Thursday, January 26, 2012


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

On Facebook, Friends and Staying Connected

Had a really nice catch up with a girlfriend last night. :)  It had been a few months since she returned back to work in Germany, after living here for the past few years, so i was eager to see her again and to check on what she had been busy with. I mean there's some updates on pictures and statuses on her fb and we did chatted online. But nothing beats meeting face to face, the focused presence, chilling over a meal and a drink, and just chat and let the conversation flows. And anyway, as it turned out, her life had indeed been happening!! haha! Which she kept from her fb facade. And i'm feeling excited too. haha! And it was really nice giving updates, sharing stories and experiences, encouraging each other, giving second opinions and simply having much to laugh over. Ah.. such is the simple pleasure in life. :) I like!

Anyway, so my friend was telling me, even though she was away, she was kept very much up to date on what's happening in Singapore. All thanks to facebook which she felt churned out news faster then Reuters. ( And of course iphone fb apps too, which allows access with just a touch on the screen.) And so, she was aware of stuffs before they were in the news, about the MRT breakdown, the ministers salary adjustment etc etc. haha.

And so too, she was updated on the relationship status of a common guy friend through fb, having seen the picture of him and his new gf on fb. But she also commented that back in Germany, she had became more mindful, as Germans in general are rather private people. So no tagging of people, or putting up pictures with others before seeking for their approval. And apparently, she is now the one who is most updated on friends update among her friends back home as many of them are not as active on fb. But for her, with friends across various countries, fb is a convenient tool to help keep in touch, which without which, she would be too busy or lazy to stay in touch.

And then we spoke about a friend who had recently got married and i happened to be one of the few invited guests. My friend was surprised this friend was not in my fb. And even more amazed that recently i added his wife just so i can access the wedding photos. Haha! I told her that it's not really that amazing. Afterall, i know the wife separately, and in fact,indirectly, i was the link to how their paths crossed. But as to why they are not on my fb, i guess the need didn't arise. I think maybe they did tried adding me before, but i was new to fb then and wanted to keep different groups separately and conveniently ignore and delayed the adding. (although after one round i am minimizing my fb again. lol) Anyway, it's not like you are not friends if you are not connected on facebook. My good friend is not in my facebook. Many of my closer friends are not active on facebook, and some are like quiet visitors or even stalkers! lol So it's not really a big deal.

Besides, there's other more effective ways to keep in touch, like the group chat on watsapp which is a better and more private way of staying connected and having private conversations with the same group of friends. But for me still, msn remains the best way to keep connected. (and i miss icq..) And i do miss letters...or at the very least, emails...

And while we were on fb, my friend again was surprised to learn that i have a main facebook account, secondary fb account and third tier fb account. And then still, the need to have blocked groups in each account! lol. "Why the need for so many accounts?", she asked. Afterall, you can just block access to your wall. I told her that was before i realised fb is never private or rather privacy setting is not totally foolproof. I once had a colleague commented on my status update even though i had blocked work friends from my wall. That totally freaked me out. And that was when i found out that while people you block on your wall have no access to to your wall, they can still receive updates through news feed... So anyway, I think at that point, i got my friend thinking about the potential merit of keeping separate accounts.

Anyway, i think there are both merits and disadvantages in keeping an active fb presence, and it also depends on an individual personality and situation (example for someone traveling alot, fb can be a useful tool to keep connected) I am currently trying to be on a cautious mode though. In fact, one of my new year resolution is to quit fb or rather, to be less active. (not sure if i can stick to it but for now, i am trying. :p)


For me, i have been reflecting and i realized that left uncheck, fb can really be a quite a distraction and a drain of time. In addition, the other day, this thought just came to my mind... if we were to display all emotions openly and indiscriminately, then there are no private feelings left to share and express to a special few..

 But maybe i am just being conservative.. After all, already 2 years ago, the economist published an article on how the social network are changing the way people communicate, work and play. Another article i read reported about how "the world spends roughly eight billion minutes on Facebook daily" and how "you never know where your own contribution to all this re-acquainting and social climbing and self-promoting will take you.." Or considering that there are now 800 million active facebook user, with more than 50% of active users log on to fb on any given day...It's really amazing, the facebook movement.. And here i am, thinking of slowly toning down my activity...

Anyway, just some thoughts on facebook and friends, plus some bad grammars which i'm too lazy to vet through.

And here's a closing quote to ponder from this blog i came across: 

“ - Facebook Friends don't mean much either. As the saying goes, you are lucky if you have two friends who you can completely trust. Most people on Facebook have over a hundred "friends". By using the term to apply to every most casual acquaintance, we devalue its meaning and encourage fleeting superficial relationships. Friends are about quality, not quantity. Facebook friends accumulation is like checking who caught more fish.  “Friends don't let friends use Facebook

Friday, January 13, 2012

Communication, Miscommunications and Gossips

I wonder if my communication and social skills had been getting worst recently. Not sure if it's because as you grow older, you get lazier, more anti-social and simply do not bother as much to seek for social acceptance. Hmm, this is really no good... Three examples:

1. Catch up with sis and asked about their trip after the family was back from a vacation. Our chitchat overheard by nephew was interpretated wrongly and innocently communicated to the people whose names we had mentioned. A misunderstanding was created and sis asked if she should ask nephew to go clarify since she can always vouch for me and the younger one can verify that he was there and had not heard me say that. It was too much hassle and my nephew was just a little kid. Indeed, the poor boy was already feeling very guilty after my sis and bil had a session with him on the seriousness of passing on information without verification and creating miscommunication, as well as why it is not appropriate to share family conversations, verified or not, to outsiders.

Besides, i did not want to make the persons involved to be embarrassed by bringing up the story about them. Didn't think it was a big deal.. and i thought "清者自清"...and anyway, it had already happened and clarifying will just " 越描越黑"... but perhaps i was wrong... for i just realized that i have created others' misunderstanding of me...

2. While overseas, found myself in a social setting (a circle i was not too close with) after i was involved in an event while my closer contacts who didn't have any responsibility over the event "siam" and went out to have fun. Anyway, so i joined this circle for some drinks and conversations turned into gossips, which included names i know, none from my inner cicle but one whom had been quite nice to me on the few occasions we interacted. So anyway, there i sat there and listened to them talk. At first, it sounded interesting. Then i thought to myself... this is so scary... the person being talked about could well be me, or anyone there on the lounge that day, if we had happened not to be there in person that day. And as i sat looking at the person sharing the tibits of gossips, i felt nauseated..

3. I had been flying kites.. for the wrong reason. Over Christmas period, i stood a friend up because i thought catching up with him alone would create more misunderstanding between me and this lady friend of his (ok, and mine too, before she acted weird and confusing and most importantly picked on me for no reason or explanation).

So anyway, i think my friendship with him was an issue for her (although she told me she wished he'll leave her alone..but anyway, that's between them) so i decided in the end, albeit feeling really bad about it, to tell him that i could not make it for the appointment. Although the reason i gave for not being able to make it was totally legitimate and factual, i could have arranged to meet up on another time or day if i had indeed been sincere. Actually, i should have just tell him straight my concerns for not wanting to meet. I'm sure he would understand..

From my recent experiences, i have come to three conclusions.

One, where there are people, there will be gossips and 非.

Two, everyone loves gossip, provided that it is not on them. An untrained mind is one which receives information without verification. A gossip is one who spread negative information about others. An energizer is one who spread positive news about others. I shall strive to be the energizer! :)

Three, I do have a tendency to avoid conversations that are uncomfortable or awkward. I must really try to be conscious of this and make an effort to confront this weakness.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Character is Destiny

All i wanna say is, Character is Destiny...
and i wish you happiness.

One Year in Timor

Went to check out a photography exhibition, One Year in Timor, at The Art House earlier today. The photographs were the work of a photographer who spent a year volunteering in Timor Leste (aka East Timor). There wasn't a lot of photographs on exhibit but the photographs were rather nice, and so i still ended up being late for a dinner appointment with a friend. :p

Anyway, one of my goals for this year is to learn to take better photographs with my micro four third. ( ok, so mine is a beginner's camera and i was made fun of by my basic photography teacher. But it's a first step! ) Till now, I am still using automatic mode whenever i take photos, and actually, most often with my iPhone..I'm really doing no justice to my camera!

Anyway, below is my favorite photo from the exhibition, A Hamlet in the Forest. Don't ask me why but something about it just drew me in and i came back for it for a second time before i left.

And here's an interesting snapshot outside the art house using my most handy camera, the iphone. :p

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

One Day

One Day. I picked up this book while at the bookstore the other day and ended up reading the whole book at the store, and buying the book as a Christmas gift for a friend because it was really good.

The story was at times funny, at times sad, at times warm and often time, i felt a sense of nostalgia.. I guess for me personally, i was drawn to the story because it seemed to be like speaking to me.. it's like you are reading bits and pieces of your  story in a different story...and so you laughed and cried and get angry and felt the empathy for the characters as you turned the pages..

Some emotions and experiences are difficult to explain or tell others, and yet sometimes, along came a book and through it, you find some kind of validation through the story.