On Instagram and Introspection

One of my biggest guilty pleasures is stalking myself on the Internet. From being a Myspace kid, to my short lived YouTube career, to curating my life on Instagram – I am so guilty of checking what I was doing one, three, or even seven years ago.

Which makes me wonder why I’m currently so aware of the idea of “aesthetic”. I may not be a gazillionaire fashion blogger who supports their lifestyle with Instagram, but for whatever reason, my Instagram seems to have developed a theme. What can I say? I’m a content producer both by day and by night. Keeping it on brand is practically second nature to me.

If I use Instagram as a means to keep tabs on my past self, I’m my own biggest audience. Something deep down is directing what content I choose to share online. Sure, a couple of hundred other people are watching too, but a lot of this is for thirty year old Rosy. Photo albums are obsolete. Part of the fun of nostalgia is now looking at how many likes a post got, as well as the picture itself.

Or maybe this is just me and I’m totally weird/self-absorbed/kinda pathetic. Your call.

When I lived in Madrid, for example, my feed was bright. Because isn’t that what the life of an expat in Spain is supposed to be? If Hemingway had an Instagram, it would be sun kissed and vibrant and warm. Old Ernie and I both liked to criticise Spain, but we definitely wanted to immortalise the country in its best light.

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Sure, in Madrid I did all these things. I ate pink lollies and drank iced coffee (when it became gentrified enough to get it, that is) and wore floaty dresses. My life was significantly sunnier than its English equivalent and I wanted to remember that. But my life in Madrid on social media is definitely not the life I had. I was unhealthy and unhappy. From the major lack of vegetarian options to the comfort eating to dull the pain of teaching English or unpaid internships, Madrid had its downs. But unless I screenshotted my empty bank account, you can’t portray that life on Instagram.

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Which brings us to my time in Brighton. The sky is grey, my clothes are black, and I’m still drinking my iced coffee. The colours may be more muted, but I’m so much happier here. I’m not sitting around carefully curating my life to look back on. I’m living in the now and posting it as an afterthought. Whilst I only chose to share the best of Madrid, for me, all of Brighton is the best. I may have only been here for five months but I’m already much happier than I ever was in Hull or Madrid.

I can post a picture of my work desk and planner because for once in my life, my work makes me happy. I’m sharing food pictures because, get this, vegetarian food is everywhere. Who would have thought? Not Spain! Who needs pretty dresses? I’m wearing all black and I’m digging it.

So thank you, Brighton. For making me evaluate my social media choices. And more importantly, for making me realise how happy I am here.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll post a picture of seagull or a bagel – and Future Rosy will know without a doubt that whatever the subject ends up being, Past Rosy was pretty freaking happy with it.

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Making Friends As An Adult: Bumble BFF


“Do you guys know each other?”

“We met on Bumble”

“…”

“Oh, there’s a BFF feature for friends!”

Sometimes I forget that not everyone meets their friends online. It’s still seen as strange and a little bit psycho-killery. But anyone who thinks that is wrong.

In 2017, how the hell are we supposed to meet anyone anymore? Once you’re out of education, you’re left with flatshares and work colleagues to form the ultimate #SquadGoals-level friend. You’re stuck choosing from people who have no guarantee they’ll like the same things as you. That’s why I’m fully for shopping for friends on the Internet.

When I was 14 I made a friend on MySpace and traveled to meet up with her. At 15 I became nocturnal to hang out with my American YouTube friends. And after a brief period of normality making friends at university… in my twenties I was back on the Internet. After all, I’d met my boyfriend on Tinder and everyone accepted that as the norm – why couldn’t I make platonic friends this way too?

I’ve written about my experiences with Bumble BFF before and in Madrid it worked out well for me. So with the second major move in my life (back to the UK, but further south than I’ve ever been before – whaddup Brighton), I was back on the Friend Dating scene. What can I say? I like swiping.

Moving to a new city is hard… especially when you take a risk and move there without a job lined up. I spend my days applying for jobs and sneaking in a few HIMYM episodes on Netflix. The app provides me a sense of normality that I just don’t have here yet. I have people to talk to (albeit through a screen), but they give me advice on good coffee and tell me about their job struggles when they first moved here. Without Bumble BFF I would probably be going insane right about now. And as with Tinder, sometimes these online meetings go well, and your Friend Courting continues into the real world.

So I’m going to keep singing the praises of making friends online. As a teenager, I made some of my best friends on the Internet. People who lived entire continents away and who I wouldn’t have known existed at any other time. On a smaller scale, this works in a city too. Why should I miss out on a great friendship just because we didn’t meet at a coffee shop like we might have had to ten years ago? Forget your prejudices of how weird it is to judge someone over a picture and a bio, if you can do it to find your ~true love~, you can do it to find your next gal pal too. It’s convenient, chill, and just all round cool.

BRB, gonna go swipe right some more.