Monday, 13 February 2017

Hypocrite, thy name is Bondie...

I don’t often follow up on previous blog posts, but as discussed on 16th January (Choose Life...Again) and in the spirit of closure, I finally saw T2 Trainspotting. It was marvellous. Nostalgic, moving, and just as before, a visceral cinematic experience. Other than that I’ll leave it to the experts, so here is Mark Kermode’s review which summarised my thoughts nicely.

Catching up with the same characters years later is always a worry. It’s not that you want the characters to stay the same. It’s that you want them to have plausibly aged the way their younger selves indicated they would. There are some lovely moments when it’s clear Danny Boyle has pulled this off, perhaps most iconically with the 'Choose Life' reference.

I had the original ‘Choose Life’ poster in my first adult home. ‘Choose life, choose a job, choose a career… ‘ and so it went on. At that time I was choosing a job and a career, and as the poster continued, I was choosing ‘washing machines, cars and compact disc players’ too. I was choosing all that back then. 

In T2 Trainspotting, Renton’s 2017 version of the monologue accurately skewers modern life once again, but one line in particular stood out.

“Choose life, Choose Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and hope that someone, somewhere cares”

Of course an updated 'Choose Life' rant would include social media. It had to be in there. I smiled in recognition of the glut of existing networking apps and their ultimate lack of worth. But later at home I found myself irked that I hadn’t uploaded anything to Instagram that day. I smirked at the dozens of people I know who live out their relationships online, but then I had the simultaneous thought of ‘Ooh, this could make a good blog post!’ as I processed my thoughts. 

Do I semi-embrace social media whilst keeping it at arm’s length, or am I kidding myself and I’m just as obsessed as the next person who posts each thought/meal/family photo/business venture every minute of the day? Answers on a postcard. I have no idea.

It’s a double edged sword. On the one hand I’m a private person. I keep myself to myself, and only share who I am with a handful of close friends. But then I am deliberately developing my author platform all the time, blogging on a weekly basis about ‘stuff’, and trying to get as many people as possible to read my words - whether that be online, or ultimately on paper. (I was over the moon last week, when my blog post was viewed over 1000 times. It’s a record. I know it means nothing but it still felt like a validation. Double-edged sword, see.)

So the 'Choose Life' line stuck with me. It made me think about what I put ‘out there’. I realised I've developed my own subconscious guidelines over time, and in some ways that is quite reassuring. For example, I tend to keep Facebook for people who have actually met me. (Except for the person I accidentally friend-requested after dropping my phone. She seems lovely, though.) I don’t post much and it's usually family photos so my privacy settings are high. Twitter, on the other hand is much more of a free for all. I find myself retweeting a lot of articles that say what I think for me. I share my strong opinions masked behind a variety of Guardian journalists.

And then there’s Instagram. I’ve had an account for a few years but I've never understood it. It festered away, ignored until last month. Disclaimer - I still don’t understand it. But after reading this article I decided to post one picture a day. I think my original plan was to take exciting road trips to locations featured in my book, and share the places that inspired the story (see point 8 in the article). In reality, I scrape the bottom of the photographic barrel on a daily basis by taking a picture of whatever is in front of me. On Thursday it was this…

Scraping the bottom of the photographic barrel.

I suppose that this is really an apology. I am a hyprocite! A contradiction! An enigma! I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy asking him to love her. (Sorry, ignore that. I went all Richard Curtis there for a moment.) I aim to be as non-boring and interesting to read as possible. Yet I know that photos of my nail varnish, a bowl of nuts and what is on my TV at the time are of no interest to anybody, barely even myself. And yet as a writer, it is all supposed to help in the long run. 

So sorry, I know it is rubbish. I really do.  But on the other hand, if you want to follow me on Instagram, it’s @bondiela.

Happy Monday y’all.

This one didn't even make it on to Instagram.
 I apologise to fans of Lemsip and tissue photos everywhere.