Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Link List: Social Media Things

Pictured above is our order at Grace Street, a coffee shop and dessert spot in K-town with plenty of seating, but no wifi. We often go after dinner, as it's open quite late. They turn into a sit-down place in the evening, with a $5/person order minimum, but that isn't too bad. K got an "ube latte" (no caffeine), I got a jasmine matcha latte (oops! as that has plenty of caffeine and made it hard to fall asleep), and we split a "churro waffle". And ack, as usual, I'm a bit embarrassed by my lack of photography skills!

Today's link list is mostly light and fun. We're a bit preoccupied with planning our trip, which we are doing at the last possible minute. Our departure is imminent, in about two weeks, and we've only just booked our hotels. I totally do not recommend being this delinquent with travel planning, as it stresses me out a bit, but our work schedules, particularly his, have been difficult this year.

1. // I enjoyed this discussion on r/blogsnark, about whether people had any offline friends or acquaintances who are big bloggers or other people who've "made it" on social media. This may be a function of my age (on the cusp of 30) and my social circle leaning heavily towards more traditional professions (lawyers, in particular, are generally social media-averse), but I don't have any offline friends who use social media with an eye towards more public consumption. Of people I know well, the one with the biggest "audience" by far is for their cat (~5,000+ Instagram followers). Outside of that, a family friend's child (around my age, but whom I don't really know personally) is an athlete with ~150,000+ Instagram followers, and that's about it. Between that discussion and and others, including Buzzfeed's March 2018 article about what it costs to be "big on Instagram" and a similar New York Daily piece, I am very belatedly appreciating the power of Instagram as a platform, and also how much effort and work it takes to consistently stage and post attractive photos. 

On a semi-related tangent, I don't think I've ever felt bad because of Instagram or because of comparing myself or my photos to other people's far more well-edited photos and thus, more attractive photos. If we had Instagram in college (also see this 2015 ESPN long-form), I would definitely have felt bad sometimes because of it. Back then, the platform du jour was Facebook, so it was people's far less curated and more awkward photo albums from college parties and other outings that sometimes made me jealous and insecure. (Everyone is having fun without me! Why don't people like to do fun things with me or want to be my friend? etc. etc.) I'm relieved that those teenage insecurities have faded by now, all of a sudden in my mid-20s, because by golly, it was awful. 


2. // I finally watched HBO's Big Little Lies last week, and it's so good! I binge-watched it in an incredibly short amount of time. The lead actresses are all great. It isn't really the kind of show one gets fashion inspiration from, as the focus is on the emotional complexity of the characters and the story gets quite dark, but I did love the above outfit on Laura Dern's character. 

Another show I've enjoyed, though it's less objectively good, is Hulu's Castle Rock, or rather, mostly just episode 7 (spoiler warning, though I went in only after reading detailed recaps, and the impact of the episode was not diminished), where Sissy Spacek gave an absolutely incredible performance. I think it may be the single best hour of television I've ever seen, standing out more because the rest of the show is, admittedly, rather "blah". (It's one of those horror/sci-fi shows that tries too hard to be cryptic and mysterious, and very little had happened in the six episodes up to that point, except a lot of highly creepy, but unexplained, incidents.) 

3. // Things I've been reading at other blogs: My friend at Garb Guide recently wrote about her year of "no shopping", inspired by that Ann Patchett New York Times piece I also commented on a while back. Talia wrote a great, very personal post about her music.  Ms. Ziyou has posted some really good food for thought and hosted some interesting discussions, including this one about "freedom", broadly defined, which I contributed to. I was being a bit intense, but well, better credentialed lawyers than I (and I'm no slouch) believe us to be well into the "previously unthinkable violations of due process and rights are now all possible" territory, as do I.  

And, er, abruptly going back to lighter things, I thought it'd be good to recommend other blogs that frequently and regularly post "link lists" I particularly enjoy. Kathy at Feather Factor does great and tightly curated ones, and she always directs me to something unexpected and interesting to read. Elle Blogs does comprehensive and broad ones that hit just about everything I noticed and was interested in throughout the week, and then some, from a wide range of sources. Grumpy Rumblings (of the Formerly Untenured) also does a good broad weekly link list, one that's focused a bit more on domestic news and politics, and also on taking action. 

4. // Now for a bit of "shopping life lately". Many people have posted about their interest in J.Crew's new Juliette collarless sweater blazer, an updated take on that ultra-popular sweater blazer I bought  a few months back (worn here), which they're also continuing to sell. I confess, though I now have plenty of sweater-jackets and other cardigans for cooler seasons, I'm also very tempted by this one.

To me, this new collarless sweater blazer has the look of one of those longer jackets or toppers that can be worn over workwear dresses as part of a slightly less conventional and less traditional take on (almost) business formal. Something like this or this from Calvin Klein (which I think is the only brand more in my price range that regularly makes them), and well, St. John makes a lot of ultra high-end ones. I've seen some really chic professional women wear that look, which is why I'm tempted by the new J.Crew offering. Though, given my familiarity with this material from when I shopped for the other sweater blazer, the Juliette sweater blazer might not actually have the same structured look or hold its shape as well as an actual jacket. 

Do you personally know anyone who as "made it" on social media? Does it seem to require a lot of work or effort on their part to keep it up? I may not have a good eye for photos, and I clearly have absolutely no patience for taking or editing nice ones. So I do appreciate that, when it comes to the more "visual" platforms, it takes a lot of work to make things look good!

Did anyone else have that experience of previously (as a young teen and up to my early 20s, at least) feeling deeply insecure and vulnerable about not being liked, or worrying that one's friends liked other people better and would move on, until, all of a sudden, just... growing out of it completely, seemingly overnight? To the point where it's hard to understand why the emotions used to be so intense? I've always found that experience disorienting (I really was an extremely sensitive teen, so the abrupt change was odd), but I'm so glad to have grown out of it. 

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