A Taste for Disaster
It is currently the first few hours since MH17 crashed in Eastern Ukraine and all my social media outlets are abuzz with activity.
Except tumblr, since I no longer follow many accounts on this platform anymore. What a relief.
If there are a few things that I’ve learnt from how to deal with news when MH370 went missing, they certainly are as applicable to the current state of affairs. Unfortunately, it seems that most people have a taste for disaster.
It sounds morbid, because it is. Focal point on my facebook and twitter is mainly thoughts on how they cannot believe MH17 is shot down, how one should respect the dead (the irony; I’ll talk more about this later), and endless retweets and sharing of reports from all kinds of sources imaginable.
It seems, as much as one would like to think one is a discerning, responsible social media user, one is not the user one thinks oneself to be.
First, the overwhelming trend on my timelines is the sharing of the “fact” that the plane is shot down. When MH370 disappeared, speculations ran amok within the hour and there was no stopping them. News sources, reputable ones included, jumped at anything they can get regarding the possible trace of the plane. With MH17, they report anything they can get.
Of course, they need to report the speech from Poroshenko. But let’s all take a step back and remember, this is a speech. Investigations have yet to commence as groups of rescuers are locating debris and bodies. News outlets also cautioned: the possibility of the plane being shot down is not excluded. Investigations for flight disasters take time, and a plane being shot down is not like a person being shot down: you can’t see a distinct entrance hole and hopefully some gunshot residue.
At this point, it is merely speculation.
It is also the most shared “fact” on my timelines. For one reason, reputable news sources reported on the speech. It is the responsibility of the press to cover this story as thoroughly as possible, offering possible insights from all possible perspectives; it is the reader’s responsibility to discern fact from speculation.
When a reader has a tunnel vision and focus, unfortunately, on speculation, it will make future readings of other reports biased, and it will also tend to cloud judgment in the process of seeking the truth as to what really happened.
Besides, there are more urgent matters to tend to. Like locating debris. And for the layperson expecting guests or relatives who are on flights travelling the same route as MH17 did, it is far more important to check the if travel time is delayed, if route is changed, if arrival time has changed. It will also be useful to check which airlines have just announced avoiding travelling over Ukrainian airspace as this will mean changes in travelling time and arrival times.
It will also be more helpful as a social media user to share the fact that MH17 was also operating under the codeshare code with KLM4103. It was expected to arrive in Kuala Lumpur.
Second, on the irony of the phrase used by many: “respect the dead”. I always have, and always will, which is why I avoid retweeting and sharing pictures of disaster zones. However, this phrase does not occur to most people when, in their fervor of sharing the latest news, did not register the fact that pictures of the crash site will also mean bodies. While it is definitely heartening that most, upon realizing their mistake, undid their retweets and urged others who have also commit the unfortunate mistake to do so, within the few seconds of error, others might have retweeted it and spread the pictures further. We have a taste for disaster; we want to share the latest developments, which is why such an unfortunate mistake can occur.
Perhaps, most ironically, news outlets are using such graphic pictures as part of their developing story. While MH17’s crash will see news sources experiencing a spike in traffic, usage of such pictures in their news shows a lack of awareness in the industry with regard to respect for the dead. Again, just because they are reputable agencies does not mean one does not question the. As a responsible reader, you can choose not to share the pictures and also reflect to the agencies of its inappropriateness. Also, within the first 24 hours, do not believe everything or anything until you have compared it across various sources.
Personally, I try my best to not let my taste for disaster get in the way of establishing facts and understanding how this will impact me. For most disasters, they don’t affect my life that much. But aviation is different; it is a mode of transport, which means it might happen to me.
Which is why at this point, it is far more important to me to learn about the facts of what has happened. The why can come later.
Our taste for disaster may have us feel that we have a stake in promoting awareness, that we are on social media ground zero, but more often than not our brains, being the asses they are, choose to focus on the sensational details, which, more often than not, are speculations or “developments” that merely show a picture of the dead, the latter being not cool as it is a form of disrespect.
While we can all agree this is not the year for Malaysia Airlines, let the press and experts do their work, and us exercise our right to be more discerning and focus on the facts, and be more responsible as a social media user as we tweet and share about developments
At least this is making its rounds on twitter. (via onthemedia):
The Ghost of Her
She never did leave.
Traces of her remained. Her clothes, her jewellery, the things she used, her calligraphy. And her voice, in my head.
As much as I’d like to think I’m done with grieving, I am only through with the most difficult part, accepting her absence. What I am experiencing now is learning how to live with the traces of her.
The ghost of her, if I may.
It also does not help that interests-wise, we shared more in common than we thought. We used to say how different we were and we would be envious of mother-daughter pairs who get along and have a lot in common, but it is not until she’s gone did I realise we shared way more in common than we were willing to admit.
Basically, I’ll visit the quieter side of me, but everything I do it reminds me of her. She was the only one who understood why I needed those piano lessons, why I needed to read voraciously, why I needed to draw, to write, to be alone.
In addition, a huge part of her ghost is right here in my room. We used to have part of it be her study, where she’d paint and practice her calligraphy. I used to have traces of chinese ink lingering in my room. Her books on writing, on painting, her brushes, the paper, her remaining works…all in my room. The ink bottle is only half emptied out.
Do I want to get rid of them? Right now, yes. And desperately so. But I’m also afraid I might want them back in future. And if I throw them out, there’s no telling if I can get her things back, if I can get her back.
I’m afraid this part of grieving will be a lifelong lesson for me. For now, I guess I’ll just try my best to live with the ghost of her.
My Brother is a Regular.
Before anything, this is not a place I’m rooted in. Despite the deep connections, the lovely memories, the growing up…I never really felt comfortable with this place. I’m not one with wanderlust. I adapt if I have to. I like my comfort. I find myself to be able to acclimatize and fit in quickly. I’m not quite a good fit here, but I’m also not quite a good fit anywhere else. But I can survive; I get by.
My brother, on the other hand, wants to stay here and protect it. His childhood, his memories, his family, his friend. Him. Even if he did not become a regular, he would stay here and find a way to contribute; such are the two of us.
Of course I call this place home. But so could I, anywhere else. The only difference is that the centre of my life, my family, is here. So I will stay. For a while, at least. My brother, though, will always have his centre here. And the two of us will die protecting what matters to us, albeit in different ways. Ever since joining NS, my brother held lofty aspirations. He knew he will sign on; it is a win-win for him, for he gets his university paid for, and he gets to work in an environment he likes. He strived for the best, partly driven by expectations, partly driven by his own discipline.
So during his BMT, he was “brainwashed” as I would describe, for it was apparent to me that he is indoctrinated with the way of thought preferred in the army - not questioning, all to defend the nation. I never hesitated to tell him, “I will leave this place one day”, and he will never stop telling me “I wanna weave a safety net for the family.” It was but a necessary step for him to be one step closer to his dream: to provide, care for, and protect his family.
Of course, the RSAF culture is very different, and my brother has since matured to become a man who thinks critically. I am, of course, a proud sister. I salute him and every other soldier who chose to defend this nation, it being a very thankless task if I may say.
"Scrap IPPT. No, scrap NS, that’ll be better. Oh and reservist while we’re at it too."
Right. I never felt strongly about this because it didn’t matter to me before. I don’t have to serve, and I’m not particularly loyal. But now it matters.
I am sorry to say, I am furious at such statements.
I may not be fiercely loyal, and yes it may seem pretentious of me to say this, but if I have to fight and die for what matters to me, I will. It’s in the blood. My mom had her own colorful history, and us being raised by such a strong woman, there’s no room to be weak, especially when making decisions on how to protect what matters. While I do agree that there can be reforms done, and yes reservist is disruptive to a man’s job, but it is necessary.
Not everyone seems to be able to comprehend the difference between what has to be done versus what we wish could be done. Maybe, perhaps, if we were way larger a population we might have been able to build an army without conscription and getting men to do reservist. Perhaps. That’ll be utopia for the boys here.
But we don’t. So it is necessary. And to see so many young men not think about what has to be done, I honestly don’t wanna fight for such people if I were a regular.
But my brother will. It’s his job, and lucky for him he likes it. And unlike me, he’s selfless. I’m more self-serving. Then again, I am just a girl. Who am I to make such statements? I’ve not been through the thing.
I do not need to go through NS to know that if a war breaks out, we are all at stake and I might not see my brother again. Of course, this is purely hypothetical; it probably won’t happen thank god. I don’t want it to happen either; I don’t want a potential sacrifice of my brother in protection of a population who don’t appreciate the work of regulars, who don’t understand the difference between a necessary evil and utopia. My brother, in his dream of protecting his family, included others.
And amongst this others, included men less willing than he to fight for the nation.
Of course, I am but ill-informed and lacking in experience. I can only speak as a sister of a soldier, that I only wish for more respect for the men serving for the nation, and for there to be a deeper, nuanced understanding behind the jobs of an army. No one in their right mind will want their child to be a soldier. And honestly, I feel that my silly baby brother will be fighting for a thankless society, and I do not wish for that to happen.
Maybe you don’t want to do reservist because it disrupts your life. My brother took up a job to protect yours. And I will fight for my little brother.
On Beauty and Looking Great
This whole “looking great” business didn’t really matter that much to me until JC ended. It always kind of mattered, but never in such a magnitude until I entered university.
For starters, I grew up knowing I’m not attractive. So I think. That’s how my brains came about. I’m a “coaster” when it comes to studies. Almost effortlessly I score enough to move on and progress, and I eventually find myself in university.
It is not that I spent the bulk of my university days thinking of what to wear and how to do my makeup. I spend enough to look good by my own standards; the rest is spent lazing or studying, if I ever did the latter. Despite spending enough time on my own grooming throughout my 4 years, it is not until the recent year or so that I began to field compliments on my “beauty”.
The most significant change, other than better taste in clothes and being past the experimental stage with makeup, was that I dropped 2 dress sizes, or 4, depending on the silhouettes and fit. I’m UK/US6 right now, even after my recent gain. At my skinniest, I was US4 for the really fitting dresses.
Did I, just one day, became part of the attractive league? Sure feels like it, in honesty. But even at my “skinniest”, I don’t exactly fit the hegemonic standard of “beauty” around here AKA the blogshop girl prototype.
The blogshop girl doesn’t just fit into small sizes, everything, it seems, about them belongs to the “I’m-way-past-puberty-but-my-body-still-looks-like-a-kid” aesthetic. No boobs, no ass. (Haha ok I’m being harsh because I have ‘em boobs and ass, yo.) So basically, my “newfound beauty” was mostly a result of a comparison with my past self who had D-cups and not much of a jawline from the profile. I still have curves. I like them, until I don’t. And then there’s my hereditary large thighs. Everyone in my family has them.
So I would gauge myself to be about 7 overall in terms of being “attractive”. (Come on I need to give myself with makeup some credit. I know I look good with makeup on.) Pretty decent a score, by my standards.
And then I will stumble upon a “new” rule/measure of beauty. For the most part, I don’t really care for them. I like how I look.
Until I don’t.
There’s a constant fear of going back to that awkward JC self. Not that she wasn’t awesome, but aesthetically she is less pleasing. Aesthetics mean the whole world when it comes to first impressions. We judge another even before they speak. And let’s just say the blogshop girl won’t leave me alone.
The constant bombardment of such standards. The irony of the blogshop girl is that she is actually attainable, if your genes were such. And if you happen to model for a blogshop. (The so-called fashionistas in Singapore, I kinda collectively grouped them together with the blogshop girls. Let’s face it, they all look the same.) They aren’t as heavily air-brushed and they wear clothes that we can afford and they look just like people around us and….
And on the other end of the spectrum are the girls with curves AKA girls with curves but are way larger than I am. I feel like I’m stateless.
And having shrunk so much, I see the hypocrisy all around when the people who probably wouldn’t care for the awkward younger me suddenly showing interest in me.
This whole body issue won’t seem to go away. It haunts, and I feel the ones that suffer the most are people who fit neither side of the spectrum. People like me. I’m not curvy enough to be curvaceous, but not skinny enough to be skinny. We get both sides of the shaming.
I’m nowhere, therefore I’m no one.
(That might have been extreme. Hur.)
So for the most part I run on confidence. I cannot be a self-proclaimed diva if I don’t have that. And I actually do, to a point that my life goals include “upgrading from diva to goddess by 27”. Obviously I thought I can do it, despite the Singaporean type of goddess being a far cry from me. But there will be a point when confidence runs out.
I can’t keep fueling it on my own, can I? I’m not that dense towards my surroundings.
I’m not that jaded.
So why am I, supposedly comfortable in my own skin, working hard to maintain/”look better” if confidence is all that matters in looking great?
Because it isn’t. I never quite figured the entire business because there are so many things unwritten and unspoken, so I just kinda go along with the flow and do what I am told to do.
It seems, the only way to be free is to play within the rules. I have to get my confidence from somewhere. I suspect this post came about because I’m lazy and I don’t wanna play within the rules anymore.
My confidence lasted for as long as I played within the rules; it is there because I know I was abiding the rules, whatever they are. And my frustration is a result of just wanting to plain do whatever I want whenever I want.
It is at this point I realise I’m not making any sense. Which is normal in my usual thought processes. I just kind of go round and round and round until I hit an eureka moment.
Beauty is just one of those hot mess that is full of ironies and paradoxes that all I can do is write down my incoherent feelings and thoughts and hope that I managed to do some sort of reflection that is enough for me to move on.
tl;dr — lame girl seeming writing something, but actually says nothing at all. that bitch.
Being an Unemployed Princess
The great thing about being an unemployed princess is that I have time. A lot of free time. I can sleep in, eat when I feel like it, and pretty much do whatever I want, whenever I want.
It is also during this time I tend to think and ponder about things. Deep thoughts on life and future and love and what-have-you. I try not to go to such depths and realms on most days for a few reasons:
1) It gets depressing — such thinking tends to yield more questions than answers, and despite accepting the fact that every single matter, being, self is essentially a form of paradox/made of conflicting elements, I prefer answers to questions simply because this is a society that demands more answers than questions. All questions should lead to a solution of some sort. However, such deep thinking yields little of the resolution society has taught us to crave and hanker after.
2) I feel small — I have an ego, and a pretty huge one at that. I am vain, I am self-important. There are reasons and causes that led to me being this un-humble, narcissistic girl, and I think it is precisely this that has allowed me to push against the odds stacked against me to get to where I am today. Such thinking, however, diminishes whatever importance I feel about myself, and I feel really insignificant and in awe of the universe, and the infinite possibilities of what the human brain can do. It’s great, but it can get depressing (see above point).
3) I become unproductive — I’m not productive “enough” by the standards of most people, and such thinking actually pushes me to being more inert and sedentary than I already am. Best example: 90% of the time I spent on my thesis was on thinking and feeling frustrated. The actual work took about 10%. I’m not the sort to work unless I feel motivated, or if such productivity will allow me to be lazy and sedentary for longer than if I am sedentary right now. Let’s just say being depressed about life is not really motivating.
4) I’ve done enough of it in university — Pretty self-explanatory. I’m lazy.
Now mind you, I’m perfectly capable of functioning like people are expected to. I just simply choose not to. Call me anti-social, maybe that is what I am. My aims in life are more self-serving. I can’t really be bothered with the “collective good”. Not yet, at least.
Sometimes, to help with such thoughts and feelings, I write things down. It forces me to express what I thought I couldn’t (and once again I’m in awe at the human capability), and it helps me work through the mess of questions to arrive at what matters to me at that particular point in time, at that particular stage of my life.
Current stage: unemployed princess. Current mood/thoughts/feelings: I wanna work, but I don’t wanna work. Also, having a boyfriend will be nice, but I also kinda like how I’m this one person…
Summary: I’m confused. Very, very confused.
As desperate for companionship as I may sound, I am perfectly aware that this desperation will go away if I busy myself with other things like work. In other words, this current desperation for a boyfriend exists because I want a reason to get myself out of my house. It doesn’t help that my closest friends are either at work or overseas having their graduation trips; I’m pretty much the only one not filling up the time with some form of activity.
The crux of my issues: I need to decide if I want to grow up. Or not.
Now I do understand that part of this entire “adult” package includes work, but working does not equate to being an adult. What is stalling me from jumping enthusiastically into the working world is the expectations that we will no longer be kids. This entire “maturity” business is serious business.
So as I lay in my bed waiting for emails to come in, I play 2048 and think about life. Just a little. Actually, a lot. There are a few things I am certain about myself: I can work; I am a good worker (as long as I want to become one; sidetrack, I can pretty much do anything as long as I want to); I will be the most satisfied if I’m in the service industry (even if that means crazy working hours); I like challenges and leading projects and meeting people. The part of maturing that is daunting to me, right now, this moment, this point, is accepting the fact that I need to be fully responsible for filling up my time with activities. Work is part of it, but what kind of work?
And other than work, what else?
Frankly speaking, I find academia comforting. Yes yes it is still pretty cutthroat and what-not, but let’s face it, there’s still a good portion of our lives that’s being planned for us. I find that awesome. I’m lazy, and hence it is quite a chore (but an enjoyable one in retrospect) to plan my timetable and ensuring that classes and examinations do not clash and that I will like what I study (I do like what I studied). With graduation, everything is returned to us: debts from loans (I’m lucky I don’t have any), and time.
So…work. Yes. Instinctively, we all beeline for looking for jobs. At one point I find myself looking at retail jobs and nothing but retail jobs. Even though I do like retail and service, I found myself questioning: am I doing myself justice?
If there is one thing that society has taught me well, it is that university graduates should not be bothering themselves with menial jobs. It is pretty ridiculous, but let’s face it, the general assumption (and the experience I’ve had with customers) is that retail staff are generally not well-educated.
Partially why some people do not treat us with respect. I digressed.
I do have pretty decent grades. (Stellar by my own standards.) Doing retail, especially fast fashion retail, means having a starting pay way lower than what most fresh graduates would settle for.
And so I was torn. Really torn. Between doing justice to my grades and brains and doing something I know I will enjoy.
I ended up applying for retail/service-related jobs anyway. Current status: just completed stage 3 for the Hilton management trainee application; got rejected by a startup; going for CAAS networking on 30 May.
That’s still not too bad, considering my dismal working experience of slightly less than a year. You can’t get a fresh graduate any fresher than this.
So, as much as I am excited about the prospects of being employed, I’m faced with another problem: what about the time when I am not working? The only thing enticing about office hours is the stable and fixed days for leisure activities. If I had a 9-to-5, I’ll probably pick up fencing or something. But no, the jobs that I’ve applied to will not allow for such activities. Plus, service is draining.
I am, at the same time, very well aware of the dangers of constantly being at home. It’s still okay now, but once I work, I don’t think it will be. (Current thoughts: Wow this is getting long. And I think it’s becoming a hot mess. As confusing as my feelings.) Home is great for rest and all, but it’s not exactly the most exciting place to be.
Plus, let’s not forget that I’m very single. Which means for now I can still hang out with friends, but after a couple of years those wedding invitations be coming in and I be like wow I’m still single.
I will definitely need a distraction when my friends start to busy themselves with family life. And having a really flexible resting schedule doesn’t really help since I cannot fill it with leisure activities that require some form of a fixed schedule. And not everyone can accept the working hours of people in the service industry.
Being attached sounds great since, as mentioned earlier, it’s a reason to get my lazy bum out of my house. It also means that I don’t have to think about what to fill up my time with since it will be a default option if I am attached. Thing is, I am not. So I gotta be responsible for that time.
But it is difficult to take courses!
It is at this point I will give up thinking about the future and love life and working life and start wishing that I’m 19 all over again and about to enter university.
I used to want to do graduate studies, in honesty. But let’s just say that my unwillingness in churning out papers will become a hindrance if I go down that path.
Well, this sure is going nowhere. I have too much time on my hands.
The trouble with “Love”
I gotta say, I found the male version more relatable. But both are….well, in my opinion, right out of a romance novel.
This “love” thing is a constant struggle; I don’t deny it. But I don’t think it’s that complicated. Let’s not go into details about romantic love first, but the love between family and friends.
We don’t question those, usually. I hope.
And in honesty, the amount of romantic narratives hurled at us has helped pushed romantic love to such a pedestal I am highly inclined to think that I will remain single for the rest of my life if not for the fact I have recently found out that I am under the “attractive” category.
(I still think I will remain single. Just not as strongly as in the past, and for different reasons now.)
In honesty, I don’t remember feeling butterflies. My heart beats fast when I did my health checkup and that was about it. Then again, I don’t remember a lot of things.
But I remember the embraces. The ones I had with my mother are still the best. We had an intense relationship as mother-daughter. We might have been past lovers a few lives ago, who knows. (I still feel angst, but I do feel I’m getting closer to closure. One day.) I guess they left a mark precisely because they were a result of deep love. It’s a mix of “I love you so much I think the three words are an understatement” and “I really wish I can stop caring about you but I can’t and we both know why” and a few other emotions and feelings.
It was intense.
When a friend was pondering upon the his craving for intimacy and the “different dimensions of that desired connection” (his words), it got me thinking and reflecting upon my own experiences and the ones I saw. I came up with this “model”, that there are three components to intimacy: physical, emotional, and intellectual. Well, the first two are pretty self-explanatory. As for intellectual, it doesn’t mean that both parties have to be equally smart or equally dumb; it means that both parties must share a certain vision/principles/belief/what have you. They need not be aligned; heck, they can be opposites but complement each other. The point is that both parties share the same wavelength that when shit hits the fan, they can sit down and work through things together.
I figured, and for now I will believe, that for any relationship to work, you must have intellectual intimacy. With friends it’s easy. The lines that one must not cross are clear, mostly. I guess. With family, well, it takes time to work it out, but at the end of the day there are some things that are shared, some ideals and beliefs.
So for two different people who decided that the rules of being friends will restrict their emotions, they need to figure out if they’re intimate enough intellectually to potentially start a family together. And that’s all there is to romantic relationships, whether they work out or not.
Physical and emotional intimacy is easy to achieve, actually. The tough one is intellectual intimacy. And it is the latter one that will sustain relationships.
So these two articles (written pretty lovely too), are really concerned about “the right person” against “the right time”. I don’t believe in such a thing.
Like I’ve said, I don’t remember butterflies. And if anything, most of my interactions with males I do not call friends or acquaintances (not a lot, but let’s just pretend I’m experienced in this instead of being an armchair philosopher) were driven by what most would call “passion”. That’s bullshit; I wasn’t passionate about them. Maybe at one point in time I “loved” them. Maybe I didn’t. I don’t know. I don’t feel much.
All I do know is my previous one wasn’t all bad; I learnt a lot from him. And I’m probably attractive now because of what happened. Did I feel butterflies? I don’t remember. Did he fit into any of these categories? Not really. Hit-and-miss with the description. And I don’t believe in “the wrong time” or “the wrong person”.
Then again, I don’t remember a lot of things.
This is a world that favours corporeality. Facts, figures, proofs, tangible things.
Ironically, rationality falls under those things, for it allows us to makes sense of them.
But so does the irrational.
I have never quite believed in love. Not until my mother left.
She left a huge hole. She left big shoes to fill. She left pieces of her behind. Her paintings. Her calligraphy. Her costumes. Her clothes. Her.
She left behind her diary too. It was a notebook, a gift from me. Small, black, with the pages having gold sides. She wrote of her pains, her appetite, how she took to her medications, her weight…She was a meticulous person.
But there was one page that stood out. In her beautiful calligraphy, she wrote “I love you”.
Once for me, once for my younger brother.
I guess that gave her love corporeality. It was the most tangible of her love that I’ve felt.
I remember watching “Her”. It left me questioning: Are our feelings real? How do we know it’s real? There was a line in the film that went something along the lines of falling in love being a socially acceptable form of insanity.
What is this love? Why does it affect me so, despite it leaving no trace, almost?
It’s in the actions, some might say. It’s in the little notes, the littles surprises, the mundane details of life. But those too, will pass. And it shall pass, all that left of it a memory.
The things made are never special. It’s the memory behind it. But memory isn’t real per se. It, like almost all things, if not all things, is paradoxical. It’s real, but it is not. But this is a world that favours the real.
Because the real provides validation. It assures us. It will always be there. And so it shall.
But how real is my experience of those things?
My mother left that three words and gave her love corporeality that will stay with me throughout. But there must be something else too, for whenever I recall reading that in her diary tears will fall.
I’m not making any sense at all.
It’s a month after she left. I went through her drawers and saw that notebook. I didn’t think she had used it, but I flipped through.
As each entry goes by, her writing becomes less legible, less calligraphic, less….her.
Then I saw that page.
It wasn’t till an hour later I got my composure back.
Tinder Adventures Part 2
Do I intend to be on this app for long? No.
It’s the fourth day in and I’ve basically chucked it aside. Looks like rating guys based on the “hot or not” principle is not my kind of thing. Plus I swiped left for a number of cute guys, so there’s that.
Of course, it might have something to do with the fact that naturally I’m an anti-socialite. I’m sociable, but I don’t make the extra effort to know new people unless I have to. I can chat, and I hope I can hold conversation, but I tend to be on the passive side when it comes to initiating new relationships/acquaintanceships. And tinder really isn’t helping since it’s based mainly, if not solely, on looks.
Back to how shallow I am. This vibe thing. It’s not working too well on tinder either. It’s difficult to read a person based on his pictures and solely on his pictures. I ended up going with gut instinct. The guys I swiped to the left though, I think I can explain why I swiped left for them.
Assuming that everyone scores the same on hotness (of course that is not true on tinder, but let’s not complicate things; tinder is a shallow app), I will say “nope” if:
1) There is not at least one good picture of him.
By good, I mean I can see his face and his features in good light so I can analyse that picture to death to see if I might like him in real life. It’s kinda like how I think at some point in making friends you just need to look at the person carefully. The vibe is off, it’s probably off. And yes, you can get this vibe off from pictures, if he has a good one.
2) Multiple photos of him with his friends.
I don’t mean just one or two. I can’t tell you exactly why I tend to not like this, but I’m on tinder not to know your friends, but possibly to know you. Again, with friends in the picture, anyone can seem friendly. I wanna feel the potential vibe that you’ll give me, if we ever meet.
3) Photos that try to be more important than they really are.
Okay I know I know that sentence doesn’t really quite make sense. Do you know someone who has photos on instagram with him/her in such “deep” poses? On instagram it might be less annoying because there’s a whole bunch of pictures, but on tinder the number of pictures are way way WAY lesser. And people trying to be deep just don’t work for me. And then there are the photos that look like the guy is trying to show that he has a fabulous life. It’s in the facial expressions. I suck at explaining myself. You know how you just kinda judge a person as a “poser”? Yeah that vibe. THAT vibe. I cannot stand it.
4) Buff guys.
Don’t get me wrong. Nice abs will be great. Awesome body is a great feast for the eyes. However, go too buff and I recoil. I’d like to think that your recreational activities include more than just gym, and since I only have photos to work with, these guys can’t explain for themselves. Sorry, I’m shallow.
Forget it. I’m shallow. I give up explaining. I am shallow.
I’m On Tinder!
Surprise, surprise. Or maybe not. But I’ve become a Tinderer and if you ever see me trying to stretch my thumb or something it probably means that I’ve spent too much time on Tinder.
It’s shallow. You get matched up if it’s a mutual “like”, so basically…yeah…erm…looks…cute….attractive. Demographic observation so far, it’s still more of an expat-ish sort of app, so I had my initial cultural shock and went “wtf I didn’t know we have so many non-Asians (I’m using Asian in the sense that goes beyond people of East Asian descent) in Singapore.” Really. Then again, I live in a place that most expats don’t live in.
Maybe I’m lucky, but most of the time (by this I mean like 90% of the time based on my perceived sense of percentage AKA this number is just a perception) the guys that appear on my feed are not bad looking. Good looking people. Then I realised I’m not quite suited to Tinder because I start searching for hints of how these men are like and I’m left with nothing except their pictures. And eventually I decided to play along with whatever vibe I can get through those. It’s not easy. I feel like I’m in the age of arranged marriages where all I can tell of my future husband whom I’m marrying in a week is through this one picture. But Tinder has more pictures. But still.
And yes, out of the objectively good looking people I end up picking and choosing. So the swiping has been to the left more than to the right thus far. I am hyper selective like that. Now, here’s the interesting part. For the few that I did swipe to the right to, it’s almost instantly a match. By that I mean the gray screen of “happiness” took a few seconds to load after I swiped to the right. Nothing quite like knowing that this guy has seen your picture before you saw his and he swiped to the right as a response.
So that means, based on my face, I’m under the “girl I might approach in real life if real life socializing sucks less” category.
I have only recently come to notice that I am, indeed, fairly attractive as I have believed myself to be in the “not ugly, but defo not pretty” category until I finished JC. So yes, this inner self-depreciating child is getting quite a kick out of realizing that I’m going through metamorphosis to become a pretty girl, at least pretty enough for Tinder.
Then I thought, Tinder is a pretty cruel app. It’s your high school nightmare realised on your phone. It works on the “hot or not” thing that dominated your formative years (and yes, they admit to it too; see the numerous articles on the app) and everyone is swiping based on first impressions, and by that I mean, face.
There’s no other aid to help determine if I will want to chat with this person. And this, frankly speaking, drives me crazy. I feel that I cannot formulate a good enough analysis of a person based solely on pictures. And I need that analysis, because 1) I wanna avoid creeps 2) I enjoy conversation that involves brains 3) cute as these people are, brains. I can’t handle physical attractiveness if there is no intellect. And pictures alone don’t tell you that.
Okay, great. I’m not making new ground. All these have been mentioned before. Maybe I should just TL;DR this as “Hi everyone I’m on Tinder and the guys I’ve ‘liked’ ‘liked’ me back too!”
I better not. I’m deeper than that.
As much as my activities on Tinder reveal much about the app (groundbreaking! we are shallow!), it reveals quite a fair bit about me too. But erm….I’ve just started on Tinder. Might make that into a post in future.
BRB, chatting with a pretty nice guy right now.