The life changing magic of turning off your phone

Technology is a wonderful thing. Without it, I’m sure many of us wouldn’t have our jobs, wouldn’t be able to maintain that long distance relationship and most importantly, those glorious Netflix binges would be non-existent. Imagining a world without technology is terrifying. Almost impossible, as I glance up from my fingertips to see my laptop, TV, phone and even a treadmill all within reaching distance. But what would a world look like without it?

It’s true, I am currently on episode 3 of Black Mirror and the advancement of technology is both mindblowing and incredibly scary, but recently I tried life away from social media for a while. And then my phone kept dying on me. And then I spent a week away in Wales with barely any phone signal. Did I die? Did the whole world fall apart? Did I even really miss anything? No. In fact, those days were some of the most relaxing and pressure free days I’ve ever had. At work when my phone would shut down by 9am, instead of mindlessly scrolling my way through lunch, I actually made the effort to talk to people. Of course, everyone else was much more engrossed in what was happening on Facebook but it really forced me to see what life was like when I wasn’t permanently glued to my phone like it was some kind of life support.

tenor

Of course, technology has it’s place and we have created a culture where we rely on it heavily. From life saving machines to huge advancements in robotics that could change the way we live forever, there is no denying that technology is very important in our future. Even as an Actor, where I find most of my jobs online and need to be within reach of my emails or phone in case I am contacted for an audition, I couldn’t be without at least my laptop and phone. And the days when my phone died on me were coincidentally also when I drove home on very icy roads and another time, was about a minute behind a motorbike accident. Having access to a phone in those moments would have made me feel a lot safer, just in case something happened and I would have had no way of alerting help.

So technology is, unfortunately or fortunately, an essential part of our lives. But let’s take social media. I’ve deleted my Facebook for a few days, call it an experiment in the time of ‘Look what I got’ posts and ‘OMG I’M ENGAGAED’ photos. I pressed delete and instantly, my mood lifted, as though a weight I had been carrying was released. And hours after, even this morning, I found myself clicking on Facebook out of habit. It’s a crutch that adds zero benefit to my life and I actually use it most when I’m feeling down and want to torture myself more by seeing how well everyone else is doing.

By far the best result of all was my week away. I woke up, not to flashing lights coming from my phone but to actual morning light. I chugged a litre of water and did some yoga. I played with my Niece all day and we created long books about elephants with colourful ears and we went for walks in the mud. And I could cry thinking how happy that made me.

I know you’re yelling at the screen you’re reading this from; ‘It’s not that simple!’ ‘I need it for my job’. But how about we wake up on a morning and look outside instead of checking our phones. What if we put our laptops away and curled up for 20 minutes with a book. Why not take that walk outside instead of cycling away on a stationary machine whilst staring at a screen to will the time away. Technology is great for helping us to live our lives but somewhere in there, we need to remember how to thrive without it.

Advertisements

Quarter life crisis

I’ve been staring at this screen for an hour not knowing what to write when I realised that’s a pretty apt way of looking at my life right now. I’m at a cross roads (Love Island reference, ayyy) of my life and I don’t know which direction to take. Yesterday, I had two very big and important doors slammed in my face. Doors that could’ve catapulted me in the direction I so desperately want to take. And today, it was pretty hard to even make it out of bed.

I’m an Actor, something I wasn’t going to disclose on my blog, and it’s simultaneously the best and worst part of my life. I often compare it to a destructive relationship. It picks you up and you’re on top of the world then the next minute, you feel like that world is crumbling around you. I do it because I love it and there is no way I could see myself doing anything else, I wouldn’t know where to start. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck sometimes. And it got me thinking, is anyone else experiencing this?

tenor

I fight harder than anyone I know and it still isn’t good enough. I still haven’t had an acting job in months. And most of the time, I brush off the rejection, move on to the next, use it to motivate myself to push harder. But sometimes, it hits you like a ton of bricks. Which led me to last night, crying in bed, with a glass of red wine, wondering what the hell I do next. Was acting even for me? And if not, what do I do instead? I was begging whatever mystical genie out there to give me a sign to show me what I should do. And I know you’re expecting me to say I received an email giving me the part. Or I spilled my red wine and it made the shape of an Oscar. But nothing happened. I cried myself to sleep and I woke up today still having no clue what to do.

And that’s my point I think. So many young people have so much pressure to do well. We’re surrounded with people getting married, having kids, making millions on Youtube at the age of 20 and it makes us feel inadequate. And at the same time, we are plied with romantic films and shows where the lead female (in the rare chance there is a lead female) is having a breakdown and all of a sudden she sees a sign. Or she wakes up and realises what she should really be doing and she goes for it and all of a sudden she’s the CEO of a company. That shit ain’t real. We have to pick ourselves up. We have to figure it out or we really will be a 30 something, drinking a bottle of wine every evening and working for a business we hate and no one is going to turn that story in to a rom com.

How do we get to that point though? And this time this isn’t a rhetorical question with a motivational punchline. It’s a genuine question. How do you figure out what it is you are meant to do with your life? And when do you give up on a dream that you work so hard to make a reality? Because I’m stumped. Answers on a postcard please.

An open letter to Gabby from Love Island

Dear Gabby,

We all take Love Island with a pinch of salt. It’s not how real people behave or even how they look. But ever since you joined the show, you’ve brought a breath of fresh air because finally, we have a woman we can relate to. (Aside from Montana always sitting to the side having a snack whilst everyone one else is having a blazing row, that’s a little bit of all of us).

Which is why it broke my heart to see you feeling insecure last night. As a woman with zero agenda, I can honestly tell you yours is the body I most aspire to in there because it’s strong and healthy. You make exercise and looking toned desirable and as a woman with thighs who could crush a mans skull, I thank you for that. I have a young Niece who loves to run, jump and get muddy and I never want her to avoid exercise or doing what she loves because she believes killer abs or the ability to do a pull up isn’t deemed ‘sexy’.

Let’s take some perspective for a moment and remember the types of people we will see entering that villa. It’s a reality show at the end of the day, so what better way to increase views than make drama. And what better way to create drama than to send in a guy after one of the girls coupled up. Can’t go for Montana or you because you are both level headed and loyal. Better yet, go for the girls who are easily swayed who have been know to kick and scream when things go South. Easy pickings for great TV.

I know you feel inferior compared to those girls because they are all stunning. But that doesn’t make you any less gorgeous as a result. And I may not be in direct competition with them like you are but girl, you’ve already won. You’re beautiful inside and out. You are realistic about love and don’t string people along. You have got a guy who picked you and only you, who adores you and won’t trade you in for the next shiny thing that comes along. Please don’t mistakenly swap all this for balloon tits and attention off guys who really don’t matter.

Always remember Gabby, this isn’t the real world and these guys are not representative of all the blokes watching Love Island saying phwoar, get me a bit of Gabs or the girls now hitting the gym to sculpt their arms like yours. You’re funny, you’re intelligent and we love you.

Love, every Love Island fan ever.

Dating tips: Don’t date the 18 year old

I’m 21 and I’ve dated an 18 year old. I’ll use the term ‘dated’ very loosely because 18 year old guys don’t do the whole wine and dine thing. And considering I promised to always give you the whole truth in my first post, it’s actually been two 18 year olds. In the space of two months. And somehow typing that out makes me want to rip my eyeballs out.

The first guy is someone I work with (it only gets worse from here!) and I knew he was bad news from the out set. He pursued me for a week straight over Facebook messenger and from his first ‘Hey Babe’ my gut was screaming at me to get out while I could. But the thing is, I hadn’t been on a date in ages and I had just bought a new lace bodysuit that shouldn’t be punished for my very boring dating life, so I thought why not?

I’ll tell you why not ladies. It’s 10 o’clock and I’ve spent two hours blending the crap out of my eyelids using expensive Urban Decay eye shadow and I’m sat staring at my phone waiting for a reply to my 3 messages. Nothing. I wait another hour while the realisation kicks in that I’ve been stood up. For the very first time. By a man child.

You’d  think it ends there, but oh no of course not. This bitch goes back for more. He piles me with messages of apology saying his phone wasn’t working and that he had asked everyone we worked with for my number but no one had it. Long story short we kissed in his car one night after work and after I politely declined his fuck buddy invitation, he never spoke to me again.

top-35-dating-humor-quotes-5-dating-humor

Which brings me shamefully forward 2 months to ‘T’. T and I romantically met on the dance floor of a sweaty club and fuelled by a bottle of wine, multiple shots and a jug of pimms, I followed him upstairs in the bar for some ‘fresh air’. After falling over and somehow avoiding breaking a bone, he helped me up the stairs after which we had multiple games of tonsil tennis. Now before you start judging me for my poor choice in men, he was very sweet and what he lacked in conversation, he made up for in looks. Seriously, the guy was carved from marble and his arms were huge.

It wasn’t till I was picturing how beautiful our children would be that he managed to slip in that he was 18. I choked on my vodka coke, wondering how I had unwittingly bagged myself yet another teenager. But… I was never going to talk to him again, so who cares? I gave him my number, more out of habit than of any belief he would actually text. Turns out this guy actually likes me. So we message back and forth. A cheeky text here, a winky face there. Which is when I realised those beautiful children will turn out to be a couple of brain cells short.

T is lovely. He’s cute, he’s so gorgeous it hurts my eyes and he actually replies to my messages. But T doesn’t have a whole lot to say and his major hobbies include getting ‘turnt up’ (am I too old to use that expression?). Now I’m not looking for Einstein. In fact, if a guy’s incredibly intelligent it’s also a bit of a turn off. But as much as I wouldn’t want to leave the sheets with T, the fact is, he’s an 18 year old lad who drinks with the other lads in the pub every night and I don’t anything other than footy and sex would ever tickle his interest.

If this all wasn’t enough to deter you from the under 20’s, let me dissuade you further. I have a 24 year old friend who was dating an 18 year old and it was serious enough that she met his friends. Well, imagine her humiliation when he introduced her to a group of teens who are still studying at sixth form. It eventually ended with him avoiding texting her for a week and running off with a girl who was super indie and liked to smoke weed. Kids, eh?