Sunday in Norway. Do you know what that means? In a cultural and social context? It means, “get your lazy ass off the couch, put on your mountain boots/hiking shoes/skis/whatever and have a date with Mother Nature in all its glory”!
I’m from a small town that’s just absolutely gorgeous. Every day I’m met with a stunning view of snow-covered mountain tops and I love it. I mean, I love looking at it. I’ve just never felt the need to climb them. Actually, I’ve never felt the need to be outdoors at all – a huge disappointment to my sporty mom. What gives?
When I was a small child, I was terrified of flies. FLIES! We’re not talking bees or rattle snakes or bears. Buzzing flies. I was also scared of pine cones. Don’t laugh! It was actually so bad that my dad had to carry me whenever they tried to evoke in me a sense of belonging to nature. I just lack that gene. I seriously do.
I think the sun stresses the heck out of Norwegians. It’s like they just HAVE to get outside no matter what. I suspect I’m part alien since I’ve always preferred sitting on my ass reading or writing instead. I find walking or hiking to be…. boring. Unless I have a dog with me (because animals change everything!), I can do without.
Poster child for the Norwegian mental/sporty state. Image.
The folks around here use Facebook as a tool to compete with each other. Where they’ve been, which mountains they’ve climbed or how they survived a snow storm up on Mount Whatever. To me this is a big yawn, but trust me – it’s huge here. Huge! No Sunday brunches, matinés, going out for breakfast or a lazy stroll in the park.
I probably sound like the laziest person on the planet (and I probably am!), but I prefer group exercise like aerobics or dancing to get in shape and burn calories. Grasping for air atop a peak is just not appealing to me, especially since I’m super clumsy and prone to fall even on a straight paved road.
But give me a dog and I’ll happily walk all day. There is just something about the presence of a happy dog that makes even Mount Everest seem like a fun, spontaneous thing to do on a gloomy Sunday morning. Walking with people… meh.
Y’all can climb all the cliffs you want, I’m content with a cup of Chai tea and a book while occasionally looking out the window.
Posted in cultural differences, facebook, funny, random, So Over It
Tagged books, hiking, lazy, mountains, nerd, Norwegians, sporty, Sunday fun
Apparently, Facebook is now an all-knowing platform designed to numb your brain, convince you about what you need to buy, who to hang out with and what information to take in. There is no such thing as “free speech” on FB, at least according to some of its users. If you happen to disagree with someone’s views or issues, don’t you dare to comment on it or engage in discussion. This is defined as BULLYING. I don’t know about you, but when I post links on my page to current events or crazy news – I want to engage my friends, get feedback and hear their opinions. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me, do you? But alas, those who can’t accept that the world is not in unison about everything are not, in my opinion, ready for the daunting tasks of engaging in social media.
But thankfully, there is a simple solution such as “block” or “unfriend”, so that those of us who are adult enough to not take opposing views as being offensive and insulting can carry on.
However, on a sidenote, I should add that the biggest lessons I’ve learned so far are those from my own mistakes. Note to self: NEVER go on Facebook after a night of booze. It’s like faceraping yourself. My apologies to anyone who’s ever gotten a crazy rant consisting of weird punctuation and semantically confusing doo dah. I am sincerely sorry.
image via ibtimes.com
A former colleague once told me that she deleted her FB account because she couldn’t take one more “status update about how happy people were.” She said she got frustrated by other people’s seemingly perfect lives and relationships. I found that odd. First, if [they] were her friends, and in love (or whatever), shouldn’t she be happy for them? Second, there IS a thing called the hide-button. And third, there is no such thing as a perfect life. Things may seem perfect because the author chooses carefully what pictures to display (unless, of course, someone tags you, but that’s a whole different dilemma), and what to put in the status updates.
Maybe I am weird because I am not an envious person. I’d rather see a stream of joyful updates than the ones anticipating the second coming of Christ any day. If people are succesful, I think “good for them”! At least it shows that somebody worked hard to get where they are at. It shows willpower and I respect that. But, on the other hand, if people just want to shine in the halo of someone else’s money or success, that’s just bragging and I find that annoying. Then again, I just, ta-da, click the hide button. It’s genius! It prevents my feed from getting blasted with boring comments about the weather, someone’s dinner or diaper changes.
Then you have the people posting conspiracy theories on how Mark Zuckerberg wants to control your life. Well, here is a newsflash for you… It’s YOUR choice to make a FB profile. I sure hope nobody forced you to do it. You can also control what to share, and whom to share it with.
And if someone “unfriends” you? Don’t take it personally! If you have a quadruple digit number of “friends”, how many are your real friends? FB is GREAT for networking and keeping in touch with buddies, but if your list surpasses, oh, let’s say a thousand, I’d be really careful about what I post. I’ve seen people of the aforementioned category post pics of little babies in the bath tub, cute, sure, but once a photograph is online, it’s only a matter of time before it gets in the hands of the wrong people. For J-school peeps, this is a no brainer, but you’d be surprised. I’ve seen self-proclaimed journalists committing several “sins” on FB, and that’s way more disturbing than a couple sharing a slice of wedding cake.
Never before has media and the internet played such strong roles in defining one’s identity. We tweet, we blog, we e-mail, we google (ourselves) and constantly change our Facebook profile photos. Newscasts have become interactive, and any John or Jane Doe can get their 15 minutes fame by signing on to reality shows.
Politicians tweet their campaigns and have Facebook profiles. Business- and career oriented people go to LinkedIn. Going to college? The curriculum , the schedule and even the faculty is only a mouse click away. Professors launch podcasts for their students to download. Bands and musicians have fan pages with videos and mp3 files. Celebrities and wannabes create “LIKE” pages on Facebook. And who doesn’t have a blog? If you have a question, a problem or a topic.. google it! Up comes video tutorials, instructions and definitions for almost ANYTHING.
Following the Baby Boomers
there was Generation X
, then along came Generation dot com
. And what do we have now? Generation Me.
We are probably living in the most narcissistic decade of all times. With Twitter and Blogger, anyone can be a journalist. News spread fast, but what or who can we trust? If you want to know what your friend has been up to, nevermind a phone call. Facebook tells you who broke up with who, who’s pregnant, sick, and who’s eating what for dinner with whom and where. It’s getting to be information overflow at times. Seriously, do you really need to know who’s suffering from constipation? Do you need to see your friend flashing her boobs at some frat party? Do you really need to pinpoint every location you’re at via iPhone? Thankfully we have to option to block, unfriend or hide what we don’t need cluttering our feeds on Facebook. And yes, there’s an app for that.
But I am wondering… what is behind this constant need for attention? Because, that’s after all what this is, right? Or is it the need to share? Educate? Engage in conversations? Are we online narcissists or spies?
Am I the only one who’s getting annoyed with all these trivial Facebook status updates? I want those short little tidbits to be funny, intriguing, informative, sarcastic, mind blowing… or at least… somewhat interesting.
Weather updates make me yawn, unless we’re talking major tornadoes, hurricanes or other natural disasters. ‘It’s raining out again’ doesn’t even pinch a brain cell. Really? It’s raining? Whoooooa! Or summaries of what you did that day, unless, of course, you did something extraordinary. ‘Went to work, did the dishes and some laundry, and had a glass of milk…’ booooooring. I also don’t want to read about your health issues, pregnancy woes or other body-related challenges in details. If you are obsessed with breast feeding or that little Timmy isn’t pooping… join a mommy-forum or write a blog. I don’t need to know about your heart burn or swollen feet. You’re the one who joined the baby-factory movement, so deal with it! I also don’t need to read today’s Bible verse, or what day you think the earth will collapse. That’ your problem, not mine.
I’m glad I have the ‘hide’ button so I can get rid of all these insignificant matters. Or I can just delete ‘friends’ altogether. Just because we’re ‘friends’ on Facebook, doesn’t mean I’m really your friend.
But please! Engage me! Shout out about what you think about the latest trends, news, movies – anything! Use those little phrases or sentences to challenge people to think! Share a quote! Antyhing!