Thursday, 6 February 2014

Is Social Media Not Social Enough..?

Recently I have set up a new blog, you can see it by following the link above (please go look, the rest of this blog will rant as to why).
Once it was set up I had to start the hoop jumping, getting it out there and getting it seen, and so I went with the usual go to for anyone trying to start up something shiny and new. I got straight onto social media.

When, eight years ago, I started out as a performer it was fairly easy to connect to other performers, promoters all over the world, companies in need of models and so much more. I made many friends and connections and this helped me to get myself out there just before the Burlesque Boom hit.
I've relied on mediums such as MySpace (yes, I've been doing it THAT long) and emails for the first two or so years, before moving onto Facebook after being told repeatedly in Paris that "all the Parisians use facebook now, MySpace is dead".
At first Facebook was on the more quiet side and only a few others had migrated over there. This meant you could really see everything and connect with people in a better way, it was great for those first 4-5 years.
As well as Facebook we started to switch up between there and Twitter, where no one understood how to reply to each others tweets, and it was a stream of out of context sentences. Ahh those were the days. Shortly after Twitter, Instagram popped out it's head and we marveled at posting photo's of our pets, before upgrading to turning the camera onto our own faces and birthing the "Selfie".

Soon we were juggling between the many various social media outlets, plus emails (I have three separate email accounts), websites, Facebook profiles (two), Facebook pages (four), Twitter accounts (three), Instagrams (three), Blogs (two, of course, I already said that..!) and now, Vine, Bloglovin, Polyvore, and so many many more.
Are we juggling too much?

Trying to keep everything constantly updated, fresh, eye catching and informative while over so many different platforms is a job in itself, and these days it actually can be a job, but with everyone trying to push out so much information in the same places meaning it's all getting too lost?

As part of my building interest in my new blog, I decided to try out the facebook adverts because even with how many people liked and followed the page, I could see that the posts were still only being viewed by a very small number of people due to facebooks new privacy settings meaning posts only reach people if interacted with.
For a new site and a new page that's not likely at all.

Most adverts you could post for £3 to get a few more views and interactions, I've tried this on a couple and it does boost the number of views but even if it's been seen over 1000 times, the interaction numbers are still low. Today I tried to use the targeted adverts, aimed at women only, in a certain age bracket, who are interested in fashion, style, tattoos, high street etc.
I hoped this would help more people to find the page and boost interest in it too. Once the promotion was complete I can see a break down of how the advert helped.

32 interactions, may I add that this post had over 1000 views in the time it was live, and for every thousand this is what you may expect for your advert costs.
The costs of this advert? £5.00.

I decided to try this as more of an experiment than to actually get it out there as it is something I have noticed for a while. Companies asking people to change their setting so their posts can still be seen, people asking people to comment so they know who can actually still see their updates and many more similar. I can't see updates from my friends or companies I follow, but I see plenty of posts I'd rather not see with "shock value" and moanings of people I've never even met.
I have no problem with facebook moaning, I'd just rather know you first.

So is social media too full? Is there too much information on our many open tabs (I currently have eight tabs open this very second, and I'm also using my iPad) constantly streaming, so we pay less attention to the content trying to take it all in? If someone see's a sponsored post for all of one millisecond have they really seen it, and therefore that's seen as a success worth charging for?

Twitter these days feel like shouting in an empty room, Facebook shows you various strange and weird updates while the ones that may be of use or importance to you are hidden away, also MySpace is definitely dead (R.I.P) so is social media broken?
Do we need a new outlet, a new way of connecting with those we want to connect to?

What was once a great way to find others with similar interests, expand your mind with interesting discussions and articles, and stay in touch with your loved ones in a more relaxed environment has now turned into one giant loud rave like party, and those people you want to reach? Well, they're on the other side of the Rave.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Depressions a Bitch, and So Am I

I haven't been to well lately, my depression gets greatly affected by seasonal shifts and this is something I've been aware of for years. Edd is also aware of this and is very sensitive towards helping me through these times.
My life is great right now, I have found the perfect man for me and we are so happy together, I've finally got savings in the bank which is rare for me, I've done some fantastic shows lately, have plenty of exciting things booked in, castings coming my way, got back to the weight I wanted after losing so much over the non stop December.
I should be on top of the world.

I have depression.
It makes no sense, it hits you when you least expect it without any warning or reasoning.
Sometimes situations in life have a great affect when your mental state is already significantly weakened by previous bouts, sometimes you could be having the best time of your life but still it lingers and tries to beat you down.
Generally I try to get on with it, ignore it, talk it through with Edd who is patient and understanding enough to listen and try to help, but other days getting out of bed is hard.
Those days I have to force myself to smile, to eat, shower, leave the house if I have no way of getting out of it. I can't call a producer with the reason "I'm too depressed to face outside" and this is also my job.
Having the extra worry of money wouldn't help and so I carry on.

The smallest things get my down lately, stupid fickle feeble unimportant things that would usually be a mild inconvenience, but to me and others with depression it feel like your soul has been sucked out a tiny bit more and replaced with the blackness depression provides.
I have been open and honest about my depression before, so I think most of my friends and family, and even some people who watch the shows know about the fact I can have my bad days.

Sometimes the stupid things that get to me amuse me in a strange and contradictory way. Yesterday I told Edd about how I was feeling, I laughed at how stupid it was and how it shouldn't have such an effect, not in the grand scheme of things.
After this conversation I took to my facebook, writing a post I believed summed up the strange things depression can do to your brain, as I mentioned before, people know about it and plenty of people I know also suffer the same or similar conditions.

Anyone who actually knows me would know this was pointing out how my strange brain likes to affect me, and that it was also seeing some humor in the situation with the summing up of such a status. Also that facebook isn't very important and is used for flippant comments and isn't to be taken to heart. That what I would have liked to think.

So today when I open my inbox to find this message, from someone I'm not sure I actually know, and who missed the point entirely it shocked me. Mainly because it's a fairly contradictory message in itself, but also at how much this person missed the point of above's flippant and unimportant status.
Firstly, it's boo HOO, not who, bad grammar.
And yes, being someone who reads the news, even writes about such events, gives money to charity, doesn't even eat any animal products, gives to the homeless, and actually does try to help others while being polite towards them, I am perfectly aware that there is injustice in this world.
Injustices that we would all like to be able to change but we all do what we can, we could all do more, we could end wars they mentioned all over the world and use the money that funds such wars to feed those starving and dying people mentioned in the same sentence.
I wasn't aware anyone was paying me pennies for my thoughts, useless or not. But I would like to think I wasn't a bimbo, especially as I'm working towards being a writer and am constantly working on practicing and improving it with such blogs as this one! 
Pretty sure my Genes are what makes me exist, if he meant Jeans it's okay, I bought some new ones yesterday to replace the ones that didn't fit right.
The flesh comment? I don't even know where to begin with that....

But it's the last sentence that gets me, take my prozac (I'm not currently on anti-depressants as I don't like the affect) to make myself happy, aaaand then.....kill myself.
Who knows what those pictures are even about.

I wasn't expecting such a reaction to the post I made, seemingly I'm such a bad person for briefly allowing my depression to do it's usual and get inside my head.
It doesn't matter that just last night, the same day I posted this I gave some money to a guy on my way home from a show, who then told me he'd moved to london only two months before, and this was his first week on the street. I sat and talked to this man in the cold and rain for 40 minutes, all about his life and situation and it really upset me that I couldn't do more to help him, or the countless others that I have given food and money to.  I'm a heartless and selfish bitch.

But this is one of the good guys, they care about the starving and dying people even if they might not go out of their way to actually do anything about it.
Instead they're busy at home sending messages to openly depressed people with helpful advice.
They tell them to Kill Themselves.