Wednesday, 9 May 2012

We’re all Digital now – so what?

After years of advising and reminding us of the impending change they finally turned our old Analogue TV signals off in favour of a new digital TV service.

So, with the old analogue TV signal turned off the powers-that-be turned up the strength of the Digital TV signal.  Excellent, Great, Love It…but where’s the benefit to me?

First I lost BBC2 (no biggie but annoying none the less), then I lost the rest of the channels (meaning no Take Me Out, The Voice or BGT!?!) so time to act.  I had to rescan the digital channels on my TVs which, because I’d forgotten how to do it, was challenging but it wasn’t exactly exciting.  So far, no benefit.

After the rescan I found that the TV in my home worked…just like it did pre the switchover?  I had a Digital Freeview TV before the switchover and after the rescan it was working exactly the same as it did before.  I think the picture quality is a little better but still no huge benefit that I could really see.

Outside though, apparently here’s where everything had changed and when I stepped outside my house I found that indeed it had. 

Remember those tiny 3” TVs we all had as kids?  The ones with the retractable aerial, fuzzy picture, poor sound, faux leather case and that we eventually threw out because they cost £00s in batteries?  Well nostalgia leads me to believe that balancing on the arm of a park bench to get an half decent TV picture on a mini TV was fun but it wasn’t was it.  It sucked.  Now though, a digital version of the same TV works, and it works well, purely down to the stronger digital TV signal I’ve got.

Now that’s all well and good but what else does the digital switchover give me because I’m not planning to add a tiny TV set to the essentials I usually carry to work with me.  I’m already carrying a book, food, wallet, keys and iPhone etc so I’m not sure I want anything else.

If this new Digital signal was so good then what I was looking for was a small gadget that lets me watch TV on my iPhone but not by via a website or by streaming the content over 3G (and thereby killing my mobile tariff data allowance) but using this new Digital signal.

In my head I started to invent the perfect product and just before phoning the patent office (and mentally retiring on the proceeds following worldwide market introduction and licencing) I thought I’d have a quick search online which brought good news and bad news.

The bad news was that I couldn’t retire because the good news is that these kind of products are already available. sell one for my iPhone 4s for £79.99 (it’s called myTV2GO-m).  It’s basically a Freeview TV tuner which plugs into my iPhone so I can watch Live TV and it also records to my iPhone too.  I’m in heaven!  OK, now this Digital Switchover is starting to press my buttons, so what else can I do?

Turns out this same device I bought works on an iPad 2 which is great but I don’t have one, I do however have an original iPad.  One more click online and I’m looking at a product that works for the iPad, iPod, iPhone, MAC & PCs (this one’s called myTV2GO). 

It’s a bit different because it works over WiFi connection (which is in the device itself) but the principle is the same, it’s a Freeview TV tuner from which I can watch Live TV and which also records to my devices (and still no 3G killing my data tariff). 

So now, I and the rest of my clan can use the iPad etc as an additional TV in the house too.  Cool but what about my main household PC could I now get TV on that?

No need to invent this one because I bought an USB TV tuner for my PC some time ago however I’ve never had much success because I don’t have access to a roof top aerial where the PC is.  Now though, this new digital signal means when I connected a small mobile aerial to it I could also watch Freeview TV on my PC too, this means I can use my PC like a set top box (watch, record, pause Live TV etc).

I am now officially a fan of the switchover.  In June this year, when I’m at work, I’ll be able to record the European Championship football and watch the games on my way home.  When I’m back at home my wife can watch Corrie on the iPad or PC whilst I’m watching the football on the main TV. 

Throughout the Summer I can do the same with the usual mix of Golf, Tennis and whatever else is on (Bargain Hunt maybe!!).  Not to mention the fact I’ll be camping during the summer holiday and my kids can watch TV on their iPods…meaning I get some peace and quiet. 

Then there are the Olympics, I didn’t get any tickets I applied for but now I’ll be watching.  So as much as I’d like the whole Summer off to watch sport this it isn’t going to happen (I’ve got bills to pay) but recording them to my phone whilst I’m at work and watching them on the journey back home is OK by me.

Looks like the digital switchover could just be a big issue for my life.

Twitter: @shamkat 

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

May Ask A Chap/Bird - Technology

LYYB has been pondering over something rather rude this month... we’re aware last month we asked you about your personal foliage but this time round we’re thinking more technological. The majority of humans on this earth have a mobile phone, access to the internet and potentially/extremely likely to both. We know from previous interrogation that our LYYB readers love a bit of filth... so what with you all having these technological capabilities what we require of you this month is simple. Do you use your mobile phones, social networking profiles, skype and any other type of technology to get your kicks? We’re not talking porn, we’re talking sexting, cyber sex or good old fashioned webcam action... do you dirty lot reckon these advances have made our sex lives more exciting? or more drab? Has opening this new can of sexual worms meant that we’ve normalised sex into our everyday lives because it’s always only a text or an email away? Are these new technology forms taking over from actual sex?

To give you guys a little inspiration here is our favourite Avenue Q song...

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Body Image and Sex

Becoming a woman is a bit like becoming celebrity, only more traumatic. This is either a fairly agreeable, or vastly unpleasant experience depending on what you look like and how popular you are. You go from being an uninteresting skinny child, more or less left to your own devices, to suddenly being incredibly fascinating to everyone the moment your breasts and hips start to appear.

Three months ago you were just a kid, blissfully unaware of the storm awaiting you with the onset of puberty. Nobody cared if you had hairy legs or short fingernails, chubby ankles or even if you were a girl or not, but now all of a sudden everyone has an opinion on you. From your split ends to your unpainted toenails and everything in between, suddenly everyone you know (and plenty of people you don’t) wants to tell you exactly what’s wrong with you. Magazines are full of pictures and articles and adverts of how you should look, your mother is tutting at your stretch marks, your aunts tell you how easy it will be for you to give birth with those hips, boys at school shout obscenities about your vagina across the playground. It’s all very stressful.

Then there are the body changes. Boys – a bit of extra hair and a deeper voice do not a dramatic pubescent transformation make. Try growing a pair of boobs (it hurts) and going home from school one day to discover your pants are full of blood (yeah, that hurts too). I think it took me about ten years to get used to the shock of getting an unrecognisably new body in the space of about three months. Granted, the transformation isn’t as a dramatic or fast for many girls. I was envious of my peers’ girlish bodies with their tiny pert breasts and slender hips, but perhaps they were jealous of mine too. I couldn’t do the things I used to do, like climb trees and dance and run about, without my new body getting in the way. It was like it had betrayed me.

It is against a background of all this drama and bleeding and trauma and pressure and tits and image and advertising and probably some awkward lights-out fumbling teenage sex that we emerge into our twenties. It is unsurprising then, that girls carry some insecurity into our relationships, specifically surrounding our bodies and exposing them to the critical eyes of others. I’m certainly not saying that guys don’t have insecurities too, but there isn’t quite that same intense pressure that we are under, to be perfect. Once the clothes come off and presumably there’s been some snogging, so many of us have this nagging feeling that we aren’t up to scratch. That scar, that spot, that stretch mark, that bit that wobbles a bit too much, that bit that doesn’t wobble enough…it’s a minefield.

And it can stop us from actually enjoying the experience - inhibition about our bodies gets in the way of good sex. Don’t you wish you could just laugh about the whole thing, not care anymore? Not that it isn’t easier said than done, it took me years to get over feeling inhibited and self-conscious about some aspects of my body. I’m certainly not all there yet either. But I’ve learned a valuable lesson along the way too, in that how you feel about yourself is what others see. People pick up on our carefully hidden insecurities.

Once you get over worrying about your flaws, you’ll realise no-one else really cares about them either. I once asked a male friend about whether guys are actually bothered about a bit of extra wobble, prominent ribs or boobs that are slightly different sizes whilst in the throes of passion – he said this: Woman, we’re so stoked to be having sex with you at all, we couldn’t care less or even notice. All we’re thinking is – this girl wants to have sex with me, she has tits and a fanny – awesome.

Not delicately put, but you get the idea.


Twitter: @lucyetlapin

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

A shocking look at beauty - Body Issues

What would you tell your 16 year old self? - Body Issues

My first challenge of 2012 was to read more. I didn’t want to read a gushy novel that ended happily ever after, I wanted a book that would educate me. After trawling the book shelves of a well-known book store, I came across a paperback lodged in with the diet books. The book was called ‘Living Dolls The Return of sexism’ by Natalie Walters. I know people say ‘never judge a book by its cover’ but this cover just appealed to me, It was clever, naughty and bold all at the same time.  As I began to read this book  alarm bells rang ‘This is a feminist book…’ but I couldn’t put it down.  It intrigued me how the author was entwining so many powerful subjects all into one little book.  Gender discrimination, the glamorisation of the sex industry, sexual abuse, prostitution, sexualisation of young women and pornography are only a handful of the subjects the author Walters touches upon. The book was so enlightening, detailed and truthful.

One subject discussed and seemed to crop up a lot throughout the book was how ‘…artificial images of feminine beauty are held up as the ideal to which women should aspire’ pg 3  as a body conscious girl this subject really stood out to me.  We see it every day in today’s culture young girls and women aiming to be like their celebrity ‘role-models’.  The thing that shocked me the most was Walter describing how these fascinations of ‘aspiring’ to be like an artificial representation of femininity start at a young age. Starting with their Barbie dolls to the female heroines of the silver screen.  I nearly spluttered my tea when it went on to talk about the ‘sexualisation of Disney Princesses’ and how our little girls are being made to look ‘sexy’( but that topic can be for another day). 

It made me realise most of us from a young age are tied into an over vigilant regime of dieting and grooming to fit in with these ‘artificial role models’. But why?  We should be concentrating on more important things with our bodies and getting to ‘know them’ not plaster them in fake tan, hair extensions and cosmetic surgery and create this ‘plastic disguises’ to ‘fit in’. Girls (and guys) , can you honestly hold up your hand and say you know your own body? Do you know every lump and bump?

Just recently a colleague of mine has just been diagnosed with melanoma and she has created a blog to share with others about her battle ( click here to visit her blog ). While reading Lynns inspiring blog I came across a video that’s called ‘Dear 16 year old me’ It is a moving video to help teenagers become aware of skin cancer and how to potentially avoid it.

You might think I am going off on a tangent first talking about my book about feminism and now talking about skin cancer but bare with me. Combining Walters ideas of women starting at a young age ‘aspiring’ to be like artificial representations of femininity and this video on Lynns blog brings home a sense of realisation. We shouldn't focus on these artificial images of beauty like celebrities/glamour models because there's more important body related issues to educated ourselves with. We should concentrate on our 'natural' body, get to know it, not 'conform' our bodies to look just like these 'fake' representations. Young girls and guys should be encouraged to know their bodies, celebrate them and not plaster and hide them in cosmetics. If I was to tell my 16 year old self something I would say 'Don't be upset that you don't look like the skinny girls in the magazines, your body is beautiful, look after it. There are much worse things in life than worrying about your body hang ups. If your that worried talk and ask questions about them, don't cover it up and pretend its all fine. xx PS Use liquid eyeliner... it lasts longer'

So that's it... from a new years resolution developing into a reality check I have come to the conclusion that we should 'get to know' our bodies, give them regular checks, ignore the airbrushed size 0's in the media and celebrate our natural bodies because at the end of the day you only get one.  

Food for thought... what would you tell your 16 year old self?? 

Monday, 9 April 2012

A Curious Case of Hair Colour - Body Issues

I have always dyed my hair every colour under the sun (please see embarrassing photos below), but until I decided a couple of years ago to go back to my natural state of blonde I truly didn’t realise the difference that hair colour has on how people treat you.
I find being a blonde to be a negative hair colour, as a lady I want to be treated as one but as a blonde I find that most of the men I encounter like me because I’m blonde, blue eyed etc... not because I’m alright to talk to and am moderately intelligent.
I want to find out whether this is true for all hair colours, in the matter of all things LYYB it simply wouldn’t work without an experiment, so I have dyed my hair red and my eyebrows to see if I evoke different reactions and as ever at the end I will some up my findings. I’ll also be speaking about previous hair colours I've used in the past.  

Red Head
I was a red head for a couple of months, dying your hair red is a massive effort, It runs out so quickly and costs a small fortune to keep looking lovely, so is it worth it?
I think although superficially the hair looked fabulous, I think what I felt inside was not so good, I did get what I suppose you could class as more positive male attention. Gentlemen started to approach me more, I could even go as far to say the calibre of men I was attracting were of a higher standard. The conflicting mental issue that I was having was because I started to feel like people didn’t like the real me. The real me is blonde. If men are treating me different because of a hair colour then surely they’re not as amazing as I first thought.
I have to say that even women I encountered during this time treated me differently, as a blonde I find women can sometimes come across like they hate my guts... as a red head not so much... I didn’t realise hair colour made this much of a difference. It was like all of a sudden I became less of a threat. 

Black Head
When I was younger I had black hair... SHOCKING. People used to think because I dyed my hair black I must’ve been an Emo or a Goth. You’re wrong. I dressed quirky, but I always have regardless of hair colour. People felt the need to brand me with a label so they could deal with my ever changing strange look.
I was once told that I couldn’t have a job unless I changed my hair colour from black to something more natural because I was deemed ‘unapproachable.’ Which is ridiculous, I was a normal eighteen year old.
Don’t even get me started on how people used to treat me, girls my age thought I was a weirdo and boys my age pretty much thought the same thing. All this because of a hair colour?

Blonde Head
As I stated earlier I sometimes find being a blonde has a negative impact on my life.
You wouldn’t believe the amount of people that do honestly assume that because of my hair colour I must be an idiot. I’m clearly not. I’ve found it to be a nuisance at times when I want to blend in, when I lived on my own I would constantly be harassed by men shouting such creative things as ‘Hey Goldilocks you can sleep in my bed’… I think that’s my personal favourite. Having blonde hair is like an invitation for abuse... blonde jokes, misinterpretation, perverts and people honestly believing due to hair colour you’re a slut.

I do however believe through all this negativity you have to be yourself, so after having black, red and blonde. I’ll stick with the blonde this time and wont be so influenced by the way that people treat me.
If you don’t like the blonde hair... You know what to do.


Wednesday, 4 April 2012

The only way is LYYB

For our April articles LYYB has decided to tackle some of your body quarrels, as ever our LYYB co-founders are game to try anything, talk about everything and experiment on your behalf. Our ladies and gents at LYYB are concerned by an ever growing epidemic of orange skin, false body parts and strange hair, this look combined as we understand it is something that originates from a TV mock drama called ‘The Only Way Is Essex’, if you are unfamiliar with this program it consists of some almost wealthy people from Essex telling each other to ‘shut up’ and fall out, then make-up and then probably fall out again.

LYYB wanted to investigate how programs such as TOWIE have affected people's body issues, when the people on these shows have all had plastic surgery, are all head to toe in fakery and seem more bothered about what they look like than what’s on the news.

Emma and Gemma are as per usual our Guinea-pigs in this experiment, we gave them a TOWIE make-over that neither will forget in a hurry, we’ve asked them to document; how much, how long and how they felt during the fake-over, we’ve supplied some wonderful photographic evidence and we want our readers to decide which is best... The Only Way Is Essex? Or The Only Way Is LYYB?

Has fakery taken over or can natural beauty still prevail...

Emma: Gemma and I spent a total of about £30 each on; tan, fake hair and fake lashes, now spending £30 on that doesn’t sound a lot and we by no means bought expensive, the scary part about the cost is that would be £30 for one night, you couldn’t reuse most of the products we purchased because they simply wouldn’t last, I don’t even want to think about the cost if you went to a salon and got all this fakery done professionally! In total the time it took me to get tanned up to my eyeballs, apply the buckets of make-up and slap those eyelashes on was 2 hours, I couldn’t spend every Saturday night getting ready for that long, the terrifying thing is that people wear this stuff everyday... how much time are they wasting on looking like an umpa lumpa. Now the truly horrendous part of the experience was how I felt all tantastic... I felt like I wouldn’t be able to behave like myself almost like i’d stepped into another person’s shoes, maybe it’s something you get used to, but I certainly couldn’t go out and have chats with people about what books i’m reading or the economic crisis, people would think i’d banged my head. Maybe that makes me a terribly shallow person that I see someone dressed like that and instantly think ‘well she hasn’t got much between the ears’, but surely there is an element of an intelligent human being thinking ‘I don’t want to spend this much money or this much time looking like this.’ I do like looking good, I am notoriously bad for spending all my money on clothes and shoes, however I am intelligent enough to say no to some simply ridiculous trends. I also can’t help but think what picture these people paint for the younger generation, that we should all be tanned, toned and spend time worrying over what we look like to enth degree? When the simple fact in my mind is that yes you should take care of yourself, you should take pride in your appearance whatever that means to the individual but I don’t think promoting this look that can only really be achieved successfully if you have buckets of spare time and cash is healthy.

Gemma: I was quite excited about this little challenge. Having a performing arts background I always jump at the chance to ‘dress up’. My initial thoughts were dressing up TOWIE was going to be easy... I was wrong. Not only did we spend the majority of saturday shopping for all our TOWIE supplies it took us god knows how many hours to prep and ‘apply’ until we had achieved the full look. I do take my hats off to the girls who have this crazy beauty regime, the amount of time and effort that goes into this ritual is epic!! I know as girls we should celebrate our natural beauty but while applying my fake tan I enjoyed the feeling of creating a persona. The fake tan acted like another layer of skin which made me feel a little less shy about my body. Maybe the girls who dress TOWIE do it to mask their inner body issues!? Maybe caking their bodies in fakeness allows them to create a persona that makes them feel confident?! hmmm. I did enjoy the ‘dress up’ but I am not sure it would make me feel ‘confident’ on a night out. Yes the fake tan made me feel a little less self conscious but combined with the mountains of make-up, fake hair and tight dresses it just made me feel a little bit silly. I would be too busy worrying if my hair piece/ eyelashes/ boobs have fallen out or if all my make-up is still on instead of just enjoying my night out.

So will Essex win your votes or will LYYB’s natural looking lovelies win in what can only be described as the ultimate face off... it’s up to you to decide...

To cast your vote simply comment below the post TOWIE or LYYB and we’ll collate the votes and share your views at the end of the month.

The Only Way Is LYYB x

Monday, 2 April 2012

Ask a Chap/Bird - April Body Issues

As all of our April articles are about ‘body issues’ we thought perhaps our Ask a Chap/Bird question could somehow tie in nicely. LYYB has a rather personal question... to shave or not to shave? Yes we mean down there... and yes gents we mean you too! It’s come to LYYB’s attention that when it comes to body hair it’s not just ladies who have it in all different shapes and sizes... we know through scientific research *cough cough* that men do all sorts of strange and wonderful things down there to, the question is chaps and birds what’s acceptable or does it really depend on the person? When it comes to first encounters is it better to have too much or too little? Do you wax, shave or pluck? We’re interested...

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Gemma's Guide to Online Dating

So this month I took up the little adventure of online dating. Although I don't have trouble in the man department, online dating has always intrigued me. After one month I have been on a few dates, spoke to a lot of men, deleted loads of messages from weirdo's, flicked through lots of photos of men and been showered with lovely compliments. I have been inspired to write down some little pointers for the people out there who want to take up the 'challenge' of online dating:

Your profile
  • Be honest- Nobody likes a liar! Write your profile as honestly as you can. Your potential dates will see that your genuine rather than a weirdo who's just writing things you think people want to hear. The more honest you are there's more chance you will meet someone.
  • Use a current picture- Don't put bad quality pictures of you from years ago when you were 3 stone lighter... that's just not cool and a shock for your date. When I was looking I only messaged guys back who had more than two pictures so maybe put a variety of pictures of you on there. Oh and of course a (fully clothed) body picture. Who cares if you have wobbly bits... get them up there it just shows your honest, serious and not hiding anything. Don't include photos of friends or the opposite sex in your pictures... big NO NO. Do not use photos of you from nights out unless you really are a lager lout. 
  • Be safe- Do not put your contact details in your 'about me' section! There's plenty of weirdo's on there who would be happy to stalk you. If you have been messaging a potential date and your getting on that's cool if you give them your contact details but do not post them up for all the world to see! 
  • Say exactly what you want- Don't fanny about... tell your  potentials what you are looking for. 

While searching and talking to your 'potential'
  • Be polite- Refrain from sending crude messages to people. How are you expected to get a date if you just put ' Hey Sexy! Your tits are amazing fancy a F***' (Yep this is taken from my inbox) If you're serious about finding a date then take time to write a  nice personal message and definitely not one you just copy and paste to everyone.
  • Be brutal- Don't reply to weirdo's out of pity... it just makes it harder when you try and get rid of them later down the line. If you don't like them do not reply. I know it sounds harsh but it just wastes time and maybe you could miss a potential date while being to busy trying to get rid of a weirdo.
  • Be yourself-  Don't say things you think the person you are talking to wants to hear. Just be yourself! If they don't like it that every Tuesday you like reading comics while watching sponge bob square pants then they are not for you. 
  • Be wary- Not everyone on online dating sites are nice and honest. Sometimes they might say things to get you into bed... or they are just weirdo's with hidden secrets. Just don't be naive!!  Keep your wits about you and don't believe everything everyone on there says.

The Date

  • Give them a call- Once you have found a date online (wooohoo go you!) I would advise you speak to them on the phone before the big date. Just hearing someones voice and having banter on the phone brings an element of familiarity to the situation. Its a great icebreaker and will make you more relaxed when you have to meet them face to face. If you're more high tech and daring try skype!
  • When?-  Give it a couple of weeks before your date. Get to know them first and then meet DO NOT rush into it. 
  • Where?- Pick somewhere busy and familiar.
  • Love or Lust?- So the dates going well and you are attracted to someone BUT what you need to think about is this love or lust? and the same goes for your date... do they just want to have their dirty way with you or do they actually want to start something with you.
  • Be safe- Make sure people know where you are, what you're doing and who your with. Before I went on a date I would send Emma the guys picture, their number, little bit of info about them, where I was going and text her at random times during the date. I know this sounds like too much but its better to be safe than sorry. :-) 

The aftermath

If the date went well... wooohooo BUT if it didn't then don't worry! Get up, dust yourself off and try again! There are plenty more fish out there on online dating sites (trust me I know). Rejection and no spark between you and your date is horrible but take it as a learning experience. Say goodbye, forget about them, then get back on the website and I promise within minutes you would have found someone else!

Check out our Ask a Chap/Bird articles for more helpful tips, advice and relationship woes.

So that's it... Happy hunting online daters <3

Monday, 12 March 2012

An end to Facebook

LYYB loves Facebook as much as the next human but we’re concerned about a few woeful stories we’ve heard in regards to this social media phenomenon. Is it possible for Facebook to ruin relationships, cause arguments and perhaps even destroy everything an individual holds dear? 

Surely not? Social media is key in today’s society even LYYB wouldn’t exist without it, but can people function anymore without social networking or is it a must? What happened to handwritten letters, using the telephone or even conversing person to person?

As you’ve probably already guessed as ever the cruel mistress that LYYB is we can’t ask all these questions without delivering you some wide spread chaos with a splash of theory. As you know we like to make our Co-Founders lives *cough* miserable... sorry I mean challenging. 

Gemma & Emma... (Our usual victims) are going to give up Facebook for an entire long and gruelling month, and they WILL give it up. They’ll be changing each others’ passwords, deleting the apps off their phones and saying goodbye to all things Facebook. They will be without it from the 1st February to the 1st March. We’ll be adding week by week tormented comments from the two of them and as always at the end be sharing a general consensus.

Will they learn to live without their social media distractions or will they be begging us to be re-activated!

Week One:
Emma: This is not the first time I have not had a Facebook account, once a couple of years ago after an ‘incident’ I decided to delete myself off completely and I have to admit for those 8 months life was so un-complicated, the reason I re-joined was because I had learnt my Facebook lesson, never add people you don’t want looking at your page, try not to look at peoples pages that might upset or anger you and the big one DO NOT TAKE IT SERIOUSLY, Facebook is not gospel. After re-instating myself I thought I’d turned a new Facebook leaf so to speak but sadly after a couple of years of having it again I have slipped back into old habits. That is mainly how I see Facebook as habit forming. I have to admit the biggest change this week was deleting the app off my phone, that’s been odd because I usually check my Twitter and Facebook at the same time, to be honest though by the end of this week it’s been refreshing  quite frankly it’s made me remember why I deleted it in the first place, I’m not interested in seeing photos of drunk people acting like tits and I also don’t care about some person I maybe went to school with 10 years ago breaking up some guy they went out with for five minutes, I am also noticing that I have a lot more time, I’m not stuck on Facebook 24/7 anyway but sometimes I can lose hours to it and not even realise, hours I have spent this week doing LYYB work or sorting more important things out. Week one feelings: loving the lack of Facebook. 

The first couple of days it was hard to get out of the habit of ‘checking facebook’. I didn't realise how much I depended on checking Facebook every minute of the day. I wake up in the morning, check Facebook, brush my teeth, check Facebook, have breakfast, check Facebook, brush my hair, check Facebook... you get the picture and this goes on throughout the whole day. To tackle this I have started to check LYYB’s Gmail account just to make up for the loss of ‘checking’ Facebook. Isn't it sad how dependant I have become on a social media site!! But in my defence it’s hard to get away from as you can access it 24/7, it’s slapped on commercials and advertisement and everyone talks about it as ‘the norm’. This past week Facebook has been mentioned the majority of conversations like ‘oh I saw this on Facebook’ or ‘oh so and so has added me on Facebook’ or ‘ Have you seen so and so’s pictures on Facebook’ ect ect ect... I think I have noticed this more as I subconsciously know I am not allowed to access mine this month and I feel like I am missing out. This weekend I was at a Hen party which is an example of where I would ‘abuse’ my Facebook with everything to do with the event. During and post the Hen party I was itching to:

  • Add new friends I met on the night out so I can keep in contact and say ‘Thanks for the great night see you at the wedding’ and join in the post-hen party banter.
  • Post and access the pictures that were taken on the weekend (and delete the horrendous drunken ones)
  • Tag myself and others in the places we were visiting.
  • Put some random drunken status to make everyone laugh. (maybe this was seen as a blessing in disguise)
I think it’s nice to have the social side of Facebook in this situation. You are sharing, showing, communicating about ‘what you’re doing’ with people. BUT when you really stop and think about it isn't it about getting attention on Facebook? You’re posting a photo or status update to get attention of others and it makes you happy when people have ‘liked’ and commented on your posting. That’s quiet sad really. Maybe this experiment will make me realise other sides of Facebook? hmmm food for thought. 

Week Two:
Emma: Fully into the swing of this no Facebook thing, I admit a couple of times when people have said ‘did you see this on Facebook’ or ‘OMG did you see her comment last night’ I have actually found myself pitying that person for saying that and thinking, seriously... is that all we have to talk about what happens on a social media site? I have to hand it to Mark Zuckerberg he really has us at the bollocks doesn’t he, Facebook is really clever at making you feel like you’re missing out on something. Sadly I’ve been un-well this week but I did have lots of social activities planned, so if I’d been able to attend them I wouldn’t of even thought about it, apart from to write this. I think honestly it’s making me make more effort with the friends that really count, instead of trying to keep in contact half-arsed through Facebook I’m starting to make effort where it counts. 

Gemma: This week I have been having moments where I am saying ‘I wish I had Facebook’. One of these instances was I was asked out to go to the cinema and I didn’t have a clue what good films were out. Usually I would write a status asking my friends what’s a good film to go see... but this month I can’t. Usually my friends are quite good at responding and giving recommendations but this time I have had to choose alone. I had to go on the cinema’s website trawl through the films, read the reviews, watch the trailers... what a load of hassle! However just because Facebook can get you answers straight away does it just make us lazy?! Do we rely too much on what our friends say instead of finding out for ourselves?! hmmmm

Week Three:
Emma: Now I’m fully restored back to full health, I can now say whole-hearted I do miss Facebook, not in the way you might think, I don’t miss writing silly updates, I just miss the comfort of knowing there are people around you brings, also I know for a fact certain people have tried to contact me via it and failed, silly. I would also like to thank the lack of Facebook for encouraging me to sort some things out in my life, one ditch a couple of irritating gentlemen and for allowing me the time to actually strike up conversations with new interesting people via dating websites. That’s right I signed up to some... we’ll see how that pans out. I seem to have much more time for doing ACTUAL fun things.

I met someone this week and the first thing I wanted to do is check them out on Facebook... but I couldn't. This ‘checking’ of people we do on Facebook is a good thing right? Let’s do a little scenario... So you have just met this guy on a night out who you ‘like’ and you check their Facebook. You find that they have all these ‘slutty’ girls posting on their wall, their pictures are of drunken nights out kissing girls and being a general prat. What do you do?? I personally would stay well clear of this guy. Surely this is a positive reason of why we need Facebook to do a little bit of stalking? It gives us the heads up if we need to find out something about them? (while writing this the saying ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ is popping into my head. hmmm)

But when you really think about it, it’s quite sad that we rely on Facebook to ‘check’ what people are like and snoop at their past. It’s like we have forgotten our face-to-face social skills and it puts up barriers (if you have seen something bad on their profile) as you have automatically judged them. But surely it’s our own fault for how we are seen on Facebook. We have poured your life all over a little online profile where people can judge and comment on. For the majority of people its allowed them to hang out their dirty laundry online for all to see (which in most cases we don’t actually want to see).I don’t miss this aspect of Facebook however I do miss the having a nosey once in a while to see what everyone is up too. hmm let’s see what next week brings.

Week Four:
Emma: I have a mixed bag of feelings this week, I know that regaining Facebook is looming and I feel really divided about it. One side of me really wants to delete it, goodbye Facebook but as much as I hate to admit it I think I do actually need it, especially for family, as we don’t all live together or in the same cities... having said that I’ve gone on record this week as saying I think ‘Facebook is a poor excuse to be a shit friend’ basically what I’m saying is the first way someone contacts you says a lot about a friendship, lets face it it’s not hard to send a text is it or make a phone call, Facebook is at your fingertips, and I think that people ‘think’ using it to talk to people is a good way of communicating but actually it’s really just a way of getting away with not speaking in person or even a more personal form of contact. I think perhaps a Facebook cull is in order... not deletion.

Gemma: This week I am finally NOT...I repeat.. NOT missing Facebook. Crazy right?! I think I have finally got over the ‘need’ for checking Facebook. I have learnt that my whole social life doesn't revolve around it and there is other means of communication with my friends.  Although Facebook is a useful tool to have I really think we depend on it too much. Next week when we get it back I think I wont be on it 24/7 like I was before which makes me happy. This experiment has taught me a lot of things and one of them is wherever you go, whatever you do Facebook will always be there!!! ahhhhh hehe ;-)

It’s been a tough month for Emma & Gemma, we think our little experiment has really made the girls think about than more than just using social media but about their lives and relationships with people.

Who knew going without Facebook for four weeks could do this to two people.
Perhaps people take for granted the power social media has on our everyday lives.
LYYB will be keeping their social media as without it we simply wouldn’t exist...
It’s given LYYB a lot to think about.