My Holiday Without Social Media  And How It Affected My Life

My Holiday Without Social Media

It was literally the best and worst holiday I have ever had. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m addicted to aimlessly scrolling through Twitter or googling every inane fact that crosses my mind. So having to live for three weeks without the internet was hell. If you’ve been wondering where I’ve been these past few weeks: off the grid…and it wasn’t as good as all those life coaches make it out to be.

butterfly_outlineSocial

My social media poison of choice is Twitter. I use it to keep up with pop culture shenanigans, book news (and drama), worldwide news and waste time. This might sound weird but it physically hurt not knowing what some of favourite celebrities were up to. I had this recurring nightmare of one of them dying and I wouldn’t know about it because I didn’t have the internet and no one in my family cares about the same people as I do. The horror.

I don’t normally post on Instagram but I love scrolling through my discover feed and suffering from FOMO. That didn’t stop me from taking thousands of pictures with my cousins and my family. Pictures that I’ll back up online and never look at again.

Youtube

One of my favourite things to do on the internet is watch Youtube videos, especially makeup tutorials, sometimes I’ll watch gameplay walkthroughs and apartment tours but makeup tutorials are my hermetia. I had the forethought to download a few indulgent ones before I left but eventually they weren’t enough to sustain my addiction. I watched them over and over again until I knew every single eye shadow blend, every winged eyeliner move, every joke about matching foundation and all that was left was a gaping hole in my chest screaming for more.

What I didn’t miss about the Makeup Youtuber community was the drama and the racism. Racism is an on-going discussion in this community. Some of the biggest names are racist bigots and constantly getting outed for their racist ways but there’s always an excuse to support their favourite white gay™ racist fave but that’s a discussion for another time.

Google

“When rain falls from the sky, does it gradually disintegrate and reaches the earth as droplets instead of one huge drop of water?” – a weird thought that I would have loved to google but couldn’t. I get so many random thoughts and questions every day that I don’t know the answer to. Google would have helped me a lot. When I was listening to a song I so desperately wanted to sing along with but I didn’t know the lyrics; I couldn’t google them for a sing off session. I couldn’t google reviews of media I consumed to see if anyone would validate my opinion with their think-piece.

Blogging and Books

I missed updating my Goodreads shelf and adding all the books that I want to read, have read or I’m currently reading. I feel woefully behind on new releases and overall book drama. Is it weird that I missed the occasional drama of the book community???

Blogging – I missed blogging. Sometimes this feels stressful and I don’t want to think about it but I had so many post ideas while I was away that I can’t wait to share with you.

Mental Health

I’d love to say my mental health was better without the social media influence because sometimes I get affected by the things that I see on the internet but there wasn’t a huge improvement. Anything has the potential to be a trigger for my eating disorder, mood disregulation and anxiety.

Some of my coping mechanisms rely a lot on the internet and some of my triggers are on the internet. Watching Youtube videos and reading fanfiction online are two of my favourite coping mechanisms for evading stress and anxiety and without the internet I just had my thoughts and books. Certain social media posts on Twitter and Instagram can trigger my mental illness bringing up feelings of not being good enough, not doing enough and not trying hard enough.

Benefits:

  • My battery life lasted so much without constant use of the internet. I used my phone mostly to read eBooks and play games.
  • I saved so much money on airtime and data. Data is insanely expensive in South Africa and criminally so in Zimbabwe.
  • It was a positive and a negative for my mental health.

Is this something that I will (forcibly) try again? Definitely not. Although I’m not completely addicted to the internet, this holiday really did put my internet use into perspective for me. I’ll try not to be online so much anymore especially on Twitter and Instagram.

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Have you ever taken a social media or internet detox before? Either voluntary or involuntary such as mine. If not, would you ever consider it?

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The Reader by Traci Chee |

The Reader by Traci Chee

Title:  The ReaderThe Reader
Author: Traci Chee
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Putnam’s Books
Rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads | Takealot | Amazon

Trigger warning: child fight rings, child soldiers

Do you ever read a book and you wonder where it’s been your entire life? That’s what The Reader was like for me. This book pulled me in from the start and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since.

“This is a book, and a book is a world, and words are the seeds in which meanings are curled. Pages of oceans and margins of land are civilizations you hold in the palm of your hand. But look at your world and your life seems to shrink to cities of paper and seas made of ink. Do you know who you are, or have you been misled? Are you the reader, or are you the read?”

The Reader is the first book in the Asian-inspired fantasy trilogy Sea Of Ink and Gold. Sefia has been on the run since she was nine with Nin, a notorious old thief knows as the Locksmith who’s been with her ever since. When the people that killed her parents catch up to them and Nin is taken by a mysterious and dangerous lady in black. Sefia spends her time searching for them, bettering her skills so that when they meet, she’s ready. On her journey, she rescues a silent boy, stows away on a pirate ship, learns how to fight with words and infiltrates a child fight ring.butterfly_outline

Traci Chee’s writing is remarkable. She writes very well in a way that I can’t get over. the book felt amazing and really transported me into it. The setting descriptions were amazing, the way she describes Kelanna, the fictional world and the politics of it.

The Reader QuoteSefia was an amazing protagonist, I absolutely love her. She had great fighting skills, empathetic and focused on finding Nin. Her tentative friendship with Archer was one of my favourite parts of the book. Archer’s story was difficult to read but so important in bringing the story together. He’s a strong character and loyal to Sefia. Although his past trauma as a child soldier forced to fight to the death by the impressors prevents him from speaking he’s a strong and loyal character. I literally had goosebumps whenever they were in a tense situation.

The other characters were well developed and stunning. Captain Cannek Reed and his band of misfits were an intricate mess of vibrancy and adventure.

The plot moved swiftly. There was never a moment of dullness within the storyline. Whenever things got quiet and the action slowed down a little, it didn’t get boring instead it further enhanced the plot. Fantasy is not my favourite genre anymore but once in awhile I find something with all the things I used to love about the genre and I fall in love. The Reader contains beautiful passages that any lover of books will enjoy.

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What are some of your favourite books that incorporate books and/or reading within them?

Down The TBR Hole #3

It’s December so I decided to clean out my TBR before the new year begins. One of my goals during the Tidyathon was to keep my TBR under 300, I have failed dismally. For this week I sorted my TBR on Goodreads shelf from the lowest rated to the highest rated.

Down The TBR Hole is a weekly meme created by Lia at Lost In A Story.

1. Sociable by Rebecca Harrington

Average Rating: 2.44

The lowest rated book. Popular opinion has it that the female main character is horrendous and unlikeable (I peeked at the reviews) but I’ll judge for myself. It sounds very cute.

Verdict: Keep

2. Broken Wishbones and Empty Spaces by Pyrokadia

Average Rating: 3.35

I love poetry but this collection doesn’t really interest me anymore.

Verdict: Go

3. The Wonder Bread Summer by Jessica Anya Blau

Average Rating: 3.01

Loosely based on Alice in Wonderland. A girl works at a dress shop which is a front for drug dealing and somehow ends up on the run with some cocaine. The first review is negative. I couldn’t resist glancing at it as I am a big fan of rant reviews. Sounds interesting but it doesn’t set my soul on fire.

Verdict: Go

4. Future Perfect by Jen Larsen

Average Rating: 3.04

A rich grandmother promises her grandaughter tuition to attend Havard University if she undergoes weightloss surgery. A little controversial but it doesn’t look like the female mc caters to her grandmother’s fatphobia in the end.

Verdict: Keep

me throwing the grandmother away

5. The Regulars by Georgia Clark

Average rating: 3.07

Three regular girls on New York find a magic potion that makes them pretty, things go a little haywire as a result and sacrifices have to be made. This is a New Adult book that doesn’t seem to be people having sex on every page so I’m down.

Verdict: Keep

6. Someday Find Me by Nicci Cloke

Average Rating 3.15

I haven’t been able to successfully read something that focuses on eating disorders without getting triggered so nope.

Verdict: Go

7. The Bling Ring by Nancy Jo Sales

Average Rating: 3.16

This is a story I’ve been interested in since I saw the movie trailer with Emma Watson but at this point I think I’ll just see the movie. I’ve read a bit about it on the internet and watched some of the interviews.

Verdict: Go

8. Three Sides Of A Heart by Natalie C. Parker

Average Rating: 3.16

It’s not a secret that I’m allergic to love triangles but I believe this collection will be different so I’ll give it a shot because Brandy Colbert, Justina Ireland and Julie Murphy are some of the writers featured.

Verdict: Keep

9. This Darkness Mine by Mindy McGinnis

Average Rating: 3.24

The first few pages of this book are a little disturbing and I’ve never managed to get past them. But the reviews are so intriguing, I want to know what happens.

Verdict: Keep

10. A House At The Bottom Of The Lake by Josh Malerman

Average Rating: 3.24

The description of this book sounds like a paranormal horror and I’m interested in how there is a house at the bottom of the lake. How does that work?

Verdict: Keep

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I started this with 304 books on my To-Read Goodreads shelf and I now have…301. Progress? A little.

Summer, Short-sleeves and Scars

Content warning: discussion of selfharm scars

I was doing a little spring wardrobe cleaning this week which mostly consisted of me throwing away expired medication while watching Empire. Summer is here. The days are getting hotter and longer. Something about packing away my winter coats, scarves and winter leggings and seeing my Summer clothes made me think about my scars.

Usually I don’t care about wearing short-sleeves, I haven’t cared about that for a long time. But during the winter I’ve grown comfortable hiding in my jerseys and hoodies. I feel a bit self-conscious about showing my scars now. The summers here are too hot to even think about wearing clothes let alone long sleeves. I don’t usually get invasive questions and unwarranted suggestions/opinions. It’s not about the questions or the pointed looks. It’s about feeling comfortable enough in my own skin to not care about it.

Summer is Christmas season this side of the hemisphere which means I’ll be spending it in my home country, with all my aunts, uncles and cousins most of whom are going to loudly ask me what the scars on my arm are in a very public and uncomfortable setting. Summers in Zimbabwe are hot, I don’t want to wear long-sleeves to cover up and sweat in but on I might have to depending on where I am and who I’m with.

“My body is not up for discussion.”

If you see someone with scars on their arms, it’s none of your business. Unless you’re close enough that your invasive questions are filled with love and care but if you’re a random person trying to fulfil your own sick need for information you’re not entitled then fuck off. Before you even fix your mouth to say something about somebody’s scars ask yourself this: how is my unwarranted question going to help this person, do I have anything helpful to say.”

First of all you already know what self-harm scars look like so why are you asking me what the fuck happened to my arm. How does my confirming what you already know help either us. Stop feeling fucking entitled to people’s stories just saw you can have something to gossip over when you’re doing the dishes.

Breathe, Sakhile

 

Uhh…Raincheck?

In a few hours, I am going away. The plan was to have enough posts scheduled for the time that I will be gone but the way my mental health has been set up the past couple of weeks…that ain’t happening.

I have one post scheduled and ten in my drafts. A part of me was honestly not expecting (hoping) to go away for the holidays but this is what happens when you’re not in control of your life. Major decisions are made for you.

Hopefully, I’ll be a little more organised when I get back from home to home (the definition of home is a bit confusing when you’re an immigrant).

Here’s to a selfish 2019.

Don’t isolate yourself.

Movies I’ve Been Watching Lately #2

Hi I’m back with another movies post. Do I do anything else other than watching movies and reading books? I crochet a little while I’m doing those things but that’s a story for another time. My movie taste is all over the place. I like a little bit of everything. I like horror but give me the shivers without the bloody gore, I like romantic movies but ones that are not too predictable, I like action movies where things explode for no reason.

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Lady Bird

Lady Bird

My interest in this movie was purely because of a coming-of-age movies video edit that included a clip of the main character throwing herself out of a moving car to get away from her mother. The relationship between Lady Bird and her mother hit home for me. Everything from the way her mother told her she wouldn’t make it, from yelling at her for no reason, for making everything about money and somehow love still existing in the edges reminded me of my relationship with my mother. There have been times when I wanted to tell my mother something important but I didn’t because “we weren’t really talking then.”

Reality High

Reality High

Just your typical American high school movie. Unpopular Girl (with glasses – these are crucial in making an unpopular girl) falls in love with Popular Boy whose ex is – coincidentally – Unpopular Girl’s ex-bff and Popular Girl. Unpopular Girl and Popular Boy have a great teenage romance movie montage, Popular Girl is LIVID, plotting ensues, Unpopular Girl is publicly humiliated, PB dumps UG, grand public gesture, they get back together at a public gathering. PG is shunned. All is well. End scene. Writing this has reminded me of Holly Bourne’s It Only Happens In The Movies which is a fictional YA commentary of rom-com tropes.

Love, Simon

Love, Simon

Everyone knows what this one is about. so I’ll spare you the plot summary. It took me two months to get through it because I kept pausing every ten minutes and only coming back to the movie ten days later. I’m a weirdo. Firstly I think Simon’s friends behaved horribly when everything was revealed. I understand their anger but to completely abandon Simon during what he was going through was dramatic and cruel. The last few scenes made me cry which was unexpected because I didn’t cry when I read the book.

Set It UpSet It Up

It’s been a while since I felt like I was watching a proper romcom. Set It Up is about Harper and Charlie setting up their Miranda Priestly on steroids bosses with the hopes that once they’re preoccupied with their love lives, they’ll be able to knock off work at a reasonable time instead of 1am but they are the ones who end up falling in love 😍 Lucy Lui plays Harper’s boss, Kirsten, a sports journalist and Taye Diggs plays Charlie’s boss, Rick. It’s a little cheesy but that’s part of its charm. It feels like a classic, old-school romcom but modern.

Game NightGame Night

Game night gone wrong. Annie played by Rachel McAdams (love her!),  and her husband Max played by Jason Bateman, meet with friends every week for game night. When Max’s brother plans a kidnapping mystery for game night things become super crazy when they realise that he really has been kidnapped and this is not a game anymore. I loved this movie and have watched it twice already. The characters we hilarious, the comedy was great without any weirdness peppered in.

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At the end of this post, I usually add movies that are on my watchlist but do I ever watch them? No, because I get distracted by the next shiny thing. Or rather the next shiny movie.

Movie Watchlist:

A Star Is Born
THUG
Bounty Hunters
Ready Player One
The Darkest Minds

What movies have you been watching lately? Do you prefer to go to the movie theatre or wait until you can watch it in the comfort of your couch?

ARC Review: Just For Clicks by Kara McDowell | Sisterly Bonds & Slow Burn Crushes

Title: Just For ClicksJust For Clicks
Author: Kara McDowell
Publisher: Amberjack
Pub. Date: 19 February 2019
Genre: YA Contemporary
Rating: ★★★.5☆☆

Goodreads | Preorder

“If we were in a movie, this would be the part where he kisses me, or I kiss him. But my life has always resembled a reality show more than a romantic comedy, and instead of waiting for the kiss, I hear myself asking a question, even though I’m afraid of the answer.”

Claire and her twin sister Poppy; have been famous since they were born. Their mother’s mommy blog launched them into fame and YouTube careers but Claire just wants to be a normal teenager while Poppy revels in the fame and the opportunity to be the next Kardashians. When Rafael Luna shows up and forces Claire to start questioning her choices and wondering why she doesn’t go after her dreams but her journey of self-discovery leads to skeletons she isn’t prepared for. Continue reading “ARC Review: Just For Clicks by Kara McDowell | Sisterly Bonds & Slow Burn Crushes”

19 Books I’m Looking Forward to in 2019

2019 hasn’t arrived yet and I’m already behind on my reading list. There are so many amazing books coming out in 2019. Here’s my 19 for 2019.

  1. Ruse by Cindy Pon

I enjoyed Want a lot and I can’t wait to see what’s happening in the second instalment of one the most well-written and underrated dystopias ever.

  1. Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett

Simone Garcia-Hampton was born HIV-positive, now as a teenager she has to navigate self-acceptance, fear and disclosure when she falls in love and lust for the first time. This book’s story is too close to my heart. Continue reading “19 Books I’m Looking Forward to in 2019”

November Wrap Up | The Month I Discovered Traci Chee

November is the glorious month that my reading slump was broken! I read a total of eleven books. I haven’t read more than 8 books in a month since March. So now that I’m back to my bookworm self. This post is a little longer than my usual ones and I’ve edited it so much to make it work but it’s still over 900 words long. But it’s all exciting content!

Books I’ve Been Reading Lately

Continue reading “November Wrap Up | The Month I Discovered Traci Chee”

18 Books Released in 2018 That I Still Haven’t Read

18 Books Released In 2018 That I Still Haven't Read Yet

2018 is just about to end and I haven’t made a dent in my TBR for 2018 releases. This year has been a great year for books.  This list is comprised of just some of the 2018 releases that I am dying to read but haven’t been able to for a number of reasons.

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  1. Running With Lions by Julian Winters

Running With Lions is a coming-of-age novel following bisexual senior Sebastian Hughes who’s eagerly anticipating his last summer at soccer training camp and settling into his role of team captain when Emir Shah, his ex-best friend arrives unexpectedly arrives. I’ve been following Julian Winters for a while and I really wanted to read this book. Continue reading “18 Books Released in 2018 That I Still Haven’t Read”