Put Facebook down!

Have you logged onto Facebook and felt a twinge of jealousy? Or what about feeling like a failure when your stream is full of everyone else’s good news? Does it feel the whole world feels like it’s doing much better than you?

Join the club.

Facebook is a constant reminder of what we should have, where we should be heading. Even the annoying suggested app is telling us what we should like. We can’t help but pitch ourselves against each other. It’s more personal because these are the people you know, you’ve grown up with, your peers. It’s tangible. This is real life – not a piece of aspirational telly about some stranger doing better than you.

I wrote about turning 30 a few weeks ago and how it’s put the pressure on to have all the adult trappings such as a house, marriage and kids. I think Rachel from Friends nails it on the head when she says: ‘Look, y’know I know my life’s going pretty well, but I look around and I just see so many people who’ve accomplished so many other goals by the time they’re thirty.’

Comparing ourselves to each other isn’t a new thing, but I think Facebook has added to the pressure. Here in the UK, 23% of us admit to checking Facebook five times or more every day. It’s hard not to judge yourself against everybody else when we’re constantly checking Facebook and seeing  what everyone else is doing. It’s even harder to avoid temptation now that our phones have become mini computers and we become an ever more connected society.

It’s easy to say ‘don’t log onto Facebook if it makes you feel that way’, but it’s a modern way to keep in touch. It’s easy and convenient – other than for work, are you more likely to email or Facebook your mates? My hunch is you’ll Facebook someone. You’ll probably get a faster response anyway. Why? Because it’s harder to ignore a message on Facebook than email, especially when they can see that you’ve read their message (thanks a lot Facebook ‘I’ve seen your message’ tick).

But we need to remember the feed is made up of news that your friends want to you know. Facebook serves to highlight someone’s life – it’s not all of their life. Like my mum says, you never know what’s going on behind closed doors.

So the next time you’re tempted to compare yourself to the whole universe according to your Facebook world, ask yourself why you’re letting it make you feel like crap then go and do something nice for yourself.

Hold on Brick!

Four days ago, the name Samantha Brick was trending on Twitter. Not knowing who she was, I clicked on her name and was faced with a furore. The world was in a frenzy over this woman.

Why? For an article she wrote for The Daily Mail titled – ‘There are downsides to looking this pretty: why women hate me for being beautiful.’ The provocative title naturally raised my hackles. Brick tells us how she’s had fares paid for her, free champagne on a flight and free drinks bought to her table by unknown men because of her good looks.

Lucky b**ch. Although, I would be creeped out if random men wanted to pay for my train fare. I’d be wondering what they wanted in return. She’s also been dropped by her female friends for being pretty, and has been accused to having an affair with husbands. But it was this paragraph which offended me:

If you’re a woman reading this, I’d hazard that you’ve already formed your own opinion about me — and it won’t be very flattering. For while many doors have been opened (literally) as a result of my looks, just as many have been metaphorically slammed in my face — and usually by my own sex.

Now Brick. Hold on!

She trended for three days. THREE DAYS! As a Tweet-a-olic, I know that trends come and go in a matter of minutes. The fact that she trended for several days meant the Tweeps were furious. The question is, were they justified? There’s no doubt that Ms Brick is a pretty woman. That I don’t deny, but as a fellow sista, my objection is that we don’t like other beautiful women.

I felt sorry that her female boss felt threatened – could it be that it wasn’t her good looks, but it was the mere fact she was another women that could potentially be climbing the ranks?  And as for having an affair? Could it be that her friend was just the jealous type anyway, or that there were deep-rooted problems in the marriage and it’s easier to blame Brick for their issues?

Yes – women are hard on other women. We can be bitchy and underhanded and awful human beings. I too have experienced this first hand and it isn’t nice. Thankfully, not from my female friends – but from two older ladies I used to catch the train with. It’s not because I think I’m attractive – far from it. I have no idea why, but my Mum tells me it’s because I’m young, a free spirit, and exciting. After all, I was about to climb to Everest Base Camp. And yes, my Mum thinks I’m beautiful.

Like many women, I’m riddled with insecurities and find it hard to understand why people call me pretty. Of course I’m secretly pleased – who isn’t? But at no point do I automatically think that women don’t like me because I’m deemed attractive. I surround myself with beautiful, intelligent women who like me wants fun, laughter, a bloody good time and a decent book. Am I intimated by them? Only when they get angry! Am I jealous of them? No. Envious – yes, but jealous – no.  There is always someone who is going to be much funnier, stunning, intelligent than you.

I hate arrogance and Samantha Brick is arrogant. That is why I’m upset. I’m not offended by her good looks, the fact that she’s blond. Good for her for hitting 40 and still looking good. But please, don’t assume that people hate you because they’re jealous. Maybe it’s the air of superiority that’s the turn-off. We can spot someone who walks into the room and think they’re the bees knees a mile off. Beauty, they say, is in the eye of the beholder.

The Guardian’s Tim Dowling wrote a hilarious piece on why men hate him for his good looks.

She appeared on This Morning, defending herself and her article.

Brick has opened up an interesting discussion about women on other women. Are we confusing her self-belief and confidence as arrogance? Are women allowed to say they’re beautiful? Is this woman deluded?

Why did you unfollow me?

I  have to admit, I do get a tad upset when someone unfollows me on Twitter. Admittedly, I don’t tweet as much as I should, but then, according to this infographic on the psychology of Twitter, too much tweeting can put people off. In fact, if you tweet 36 times a day, then you’re oversharing.

People retweet (it’s now an official word) because of interesting content. No surprises there. But if you add RT, 26% would actually retweet. Talk about a call to action!

And who actually take’s notice of Follow Fridays?

Why do you unfollow?