The Need of Internet

I don’t need the Internet anymore.

Now there are a couple things in this sentence you could confront me on, first, need – who needs the Internet? But also anymore – so I did need it then? And what changed?

I’m reading a book for my Media and Society class right now called The Digital Invasion: How Technology is Shaping You and Your Relationships and it’s sort of freaking me out a tad but I think I’m also learning lots. It talks about Internet addiction and how it affects our brains and how we function and how it changes our relationships (for better and for worse, it’s not a doomsday book, they acknowledge that there are benefits!) but it’s making me consider how much I use the Internet and social media and why.

I began using the Internet more and more starting from around age seventeen. A friend introduced me to the vlogger (video-blogger) side of Youtube and within a few months I was vlogging myself. At this time I was in grade twelve and slowly giving into minor depression as I grew increasingly afraid of my unknown future and saw my friends all drifting into the great unknown. I felt that I was losing my friends, didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life, didn’t like my part time job at a grocery store post-grad (I would “entertain” myself by seeing how far into a shift I could get without talking to someone. I clearly wasn’t a cashier!) and wasn’t pushing into God and building my faith thus allowing that to drift away too. I was lonely.

And the Internet, oh the Internet! The Internet helped me find friends, find friends fast and who had common interests and fun hobbies. I had Facebook, and now Youtube, next was Twitter and Tumblr, more and more ways to connect with my new friends. Now I’m not bashing this because it actually served a purpose in where I was at because as I somewhat dissolved into “living in” the Internet, it also helped bring me back out. I went to a convention in California, meeting friends I’d only previously known online. I’ve since gone on a second trip to DisneyWorld with them. I began organizing meet ups in Winnipeg a couple times a year for other people who were fans of some of the same Youtubers as I was.

"Nerdfighter" meet-up 2012

“Winnipeg Nerdfighter” meet-up 2012

"Nerdfighter" meet-up 2013

“Winnipeg Nerdfighter” meet-up 2013

The Internet sucked me in, yes. I became too reliant on it, yes. But it also helped me grow, a lot. I planned my portion of two trips out of the country and then travelled there alone. I organized meet-ups with people I’d never met before and spent time getting to know them. As I found solace online I began to gain more confidence in my real life outside of the Internet. I made friends with coworkers, I reconnected with high school friends, I figured out what I wanted to do with my life. As I gained a few subscribers on Youtube I began to value my voice and think about what I was saying more and through vlogging I actually developed an interest and some practical skill in video making, an aspect of what I hope my future career will involve.

Lately the Internet hasn’t been very fulfilling though. It’s no longer serving the purpose it once did and I think perhaps I’ve outgrown it. It’s not that I don’t value the friendships I made while regularly vlogging or even regularly watching Youtube videos – I do, very much, I would consider many of them to now be friends, but I no longer solely need the Internet to feel that I am connecting with people and being heard. I begin to find it tiresome, Internet connections cannot interact the same way as people in real life. I have friends and hobbies and goals and a life that extends past the limitations of my laptop and my wifi. I can appreciate the ability to stay connected using social media and the like, but I prefer to see friends in person and actually go out and to things and build relationships in that sense. And that’s a big change for me. There was a time when I would Facebook message you instead of trying to get together in person. Now, well… now I’ll do both 😉

I suppose over the last five years I’ve been able to mature and get to know myself better. I’ve experienced life online, and it’s fun for a time and serves its purpose, but I’ve discovered it’s crucially important to maintain a solid foundation in the real world. To be able connect with people in person is something that cannot be replaced and it is only through the challenges and bumps that we face along the road that we can grow, and those are rarely found within the safe walls we build up for ourselves online. Online is a place to hide from challenges and bumps, however, in the sage words of The Sound of Music‘s Reverend Mother, “These walls were not built to shut out problems. You have to face them. You have to live the life you were born to live.”

-B

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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part II

Tomorrow The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay Part II (movie 4) is released. This evening I went to a late night showing of the movie and was surprised at the low attendance in the theatre. There were perhaps fifty of us all together.

The Hunger Games (movie 1) and Catching Fire (movie 2) were both quite good. They were tamed down from the books for their audience to view, for example, the muttations in movie 1 were much “tamer” than the books monsters had been. Movie 2 also introduced some new characters with those such as Johanna, Finnick, and Beetee. This too was quite well done. Movie 3, The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay Part I was alright. It felt very slow moving being more of a psychological thriller than an action movie. Movie 4 however was much better, It was an action movie, in fact, it never stopped.

From the moment the movie started, essentially mid scene from where Movie 3 finished, there was nearly non stop action. These movies do not contain a “Hunger Games” but follow the people of Panem as they rebel against their corrupt capital and government. The movie was well-cast and well performed. It was scarier than any of the other three movies, they didn’t hold back on the muttations for example, but it was still a good movie. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I think I may buy it when it finally comes out, but that won’t be for a while yet, it’s presently the number #1 movie opening in the world.

#AffirmMe

Sometimes my best friend and I discuss how our lives are certainly funny enough (if not necessarily interesting enough) to merit our own television show. We like to think we’re pretty funny and things happen to us that we feel ought to be recorded for a greater audience to enjoy than merely ourselves.

I think it would be safe to say that social media has given us as humans a confidence boost. The regular likes, follows, and friend requests give us a sense of security in ourselves and we want to go to the next level. In this day and age that next level has become celebrity status. It is now possible to be a Youtube or Instagram “celebrity”, having thousands, and in some cases, hundreds of thousands of followers hanging on your every move. This has become many peoples’ goal in social media, to gain recognition. This desire for recognition makes me wonder, are we really receiving a confidence boost from the rising numbers? Or does each one add to the pressure to do better, to move up to the next step? Has social media gone from a place to share bits of our daily lives with our friends, to a place where we #shout into the void, yearning for the affirmation of strangers?

There’s nothing wrong with social media, it’s an extremely convenient way to share bits of our lives, but I think there can be a serious danger to rely too fully on the numbers rather than the people with us in the day to day. My best friend and I don’t need a T.V. show, we just need each other around to laugh at our own lame jokes.

Oh Olan, Olan, Olan…

Since I’m making the effort to be a responsible student and like do my homework and stuff, I’m way behind on watching videos of people I’m subscribed to on youtube. That’s why it was only today that I finally got around to watching Olan Rogers’ “The Soda Parlor Documentary” video (uploaded way back on January 3).

Olan Rogers is one of my very favourite youtubers and is definitely up there by the top on my list of people I’d like to meet like ever (there’s not just one person at the top, there’s like seven. He’s one of those though.) If you’ve never seen his videos I can recommend a few to get you started with:

Ghost in the Stalls

 

The Comeback Kid

 

Or his webseries/short films Pop Rocket, The Last Scene, and New Prime

 

Olan Rogers is just a fantastic storyteller and an all round good guy who seems like a really cool human person. So today, when I finally watch the Soda Parlor Documentary I got my monthly cry in. As a fan of Olan’s work and someone who has been watching his videos since about 2007 (if you ever watched Balloon Shop, that was Olan Rogers) I was just super happy to see the journey he’s been able to come through in this last year or so and am (cheesey as it sounds) super proud of him for being able to achieve all that he has! Olan sets out to do a thing and dang-nabbit he does it!

My favourite poster on my wall is one of his (in fact it’s one of five that were allowed to remain on the wall when my room “grew up”. The other eight or so are rolled in tubes for a future life) and its a good ol’ inpiration quote

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New Olan Rogers poster has hit the wall!

A post shared by Becca (@rlpdean) on

 

So since I’m a Olan-fan I want you to be an Olan fan and if those previous videos I linked haven’t convinced you, here’s The Soda Parlor Documentary. Grab your tissues.

Talk to you tomorrow,
-B

Peter Paning for Days

Well as I’m sure you can tell, I’m fantastic at doing things regularly…! I’m not going to give up though, I think I can I think I can I think I can…

Anyway, today is halloween and I don’t celebrate halloween, our family never has (no I’ve never been trick or treating etc) but I like excuses to dress up in costumes sooooooo…

… today I dressed up as Peter Pan and went to school like that.

I had been thinking of doing this outfit but didn’t plan ahead very well so yesterday evening I quickly texted my mum as she was finishing a meeting and asked if she had a dagger and a red feather. The joy of being the daughter of someone who works with kids is that her answer was yes. So I borrowed a dagger and feather from her and a green toque/beanie/hat from my sister and I sewed a feather in my cap!

I had the clothes for the outfit already (in fact I’ve worn this outfit before and someone pointed out that with my hair I looked like Peter Pan which gave me the idea) so this morning I did my hair in a bun, covered it with my cap, put my dagger in my belt and was ready for school!

Just for fun I decided to put a little bit of “pixie dust” on my nails… They did not fly. Tink must have given me the knock-off stuff… (I wouldn’t put it past her, honestly…)

Anyway, I had fun and people at school seemed mildly amused by me so alls well that ends well right! ;D

If you’re out tonight I hope you have fun and stay safe!
Talk to you tomorrow,
-B

See me? I Skate! I am a Skater!

Tuesdays are our long days: we start class at 9am which goes til noon, we have an afternoon to catch up on any study or assignments or energy that we need and then we have an evening class starting at 7pm that we have to be there at 5:30 to help set up for so it’s a looooong day.

Today we decided to spend our afternoon by going skating at the Forks! We skated all the way down the west branch of the river skating-path from the Forks.

Now I am not a good skater. I can skate, but I’m not very good. I don’t know how to stop which means a) I go fast and to stop I crash into either snowbanks or people, or b) I don’t go fast. I usually choose b because people don’t tend to like me crashing into them and I don’t like being in snowbanks… Also not a very good skater because I have fairly weak ankles… That’s been a thing for years though, since I took ballet when I was little, buuut when you have weak ankles, skating if a bit painful… I’m told hockey skates would give more ankle support but figure skates at purdier!!

Anywho, I made it all the way down, with frequent stops but without being pulled. I felt quite triumphant as I gasped to fill my lungs with air (I really need to exercise more…)

I am practically an Olympic Figure-skater (slash totally NOT! ;D)

I am practically an Olympic Figure-skater (slash totally NOT! ;D)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was super nice and warm today (only -9C!) so we didn’t even wear our coats! Mitts were only on to protect hands if we fell, I wished I didn’t need them, it was too hot with them on!!

IMG_3937

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They have warming huts as well as benches along the river path so we stopped in at a neon-cabin one and the others attempted a game of crocono on the neon board with tiny snow pucks.

I wasn't kidding when I said Neon...

I wasn’t kidding when I said Neon…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It took us almost an hour to skate from the Forks to one end of the path and then about 40-45 minutes to get back. I only fell once the whole time, probably a personal best! ;D ANd once we got back to the Forks Market we had MINI DONUTS which, as always, we wonderful.

So yeah, fun afternoon! Enjoyed it thoroughly. Was extremely tired this evening so it may have slightly backfired but HEY it was fun. All work and no play ya know!

IMG_3943Anywho, talk to you tomorrow!!
-B

 

Viewing and Filming

On Tuesdays we have a morning class and then the afternoon off and an evening class so the five of us have taken to going to one of the guys apartments to hang out. Today was an olympic watching day and we watched the Olympics for like, three or four hours…? It was fun though, I don’t get to see much Olympics because my family doesn’t have cable and I don’t even actually know if the family I room with does because I have the wifi password… I don’t really go out of my way to watch any competition other than figure skating though, that’s my favourite, but if it’s on, I’ll totally watch it and probably get really into it =D

Doing some more filming tomorrow for another video for my old school. The other one I made is now live on youtube so feel free to check it out! It’s my first proper “work” type video and I’m kinda sorta pretty proud of it =)

Talk to you tomorrow!
-B