Let’s talk about Instagram.

Something has been making me sad in the world of Social Media again*. Jumping right in: I’ve been dabbling around with Instagram lately and noticed something … If it was just the occasional person I wouldn’t give it much thought. Yet: I see it happening left and right all of the time. Literally every time somebody posts a picture of themselves – aside from ab shots or body builders/fitness IGs – it comes with a semi-joking caption like ‘okay, ready to loose a few more followers again’. Or in the case of several people even – and this made me sad – the excuse of ‘hope it’s okay to post this.’ Am I the only one who gets thinking about our focus and priorities here?

Here’s what I noticed. And yes, I double-checked. Triple-checked. In short: I kept an eye on this during the past few weeks to make sure it wasn’t a mere coincidence within a few profiles. Let’s take the example of a random profile. What goes on in your mind if you see that a package of storebought pasta gets [decidedly] more likes than the pictures of the [subjective but yes] sympathetic couple behind the account?

Source

* Please note that I’m not generally a sad person :).

Are we really more interested in seeing food picture after food picture than the people behind them?? Their interests? Their hobbies? Quirks? Random things that made them smile?

Along those lines is the issue of people asking their followers what they’d like to see more of. Sorry but really? If I asked and the most popular answer would be ‘monogram-styled bowls of oatmeal and selfies’: would you change your feed and stop posting pictures of your garden/family/whatever else you like to share? Just to please others? Win followers? Loose yourself [allow me to be a little drastic here] ?

No. If somebody enjoys my pictures and captions I will happily welcome them among my followers and check out  their profile in turn – that’s the way to build community. The ‘mission’ shouldn’t be to post for others but yourself.

my Instagram feed
Blog for yourself. Post on Instagram for yourself. Share what’s on your mind or important to you. Like minded people will follow. The remainder? So what. As you might have already guessed I’m not somebody you can ask for ‘S4S’ or ‘f4f’. Nope. If that’s your goal than au revoir, mon ami. We won’t be #instafriends anytime soon. Actually,  about that term friends… you know my take on this.

Don’t get me wrong. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want anybody to follow me. But like I mentioned some time ago in regards to blogging I value quality over quantity. The most important and best part of both blogging and Instagram to me still is the community.Even if a picture didn’t get many likes yet a few people commented sharing their thoughts and opinions that would matter so. much. more to me.

On a last note I’m not judging people who treat Instagram differently than me. To each their own. All I’m hoping to do is remind whoever is sad about a small following or unsure why their pictures don’t get as many likes as others: it’s not about you. You are great the way you are as is your Instagram account.

 

 

Happiness-inducing today: Starting a great new book and reading outside in the sunshine.
Tell me whatever comes to your mind: Do you agree? Disagree? What are your experiences?

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
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Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

 

 

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Who are your friends, really?

179

That’s the number of friends I currently have according to Facebook. 179 – really? I’m saying this not to bemoan the fact most people have easily twice or three times [or even more] as many friends but to say: all of these are my friends? I doubt it [out loud today].

I’m aware there’s a lot of talk about the up- and downsides of social media out there already. One of these is the change in our perception. What is a friend, really? Yes, I could go all old-fashioned and look up the definition in a dictionary. Obviously,I did – online, needless to say.

Even this definition is too loose for my preference and understanding of the term already. It’s easy to call pretty much everybody a ‘friend’. Anybody who went to school or college with you? A friend. That person you met on vacation years ago andexchanged numbers with, now texting every once in a blue moon or through short comments under each others Facebook pictures? A friend. Anybody you got to know growing up and don’t exactly hate? Talked about as a ‘friend’. But:

How many friends do we really have?

If you deleted your Instagram account, logged out of Facebook, Twitter and whichever other social network – how many friends would you still have? People who are interested in your life beyond pretty pictures, funny cat videos you shared or the information they can find scrolling through your Facebook profile.

A walk with a friend can brighten my day in no time.

Not only being the word fiend that I am, this change in our definition and use of the word friend makes me sad. Still, it has become so easy to call everybody we’re in a too-difficult-to-explain relationship with a friend. I’m not shunning anybody for using the word ‘friend’ lightheartedly and maybe a little too often. My point is to encourage myself and everybody reading to recollect who are your real friends. Get back in touch through a call, a good old-fashioned letter or even a visit.

Letter

Yes, I might have to pull out my phone to remember that one or the other phone number or address [okay, most of them because my brain needs it ;)]. But the connections I have with those people are deep. They are the ones who don’t mind how much time has passed since you last met – instant connection the moment you meet again. The ones that don’t just leave a quick Facebook comment on your birthday but call you. The ones who surprise you with random texts or snail mail – just to ask how you are or talk about this and that. These people are golden. They’re friends.

 

Happiness-inducing today: Bursting out into a dance spontaneously when a good song came on. I surprise myself sometimes …
No questions today but whatever comes to your mind on the topic.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
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Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

 

 

Friday Favourites – 7/3/2015

It’s been a long since I last posted favourites on  a Friday – unless you counted that one foodie favorite – but Luckily it’s never too late to start it up again. The blog community is a forgiving place, no? Yes, you are. You’re also quite awesome and insightful in your thougths on yesterday’s post. Most of you agreed but I like some polite disagreement or demurs in there, too. It’s all helping to broaden my mind – the best part of this community.

Summer finally showing up and especially the sun. Maybe it’s a repeat offender but I am surprised by how much of an effect this has each time anew. Life isn’t perfect – in fact quite far from it in many areas for me at the moment – but loosing a single day channeling Negative Nancy is no option.

Flowers_buttercup

Bike rides. Given I don’t own a car anymore – yes, I said goodbye to my wonderful ride – my bike is the vehicle of choice these days. Technically, I can still borrow my dad’s car for longer commutes but would anybody really want toin this weather [see #1]? Plus, its environmental benefit can’t be denied.  My favourite bike rides have been longer ones in the evenings watching the sun slowly go down. This is especially gorgeous on trails along the riverside. Yes, despite the not-so-wonderful parts of life I’m feeling blessed to live in an area surrounded by the most beautiful sights of nature. I keep warning you I might just post a million pictures of it one day …

On a walk

Strawberries from my mum’s garden. These are a miracle times two. For one because everybody who has tried it before knows produce grown in your own backyard tastes best. On that note I. can’t. wait until kabocha will start to grow! And then my mum actually didn’t intend on growing any Strawberries this year [for the first time ever!] but a very few plants decided to grow nonetheless. Oh does this make me happy. The taste of childhood.

Strawberries_mums garden

Some people apparently don’t like quotes and I’m not one to plaster my place with them, either. But still think it’s not the worst idea to look at some happiness booster every now and then.

Source

Because it can be a lot easier this way around.

And this one is just too good not to share:

So. much. yes.

Okay, now I’d better get out and enjoy the sunshine while it’s still there. Not too long and summer will be over already judging from the speed at whch this year is passing by again.

Thanks to Heather and Clare for inspiring us to share some favourites on a Friday!

Happy Friday! I’ll see you on Sunday with good good links!

Happiness-inducing today: Chatting with my mum while listening to Taylor Swift songs – Juli! –  and both of us just enjoying that end to a hot summer day.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
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Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

 

What are your plans for the weekend?

Do you grow any fruit or vegetables in your garden?

 

 

 

Friday Favourites – 3/27/2015

Just a random note to start this post because it made me laugh and  realiuze that while, yes, I’m used to writing in English, the dates still confuse me every.single. time. Look at that title: To you [depending on where ypu’re from] it looks normal. To me? It’d have to be 27/3/2015. Oh well, I figure you didn’t stop by to chat about the differences between Germany and the US, no? Though it is interesting to see how much we differ in multiple areas of life but oh, well, another day. Speaking of another day: Blogging – as much as I like and have missed it – once more missed my focus during the last week. But I’m determined to bring booty blogging back next week.

Favourites it is today! Moving on to what has been happening and making me happy these days. Thanks to Heather and Clare for hosting!

… and starting on a heart-y note
Do you ever walk a route a million times and all of a sudden see a detail you hadn’t noticed before. That’s what putting down your phone while outside does. And spotting a hidden heart can only make you smile, right? I’ve been going for a lot of walks lately and the best decision I made there was to carry my phone along but don’t keep checking it all of the time. These times of mindfulness and actually taking in my surroundings more intensely are amazing.

Heart_street_walk

Apples the size of my face.
Don’t let the picture fool you. The peanut butter jar is a mighty 1.1 lb not a small one. For fun and kicks I let one of these apples [that clearly made the cast of Snow White] step on the kitchen scale. More than one pound of apple goodness. I like it.

They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Do you think I can skip the doctor’s for a week after eating these ;)?

giant apples_Farmers Market WHV

Gnocchi
What is it about certain foods that makes them so crave-able? I’d seen gnocchi quite often in the blog world lately yet it had been ages since I ate them myself. Clearly, I needed to pick up a package the next time I was at the store. Admittedly, storebought gnocchi are a far cry from the real deal. They will do in a pinch, though, so I’ve been eating them several consecutive  days this week. A simple tomato sauce, lots of fresh vegetables and nutritional yeast piled on top later on: a happy and satisfied me.

 Gnocchi_March

After I’ve seen others share their recent favourite pins or quotes I decided to incorporate two recent ones, too.

… and isn’t that a possibly intimidating but also wonderful thought?

Apparently, books where on my mind while I was browsing for inspiring quotes but you can’t deny life would be less amazing without them so why not?

Why not make today the day of your next one?

On that note, I’m off to face a Friday of the go-go-go kind and will see you again on Sunday for some good reads.

Happy Friday!

Happiness-inducing today: Walking past a parish hall in my neighbourhood where a choir was practicing a beautiful version of Echosmith’ ‘Cool Kids’. 

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

 

Do you have any fun plans for the weekend?

What are some inspiring quotes you’ve seen on Pinterest [or elsewhere] lately?

Have you ever happened upon some kind of giant fruit?

Good good links #42

Where did this week go? Over here it’s been filled mainly with work and not as much blog reading time. Nevertheless, some great posts caught my eye so here we go with some reading material [to save] for a rainy day. Let me know if I missed out on any happenings in the blog world! (;

Good good links

Happy and sunny Sunday to all of you!

 

Good good [food for thought]

 Your Way Isn’t The Only Way via Brittany Lesser

You do what works for you, others do what works for them – and everybody’s happy.

Nutrition Tips to Embrace and Ignore via Healthy Helper Blog

Beware of sketchy nutrition advice out there. Find what works for you.

101Days with No Cardio via Sarah Kay Hoffmann

Good reasons why it might be time to give your body a break from constant cardio.

Normal is boring via Danielle Dowling

Let’s stop trying to be ‘normal’ and be awesomely different. Right now.

Health Looks Different On Everyone via A Dash of Meg

Don’t strive to look like others but the way that makes you healthy and happy inside and out.

 

Good good [advice and inspiration]

 This Is Your Body On Anxiety via Mind Body Green

Anxiety can be way more destructive to both physical and mental well-being than you might guess.

20 Life Experiences Everyone Should Try Before They Die via Mind Body Green

No, it’s nothing out of the ordinary like bungee jumping but everyday life issues.

Get Off The Buzzword Bandwagon via Variety by Vashti

All natural, local, no MSG – did any of these ever fool you before?

45 Things That Are Way Better Than Having a Boyfriend via Serendipity and Creativity

For all fellow single ladies: it has its benefits, too.

 

DIY: How To Keep Bugs Away Without Using Toxic Sprays via Mind Body Green

Did you know any of these? Look forward to meeting some of my favourite spices, ants in my kitchen!

 

 Blogging

Social Media for Newbie Bloggers {Part 2} via The Healthy Maven

Network, show some lovin’ for others’ posts and – yes – hashtag to increase you followership. Great tips for every blogger – not just newbies.

 

Good good [things to make you smile]

The 23 Wisest Things Spongebob Ever Said via BuzzFeed

Didn’t we all know the guilty pleasure of watching cartoons wasn’t that guilty at all?! Pure wisdom.

 

Good good [food]

Veganes Tiramisu mit Erdbeeren via foods & everything

A fresh and summery vegan version of the Italian classic even non-coffee drinkers like. [in German]

Grilled Apricot Quinoa Parfaits via Fit Food Finds

Essentially summer layered in jars for breakfast – heavenly!

26 Reasons To Love Potatoes via Health.com

Stop hating or fearing [white] potatoes and start eating more of this wonderful healthy food.

Spicy Buffalo Cauliflower Wings with Vegan Sour Cream via Divine Healthy Food

Even though I’ve never had actual buffalo wings this sounds really intriguing. Very versatile cauliflower once again.

Vegan Caramelized Onion Mac n Cheese via Minimalist Baker

Cashew-less mac ‘n’ cheese with the best add-in ever.

Miso Stir Fry with Cauliflower Rice via My Whole Food Life

Stir-fries are some of my favourite vegetable-packed quick meals and the miso sauce in this one sounds delicious.

 

Happiness inducing today: Ice cream straight from the tub – the perks of living alone.

 

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

 

What has been happening in your lives this week?

 Which posts caught your eye this week?

Good good links #40

Good morning/ afternoon/ evening! Time difference is way too confusing for me so I’m taking the easy route in saying hi here. Time differences or not, though, Sunday marks the end of the week everywhere in the world and is a great day to share some favourite reads from the past seven days. That being said: here they are!

Good good links

 

Good good [food for thought]

Jonesin’ for Likes: Staying Sane on the Internet via Wit & Delight

Relying too much on outside approval in the form of likes and followers doesn’t make us happier – real life and friends do.

 Ask via Long Drive Journey

You don’t always need to have everything figured out already. If you need some help: ask.

Diet Myths We Need to Stop Believing via The Blonde Vegan

Not eating past a certain time, carbs are the devil and one lifestyle works for everyone – not.

Dreaming of the Perfect Beach Body? Let it Go… via Mindful Meals

“There’s no rules saying you have to have a flat stomach to wear a bikini and have fun on the beach.” <- this.

Good good [advice and inspiration]

Trying to kick the habit of being busy via Sprouts ‚n‘ Squats

What’s on your to-do list? Overcoming the guilt of what you ‘should’ do versus what you actually want to do.

10 Things Organized People Do Every Day via Mind Body Green

 Rituals, not postponing daily chores and having just one to-do list can help to stay on top of the game at all times.

We ALL Need to Rest! via The Lyons’ Share

Whether it’s a real vacation, taking a walk or reading a book instead of rushing around: we all deserve breaks in between.

 

Reminders For Self Love and Body Peace via A Dash of Meg

“Everything you need is already inside of you”

You May Not Be the Best and That’s Okay via Fiterazzi

Comparison doesn’t need to be the thief of joy if used in the right way. You might be somebody’s inspiration, too.

This Woman Will Change How You See “Before” and “After” Weight Loss Pics Forever via Cosmopolitan

Because giving birth is a true sign of being a woman – not abs of steel.

 

 

Blogging

Social Media for Newbie Bloggers {Part 1} via The Healthy Maven

Incorporating social media is key to building your blog and a relationship with readers.

 

Good good [things to make you smile]

Ways I Am Not Your Typical Healthy Living Blogger via Clean Eats Fast Feets

There’s no need to fit in all of the time – being the ‘odd one out’ has its benefit: staying true to yourself.

9-Year-Old Boy Created A No-Kill Animal Shelter In His Garage via Bored Panda

Can I get an ‘aawwww’? Children really are the better adults.

 

Good good [food]

Boozy Chocolate Ice Cream via Produce on Parade

 Excuse me while I go grab a piece of chocolate and mourn leaving my ice cream maker at my parents’.

Super Seed Chocolate via Miss Irina

Homemade [raw] chocolate using only three main ingredients and allowing for millions of add-in options.

Chocolate Cherry Almond Salad via Girl makes Food

Sometimes simple combinations are the best. Are you sensing a [chocolate] theme here?!

Rhubarb Recipes (that are not pies!) via Naturally Ella

Enchiladas, salsa and curried lentils – all with rhubarb and all intriguing.

Roasted, Easy, Herby Spiralized Vegetables + 13 More Spiralized Recipes via Fit Foodie Finds

And this is why I need to get a spiralizer. Is it Christmas/ my birthday/… yet???

Pear Noodle Yogurt Parfaits with Chobani via Inspiralized

Fruit noodles?! I –really- need a spiralizer. [Also linked in the post above but these deserved a special mention.]

Creamy Potato Kale Soup via Pinch of Yum

Good to know I’m not the only one craving potato soup during the warmer months still. Comfort in a bowl? Yes, please.

 

Happiness inducing today: A letter from my grandma – one of the few people in my life still writing them regularly.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

What were your favourite posts from the week?

How are you going to spend today?