Is Instagram Ruining Our Lives?

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Haven’t posted for a while, and I was scraping my brain trying to figure out something I can write about. I don’t know if it is because I am busy, life is changing, or if I’m simply feeling uninspired. After thinking and debating, there is something I want to address: Instagram … it’s VERY deceiving. For some reason I just can’t seem to get that through my head. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE Instagram, but it’s nothing but A LOT of smoke and mirrors and nothing is what it seems.

As young adults we are all on a continuous journey to find and love ourselves. Which is never going to happen if we keep trying to be a filtered standard of ourselves that isn’t even real! Sounds like some super messed up and unachievable shit. What does that say about what we think of ourselves and our goals in the first place? How can we achieve them when we don’t feel good enough to be ourselves, let alone to even want to be ourselves.

Here’s the harsh truth are you ready to hear it?

1.) Let’s be honest most of us are looking for validation.

2.) #BodyGoals – We see that hashtag almost every day on our Instagram timeline. Most likely, there will be a skinny pretty girl or boy in the picture with a flat stomach/abs. We’ve all seen it, and we’ve all wanted to be them at some point in our lives (Do not deny it, you know it’s true). So, are they really our body goals or is it just a silly fantasy that is bringing down our self-confidence? I don’t know about you, but social media has quickly destroyed my self-confidence.

3.) There’s this pressure to be “camera ready” at any given time of day.

4.) Instagram is the first thing I look at in the morning and the last thing I look at when I go to bed – this is borderline an addiction.

What have I learnt from Instagram? Most girls want to be skinny, and guys want to look ripped, and if you don’t look like that, then you’re considered unattractive … harsh reality right? But let me break it down for you once more!

1.) NO ONE wakes up with perfect hair and skin. NO ONE eats on a terrace with a beautiful mountain view every morning. NO ONE has a perfect relationship full of gifts, hand holding, and adventures.

2.) Everyone wakes up with a zit the size of a mountain on their forehead every once in a while (guilty). Everyone spends a day in bed eating junk food and binge watching Netflix (guilty). Everyone argues with their significant other (not guilty #singleAF). Everyone has bad days, they just don’t post it on social media!!!

Quite frankly, Instagram is transforming us literally into our own worst critics. Believe it or not if you want. Rant over!

 

A Letter To My 12 Year Old Self

Hey 12 year old Sam,

I think about you often. Not only about your ideals, your naïve outlook on life, but also how you would see me. How proud you would be of me if we ever met. 

I remember back in grade 6 you had no comprehension of the big move you were about to embark on with your family. You had to leave all your friends behind and neglect everything you thought you knew about life, because life in America is VERY different. However, you were lucky to not be in that situation alone, having your twin sister by your side every step of the way. All throughout high school you struggled with fitting in and finding the right group of friends. Don’t worry, as you progressed through your formal education, you placed less importance on trying to fit in and impress people. 

I understand your hopes and aspirations. You believe in creativity, being good to people and trying your best. You think thinking positively can get you through almost anything, as long as you understand your limits. You want to be a Vet and you’ve been convinced your whole life you wanted to be one. I hate to break it to you but thats not the path you are going to take. I cringe at the sight of blood and dead animals. The introverted little Sam that loved animals is still there, but your confidence and love for people grew TREMENDOUSLY and has shifted your career focus to business and the service industry (weird right?).

Your struggle with weight and body image was so hard, and unfortunately you will still face that struggle 8 years down the track. You were bullied for being fat and queer at 12 and now it continues at 21 for being too skinny. It will be tough. Your life is still controlled by insecurities and fear, but your beliefs have evolved. You want to be good to people, but are afraid sometimes you haven’t been. You’re afraid to think positively because you know that somewhere, somehow, something will shut your positivity down. You quite often want the same things as others, but need to remember that comparing your life to others will always make you come up short in the end!

I can proudly say, you will SLOWLY start to care less about you insecurities. While both of us have feared rejection for the majority of our life, I’m starting to embrace it. I’m starting to realise that I will never achieve anything without being rejected. You will have your doubts when you experience the amount of the rejection you are going to face, but I assure you it will all make sense in the end.

At 21, your life has changed A LOT. You have a degree, you’ve worked at Disney World, you have a full time job with one of the largest hotel brands in the world and you have AMAZING friends. You’ve surrounded yourself with people who lift you up. Mum, Dad and Rebecca are all thriving in their careers as well and with their support, you’re finally going after the things you want! I’m happy because I’m trying. I’m learning not to turn down opportunities because I fear I’m not right for the job, or that I will fail. 

Remember that it’s okay to be different and to stand up for what you believe in. It’s okay to take things at your own pace. You have a wonderful, long, and eye-opening road in front of you. 

And as for me? I have plenty of time to make both of us proud.

Good Luck,

Your 21 year old self

P.S. Brace yourself for how sassy you will become, it will be one of your defining qualities 😉 

Update: August 2017

I just wanted to write a blog post to formally apologise for the lack of content lately. Sometimes life gets in the way of these sort of things and while I love it very much, sometimes it has to go on the back burner for a short time while I get my affairs in order. But I did want to write just to let you all know what I’ve been up to!

So since my last blog post, I have officially completed all my units within my bachelor degree and I will be graduating in November! University has been a four-year journey for me and I honestly couldn’t be prouder of myself. I really put myself out there in terms of making new friends and really challenging myself. University really helped me step outside of my comfort zone and master time management and organisational skills! At the end of the day, my degree is something that I now have and nobody can take that away from me! It’s all mine!

The biggest challenge I am currently facing after acquiring said degree, is finding a job. Don’t get me wrong I have a job and I love it dearly, however I am looking to progress in my chosen industry and that can only be achieved by continuing to push for a more professional role. A role that my degree has prepared me for. While there seems to be a lot of rejection in this initial stage of applying, I’m trying to just reassure myself there’s something out there and it’s all good experience. I am applying to jobs left right and centre and trying my best, so fingers crossed for that! 

I am making some very important lifestyle changes such as going to the gym more and changing the kind of food I eat. I’ve been experimenting with ‘vegetarianism’ for health reasons. I am currently very immersed in Game of Thrones (who isn’t), seriously one of the best season so far! Also being so busy with work, I’m trying to spend as much time with my family as I can. All of us work, so it’s very rare for all of us to have time together in the same room! I’m also trying to be as spontaneous as possible, indulging in shopping, weekend weekends away and trying nice restaurants! 

I think what I am beginning to learn as of late is, life is precious and life is short. We need to start living every day like it’s the last and to the fullest. Tell you friends and family you love them, eat that burger, post that selfie, DO ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING because tomorrow isn’t promised/guaranteed.

 

Why I Want To Build A Unique Brand Around Myself As An Individual

Personal branding requires me to find a signature image, a unique voice, and a recognisable standard that my readers can grow to recognise. How am I going to do that? Simple. By being MYSELF.

Imagine how hard it would be to build a brand around your “fake” self. Which I believe is what most people do. I would have to act a certain way, appear a certain way, and say certain things, regardless of how I actually feel about it.

Samuel Rose and “samuelrose.blog” is a reflection of who I am. I know what I believe in. I know what I stand for! I know my strengths and my weaknesses. People connect with other people. If I don’t appear to be a real person, or if it just looks like i’m faking it, how likely is it that others will trust me and what I have to say? Even if they do buy into my ‘fake’ persona for one hot minute, the slightest bit of inconsistency could prove catastrophic for my brand.

As I begin to develop my personal brand, I can only hope the right opportunities will start coming my way. While people may ‘doubt’ me or find my online/social media presence ‘annoying’, people will begin to see that I know what i’m taking about, and they’ll invite me to be a part of their stories or news pieces. However, I must not forget how important it is for me to accomplish something for MYSELF. I’m not doing it just for the following, but for myself. I will continue to talk about fashion and the role it plays in my life. I will continue to talk about my passion for travel. I will continue to be open about my shortcomings and weaknesses, making me all the more human.

Building a personal brand is first and foremost developing an understanding of your true self, and then sharing that with the world. For me that is an endless journey.

Devon Windsor

Devon Windsor is probably one of the most fun models to follow on social media! Her Snapchat and Instagram stories are INCREDIBLE as she shows her uncensored and fast-paced lifestyle to followers! Devon (24) hails from St. Louis, Missouri. Devon was discovered by a local photographer in St. Louis while she was attending a bar-mitzvah. She launched her career in the 2014 spring season shows, after appearing in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show previously in 2013. Devon appeared in over 20 international collections including Christian Dior and Prada. Devon is represented by IMG Worldwide and is 5’11”.

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Her first big show was for Prada in September 2013. During her fittings, her hair was dyed bleach blonde. She liked it and decided to keep it that way, which has become her signature look. The same year, she debuted in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and advertised for American fashion house Moschino. Throughout her career she has walked for a bevy of top designers including Alexander McQueen, Anna Sui, Bottega Veneta, Balmain, Calvin Klein, Carolina Herrera, Chanel, Dior, H&M, Herve Leger, Max Mara, Michael Kors, Jeremy Scott, Oscar De La Renta, Tommy Hilfiger and Tom Ford, JUST TO NAME A FEW.

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Devon has appeared in numerous Victoria’s Secret Fashion Shows. She debuted in 2013 and has become a regular in the show each year since then! In 2015, Devon secured a ‘Fit Model’ position with the brand making her the reference model for the designers and artisans as they create the looks for the show. As a fit model, Devon has all the outfits constructed on her body, and they are later made custom couture to whichever model they assign the look too! So basically she gets to try on every look for each show! Dream job am I right?

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When Devon isn’t modelling, she is an amateur chef! If you follow her snapchat you’ll quickly learn that this girl can EAT! She is always indulging in different cuisines at top notch restaurants all around the world! Devon loves to cook and bake in her spare time! She even competed on MasterChef against fellow super model Gigi Hadid! #SuperModelBattle

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Follow Devon Windsor on her Social Media:

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bdf56694640678ed9532626b294bbff9.jpg @devwindsor (www.instagram.com/devwindsor)

 

Dating Apps Have Ruined Dating for Me …

What are your thoughts on dating apps? read mine here ….

I was in bed thinking the other day and I started to think back to what life was like before dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, Grindr (a gay hookup app for those of you who don’t know) or even Instagram (yes it’s considered a dating app because you can quite easily slide into anyone’s dm’s).

To be honest with you, I don’t really remember dating without them. It made me realise that our generation has been brought up on these dating apps and we don’t know anything different. Thinking back to when my parents were dating, they didn’t have tinder or smartphones, they met organically. My mum didn’t have to worry about my dad sliding into other girls dm’s or getting on a dating app and swiping to find other girls he might be interested in pursuing. She was only dating him, he was only dating her, and their time spent together eventually blossomed into an beautiful marriage, family etc. much like a fairytale …

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Fast forward to 2017 — I am 21 years old, single and living with my parents. I enjoy my social life and I am 100% satisfied and stable with my current situation. The only thing I seem to be missing is a relationship. I’m not saying that dating apps don’t work, because I know couples who met through them, I’m just saying they have ruined dating for me. Being a young gay boy, I was not able to go to gay clubs and gay bars to meet guys, so the only other viable option was apps where you could connect with other gays. As time went on I realised that it was just full of seedy people who lack your basic social standards and just want to hookup.

Moving on to Tinder, I feel like it has ruined dating as well. With Tinder, we are spoilt with choice and we create imaginary checklists in our heads of the “perfect” guy or girl.

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This feeling of “what if” is created … “what if your soul mate is a few swipes away?”. The “what if” feeling has created a dating culture that all too often leads to countless empty and meaningless interactions. The majority of matches on Tinder usually never lead to a message, or even a real life date, and even if you are messaging someone regularly, they often come to an abrupt stop for no apparent reason. The anonymity of online dating has made “ghosting” an accepted phenomenon. It is perhaps understandable, but nonetheless exhausting and dehumanizing.

Imagine meeting someone in a bar and exchanging words about your passions and interests only to have that person walk off in the middle of the conversation, never to return … annoying right? This would be the real life equivalent of ‘ghosting’. We have learned to treat each other as disposable commodities rather than real people with wants, needs and dreams. It’s sad, and it makes the future of dating for me look pretty bleak if you ask me …

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There’s An App for Everything. Except, Like, Actual Romance.