Claiming My Neighbours

David Archuleta recently became relevant again in the eyes of the internet. He has been doing many shows here and there but nothing explosive that made the internet go crazy. I’ve always liked and respected that about David, that he chose out of this “Spotlight” to do his own thing.

A girl in a hijab posted a funny video of her lipsyncing to David Archuleta’s Crush (a song I hadn’t heard since Manila live). David retweeted it. It was 7 am for me, I was excited, happy, and thought the girl looked like a Malaysian internet celebrity. These young ones do a lot of silly things on the internet these days, you know? I don’t keep up.

So as always, as what I always did, where I can be, I tweeted to David that the girl’s from Malaysia and he should come back. The girl replied she’s from Singapore. I said whoops, okay, no matter. David should go back to Singapore too.  I thought that was the end, but nope. People kept retweeting it and replying saying I’m a Malaysian who is claiming a Singaporean to be theirs, and that “Malaysians don’t do that” and “Malaysian is becoming like Indonesian” etc. At first I was like, meh. Then it kept coming.

Picture in 2012, the last time most of us in South East Asia saw David live was in 2011/2012 before he went on a two-year Mormon missionary trip in Chile. I had the opportunity to fly to Manila in October 2017 to see him again after five years.

Binge Watching TV

A few nights ago I intended to take a break from my late-night “studying” sessions (read: studying for work), gracefully typing www.iflix.com into my search bar with one eye closed. iFlix is Malaysia’s Netflix I get for free since I’m subscribed to Unifi. I knew it was going to be a one-time thing. Just in case you didn’t know: I don’t watch any dramas, I don’t enjoy movies and I only listen to music when driving. Just wanted to do something out of the ordinary. I usually spend my free time watching documentaries, studying how-tos, and listening to talks (I am 100% boring).

When I clicked on the Documentary category, what came out instead were biographies about celebrities. NOPE. Horror? Nah. Adventure? Boring. I thought of Hilary Duff. Hilary Duff. That’s who I want to watch. I typed her name in the search bar and Younger TV came out. Oh man, it’s a TV series. TV series have always been out of bounds for me. Not only did I understand how much time a person would waste on watching one episode after the other, I also understand it’s designed that way so you get hooked and want more and more and more. It serves lonely people well.

YOUNGER

I watched it anyway. Three or four episodes per night. My usual 9 pm – 12 midnight spending time work-related I spent watching Younger. Guilty I felt, but at the same time, I wanted more.

Told myself work could come in later as I watched these 26 year-olds be somebody in the publishing world, understanding what my own publishers meant when they say they look for authors with no following. The editors and publishers at Empirical chase authors with thousands of followers on Twitter. The protagonist is a 40-year-old woman pretending to be 26, first faking her age to find a job, next faking her age for everything. Every night they go to the bar; if not something to “celebrate”, they’d go just for fun. They’d show up at the work the next morning looking flawless as always and the forty-year-old protagonist somehow always does her assistant job well AND has the eyes of hot looking men on her. The episodes open with an after-sex scene, kissing and stuff while I wonder if, in real life, people smell. Morning breath doesn’t seem to exist! Oh, TV, the ideal life.

I told myself, “Let’s just finish one series and see if I’m compelled to watching the next one.” Damn that autoplay button. I just sat my laptop at the edge of my table as I lay on my front on my squeezy Queen-sized bed not wanting to do anything else in that time I usually would have been productive or found out something new. Autoplay. Autoplay. Autoplay.

Last night I was up to the fifth episode of the second season. It was becoming addicting, I admit, I even took myself to look them up on Instagram. They were at the xth season already and Liza (the protagonist) was ikut nafsu kissing her big boss Charles, then somehow Kelsey (Hilary Duff) was kissing Liza’s hot boyfriend.

I shook my head. SMH. Is this even real life? I don’t think so. How could you hook up with each other like that? And what good does it bring me to watch these things? What kind of education or knowledge can I receive feeding my addiction to a TV series? The only kind of wisdom I got was that there is no point, so I no longer feel the need or want to watch the series anymore. As curious as I was, I knew watching it does nothing good. Something in me just switched. It’s as simple as that. I can’t find a good reason to continue watching (I do think it’s a good series). So I just stopped.

My entertainment is I guess not in the form of watching dramas. It’s not good for you once you binge-watch it either. I see it as a problem, an addiction problem. You might argue “at least I’m not doing drugs”. Mean or material does not matter. Root remains the same: addiction. It’s when you think you lack something so something else fills that void. The same way you feel clingy or needy around your boyfriend or girlfriend. The same way people eat when stressed. The fact that you feel so empty without it, you are addicted to it. If having it makes you happy, then not having it still makes you happy, congratulations.

If not, I say you have an addiction problem. The cure to addiction is connection. This kind of connection is not a Wifi on and off thing. The connection you lack is one that is never-ending, continuous and everlasting. We are all made of connections and I feel that you cannot establish a real solid connection with another person until your own connection with yourself is grounded. You think your husband makes up your “other half”? Take him out of the equation, do you still stand strong? A plant may wilt but a resistant plant knows to move towards the Sun. You are so full of resources, a being of intelligence. Why would you spend your precious time watching TV that makes you “feel” things or “forget everything” when you could use the time to learn how to connect?

Don’t take a pill to suppress the pain. Find out what causes it, and learn how to shovel it off entirely. Sometimes, you don’t even have a problem.

You just think you do.

Two Cents on Maryam Lee

On my Facebook I said I wasn’t going to give any Islamic liberal/feminism thingy any attention. I’m not smart, and as long as I try to be “smart” I will always try to argue between who’s right from wrong, what’s correct and inaccurate,…when all I am is nothing. I really am trying to spread more love than hate.

Being only human, tho, of course there’s something that ticks me about the hijab society.

On the internet it’s ‘hot’ news right now where girl called Maryam Lee decided to remove her hijab and used one ulama’s view on hijab as her reason. Her name sounds familiar

Get The Views On All Of Your Instagram Stories

Update 13/2/2017: IG Stories Views is now back in chronology.

Do I need an introduction to tell you what Instagram Stories is? I bet you not. Pretty sure every millennial knows what it is. Or if you’re not a millennial but you’re reading this, I applaud you for somehow finding this blog to read, and for you I will summarise what IG Stories is.

It’s Instagram’s version of Snapchat. Snapchat is where people take videos or pictures of themselves or their surroundings for a few seconds and then upload it. Other people can view and reply. Oh what made Snapchat popular was the filters; you could swap faces with someone else or they can auto-goggly-eye you and put a flower tiara on your head. Or you can become a dog and a tongue comes out everytime you smile. I’ve watched Beauty Gurus wear the flower filter when they’re on their #nomakeup mode.

Instagram lacks that face-filter, though. But I am glad. Not into trendy things like that. Instagram is a bit cleaner and more user-friendly, I feel. Wasn’t a fan of it when it first came out, but I told myself I needed to understand it and ever since I had been hooked. I found out Indonesians call IG Stories SnapGram. Weird because they’re separate companies, but okay, whatever floats their boats.

Here are some things I’ve found on Instagram Stories, based on my own observations:
1.VIEW COUNT: if your view count on the second/middle last story is 10% of your total followers, you’re good. Never look at the first and the last number. Be concerned if your crush views your first but not your second (maybe he’s not interested in you). Instagram has this option for swiping right and they count as one view for you. When they swipe right totally, they move on to the next user on their carousel. Your avatar won’t appear glowing anymore. Swipe right is different from tap right. Tap right means next. The next story gets a view on a tap. It doesn’t from a swipe. If they click on their “back” button, your name will glow the next time they go back on Instagram.

If they click on swipe right, then the next time you upload will be counted as a new view for them. Meaning they will miss out on the middles but they will see what’s first for them. From there you can track where the engagement stops.

2. VIEW ORDER: the first person on your list is the one who cares about you the most. Well, um, the other word for it is “stalk”, but I’d rather say he or she cares about me 😉 Which means your name will appear glowing on his or her carousel at the top even when the person’s other followings have uploaded later. Or if you found that someone’s avatar is at the top of your feed no matter how long it had taken (or how long you’ve resist the temptation from clicking it), chances are your name will be at the top of the person’s list as well.