CPR – Cry, Proceed, React: a new social order when someone dies

The development of Social Media has really gone side-by-side with my life just like my cat who yesterday passed from old age and a failing heart. As with her, that which we may call social media entered my life one day and placed me in a nurturing position ever since (not that it hasn’t given me some joy in return). I couldn’t not care about it. Social media interacted with me, as I did with my cat, and that was OK. I’d miss it if I went without it for too long; kept checking on it, still do. You could that say it grew on me! And because it was relatively new like me cat was once too, who knew, it might have left me—just like the cat-door was always open for my cat to disappear on me at any time. And as with the never-ending updates in the world of social, as well as with the stock market going up and down as I’ll mention a bit further down… one adjusts their expectations along the way, right!?

Luckily, she didn’t go until she went and died. And I feel kind of as though she is the first “project” I ever truly completed; because I took her in from the street, tried to find out where she’d come from, then registered her as belonging to my family, cared for her, and most importantly; I never, ever, quit her. Her kidneys getting worse two years ago didn’t stop me from believing that she could get better – and she did! When finally her heart started giving up on her the other week (and she must have got to an age equivalent of some 100 human years), I thought; “She is the captain of that ship… I’ll just let her take command of its anchor now; I think she’s had a good tour.”—something like that.

Two months ago, Instagram began letting its users share up to ten photos or videos in one post, instead of just the one (Instagram Blog, 2017). I didn’t feel like sharing memories of my cat on there now in March. Neither to straight-up give a chance for the general public to comment on it, nor to exploit her last testimony of existence into some test of a new function to that app. Had she gone a little over two years back, when she got the kidney problems, there still would have been only room for square-shaped memories, as well; create your own collage inside that, or nothing (Instagram Blog, 2015). However, in the end I decided to put a collage up on my Facebook wall. I first put it together in a photo-editing app (note: there is still a choice of being offline and ‘anonymous’—as I perceive it—in the experimentation with this) on my phone (I have a feeling we’ll do everything for an audience soon). And soon after I got incoming teary-eyed emoji reactions from people I know from around the world. One of my class-mates—with whom I was studying for a poster-presentation at the time—was sitting next to me as some of these reactions reached me, as I said to her; “You know, had my cat died a few years back, the only reactions I would’ve got might have been likes. This really is more suitable.”

Today, my other friend in class asked me in person if my cat had died after having seen my Facebook post from yesterday. She smiled. “Um, why are you smiling?”, I said, “…yeah, she did.”, I went on. So my friend in class replied that she cares for others when their pets die; feels empathic. And it struck me that having seen all those emojis on the day before made me nearly forget what real human response may look like, although at first I had thought that those emoji-reactions were closer to reality than ever (I suppose that goes for cyber-space in 2017).

Friday, 31 March 2017:

“Digital immigrants”. A description of adults who don’t fully get the online slang and smileys. Great (Lindqvist & Thorslund, 2011, p. 35). 

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Leading up to yesterday, mom had actually tried calling me to let me know that the cat was taken ill. I didn’t hear it because I was showering, or something. She emailed me the whole story about what was happening, CC’d my brothers. Then finally sent a picture of my cat on WhatsApp, and that’s when I noticed, texted her back and said; “Everything OK with her?”, “Actually, no. I emailed you…”, mom replied back. 

It was late, I opened my email by switching apps really quick. I chose to voice-message my boyfriend and attempt to hold back my tears there, instead of calling my mom back at this point. I knew that calling her would just lead to an extended sob. I had a “career day” to attend the next morning. If I could avoid puffy-eyes, I would. Mom and I then sent each other heart-emojis and our conversation came similar to what one would utter at a funeral for a good friend (these days when words still are able to co-exist with visual reactions in shape of emojis). And before I went to sleep I asked her to text me the next day, after it would be all over for my cat. I still haven’t talked to mom over the phone about this. The cat-funeral was supposedly late yesterday. Yet I know more than I ever knew from when my first cat passed, before I had ever owned smartphones, computers, or some robot dog; or whatever the kids get these days. My boyfriend sent me a couple reassuring voice-messages back from the New York subway on his way to an event. “Everything is going to be OK; you’re family is going to be OK, you are going to be OK…”, he kindly assured me, and to my relief I could go to sleep pretty efficiently despite all.

What we have these days is also “networked grieving”; in which funeral services now intersect with social media, and can help people express their grief online as well as plan it (Nansen et al., 2017).

Come to think of it, mom had said that she’d actually read online that the symptoms my cat had had signaled heart-failure, and I’d believed her. So had the veterinarian that later checked my cat before her passing (hopefully she used some techy-tool more than, like, Apple’s own Health app). But mom and I both put a lot of trust into Google. Perhaps more so me, because I’ve “known it” longer!? I’ve seen doctors Google symptoms when I was in a New York hospital with the flu once, so why shouldn’t the stuff on there be at least somewhat relevant!? My boyfriend also said he was going to a viewing the other week. I thought since he was searching to find a new apartment that he was going to an apartment viewing. I recorded him a chipper voice-message the next day; “Hey, hope your viewing went awesome, let me know!” He replied that he couldn’t go in the end but that he’d forwarded his condolences. Only then did I turn to Google and realize my mistake… this was a death-related viewing that we were talking about.

Friday, 31 March 2017:

“Lindqvist & Thorslund (2011, p. 18) discuss turning into the person you make out to be online as a risk, but what about making it a career?”

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I can’t promise you that the person who is writing this will be the same person in two years from now when I graduate from university, but do I even want to be? I like this inquisitive mind of mine, and I’m going to keep feeding it with social media, as social is going to be fed by me and what some people might call my “content” (a.k.a. my life?) right here and now, and continuously so.

Acting taught me to take things really personally on stage, and simultaneously be more thick-skinned for the business-side of the job and industry. I suppose that’s also how I see the internet. Maybe just that I’m splitting my personality over different channels, like one should invest in Index funds and things, according to Tom Robbin’s new book “Unshakeable” (Robbins, 2017), and not be investing all into one single bet for the future. Simultaneously, as with the stock market, I’m investing my personality, my time, or my money (as in studying for this line of profession or related), with the knowledge that what I perceive as being private or anonymous might be the complete opposite; and that there will be a “bear market”. Meaning, things will go south at some point – but I just choose to prepare for those times and come out alive, instead of hiding from it all and actually losing with a perception perhaps of being “safe” and steady when that’s not really the case. Robbins mentions in his book that being outside of the market is your biggest loss. Being out of the social media game creates the same loss in my opinion, we just may not have the same expert advice on it yet to say that it is indeed a game that needs to be played, and someone to pin-point the advantages for each and every individual.

That’s when a film director yells; “Take a risk, do something—anything—but make a strong choice and stand by it!” And that is at least what I intend to do continuing forward with social media—basically; say hello to my “new kitty”!

Ruth Sundell

References

Instagram Blog. (2017). Share Up to 10 Photos and Videos in One Post. [Online] Available: http://blog.instagram.com/post/157572774352/170222-multiple [2017-04-03].

Instagram Blog. (2015). Thinking Outside the Square: Support for Landscape and Portrait Formats on Instagram. [Online] Available: http://blog.instagram.com/post/127722429412/150827-portrait-and-landscape [2017-04-03].

Lindqvist, J. & Thorslund, E. (2011). Ungas integritet på nätet. 5th ed. [Online] Ödeshög: DanagårdsLiTHO, pp. 1-90. Available: https://www.iis.se/docs/Ungas_integritet_Ver2_webb.pdf [2017-04-04].

Nansen, B., Kohn, T., Arnold, M., van Ryn, L. and Gibbs, M. (2017). Social Media in the Funeral Industry: On the Digitization of Grief. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 61(1), pp.73-89.

Robbins, T. (2017). Unshakeable. 1st ed. London: Simon & Schuster UK Ltd.

So long, pepper

Hey! Back from USA. Reading online publicly noted police missions from the last month up until now. Trying to find if I can get a direct answer to a really eerie gut feeling I caught today while I was riding my bike over dark canals in the evening. Some not so well lit bike paths I crossed, and steep, dark stone steps ahead to which I finally said “no thanks.”

I feel a bit like the feeling I got from watching Nightcrawler. I noticed such random things today! Like there is this site that sells pepper spray, but then I went to compare prices and learned that the pepper spray is counted in as a weapon in Sweden and goes under the “weapon-law” or alike over here… but the pepper ingredient it’s what’s causing the ban like… so then this other site highlights that sites who are indeed selling the pepper spray aren’t legal and if you’d get it and use it on someone then you could be taken in for an assault charge… “heavy” assault even, or what the proper definition is in English. Intense assault… don’t want that.

Actually, as a kid we’d say the “bad guy” pepprade (peppered) down “his” victims… so why is that? Because non ground pepper look like bullets?

And I searched for Pepper + military because wasn’t there a military cadence about a famous veteran called Pepper? Found in Military & Gov-related instead that it is an abbrev. of “Police Enforcement Policy and Programmes on European Roads (EU)” ha! So much meaning… I guess I also read somewhere on google now that to join the MP in the U.S. you have to first have been pepper-sprayed in the face. Ouch.

So, on the Swedish site (2nd one) there was this volunteer in the video that was testing out this other legal version that also marks the perpetrator with red paint. And I thought of buying the whole set of a holster and the spray only so I could safely ride my bike places in the dark.

Going back in time to just before last New Years I remember hearing fireworks that sounded sort of like gun shots. As I checked the police updates I found that they’d had some 30 reports on a day leading up to New Year’s Eve. “Strangely, no one got hurt.” One police had reported…
Sounds to me like an episode of Twin Peaks or something.
When is that new version coming out anyway?

You know what I’m in the mood for? A steak so rare you could sell it at Tiffany’s!

– Gordon

Reading this too: 5 Gut Instincts You Shouldn’t Ignore 

And I of course applied for a job as a Black Jack-dealer, but heck – can you answer 20 math questions like the following (in 3 minutes): 174/2 x3 +129. If so the job is is yours – you can have it OK?! It’s fine! I’m good at other things. I did a nice melting cheese today before bed for instance. Could make that a yoga move… I’m creative like that. Ps. Watch Absolutely Fabulous – the movie… great 1. Watched it on the plane outbound.

Goodnight folks! Sleep soundly and well! *Hidden Fences* premiers in yer dreams only tonight, check it out. Imaginative producer: M. Keaton… ✨ 😉
– Bebe

True Holidaze

Applied for the police series casting anyway. I wrote a post about applying previously but I deleted it because it bored me. My hair style is quite like that *Detective Ani Bezzerides*, but longer and lighter, so… Otherwise I suppose I’ll wait until later with reading the Rolling Stones article about what went wrong with Season 2 of True Detective!? I’m watching it. It’s dark.

I got a book too, Freedom, by Jonathan Franzen. ‘A masterpiece’, according to New York Times. Anyone read it? I just wanted to read something good.

Heard some fireworks this evening. Can’t be fun for someone who’s a veteran with PTSD, I suppose? As with dogs. Unless they know how so well how different weapons sound that it wouldn’t sound like a small gun or anything. I biked through the woods along an empty road and thought about the forrest as looking kind of welcoming now that I’ve been out there somewhat more this year, then across a river in the dark – which reminded me of running intervalls in winter, up north (most of us looked close to throwing up during that). We’d thrown our ice cleats to rest at the beginning of this bridge, then we put them back on and jogged home in double columns.

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Thinking about joining a gun club across the river and bike there. I’d get the workout from the biking back and forth, and I’d re-live some of the army thrills at the range. Maybe after New York I’m going to go and see them. The thing is that when I do, I want to really commit to it if so. So I’m going to think about it. Can one even bike while carrying here? And can you even store a gun (in Sweden) in a Student apartment? The laws are so strict… speaking of strict: tomorrow I have to code in HTML Strict… yessir. Goodnight.

or “Bon-fn-voyage…

Bebe

Movement and motivation

Hey everyone,

Hope you are well! I wanted to check in with you and share some news. I finished my book about learning and digital yesterday, it’s called 11:11. I will try to publish it here on the blog for you all to see very soon! But first off, let me say I’ve had this beautiful time of learning today.

I started off with some yoga at home, and then I went onto doing some pushups, working my back muscles with some weights, etc. and started listening to a complete Feldenkrais lesson on YouTube at the same time! Feldenkrais was a physicist! I really liked the introductory  talk about him. Very motivational. Much worth it! 🙂

I just realized something massive when I followed this whole video and did the lesson! If the brain only wants to adjust to where it sees “possibility” in terms of movement as I both heard from the teacher and was able to feel for myself here, then maybe the thoughts work similarly? And perhaps that’s why the Law of Attraction (The Secret) and similar methods (The Silva Method) work; because you truly imagine possibility! And also while show jumping, you’re supposed to look at the next obstacle already while you’re flying over one… maybe that’s just a way to put our attention on the next thing so that our body moves with us and the horse can feel it and so it, too, turns easier as a result… rather than that we can “think ahead”. Wow. Because in horsemanship you practice a lot of small movements as well – working with the movement of the horse instead of against it or trying to be the one who decides over it.

I’m going to work on my script now. Shooting next week. But I felt I should share this experience. I was sitting down and looking over to my left shoulder… well, barely! I was barely looking past my left shoulder to begin. Whereas the end of this lesson I was able to look past the point of right behind me. The brain is magnificent! Really.

Also I tried this TheraPearl eye mask, putting it on for 20 minutes before I got to sleep. And so I’ll listen to The Silva Method (the long relaxation exercise) while I keep the mask on… kind of drift off to sleep for a bit, wake up by an alarm I’ve set for 20 min., take the mask off and just put it by my side on a table without leaving bed… and then drift fully into sleep! Next morning I have almost no dark circles under my eyes, not much puffiness… and I feel lovely!:) Tomorrow I’m getting a haircut and I’m going to have a wonderful weekend myself, I wish the same for you… and may all your wishes come true!

-Bebe

Imagination and Potential with Movement, Magic and Design

I had placed the banana cartons that I’m to pack my stuff in for my move on the veranda – BAD IDEA – with the first box I brought in I found a little spider, so I ran out and shook it off but it stayed dangling in spider-web. Had to cut the cord with my fingers shaped like a pair of scissors. But then I figured I should bring in a least another box to let it “dry up” from any dampness from the outdoors too, in preparation, and as I opened the lid on that yet another spider appeared! A long-legged one! But I shook it off with a shriek, “OOOH” because I had stayed outside this time. 

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Anyway, I figure I needed a little break from watching The Magicians after one episode. It reminded me of a lot of things. Like, how I used to want to be a magician as a kid… one of my first “goals” you might say. Yeah, this was way before Harry Potter. I sat alone in the dark hallway of the house while my parents were watching TV and I thought of ways to make a white dove appear out of nowhere. I went into their bedroom and got a red silk scarf with white stripes and I sat back onto the floor and tried moving the fabric up and down from the floor and around to make it appear and said a few magical-sounding lines, kinda like “Dove – Appear!!!” ha ha

I’d found a dove made of silvery paper – I’d say less than an inch big – on my way home from school. Thinking back it kind of looked like a mark on credit cards. I got the keys to walk home by myself when I was pretty young. I also had a pretend-friend that I called “Nobody”. Sad!? Maybe. Maybe scary? Have you ever thought about those ghost-stories that are about what kids see? I mean who knows what really was there, at least the imagination runs wild when you’re a kid and that’s a good thing, you know. If you have good acting teachers, you’ll learn not to be afraid of the imagination itself later on. That it is OK to imagine. It’s for the sake of ART. I’ve experienced awesome things in college due to like body movement and training that would be so basic and yet intense – so very human – and the focus would get so utterly clear and the experiences half-way into it and after so very vivid… as with the Feldenkrais Method that we practiced, for example. It’s so wonderful. 

Anyway, listen to this whole thing and but specifically 12:53 minutes in:

The kid has brain damage, right, but as Feldenkrais says in the video, “By minimising the variability of his actions and make him capable of suddenly realizing that he can learn, he’ll find himself that his brain damage is minimized. He’s actually being able to learn in an hour more than an average child can learn in an hour.”

And it makes me think back to yesterday. I was driving this machine around at work and it made an awful sound. I knew it had been said to be bad, and that they’re going to replace it, but my dad (who’s very technical, smart and innovative) always tells me to react if something sounds wrong and check it out… basically, to try and solve it. Well, I figured, I tried different buttons, different speeds… and I found that the button I specifically needed for the machine to do its thing was the one that caused the sound. And I discovered that a fast pace did not help either. So I drove around for a few more minutes, thinking like alright, well this is my job and I had planned on doing this and few people are still working so they shouldn’t be too bothered if I do it quick and short. Well, then I drove over the bit farther away and got back, but pretty soon I spotted one guy working on the other side of the hall and I felt like I had to think of something else. Turns out… slowing down at a much slower pace did not cause the sounds at all, even with that button pressed… so, then I could finish the whole job and I did solve part of the problem by figuring out when the problem is Not a problem and by focusing on the little bits that worked.

I don’t know if you see the connection I’m seeing with Feldenkrais and this machine, magic, and more… but it’s basically a “trick” I’ve learned over the years, as in motivation – that if you can figure out what you DON’T WANT, then you can turn it around and make it about what you DO WANT… figure out what IT IS that YOU DO WANT by knowing what you don’t want and yeah, just flip it around. And now, I know magic is a lot about illusions such as you want to make someone focus on something else while you’re doing another thing. Magic is basically the ART of politics and the CIA, right… if you want to use it for that. Hopefully not, I mean I wish magic was used only for good stuff. Sometimes it gets a bit too alien for me. I’ve been watching Stranger Things on Netflix and then watched real videos from survivors of the MKUltra experiments on youtube. Scary stuff!

How about this badass marketing method of Hitchcock… or is it badass, or a little… PSYCHO? A quick google search gives you “Psychological Marketing”… but what is and what is even brainwashing or mind-control? Like, these are totally relevant subjects considering there are current talks about possible SPIES and insiders at Swedish authorities on the radio and it seems many experiments in history stem from a fear of the “commie”! And, speaking of fear, Psycho was a scary movie that used some wicked marketing tactics. Brilliant or crazy I don’t know, but it sure sold:

Moreover, I started watching, The Magicians… got me thinking about autumn, pumpkin latter and hot cider because the girl in the first episode wore the kind of flannel scarf that seems to be connected to all magical shows… you know, Harry Potter like. BTW, the first “thick” book I finished was Harry Potter. Why? Because I liked the subject of magic but I specifically remember the black and silver pages with stars after each chapter. You remember those? Every time I got to those I’d put down the book and go to sleep… or I’d be inspired to read another chapter to reach the next starry page, or read on half-way and think… ah, at least soon I’ll be at another page with those stars… like that saying, uh, “Don’t put off until tomorrow, what you can do today.” Or, I’d feel like I got a step closer to my “goal”, you know!? That was a great design. Really left a mark on me… got me excited about reading more. A great, simple design. Think about it… one picture on a page like. A film is just a bunch of pictures or frames at high-speed… I was so annoyed when I heard somebody say on a ghost-story podcast recently that “Film doesn’t blink.” Well, of course it does. It blinks like a billion times or whatever, mate! Otherwise it’d just be a still picture and not a movie. A quick google picture search on Harry Potter + star pages showed me that people got these as tattoos… so I guess I’m not the only one that they meant something to. I don’t love the books but I did like this design for the purpose.

Also, it got me thinking about some 2 years ago like, when I had applied for a US green card lottery for… well, not the first time. And my friend, old class-mate, who’s now working as an actor, even got his name in The LA Times for his acting… well, he told me about Chaos Magic and Sigil Magic. So for a while I looked that up and a bunch of other magic-related content on youtube. And I created an inspiration board or whatever, just for myself, on Pinterest – with all those videos. I think I’ve seen two magicians in my childhood. One which really surprised me, and another that was more of a showman. I don’t know, I didn’t win, you know, but I find it fun to think about. Did you see Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell? Another magic show I started watching with my brother before… some year back I’d say.

This one (below) is pretty cool, you know a documentary. I didn’t know how much magic went on by… Coney Island, was it!? It was a while ago since I watched this, I gotta watch it again – it was saved on that board I created. I mean, I’ve been to Coney Island and I can absolutely imagine it being a thing there… I shot a bit of film on my Ipad there for class before. Feels like a magical place from the moment you get off the subway and feel the sea breeze… You know, perhaps we just like these magic shows because they remind us of being kids again as we had a better imagination then – like it’s some kinda longing within us? Or maybe I’m speaking for myself. I love acting and it’s a lot about the imagination – and I haven’t been able to keep it up so much as of late so maybe it’s just my own craving. But either way, perhaps somebody feels the same… 😉

Oh well, have a magical day! 😉 I need to keep on packing etc. Hopefully no spiders! What are your experiences with magic and the rest of it? 

The Brave Blonde