Is Facebook slowly eradicating our ability to confidently express ourselves? Out goes real world, in comes cyber world!

It was funny how the other day my sister and I had a complete conversation on facebook despite being in the same house at the same time,only separated by a single flight of stairs.

I was upstairs on my laptop and her phone started to ring.I tried shouting down the stairs a couple of times, but since she was wearing headphones, while chatting away to her friend’s on facebook she either ignored me completely or didn’t hear at all.

I then resorted to the easiest solution available without having to get up off my bed. A facebook message, knowing fully well that I would get some kind of response right away. Of course I was right, and of course I did get a reply within seconds, warning me that if I were to even touch her phone I would regret it till the day I died. Now here I must mention that though being two years younger than me, my sister happens to look more my age than I do personally. Often people mistake me for the younger one. I have come to expect this now, and choose to silently endure or else  ignore the sudden and shocked exclamations aunties always make if my mother happens to mention I’m older.( Just in case you were wondering,no I do not have any physical defects Thank God.I just happen to have a slightly childish face,more the likes of a 16-year-old than an almost 20-year-old woman.But hey,maybe looking younger will help me in the longer run!)

Now no need to look so aghast, for my sister did not carry out her threat. I would not be sitting here boring you with the tale, had she acted upon it. In fact not long after she completely forgot about her phone, until many hours later. She would never dare harm me in any way; neither do I take her seriously for I’ve comes to understand that these are nothing more than empty threats, completely normal in any household and a healthy form of sibling bonding.Even If I do say so only to console myself. For all those of you who are  at this current stage of their lives-you probably know exactly what I mean!

Though it was fun at the time,looking back now I find this form of virtually communicating through facebook rather amusing and somewhat sad. This has got me thinking,will there be a time in the future when we no longer require the need to express our feelings verbally. When the sole method of relating to others or voicing our opinions will be through virtual means through a computer or behind a mobile phone screen?

I read an article a couple of years ago highlighting this very issue. Facebook and other such social networking sites have impacted us in ways we cannot imagine.These websites have caused us to become more and more reliant upon virtual means of communication.That analysis was made quite a while back.Imagine our current state all these years later.

People now find it harder to have a proper conversation with another face-to-face. Making, and then keeping steady eye contact has become more and more difficult and people find it easier  instead to display their feelings or express themselves through other means such as facebook messaging, a status update or maybe even through a like.

Will spoken words soon become a thing of the past? Will real relationships no longer have the same meaning they had for us in the past? Will a husband text his wife good night instead of lovingly hugging her before bed time? It’s definitely something to think about. What are your thoughts regarding this very issue which i think could take the shape of a crisis.Do you agree ?? Please leave your thoughts below,would love to hear from you all.

Always wondered why the mere mention of a renowned artist’s work make’s people go all starry eyes? Or why the dollar signs start flashing when good quality art is mentioned?Well look no further than this. A great post by an exceptionally young talented interior design student and my dearest friend. Happy reading! 🙂

Thoughts, Literature and More..

I have been thinking about this for a while. Art is one of the most expensive things in this world, depending on its value. How is this value determined? Who decides which art piece is good? Or rather, which characteristics does it depend upon? It’s easier to put a value on historical artifacts. But the judgement of an art piece seems more like a status quo to me. People decide an art piece is good, because someone else who is filthy rich said so.

Before, I used to think, it has to be uniqueness. This is the determining factor of how good an art piece is. But then, I have seen enough grotesque paintings in this world, and they are pretty unique. But they just can not be called good.

Then I began to question myself, what is art in the first place? It is not the sole creation of…

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Shattered expectations-We’ve all faced them

Expectations!  Our very existence revolves around this twelve letter word. From the moment we are born, up until the day we die, people expect something from us and we in turn expect from them. This little mountain of expectations just gets bigger and bigger as time goes on. But the need and hope doesn’t just stop there. Us humans are strange in that regard. No matter how much a person gives us, or how well they treat us, that want for better never stops. Not only that, we then have the audacity to judge and pick flaws in the every single aspect of their lives be it related to us or not.

Maybe this is a part of our psyche and the way in which we were created.  At first I deliberated whether it was just a character flaw, present in the most egotistic of our kind. But with time, I’ve noticed that this little obsession of always wanting more and never being satisfied with not only ourselves but with other people around us, is incorporated in every single one of us irrespective of age. A child of three years will often compare itself with other children and then question why it can’t have the very same if not better.

It’s similar to being trapped inside a spiral. Or a never-ending race where competition seems to get tougher with each step you take, yet no finish line seems to be in sight.

With due time and over the course of our lives the number of setbacks, disappointments and failures we face heighten this sense of longing for something better, and with that comes greater expectation. This little cycle of never-ending requirements continues and often leads to a state of dissatisfaction, depression and discontentment with everyone around you and life in general. This rings true particularly in us youngsters, always looking for an outlet for our frustrations,we sometimes tend to give up. Only realizing later on that set backs are only a part of this life. But only time,age and experience brings about that understanding.

Some people try to overcome this by pretending to themselves that people’s opinion doesn’t matter to them. That they do not expect anything from anyone and aren’t effected by being let down time and time again. This is only a form of self-consolation. If nothing else you’re kidding yourself into believing something while knowing full well that the opposite is true.

However despite the fact that we will always expect from people and vice versa, one thing’s for sure. Our expectations may never diminish but with age we mature and begin to understand the effect of each action, the nature of our responsibilities and the expectations we have from others and in turn owe others. It’s how we fulfil our obligations, responsibilities and the limit to which we choose to satisfy what others expect from us is what is solely dependent upon us.

Sparkle!

Tiny droplets of rain on my bedroom window-2 a.m.

Tiny droplets of rain on my bedroom window-2 a.m.

What is the first thing that comes to mind when looking at that picture? Golden glitter? Fireworks? Maybe a scattering of sequins or a spray of golden paint. Yet what’s amazing is that those tiny illuminated golden dots are in fact little droplets of rain shinning like starts in the night sky. Beautifully captivating, yet so distant. There’s always a story behind every image. That what makes it so special.

I took this picture at around 2 a.m. It was just one of those long sleepless nights; the one’s when too much caffeine and sugar keeps you up, way past midnight. I was staring out the window, brooding. My mind was refusing to slow down; processing random odd thoughts. It started drizzling causing the street light from across the road to light up the tiny droplets which had collected on the glass window creating something so mesmerizingly unique. That’s when I couldn’t help grabbing my phone and taking this picture!

Beautiful no?

Beautiful no?

The human talent is similar to this very image. Every single one of us has a flair for something, be it writing, painting, singing, designing, cooking, gardening even building, you name it!  Yet the challenging part is to try to discover your inner glow and to engage yourself in what you do best once discovered. You can’t expect yourself to change overnight. It takes hard work, practise and patience to nurture that talent and mould it to perfection.  We must understand that each of us is special and unique just like those tiny droplets of rain. We have the capability to transform our talent to create something beautiful.

“What a frightening thing is the human, a mass of gauges and dials and registers, and we can only read a few and those perhaps not accurately”
(John Steinbeck)

“Weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning.”

(Bonnie T.Barry)

 “Do not lose hope — what you seek will be found. Trust ghosts. Trust those that you have helped to help you in their turn. Trust dreams. Trust your heart, and trust your story”
(Neil Gaiman, Fragile Things)

Denial!

A few weekends back (22 June-24 June) I attended a seminar. You know one of those boring long lecture’s where you go and sit, make yourself comfortable and then the lecturer enters the room, mounts the podium and mumbles away for hours while making random motions towards the projector screen spread out behind him. I’m sure most university students are familiar with the scenario, despite often using that very time to catch up on their sleep-Yes university has taught me to sleep with my eyes open! Except THIS seminar was not boring. It was a completely unique experience which left me in awe of the speaker and his intelligence.

The seminar took place at the Grange Hotels  in London and stretched over the complete weekend, starting from 10 a.m. till around 7.30 p.m. in the evening. The event was extremely well organised, well-coordinated and pre-planned to the utmost detail.

Each individual was given a pen,purple wrist band,note pad and booklet containing all the main pointers and power point slides! Not bad eh?! :D

Each individual was given a pen,purple wrist band,note pad and booklet containing all the main pointers and power point slides! Not bad eh?! 😀

The speaker was a very intelligent young Egyptian man by the name of Dr. Reda Bedeir. He spoke for an hour at a time, after which there was a ten minute interval. The “coffee and bathroom break” as I called it. (I must confess I drank so much coffee, that by the end of the day I had lost track of how much caffeine I had consumed-but Hey, who says no to freebies right? Okay now I’m grinning guiltily)

The hall in which the seminar was held and my pretty purple wrist band for the event!

The hall in which the seminar was held and my pretty purple wrist band for the event!

Freebies aside, what inspired and left me completely enthused was the beautiful speech delivered by Dr.Reda Bedeir over the three days. This has made me realise how important it is to focus on the bigger picture and to live each moment with the very thought that it may surely be my last.

My memory isn’t exactly as sharp as I would like it to be, and despite making notes throughout the seminar, I may have missed out quite a large chunk of it. However, I will share all I learnt from this man, in a summarised list below, in the very hopes that someone out there will be motivated to take what life offers and give it their best shot. So here goes:

  • God created Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve. I found this point rather amusing. These days’ people are not only denying their true origins but have also completely drifted from the true balance of life. The way he explained this was not only cleverly put together but also had a hint of humour encompassed in it, and was a great way of captivating the audience’s attention.
  • Outer appearance is important but the most crucial of all is the beautification of the heart. In today’s world people concentrate so much on their outward looks, the embellishment of their clothing and other such petty matters that they forget what really counts. A beautiful character and a pure heart is what really beautifies a person. In contrast looking well maintained and smart is also imperative but a balance between the two is what really matters.
  • Man has been given free will. And for those people who believe in destiny and the fact that all is pre-written cannot use this as an excuse to do whatever the hell they please. Some people use destiny as an excuse. They argue that since man’s destiny is already written, they have no say in what crimes they commit or whatever wrong action they perform since it is their fate. However Dr.Reda helped us understand this through a practical example: We were asked to stand up and slap the person next to us. Now this was the point where we could choose to slap the person or not, it was our OWN decision. God didn’t come down and force us to slap the person standing beside us. This very example helps negate the view that man has been programmed to function according to a set plan. In fact the very opposite of this is true, we are all free to do as we please, and are each accountable for our own actions.
  • The concept of what a real man should be like has been distorted to the point that people can no longer differentiate between what’s essential, looks or character. Today people believe that a stud with huge biceps, a booming voice and commanding and controlling nature is what an ideal man should be. That Hollywood image of the well sculpted hunk, with a perfectly toned hairless body is not what a true man is. Understanding this very point is important. A man is defined by the way he behaves, his nature, life goals, attitude and most importantly the very way in which he treats his family and the respect he shows them. Looks are important too, I agree. But only to a certain limit. They shouldn’t take precedence over character because anyone could tone their body to a great shape but also remember that with time that empty shell will soon grow old but that pure heart and love will only grow stronger. A real man acts the same way behind closed doors as he does in front of people and doesn’t need a pocket full of cash and a pretty girl on each arm to feel complete.
  • Our life will be over in a matter of minutes, in a single blink of an eye. If you close your eyes and try to picture your complete life until now, be it twenty, thirty, forty, fifty even sixty or seventy years, the longest it will take you to back track and preview all your life’s events will be around 70 to 80 seconds, give or take a few. That’s exactly how miniscule our life is. That’s why it’s so important to not only focus on what counts but to try to do as much good as possible and make that difference be it as tiny as cheering someone up (or so I tell myself).
  • Our heart is capable of loving, it is divided into a number of compartments which filter out and love each individual element up to a certain degree and in the order we place them. The order of our love is a key issue. Be it the love of God, his prophets, your Holy book, your parents, your spouse, your children, your wealth, your homes, your relatives, your job, or your car. All things should be in perspective and in the right order. For example loving your job more than your spouse will only bring disharmony in the relationship. Hence getting those priorities set in the right order is crucial.
  • Last but not least, the root of all evil in this world starts off with DENIAL. Be it denial of good, denial of doing the right thing, denial of the truth etc.Denial is that very action, that very word which can make or break everything that counts and realising that will help us through all that awaits us be it good or bad.

Oh Those Dreadful Rejections!

I’m sure every single one of us has faced a rejection in some form or other, be it between choosing a college or university of our choice, a job application or even proposing to your dream partner out there. Rejection in any shape, way or form is painful and it SUCKS!

So I was lounging around the other day, mourning yet another one of those summer job application turn downs when I heard the lyrics of “Down” by Jay Sean playing in a car parked outside my bed room window. The line that struck me most, was

“…indefinitely, not probably, and honestly I’m down like the economy!..”

I'm sure this is exactly how i will be by the time graduation comes along!

I’m sure this is exactly how i will be by the time graduation comes along!

Isn’t it ironic how those lyrics fit perfectly with our current status?

In general, the world as a whole is facing a continuous decline in the economy which has led to the youth feeling somewhat depressed and dejected. Jobs are now as scares as water is in the desert, and WHEN and IF you do happen to stumble upon a good company who’s recruiting new employees, the post is filled before you even get the chance of tailoring your C.V and filling in the complete application form.

The most comical part of the whole scenario is the very way in which these companies reject you. Generally they have a tendency to start off by apologizing, expressing their commiseration over how THEY “decided” to turn down your application because It supposedly didn’t fit in with their current  needs as yet. Personally I think they owe us a more personalised and heartfelt apology letter  at least for the very fact that they took up two hours of your life,not only making you give up  all your personal details including your complete history up to date, but also writing a hundred words ( if not more) each about why you chose the particular company, your hobbies, drives and motivation etc..-Point to be noted,all of your data is supposedly kept safe,it is a part of the “Data Protection Act” and is only kept in the company’s data base as long as needed-Oh and how can I forget the dreadful surveys!

And then if that’s not bad enough, they have the audacity to tell us to keep trying elsewhere and that they will “consider us” again( this almost usually never happens)  as soon as a new post opens up while kindly informing us that we are not to make another application for the next 6 months! For all the nerve! Sometimes I wish I had taken a law degree instead, it would be so satisfying to sue a company for being biased, though I obviously know that is not the case-by hey I can dream!

Sometimes I wonder if a point will come in the future when we will all have to resort to the “Barter system” of trade like our ancestors did. With such scarcity of jobs, money will soon become a thing of the past. Maybe it will be entertaining to go to market places and trade your old stuff for newer more modern things. At least it will sort out the problem of filling in those pesky job applications only to be rejected so sweetly yet again!

Here’s an article outlining all the statistics of employment over the years in the United Kingdom, quite discouraging to be honest but the best I can hope for is that the figures of employed graduates will slowly rise by the time my turn comes alone! Take a look :

DESTINATIONS OF LEAVERS FROM HIGHER EDUCATION IN THE UNITED KINGDOM FOR THE ACADEMIC YEAR 2009/10