Easy access

Blogs, Youtube, Instagram, Twitter, Podcasts and Facebook.

There a tonne of ways to access peoples lives and see what they get up to. You might do it with people you know, strangers or people you used to know.

But I think an important question to ask when checking in on other peoples lives is why?

Why do you need to know what this person is up to, what they’re wearing, where they’re going, what they’re buying, how they’re feeling, who they’re spending time with etc.

Granted, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You might be looking at someones outfits for inspiration or maybe you’re just into fashion.

However, I think the problem lies in having access to strangers and people you used to know.

Strangers because having excessive amounts of information about people you don’t know, people that don’t know you exist and people you’ve never met can be unhealthy.

People you used to know because there’s a reason people leave your life and you’re meant to let them go, not hang on by a technological thread (no matter how tempting it gets).

Yes, you have easy access to tonnes of people and it can be a pretty amazing.

But more isn’t always better, sometimes it’s best to just leave it alone.

Everything must go!

There’s a lesson in almost everything.

How much stuff are you holding onto that doesn’t feel good.

Think about who or what you’re following on social media, what are you subscribed to, the contents of your closet or home space.

How does it make you feel?

If it doesn’t feel good, why not?

Furthermore, why are you still holding onto it?

A think a bi-annual (if not seasonal) life cull is a useful way to ensure that you’re only letting the good stuff stay. It’s important to be strict when you cull or else you end up keeping things for no real reason, you have to be honest with yourself about what you actually want or need in your life.

Do you need those slingbacks from 6 years ago that you’ve only worn once?

Do you need to keep following that stranger who is friends with that super hardworking, inspiring and stylish woman (who is also a stranger)?

Or how about that book you know you’ll never read or those old bedsheets that are just taking up space?

If it’s not something you use, know you will use or doesn’t serve any purpose in your life aside from being clutter then there’s not much use holding onto it.

When you’re going on a journey, you can’t take everything with you.

Is it helping?

A question worth asking when you’re trying to overcome feeling discontent or stuck.

So let’s say you’re feeling unsatisfied with where you’re at. What are you doing about it?

What are you doing to get past where you’re at and more importantly is what you’re doing helping?

For example if you’re feeling uninspired to create, what are you doing?

Scrolling social media, taking a walk, watching Netflix or youtube, trying to create in spite of the ‘block’, avoiding creating until the feeling passes etc.

Whatever it may be ask yourself ‘is this helping?’

Social media could inspire you or overwhelm you because you already don’t feel great and now you’re filling your mind with other people’s stuff.

But maybe that walk refreshes you or creating when you don’t feel like it allows you to get past the not so good stuff and onto the stuff that’s great.

However, if it’s not helping do something else.

Is it so wrong to be influenced?

People make careers out of their ability to influence others.

There’s whole branches of psychology and sections of NLP about how to influence and sway people in whatever direction you desire.

In fact people have the ability to make us feel as though we desire the very thing they have to offer and we believe it so much that we follow that feeling.

We spend money on things we’ve been influenced to buy. We follow the lives of strangers who influence the way we live our lives, the places we go, the way we dress and the products we use.

And sometimes it all seems calculated and sleazy.

You start to question if you really want anything at all.

But I can’t help but wonder, is it so wrong to be influenced?

I think the answer is no.

Of course if you’re spending all your money trying to be like someone else buying things you have no use for and generally have no sense of self you might need to take a step back.

But if you were influenced to read a book that taught you something new or opened your mind up to a new perspective, I think it’s okay.

Once I started earning enough money to buy my own things I realised that my purchases were heavily influenced by a variety of factors, not just people.

Often it’s about how we want to feel or be perceived and the person we are influenced by is likely to resonate that.

 

Life changing habits: Focus on yourself

Probably the most obvious life changing habit of all, yet in this society with the prominence of social media in our everyday lives it can feel almost impossible.

How do you engage with the content of strangers without getting sucked in and forgetting about you?

I find that disconnecting is key, as in closing the app or logging out.

But it is also useful to make time to ask yourself the important questions like: How does this make me feel? Or is this a valuable use of my time?

The balance between focusing on yourself and what others are doing should always heavily be tipped in your favour.

I feel much better doing hand embroidery, going for a walk or drawing than I do focusing on the lives of strangers.

It doesn’t better my life to know that you had poached eggs on avo toast for breakfast or that you just bought another pair of Manolo Blahniks.

But don’t get me wrong I enjoy that kind of content a lot but I shouldn’t be focusing on others more than myself.

The same way you could with great ease spend an hour watching YouTube videos or 30 minutes scrolling Instagram should be the same way you spend time on yourself.

Improving user experience

If want to improve improve the user experience of your site get someone to browse through your site and come up with a few points on what could be better.

Or if you’re like me, you randomly decide to browse your own site and instantly find some things worth changing.

So this is really just a heads up to say if you notice things starting to look a little different. If you have any particular feedback on the site that’d be great.

When I started this site I was so focused on creating something simple to showcase daily musings that I didn’t really give thought to the design aspects of the site. In some ways that’s a good thing as I could have gotten so caught up in that aspect of the site that it distracted me from just writing.

However after just over 8 months, I think that now is the right time to make some changes.

And if Instagram is your thing why not follow me @thedailygemm

More connected than ever

If you want to reach me you can call, text, WhatsApp, dm on Twitter or Instagram and even catch me on FB messenger.

We’re more connected than ever with regard to the countless channels that are available. So how ironic is it that it seems like as a society we’re more alone than ever.

I think it’s something to do with technology being used to replace actually having face to face conversations. As much as technology can imitate and replicate person to person interaction as Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell once sang ‘ain’t nothing like the real thing baby’.

You can go on Twitter and see people interacting all day long but then they’ll tweet about feeling lonely.

I think online connections are great as a supplement but not a replacement. Perhaps we actually need the eye contact, the sound of someone’s voice, the pauses between speech and the sight of another living being.