The Facebook Trap

~ 11 month old walking along the kitchen cabinets~

~ 3.5 year old doing splits before her ballet class~

~ Chicken mayo sandwich for him, and chicken mayo salad for her.  Their lunch bento for the day~

How show-off!

These are the pictures that I posted on Facebook recently, because I feel proud that my little Baby2 is already trying to walk when she’s barely 11 month old, and I am proud that my 3.5 year old Baby1 can do splits so naturally.  And for that bento photo, I wanted to show my friends that I can prepare a nice packed lunch for Dear1 to bring to work, and I had a healthy salad spread for myself.  “What a loving and creative wife”, I hoped they will think.

Though few and far in between such posts, I am already beginning to feel like a super show-off.  Relatives wowed at Baby1’s ability, and colleagues got worried that their 1yo is not even standing yet.

If I am such a show off, then what about all the numerous Facebook posts that you see every day?

Who and who went to blah blah blah country for holidays, I want to go too, how envy!

So and so received so many presents for his birthday/Christmas/farewell, how popular, I want to be like that too!

Wow, so delicious looking food.  What a nice restaurant/ how she can cook!  Salivates, slurps!

Such lovely family/ group/ individual photos.  What exciting things that they do!

OMG, he has the full collection of the cats, I want them too!

Innocent looking/ sounding, I’m sure many of these posts are merely people’s way of expressing their delight, but to the reader, 10 holiday vacations posted by 10 different friends surely makes it seem like we’re missing out on something.  Or when you see 20 of your friends’ studio style family portraits, you start to consider seriously if you should go have one taken too.  And oh, all of their nursery rooms are so filled with toys, maybe our 2 big boxful of toys is not really enough after all…

Beware!  Facebook can be very entertaining, but it does make us sad frequently too, when we compare our lack with other people’s what-have-nots.  They say we are living in an information-overloaded world now, I say we live in a world where I know “what you ate and what you bought and where you went and what you did and what you think”.  I even know “what you want to eat and what you want to buy and where you want to go and what you want to do and what you want to think”!  Information super overload, but all redundant ones, don’t you agree!?

Beware of the Facebook trap!  But anyway I’m still going to continue this daily entertaining reads, and post my show-off photos.  :p

– Dear2

依然愛你

This is a song that I really like. I think it represents a lot of my feelings. I’ve shared this song and music video with Dear2 and she liked it too. So I’m sharing it here as well.

Let me copy and paste the lyrics from the description in the youtube link below after my signature.

===========

Lyrics and English translation:
一閃一閃亮晶晶
留下 歲月的痕跡
我的世界的中心
依然還是你
A flash a twinkle of a star
Traces our time together
Yet the center of my world
Still is you

一年一年又一年
飛逝僅在一轉眼
唯一永遠不改變
是不停地改變
A year a year and yet another
Time flies by with a blink of an eye
The only thing that never changes
Is constant change

我不像從前的自己
你也有點不像你
但在我眼中你的笑
一樣的美麗
I’m not how I was before
You’re not like you were either
But your smile in my eyes
Is still beautiful as ever

日子只能往前走
一個方向順時鐘
不知道還有多久
所以要讓你懂
Time only moves forward
The clock only turns one way- clockwise
Don’t know how long we have left
So I want you to understand

我依然愛你 就是 唯一的退路
我依然珍惜 時時刻刻的幸福
你每個呼吸   每一個動作 每個表情
到最後 一定會
依然愛你
I still love you, the only path I walk
I still cherish every minute, every moment of happiness
Your every breath, every movement, every expression
Till the very end, I will always
Still love you

我依然愛你   或許是 命中注定
多年之後   任何人都無法代替
那些時光是我這一輩子最美好的
那些回憶   教我如何忘記
I still love you, maybe it’s fate
After many years, no one can replace you
Those times together were the best times of my life
How can I forget all those memories

我依然愛你 就是 唯一的退路
我依然珍惜 時時刻刻的幸福
你每個呼吸  每一個動作 每個表情
到最後 一定會
依然愛你
I still love you, the only path I walk
I still cherish every minute, every moment of happiness
Your every breath, every movement, every expression
Till the very end, I will always
Still love you
I will still love you in the next life time

你每個呼吸   每一個動作 每個表情
到永遠 一定會
依然愛你
Your every breath, every movement, every expression
Forever, I will… still love you

===========

For me, the lyrics (not so much the MTV) really summarizes my feelings for Dear2. We’ve known each other for more than half our lives. We’ve been together for nearly 14 yrs. Time moves forward and change is constant. People change, so do you, so do I. But the one thing that remains constant is my love for you. In my eyes, you are still always beautiful, and you will always occupy the #1 slot in my heart. The way I love you and the way I appreciate your love may have changed, just as the way we mature with age, but you still mesmerize me with your smile, your movement and your gaze.

If only words on screen can convey my emotions – I still. Will always. Love you. 依然愛你. Muck!

-Dear1

(Edit 28 Jun 2013: Broken link fixed.)

Mixed Vege Rice Phenomenon

Our blog typically draws 100 views a day since it’s inception. Imagine my surprise when I found out that my site stats went sky high overnight! Let me recount the string of events that followed the popularity of The Art of Ordering Mixed Vege Rice.

8 Feb: Someone shared the link on Facebook

On this day, there were 9944 visitors, of which 6473 came from Facebook. So I would guess that someone stumble upon this particular post of mine and really enjoyed it. Then this person shared the link on Facebook and soon his/her friends and their friend’s friends started visiting.

8 Feb: Someone started a thread on EDMW

On the same day, someone created a thread on EDMW to share the link too. Although I do not have the details, but I am guessing that the EDMW thread was created after the Facebook link share. The reason being, several replies on the EDMW thread mentioned that they’ve already read it. Since we only have about 100 visitors per day prior to this day, I find it unlikely that the people who replied on EDMW are regulars to our blog. Hence, I guess that they must have read it on Facebook earlier on the same day.

9 Feb: I came home and discovered the surprise

So I didn’t login on 8 Feb. When I login on 9 Feb however, I was puzzled to see the figure, 14608 visitors. My first reaction was that WordPress probably made a mistake. However, a quick look at my stats details revealed that the majority of the visits were to that particular Vege Rice post. This was when I made my discovery of what had happened the day before on 8 Feb.

Over dinner, I eagerly told Dear2 about the number of visits and she was just as excited as I am. It really made our day, our blog had its busiest day since our first post on 24 Nov 2006. I would also like to thank the readers who went on to read about us and our other posts. I hoped that you have found them interesting.

I also checked my Facebook account on this day to verify the plausibility of the small world experiment and six degrees of separation. Indeed, *one* of my friends had re-shared the link. This meant that over the course of roughly 1 day, the first shared link on Facebook had made its way through various connections (although I have no way of knowing how many degrees of separation) over Facebook and returned to me, the author. Interesting, small world experiment in real life, in my life! However, none of Dear2’s Facebook friends had re-shared the link. Small world experiment failed. Food for thought. :)

10 Feb: Past the peak

Traffic dropped to 5223. I suppose the interest had past. Nevertheless, it is still the 3rd most busiest day for us.

11-16 Feb: Steady decline

Traffic is steadily declining. On 16 Feb, it was still hovering at around 250 views per day. I hoped that this had meant that our blog had gained some regular readers. But then again, it could be due to residual readers from Facebook.

17 Feb: Talked about on FM100.3

So I was driving home as usual at around 6.30pm. I turned on the radio and tuned in to my regular FM93.3. By a stroke of luck, it was a song I didn’t like so I switched stations to FM100.3. Within the next minute of so, the host started talking about tips for ordering mixed vege rice. *Raise eyebrow* Could it be?

Indeed it was! The host started referring to the 14 tips of ordering mix vege rice, in Mandarin of course. I was grinning from ear to ear as I hear them recite each and every tip I had shared. My 心得 being shared on national radio is definitely something that I am proud of. :D

Dear2 wasn’t with me in the car as I was on my way to pick her up. But I still quickly SMS her to tell her about the good news. However, as fate would have it, Dear2’s FM radio on her phone was not working and she couldn’t listen in on the radio program. And I had no record function on the car radio. Well, I did describe the details to her as best as I could.

17 Feb: Page 10 of Wanbao

So it was mentioned by the radio hosts that the article was published on Wanbao. I eagerly bought a copy as soon as I had my car parked. Turn to page 10, there it is, everything translated to Mandarin quite accurately. I couldn’t hide my grin, My 心得 on national newspaper! :D

Here's the proof, 17 Feb 2012, Friday, Wanbao, page 10.

There was also a small additional section where the reporter interviewed some mixed vege rice stall owners to get their feedback. The owners rejected tips 2, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 saying they will not work but didn’t comment on the rest. Does this mean that the remaining tips do work?

A minor complain though, Wanbao didn’t cite the source. -_-”

18 Feb: My recap

That’s today, and that’s the end of my recap. It has been a phenomenon ride for Dear2 and I. Thanks to everyone, the readers, and all the various sources of mass media that have taken notice of our little blog. Do return and support us with your continued readership. :)

-Dear1

Quit Facebook

I have decided to quit Facebook.

Not that I am an employee of Facebook.  Quit as in, quit being a FB stalker.

I used to stalk those few friends who are pretty much alike to myself.  New mummies like myself – how do they cope with their new little ones?  Has it been in grace, or was it shagged like me?  Long lost friends who turned mummy too – girls who you thought would climb up the corporate ladder because they were pretty and smart in school last time, but now staying home to look after their toddler twos.  The daily screaming at their kids; the looking forward to the 11 public holidays and 52 Sundays so that they can take a breather from the four walls and the kids.   Colleagues, or rather ex-colleagues, who are still child-less after many years of trying – now seek companionship with pets just so to fill that void while waiting.  My girl friends, who couldn’t manage to jio me out for the past 2 years because of all the reasons associated with Baby1 – now went on holidays and outings on their own without even asking me liao.  Oh, they went Taiwan, and Bali and Sentosa and Henderson Bridge and so on and so on….

And then there were those friends who got very enthusiastic during the elections.  Every few hours it was a Youtube video here, or an article there, or their own thoughts.  And even an innocent thinking-out-aloud from someone normal invoked a string of arguments with 48 comments – just because she is only thinking out aloud, no puns intended not like yourself wor.

Haiz, I have already said before, Facebook in our society now, has become an avenue for the individual to express their own thoughts.  It is usually because no one else is interested to hear what you have to say; no one is keen to know how lonely or despondent you are; no one wants to know what you had for lunch, or where you went, that’s why you had to post pictures of your food and keep clicking on the Check In at every shopping centre or restaurant.

Sad to say, I seem to enjoy more of such laments, because it makes me feel sorry for you, so that I don’t feel sorrier for myself.

Enough.  Why do I have to compare to order to feel that I should actually be grateful for the things that I have?  I don’t need to gloat that your kids are so naughty to know that my Baby1 is actually such a darling.  At 15.5 months, she’s already trying to learn to say “bao bei” like what mummy always call her!  And I don’t need to feel jealous that you ate a $200 teppanyaki meal for two, or is currently in Zurich on honeymoon, because I am actually quite satisfied with my $3.50 kway chup, and am proud that we have survived a Taiwan and cruise trip when Baby1 was only 10 months old.

Facebook is a bad bad place, at least for me.  So I must learn to quit it, and appreciate what I have without comparing with you.

– Dear2

Facebook

I really don’t understand Facebook.

Everyday, I will login to my Facebook account to see what my friends are saying.

I have friends who pen down all their slightest thoughts about themselves – I am bored today, feel like slurping on a sundae.  It’s the long weekends and I should go swimming, read a book, watch some movies, and have a nice dinner.  Yes, I should.

I have friends who write about their daily/ weekly to do list – I want to finish my work so as to enjoy the weekend; I want to jog at least 2 rounds today in order to slim down.

I have friends whose quote always begin with numbers.  They are quoting the bible aloud, because they want to remind themselves of some prayers?

I have friends who are always scolding somebody, could be their hubby, their boss or their colleague, I am not sure cos they never ever mention names.

I have friends who rant about their frustrations taking care of their babies 24/7, and I see their friends consoling them ever so frequently.  And these friends, hmm, usually are always the same few.

I have friends who prominently display their support for anti-government, and I have friends of friends who wholeheartedly agree with the PAP’s policies.

I have friends whose quote, I always do not understand cos it’s some IT lingo – some new version of some hardware, some new beta program of something.

I have friends who ever like to check in at the Bird Park, at some shopping mall, at some unknown location, dunno is it local or overseas that I never heard before.  And oh, I never knew that there’s so many doggie restaurants in Singapore.

I have friends who post all the photos that they capture on their iPhone, and I have friends who post all the photos that they capture on their cameras, including the ugly, unglam ones.

I do upload photos of Baby1 regularly, and I do occasionally rant a bit on FB, but I never do any of the above that my friends do.  I don’t understand Facebook, or rather, I don’t understand what are my friends’ intentions when they post these.  Are we becoming more self centered, or are we becoming more distant that we rather talk aloud cos there’s nobody for us to talk to?

And what about myself, this stalker?  I ‘stalk’ what my friends are writing about.  I see their grouses, I see their predicament.  I see their joy, I see their explores.  Was I happily gloating away when my baby is less naughty than their terrible little ones?  And was I seeking ideas on where to go, what to buy by comparing myself with my friends?  Shame to say, I am very probably like that.

Facebook is scary man……

– Dear2

Me, Myself and I

How many of you actively update your Facebook, adding what you feel about the morning rush crowd, the stench in the air, your grumbles about that someone you dislike; the nice chicken chop that you are eating now, the unique restaurant where you and your friends are at currently, the gathering that you went with your other friends last week; the photos you took while in Japan/ Hong Kong/ Bangkok/ Taiwan/ Vietnam/ etc/ etc/ etc; the photos of company dinner, the photos of a new branded bag purchase,and  even your Primary School class photo?

Why do we do that?  Is Facebook your personal diary such that you want to detail all these experiences for your own reference to next time?  Or did you merely want to show other people, your friends, all the things and thoughts that is happening to you right now?  I would tend to think that it is the latter.

Aren’t we self centered!!  We update our Facebook status ever so frequently, and upload what-have-nots kind of photos on the go, and when our friend leave a comment/ tag/ like on these, we feel happy because someone is ‘listening’ to you.  Oh, it means that I have friends!

So hence, I continue to update my status and photos with ‘d@mn the traffic jam that I am in right now’ and ‘oh, this show screening on Channel 8 now is interesting’ for my friends, hoping that they are forever logged on to Facebook to see my latest update.

So much for Me.

Yet, there’s another group of people who, because of all these constant updates by their friends, begin to feel lack.  I have not been to Nex (that new shopping mall at Serangoon) yet.  Wah, that food looks nice, but I’ve never ate that before.  Oh… His holiday looks so fun, I wish….

Stop!  Don’t compare.

Facebook is so sad.  It has become an outlet for people to vocalise Myself, and for others, create much un-necessary envy because I don’t have that.

However said, it will continue to be an avenue where Myself continue to post about Me, and see what I am missing out…

– Dear2

Singapore Motherhood Forum

Singapore Motherhood Forum – you can find everything you need to know regarding motherhood here.  And you can buy almost everything here as well.

How I love the Singapore Motherhood Forum.  During pregnancy days, Dear2 will spend sleepy afternoons browsing through the long lists of threads to equip with pregnancy and baby know hows.  From looking at reviews of gynae, to how to cut baby nails, all those previous posts posted from all over Singapore served as a useful source of information and knowledge.

How I love the Singapore Motherhood Forum.  Excited mtbs create threads once the double line on the pregnancy test kit shows, and start their pregnancy journey detailing the growth of their foetus as well as their cravings for mee siam and what-have-yous for their daily lunches.  Disregarding these bo liao information, ‘Yes, I am having nausea during first trimester’ and ‘Oh, I am having a show, perhaps it’s time to admit to hospital, baby is coming!’ do provide valuable know-hows that all the symptoms that Dear2 was experiencing are actually common pregnancy woes.  Come February when all the Feb MTBs had popped, it was ‘Yes, my baby’s poo is greenish and PD says it’s normal’ and ‘Oh no, so the 9pm to 1am incessant crying is due to colic’ gave us new parents assurance that Baby1 is growing healthily and all her growth milestones are in line with what the other babies born around the same time are experiencing.

How I love the Singapore Motherhood Forum.  The spree and bulk purchase threads offer so many nice and interesting buys, cheaper than retail prices and all at the comfort of sending a few emails and internet fund transfers.  How convenient!!  From maternity wears to baby clothes, from breast pump to breastshields, from swimming tub to second hand MIM sling, and now a pretty Coach bag and a fancy scarf, Dear2 is starting (or has already started!?) to enjoy online shopping, keke……

How I love the Singapore Motherhood Forum.  It relieves me of boredom during those moody days staying at home all day long, and it gave me strength when I was despondent on the low milk supply.  It’s nice to see how others have given others encouragement when they barely know each other.

But, I hate the Singapore Motherhood Forum as well.  There’s toooooo many cute stuff to buy online now, and it’s always ‘stop, think, and discuss with Dear1 first’ before commiting to any buys.  The lure is too big, the addiction too strong for the Dear2-who-hardly-step-out-of-house-becos-of-Baby1.  Urgh…..

And beware!!  人云亦云.  A few people may share some common practices, then ‘teach’ this to those who dunno, and very soon, the whole village starts to adopt the same practice.  See the pitfall?  Beware of falling prey to what others are doing/buying  just becos a few people are doing/ buying it.  Always ask yourself, ‘Is this what you want?’ rather then simply adopting it just becos the others are doing it.

I love the Singapore Motherhood Forum.  It is indeed a useful resource for all parents, and a rewarding marketplace for mummies *wink wink*.  I’m gonna Favourites my favourite pages.  :)

– Dear2