Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Fine-tuning Online, We're Doing it Wrong

I will be the first person to admit I censor and edit a lot of what I choose to put online, partially because I guess its my job to be online, but mainly because I feel like I have to. There are always images I find beautiful but feel I am unable to post online. Its funny how so many of us now have social media 'themes' myself included. Meaning all our images have to pass a virtual check list before they are even considered for being posted online. 

Sadly I don't think its exclusive to those who share their lives online, we live in a technical and social age, where everyone has at least some aspect of their lives shown online. Its all fun and games with all the memes online about how many photos you get your boyfriend/girlfriend or friends and family to take of you before your night out, but no one likes a bad photo of them online. Now, when you meet someone new, you add them on Facebook or follow then on Instagram which is then followed by some 'light stalking' so its natural for us to only want pictures online of ourselves we actually like. 

I shoot a lot more than most people for the content for my blog, and its funny how sometimes when I ask opinions of family or friends of which images they prefer, more often than not they choose at least one of me I would not have wanted to use. The way we perceive ourselves is nothing like the way we come across to others. I went through a period a few years ago when I got very body conscious. It was right at the beginning of when my following began to grow and I started to realise people actually had an eye on the content I created. Being online, you are always open to the more dark side to the wonder that is the Internet... There really are some nasty people in this world, who really have nothing better to do than to belittle those they see online. 

As much as you can pretend things like this don't bother you, they aren't something you forget easily. I remember a few years ago, someone set up an Instagram account purely to repost all the content that I posted with horrific captions, criticising me as a person and telling me to kill myself numerous times. I am not the type of person to take this on board, but if this is what happens online, its no wonder we are always a little conscious of what it is we are posting. Even in a non 'job' sense, any images online are open to the criticism from those you know and those you don't. 

Its funny how silly some things can feel when you have time to look back at it. I've been blogging for about 4 years now, and its really amazing to me how many times I tried to conform over the years. I tried the perfect feed, I tried the all white backgrounds (to the point when I spent hours and hours editing photos, only for them to be received worse than those I didn't bother on). Thats the crux of it all really, most people follow people because they are genuinely interested in them as people, especially online personalities. I would much rather see a cute as hell candid shot of some of my favourite bloggers and celebrities on their sofa in their pyjamas with a cup of tea than some of the ridiculously posed crap you see online sometimes. Don't get me wrong, I adore me some editorial content, and infact its some of my favourite content to create as I find it one of my favourite creative outlets. But sometimes, its okay to actually just be yourself online, united and untouched.

I think I first started doing this with the outfits I was showing to you all. I used to always go with the trends I was seeing other bloggers doing, but I soon began to feel really deflated and ridiculously unconfident in the outfits I was shooting. I even found it hard to put the outfits together in the first place. Ive always pushed the idea you should wear what you feel comfortable and confident in, and this is something I actually listened to myself. I sometimes put things on specifically to look a certain way, but all in all, I am really comfortable in the clothes I wear and it really effects how you see yourself. 

Overthinking what you portray to those around you and strangers online will be the death of our generation. We are so obsessed with how we look and the opinions of our peers, we construct these versions of ourselves that are often far from who we really are. Its unfair to be surrounded by these people online with 'ideal' lives. I watched a short video a couple of days ago about how social media will be the death of relationships and one thing said really resonated with me. "We are a generation of comparing our 'behind the scenes' to someone else 'best bits'". Thats it really, we edit ourselves to be a 'best bits' reel, almost like a film, something produced and edited for mass consumption. Think about it, what sort of madness is that? It's our lives and our 'movie' but we spend so much time worrying about whether the content is what those around us want to see. 

I am going to make a conscious effort this year to try and be completely honest with my content, and to stop feeling the need to fine-tune everything I put online. That doesn't mean to say you have to be more personal with what you put online, just that if you feel you have to double check or veto what you're putting online for the opinions of others, don't. I will be doing the same.


H x


Sunday, 15 January 2017

Long Haul Flights - My Top Tips

I thought in light of my upcoming trip to Canada on the 25th, I thought I would take the time to write up my top tips for travelling long haul from experience, trust me once you make a mistake once, you learn not to make it again!
This will be my first trip of 2017 with lots more lined up so I cannot wait to share the experiences with you. I have been going to Canada for a long time ever since I was young, I have always gone skiing with my Dad and its become a sort of tradition of ours, so I am more than used to it. My journey will consist of a flight from Manchester to Heathrow, then a 9 hour flight to Calgary and about a 3 hour travel to Banff, where I will be staying for two weeks. So, all in all, most likely about just under 20 hours of travel door to door. I know right.

Now, I am not exactly expecting you all to be embarking on such travel time, but anything over 6 hours requires a little bit more preparation and TLC. So, I wanted to give you some live by tips I have learnt over my times of long haul travel. 

First off PLEASE invest in a cabin case, I cannot explain to you how much easier this made my life when travelling, not just long haul but any flight at all. It means I can throw things that make my handbag heavy in there for short haul flights, or more meticulously pack it for long haul. They are easy to carry through the airport, and easily accessible for a flight. 

Over the times I have flown, I have definitely come to understand the essentials of long haul;

- Electrical Goods
(I would suggest anything that brings you any form of entertainment, your phone, laptop, iPad, portable games console. Pre-downloading TV shows is always a good one, but there will most likely be movies on the plane)
- Portable Charger
(This is definitely something I learnt the hard way... try going 20 hours on one phone charge.)
- Reading Materials
(For when you're sick of staring at a screen and want something more 'normal')
- Headphones
(Both in ear and over ear, trust me the in ear ones hurt after a few hours...)
- SNACKS!!!!
(There is NOTHING worse than going hungry on a flight, especially a long one. I recently made this mistake on my way to Atlanta, thinking I could buy snacks on the plane. In short, big mistake. Also helps for if the food on the plane isn't for you.)
- A Jumper
(Nothing worse than being cold, absolutely nothing.)

Now, those are the basic things I couldn't fly without, and form a pretty basic check list for me when I travel. However, if you do choose to travel with a carry on case, you are able to pack in a lot more things for your flight. Call them little luxuries if you will. I have found a few things that really help me almost enjoy long haul travel. Well, as best I can anyway... 

- Skincare and Makeup
(Before you roll your eyes, all I am meaning is some makeup wipes to be bare faced for the whole journey, some moisturiser or a face mask & lip balm. Then simply some concealer and mascara, or your super basic face, just so you can walk off the plane feeling a tad more put together.)
- A Change of Clothes
(Again, all I mean is a change of top, or leggings, just so if you're feeling a bit groggy in what you've travelled in then you can again, make yourself feel a bit more together before you head onwards from the flight.)
- Anything You Truly Value
(No matter what flight you're on, there is always a small risk your bag may be misplaced, so, for your own peace of mind, keep anything really valuable to you on your persons, either in your handbag or carry on, so you know you are the one responsible for it in transit.)
- Bring Work!
(I fell short of this one many times, especially when I would fly away skiing when I was still at school and had exams or holiday work to do. Now, its my emails or stocking up on blog posts or editing photos. You're pretty much stuck in one place for hours, you may as well make an hour or so productive...)
- Try and Help Your Sleep
(If you're on overnight, I would try a travel pillow - Ive never been a huge fan, but at least its something. An eye mask and earplugs are strangely useful, just to mostly block out the constant engine noises while in flight). 

 Now, I am in no means an expert, but these are genuinely some things I find REALLY help me with my flying and travelling, especially longer journeys. I hope these may be of some use to you, I will be adding some little shoppable images for you if you're wanting to stock up on some in flight essentials!


H x

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