. Don’t tell. This one is obvious. A secret isn’t a secret if everyone knows about it. There is nothing worse than having someone spill your secret, so don’t go spilling everyone else.
3. That’s it. There is literally nothing else to do when keeping a secret. It’s simple. Don’t let someone get hurt and don’t tell.

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Is getting ‘likes’ really that important?

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Having lots of followers on Instagram may seem like one of the most important things in the world to some people, but to others it’s something that they just don’t care about. I can say that for me, at times, getting lots of likes on a picture on Instagram is important, but at other times it isn’t. If you took a look at my Instagram page you would see that I don’t post that much or that often and I don’t have a huge amount of followers. I am not really concerned with how many likes a selfie gets because frankly, it’s not the biggest issue in my life.

However, for some people it is. I know that as a teenager, some people need reassurance from other people to know that they are beautiful. There are many girls out there who won’t feel comfortable in their own skin unless they are constantly getting compliments and likes. For some people, this isn’t an issue because they have self-confidence, but for others, it takes more than reassurance from themselves to think they are fine. Instagram is one way for self conscious people to be told that they are beautiful, it’s actually kind of sad.

Personally, I think Instagram is spilt into three categories; the ones who don’t care, the ones who care too much and the ones who seek fame. People who are desperate for likes and nice comments fall under the ‘care too much’ category. People who don’t really care and just post whatever they want without stressing over how many likes or followers they have fallen under the ‘don’t care’ category. And the people who only care about having the most followers or likes strictly so they can brag about their own popularity fall under the category ‘seeking fame.’

I think that Instagram is fun but there are way too many people online who are so self-absorbed they can’t see anything beyond follower count and like tally. It’s so frustrating looking at people’s accounts and seeing a super high follower count but a low amount of likes (it shows that a lot of the followers are ‘fake’). Instagram is a hub for people who are self conscious to feel better about themselves based entirely on what other people have to say. I have nothing against people saying nice things, but I do have something against the people who spend their whole life fishing for compliments.

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I use Instagram along with Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. My preference is probably Facebook and I have found my age group uses it more than Ashlea’s. I have noticed her age group are drawn to Instagram, an app that is designed to post pictures, requesting comments and likes. On Facebook the user mainly chooses their own name (often adding in maiden names for searching old school friends) and it is clear who the owner of the account is. If you have set the security correct on Facebook, then only your friends or friends of friends can see your pictures and people wanting to join your friends list can only see your profile picture.

Instagram users tend to pick names which maybe be funny or quirky or slang and often hard to decipher who actually holds the account. This concerns me for the reason that gaining the greatest number of followers and then likes is what many teenagers seem to strive for on Instagram. Why you ask? I can only put it down to a lack of self-esteem and a desperate desire to show their friends (and complete strangers) just how popular you are. I wonder if teenagers understand how surreal this way of living is? People are not liking YOU, they are tapping their finger on a screen in response to a picture.

There are websites devoted to teaching others how they can get more likes on their Instagram pictures and how to get more followers. Spamming lb (like back) is one way which helps in growing the account but for what reason I do not understand.

I have recently looked a few of my children’s friends (and Instagram friends of mine) accounts and am shocked by the number of them who have over 400 followers. There is no way they know 400 people and no way they could name each and every account holder. I can’t believe parents never look at their kids accounts and ask a few simple questions – e.g. Who is this person? What is going on with the child to be so desperate to need constant recognition for just being themselves. While looking at some of the followers on one friends account, I read the user name and my parenting instincts came to play. It was a boys first name_second name_76. I then looked into this persons account and there was not one picture where I could clearly see his face. If I was the parent, I would be asking a lot of questions.

Come on kids, lets love being just who you are and enjoy socialising with YOUR FRIENDS online, not people you don’t know their real intentions.

Do you check your children’s Instagram accounts?

cheers natalie

Friends are precious

Friends are precious

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Hidden beauty is only a heart beat away

Hidden beauty is only a heart beat away

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Life is not always PERFECT…

Life is not always PERFECT…

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Is three a crowd in friendship groups?

No one likes to feel left out, especially when hanging out with your friends. Even as I get older and supposedly wiser the emotions some friends generate within me brings me straight back to my childhood. The feeling of being left out can turn the most confident individual into an insecure and emotional mess. Why did they not include me? Is it something that I said? Is it something about my personality that they don’t like? Most of these types of questions only result in negative answers.

When 3 friends are together there will always be times when one person will feel they are being left out. The emotion is contagious and can spread throughout the group with everyone wishing they were not the person being left out. Recently I had coffee with 2 friends and for the most part, the conversation was shared evenly about our weekends, children and the week ahead. When a story was shared about catching up over the weekend, a catch up I was not privy to, I admit I felt hurt that I was not included. My mind raced about why they had not included me – I’m fun, I’m good for a laugh, I was around all they needed to do was call. Even 20 years later, feeling left out still hurts.

I over compensate with my friendship groups by involving everyone, never wanting anyone to feel left out. When you have many friends, this is not always practical. I understand I cannot always be involved in everyone’s lives all the time – no one can. It has taken many years to truly understand this. Often there is a logical reason as to why I was not included in a catch up, none of which are ever intentional. Surrounding myself with friends that love me for me is the best way to over come feeling left out. It’s those friends that continually make me feel like I did when I was in high school, are the friends that I no longer need in my life. Letting go is easier said than done sometimes.

Cheers Natalie

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When people say threes a crowd, I don’t always agree. In fact, more times than not I would’ve said that being in a group of three is fun and there is never a lull in conversation. However, the more I think about it, the more awkward a group of three sounds. Personal experience has shown me that sometimes, being in a group of three is not always as good as it seems. When doing a project at school, there is always that one person who feels left out and unimportant in the group. If you went to the movies with two other people, there are always times when someone feels like they are being ignored. Someone would always have their back to someone else making the feeling of exclusion rise. I know how it feels to be that third wheeler and i can tell you it doesn’t feel nice.

To me, the worst part is not having something to add when they are talking, especially if they both recently did something together that I didn’t, giving them a perfect topic to talk about but one I can’t relate to. The feeling I get when people sit there and discuss what they did or are going to do without me, is like a punch in the stomach and makes me feel like I don’t belong. Why didn’t they invite me? Did I do something wrong? Maybe they don’t like me as I much as i thought… Situations like these always make me question myself and my behaviour, even if i know i did nothing wrong.

For a teenage girl, self doubt doesn’t always just extend to questioning what I said or did, quickly it becomes a question of what I wear or my appearance. I know that being left out, whether on purpose or completely accidental, hurts and can often bring out the worst of me. Although most times groups of threes aren’t always the best option for people, I will admit that sometimes they work out fine and allow people to people to have much more fun than they would if it was just a duo.

Ciao Bella, Ashlea

 

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