[8/30] Has Smartphones & SocMed Made Us Less Socially-Sensitive?

Regardless of age and background, we see EVERYONE hooked up to their smartphones anywhere and anytime. This newfound connectivity to the world has probably blinded us from basic etiquettes. In some instances, I find that people are so ignorant about what is okay and what is not, when it comes to using smartphones and social media platforms.

Some time ago, I scrolled down my Facebook feed to find a post by one of my friends, about her literally dying father. She had posted a video of her father, bedridden, just about to be unplugged of his life support. ‘He passed a few minutes later.’, she mentioned at the end of the post. People taking pictures of their unconscious loved ones in hospital, live streaming the final rites of a funeral are all far too common these days. Other things that I find questionable (or get very annoyed at) are browsing through social media, or even just playing with your phones in the cinema. We disregard the comfort of other audiences with the light from our screens because everyone else are also using their phones?

We watch videos out loud in public places. We take pictures of random cute toddlers unbeknown to their guardians. We screenshot pictures of a ‘good-looking’ person to circulate (who am I kidding, to sexualize la) in WhatsApp groups – uploading a picture on social media DOES NOT EQUAL granting permission for every idiot to download the picture!

So much for freedom of speech, we misunderstand that mean comments and cuss words are approved. A pregnant social media influencer does a photoshoot with heels, and every Tom, Dick and Harry (or Jane, Jill and Jennifer, if you’re that kinda feminist), goes on to comment of how she was being irresponsible and could hurt herself and her baby. Celebrities probably have it worse – everything one say or do comes under scrutiny.

Recently, I read the most hilarious response from the South Indian actor, Siddharth to one such know-it all – who reprimanded the actor for saying RIP instead of Om Shanti in his tweet regarding  passing of a renowned lyricist.

WhatsApp Image 2018-11-08 at 10.27.30 AM.jpeg
I literally LOL-ed at his response – well deserved!

Ten years back, these situations would have been considered outrageously insensible. Just because we have the means to take these pictures and videos, or type comments at so much convenience, we forget that there should be some boundary (and possibly a little common sense).

There is no definite guideline to what can or cannot be done. But sometimes, maybe we should all take a step back and be more mindful about how we use our smartphones.

Twisting wise words from Spiderman, ‘With a  techie phone, comes great responsibility.’

What else, in your opinion, is unacceptable when it comes to social media and smartphones? Do share your thoughts with me! 🙂


Note : This blog post is part of my 30 Days Microblog Challenge which I began in September 2018 (and continued in November, because I left it at Day 7 in September!). To read more from this series, you can select ‘Microblog’ under Category. Or, search for #therainbowhatmicroblogs on Instagram. 🙂 Topics for this series are a mix of my own brainchild and prompts from my Insta-friends.

My Postgraduate Journey

I’m overwhelmed with pride and joy as I write this, even days after my convocation ceremony, months even, since I actually completed my postgraduate studies circa early June. Well, I have very solid reasons why I am singing praises for myself (this could be a good thing, no?).

Why I Signed Up for Postgraduate Studies?

Let me begin with why I signed up for a Master’s course. You see, I was not beaming with satisfaction as much during my convocation in UTP. I wasn’t graduating with the best of CGPA, and I wasn’t proud of where I stood. I have always taken pride being an academically accomplished student – and that sort of scarred my spirit. I had to correct that, before I moved on to better things (or so I thought). So, I did not overthink about starting my masters to heal Little-Miss-Achiever in me. She needed to know that she could do better and deep down she knew she was better. I went with Environmental Engineering, mostly because it made sense at that time – I was working as an Environmental Engineer, and I kind of liked the subjects during my final year major. I thought I wasn’t ready for a MBA.

The Journey Itself

You see, my journey completing this postgraduate studies within three semesters wasn’t an easy one. I had a full-time job in an MNC and tutored part-time, three nights a week. I did a mixed-mode Masters, so that meant I had both classes and dissertation to complete. Sometimes, I had classes from eight in the morning to six in the evening, on Sundays. I was doing this to prove my worth, so I wasn’t about to sail along classes just enough to graduate. I had to be at my best. Needless to say, it was exhausting. Some days I felt like not doing anything and sleep all day. I helped increase sale of Pringles, McDonalds and Goodday Honey Flavoured Milk (this is so good!). I also had a few cry baby episodes at home. I got touchy at the slightest comment. I was always whining about how tired I was to my mum, and justified my weight gain with tears. That was all the worse parts.

The better parts came when I was once again the sought-after person for assignments, and when my results came each semester. I am being extremely honest here, that was my high. I went on this journey wanting so badly to prove to myself (who am I kidding, also to others) that I was as capable as I pictured myself to be. It wasn’t all about CGPA or being smart per say, it was my redemption. I started this journey with a wrong mindset, I guess. But I ended it on a different note, with a refreshed sense of confidence, self-worth and desire to learn. Okay, maybe the desire to learn was extra because I paid for every credit hour with my hard-earned money and I made sure to make full use of every Ringgit. I enjoyed the assignments (although I was almost always doing it last minute – #somethingsneverchange). I enjoyed the discussions, insightful conversations with my classmates and lecturers. Kind words from my close knits refueled my energy and enthusiasm. It kept me going (one of the things).

That, and the constant nagging pep talk from The Mister who can be both a Sweet Angel or a Nasty Uncle. Here’s an anecdote that’ll help explain my previous statement. On the final days of my thesis submission, I was a complete mess. I had gone two days without sleep and was on leave to complete my thesis write-up. I was constantly calling The Mister (even when he was at work) and I cried about how tired I was and complained that the thesis ‘is not finishing’. I told I was going to extend for another semester – he was all nice and motivating, until at one point I got yelled at. He told me to either do it or extend the damn semester – stop whining (not his exact words, but you get the idea laa).

I drove to Starbucks in Petronas Solaris Serdang, bought two drinks, redeemed another AND completed my thesis write up. I had to pay extra for same-day binding and submitted my thesis 6 hours later than the deadline. You see, sometimes all we need is a little (or aggressive) push. Lucky (in this case) for me, The Mister seems to have found a complete operation manual on how I work. He succeeds, almost all the time (it doesn’t work when it comes to getting me be healthy, hahaaaa!).

A year and half equivalent to three semesters later, I was done! I graduated with a 3.73 CGPA, presented in a conference and got the Best Paper Award. I had left my previous job on the last week of final examination, which was a carefully engineered break for myself. I am glad that I went on this journey – and I am more than glad that it gave me countless opportunities – to meet the right people, to learn beyond academics and to make my parents (and close knits) proud of me.

Disclaimer: This write up may seem like I’m self-bragging, but I assure you that wasn’t my intention. I’d love to keep my trumpets in the closet, but I really feel like I owe it to myself, to be proud of me, and share this story in the honest possible manner.

index.jpg
Almost exact representation of my emotions completing this journey. 😛

 

[7/30] The Moving Cheese

If I am a philosophical and oh-so cliché type, I would start this post by saying ‘Change is the only constant.’. But I would not do that, obviously. *inserts hahaa!* Fair to say, I have not gone through major unexpected events in life (I have seen people had it worst). As I thought about writing this, it came to me that I could classify the changes that happened to me into two; 1) Expected, generic changes and 2) Conscious change – when I made up my mind to change something.

Honestly speaking, tougher of the two is making a conscious decision to change. I’m not going to lie, I have had my fair share of struggles with this. Be it leaving a relatively well-paid job to join a graduate trainee program, enrolling in postgraduate studies full time while working a full-time job, moving on from the worst mistake of my life, and even deciding to stop sucking my fingers and scarring my forehead, it was all WORK. What helped me most in these transitions are three things, conscious self-reminder to be resilient, supportive circle of close knits and lots of information.

  1. Resilience

Resilience, I think, is something that we must work on. In the face of challenges or adversities, don’t uggghhh too soon. Be solution-focused instead of problem focused (I’m working on this!). December last year, I discovered this book called ‘Who Moved My Cheese’ by Spencer Johnson. I liked this book so much that I bought 3 copies of the book for my friends. It is a story of 2 mice and 2 people who live a in maze, looking for cheese – I bet you’d find it an easy read.

  2.    Seek for Support

Always confide in and discuss your thoughts with people you’re close with. I was lucky enough that I’ve had people around me knocking my head, slapping me with hard reality and being supportive sweethearts. Don’t beta yourself up feeling weak, because sometimes we all need *sings* somebody to lean on!

  3.    Gather Information

Look for enough information about the situation that has changed. I am big on researching, no matter how petty a matter is. It is always consoling to understand what you’re going to face (are facing) especially if it’s a new job, new project or even a new romantic partner. If research tells you no-good news, then at least you know now! Be prepared for the worst – this goes back to #1, be resilient.

When I gradually stopped my skin-picking habit (I self-diagnosed myself with skin-picking disorder  before my dermatologist did! See, research helps.), I was not used to looking at my face without that scar on my forehead. Some days, I’d just pick on my skin at the same spot, just to feel that comfort (stop rolling your eyes, Mister!). That’s how changes haunt us sometimes, like something’s not right. BUT, it’s just a phase, you’d get through it. Because… change is the only constant! 😉


Note : This blog post is part of my 30 Days Microblog Challenge which I began in September 2018. To read more from this series, you can select ‘Microblog’ under Category. Or, search for #therainbowhatmicroblogs on Instagram. 🙂 Topics for this series are a mix of my own brainchild and prompts from my Insta-friends.

[6/10] Memorable Moment : Bottom of the Bottle

I was clad in my baju kurung school uniform that day, with ever messy short hair. We had just won a round of debate, and I was named the ‘Best Speaker’ despite perpetually saying ‘people under them’ instead of subordinates or employees throughout my speech in that round. Our debate-guru (in bold), Puan Kalai, shook her head after session and said, ‘Jo, what is ‘people under them?’. It was the 8th National English Debate Competition, we were supposed to compete in 4 four preliminary rounds.

In the next round, we were competing against a Chinese private school from Sabah. Being the young and dumb bunch that we were, we thought that the round should be easy, siding us. The motion for the round was something to do with ‘Imposing Environmental Labels on Consumer Products’. We were to oppose the motion. As the debate heated, we realized that ‘Government’ team had pretty good speakers. They pretty much were kicking our dumb bottoms.

One of them were saying how environmental labelling is important to educate people to recycle. I raised my hand confidently to rebut. ‘You see, this bottle here *whilst lifting the plastic bottle up for more effect* has no environmental labelling. But we still know that it needs to go in the Plastic recycling bin. What’s the use for labels?’. The other speaker also lifted up the bottle, and said, ‘Madam, would you turn the bottle upside down? Do you see the recycling symbol stamped at the bottom? That’s environmental labelling’. I said, ‘Oh, okay!’ and sat down.

Others in the room laughed. I wanted to hide under the table. Team from the girls’-school with a street name lost that round. Much to my embarrassment, this incident has since replayed like a thousand times in staff room, classrooms and our Literary & Debating Society meetings.

This probably wasn’t a significant, life-changing event in my life, but somehow, the memory of the day carried on with me over the years. Just days ago, our super-awesome debate guru proved how memorable my ultimate rebuttal failure was.


Note : This blog post is part of my 30 Days Microblog Challenge which I began in September 2018. To read more from this series, you can select ‘Microblog’ under Category. Or, search for #therainbowhatmicroblogs on Instagram. 🙂 Topics for this series are a mix of my own brainchild and prompts from my Insta-friends.

[5/30] 10 Amazing Things about My Ex-Boss

The cheeky person who prompted me to write this clearly had first-hand experience of the drama that unfolded during my last days of work in Land of Pichonkun. It was all glitters and rainbows at work before I tendered my short notice resignation (no, it wasn’t. hahaaa!). Surprisingly (also shockingly), it was not as difficult for me to come up with this piece. So, *drum rolls*, here are the 10 most amazing things about my ex-boss which are purely non-fictional (this, I kid you not!). Oh, and we shall name my ex-boss ‘Ex-Boss’ throughout this post (because duhhhhh…) in order to protect their identity.

  1. Prepares incredible presentation slides – prior to meeting Ex-Boss, I mentally thought I was quite good at making presentation decks, but soon enough found out that I was mediocre.
  2. Has a sharp eye for details – almost always able to identify minute errors
  3. Curiosity to learn – if Ex-Boss doesn’t know, Ex-Boss Googles!
  4. Gets the bigger picture of things
  5. Gives random creative ideas – especially we brainstorm on events, activities
  6. Passion for the company – this was Ex-Boss’ first job, and Ex-Boss has dedicated 20-ish years of their life for the organization.
  7. Taught me most of what I know of Safety, Health and Environment (SHE)
  8. Patience for long discussions? – this remains questionable, though
  9. Workaholic
  10. Sort of indirectly got me to start my current attempt to eco-living.

I think this could be a kind reminder to all of us. Let not bitter moments cloud the good in others. Bridges do burn, unfortunately. We can either rebuild the bridge, or simply wish them well from the other side.

IMG_4367
All smiles for the camera. 🙂  And look, that’s Pichonkun!

Confession : As I wrote this, I had flashes of Friday afternoons during monthly Environmental Committee Meeting. I am just glad that’s all history now! 😛


Note : This blog post is part of my 30 Days Microblog Challenge which I began in September 2018. To read more from this series, you can select ‘Microblog’ under Category. Or, search for #therainbowhatmicroblogs on Instagram. 🙂 Topics for this series are a mix of my own brainchild and prompts from my Insta-friends.

[4/30] How I Met Sorru

I think it was a Wednesday, which in UTP, translates to lecture-free second half of the day. I was sitting in Tudung Saji Café, my usual spot by the beam. I was probably doing some assignment or reading as I heard loud chatters approaching me. Someone asked me if I was going for the replacement class, I would’ve nodded, while mentally rolling my eyes. They were all headed to Chancellor Hall, to watch some debate competition, in a large noisy group. I was supposed to collect their quiz papers from class. I mentally mocked them. One of them, a tall boy wearing spectacles, muttered something. They conveniently decided to pass me a bag (one that they give out during orientation) and told me that one of their friends would come get it. I mocked them mentally, again, with a smile on my face. Who even writes their name on their bag with a correction liquid? Owner of the ridiculously tarnished bag came to collect his bag, grinningly.

I went to class that afternoon and collected every quiz paper with an Indian name. I only knew 2-3 of them. After an hour of class, I went back to Tudung Saji. Sometime later, they returned too. This was my opportunity to match names with faces, and possibly intelligence. In coming weeks after that, I made friends with them and was soon part of the big, noisy bunch.

That boy who passed me his friend’s bag always commented on my Facebook posts, texted me, always asked me out for movies and later settled for a KFC lunch circa July 2011. He drove me around, packed suppers and asked me answers for assignments.

Years passed. On a rainy night, I came back to my room exhausted after long hours in IRC. I opened my ‘unofficial email’ which I had only used for my BlogSpot account at that time. First sentence said, ‘I know you won’t see this email for some time’. As I read the email, I knew. I was in love with the boy who wrote me an email with grammatical errors. So, friends, this is how I met and later fell in love with Sarvish.

12
Earliest snap I have of us, taken in 2011 @ Tudung Saji Cafe

Disclaimer: I have the tendency of reconstructing memories to my preferences, but I also have the gift of vivid memory for minute details.


Note : This blog post is part of my 30 Days Microblog Challenge which I began in September 2018. To read more from this series, you can select ‘Microblog’ under Category. Or, search for #therainbowhatmicroblogs on Instagram. 🙂 Topics for this series are a mix of my own brainchild and prompts from my Insta-friends.

[3/30] Kerala Taste – Injipuli

Honestly speaking (ermm, typing), I lack appreciation of Kerala Cuisine. I know little differences between the many South Indian cuisines. BUT, I have an ultimate favourite which is Injipuli (literally translates to Ginger Tamarind). When you attend Malayalee weddings or events, you’d often find this pickle-sort of dish served. If you do, there’s also high probability that you hear an older Malayalee aunty who’s critiquing the dish – needs more brown sugar, ginger pieces too big, colour is just not right shade of spicy red and whatnot. Well, all I know is that Injipuli shall taste however my mother makes it. Because… Amma knows best, and she’s the best cook I know. I’m just a happy kid who’s about to eat her Chinese Economy Rice dinner with a teaspoon of Injipuli on the side. 😬

11.JPG
Amma’s fresh batch of homemade Injipuli, 🙂

Note : This blog post is part of my 30 Days Microblog Challenge which I began in September 2018. To read more from this series, you can select ‘Microblog’ under Category. Or, search for #therainbowhatmicroblogs on Instagram. 🙂 Topics for this series are a mix of my own brainchild and prompts from my Insta-friends.

[2/30] Turning 25

I’m freshly 25 as I write this, and I already think that this could possibly be my best age thus far (trust me, I’ve lived quarter of a century plus few hours, so I know). I’m wiggling into ‘real adulthood’ with loving family, love of my life, new and old friends AND feel-good vibes which I have earned back. Challenges may arise and tears may fall, undoubtedly. Nevertheless, I’m going to put on my imaginary rainbow-colored cape and look forward anything and everything that comes my way.

20180902_184551
25, and still need 2993 photos taken before getting a fairly-okay photo,

Note : This blog post is part of my 30 Days Microblog Challenge which I began in September 2018. To read more from this series, you can select ‘Microblog’ under Category. Or, search for #therainbowhatmicroblogs on Instagram. 🙂 Topics for this series are a mix of my own brainchild and prompts from my Insta-friends.

[1/30] Secondary School

What a coincidence that one of the prompts for my #30daysmicroblogchallenge was ‘Secondary School’. An impromptu brunch today (1st Sept 2018), with these two couldn’t have been more timely. One of them has been my longest SMS-darling whose conversations I always cherished and the other shook me up during my darkest times. What I love about them is the fact they’re both extremely ‘low maintenance’. I can’t remember the last time we met, but today, conversations flowed effortlessly. I am grateful for friendships like this one.

Capture
Brunch & Cake @ Watercolour Gourmet Bakery and Cafe. Photo credit : Kess 🙂

Note : This blog post is part of my 30 Days Microblog Challenge which I began in September 2018. To read more from this series, you can select ‘Microblog’ under Category. Or, search for #therainbowhatmicroblogs on Instagram. 🙂 Topics for this series are a mix of my own brainchild and prompts from my Insta-friends.

Day Trip to Pulau Kukup, Johor

I have always wanted to go on mini adventures, and explore places. But, I never did much, because time never allowed me (at least for the past year and half), and also let’s face it, I’m the laziest person when it comes to going out of the house. *facepalm*  Like when is VR becoming affordable for people like me la? Nevertheless,  I promised myself that I will make most my time in Johor for the next 8 months, and go on short explorations.

So, the destination for my first trip was Pulau Kukup, which I discovered in Johor Tourism website. Pulau Kukup is apparently the largest inhabited mangrove forest in the world. Its also designated as National Park (Taman Negara), which makes it rather an important location in Malaysia, especially if you’re an environmental enthusiast.

Getting to Kukup is rather straightforward. You could enter Kukup in Waze or Google Maps, and as you reach Kukup town, look out for the road signs that indicate ‘Terminal Feri Antarabangsa Kukup’. Parking is easy to find, especially if you reach around 8-9 am. Walk towards the terminal, and look for the boat owners to get you across the waters to the national park. Most likely someone will approach you by now. Two-way boat rides cost us RM 10 per person (Hint : Get the boat owner’s number, so that you can call them when you’re done in the park). Boat ride is just less than 5 minutes, and during the journey you can see floating fishermen village.

Entrance fee for the Kukup National Park is RM 5 per person (with MyKad). You can proceed to walk into the mangrove forest. The trail in the national park is well maintained (you wouldn’t need sport shoes and all), which makes it quite convenient. As you walk in the mangrove forest, you’d see mangrove trees straight of your geography books (like duhhhh), monkeys and lots of greens. You’d probably find this place less pleasant if you were to just Google it. But, what’s hidden behind the mangrove setting is several fascinating Insta-worthy setup for those who’d love a photo opportunity. There are different unique installations in the forest, modern architecture-nature fusion of sorts – where you can pose away.  The complete trail in the forest takes about 45 minutes – 1 hour. After were done, we called out boat guys, and waited about 5 minutes.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

After the walk in Kukup National Park, we hopped on the boat, and went to one side of the kelong settlement. We watched this weird crab feeding show. You can walk around at the kelong, watch the fishermen feed their crabs and fishes. We spent about 30 minutes at this place, and hopped on the boat back to the terminal.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Then we walked out from terminal, back to the nearby village, Kampung Nelayan Air Masin. As we walked, we realised that there were E-bikes for rental. You could rent an E-bike for RM15 per hour. We went on the bike to tour around the village. Locals there are probably pretty used to having tourists, so they were pretty accommodating as we navigated aimlessly through little lorongs of their kampung. Stopped by at one of the houses in Kampung Kukup Laut (village nearby the terminal, on the left), and bought coconut pudding for RM10.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Sang Matahari started to be merciless as it reached noon. We had ABC at this place called Summerly Ice House. The mango flavoured shaved ice seemed more famous there though (you should try and let me know how you liked it!). We decided to head back after stopping by to get some local fruits and anchioves (ikan bilis) for the nasi lemak I was intending to cook.

Overall, it was short fulfilling trip. Definitely a different scene that the usual malls and cafes. This trip will be easy on your pockets, and also a gateway for you to reconnect with nature. I was just frustrated to see rubbish floating on the waters, even in the mangrove swamp. I’d recommend Kukup if you’re looking for a day trip.

Public Service Announcement: If you were to take a trip here, or to any forest/island/anywhere la, please keep throw it in designated bins. Please!