Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Social Media is Really Fucking Weird

Okay, so I realize that nothing I say here will be all that shocking to many of you, but it was really interesting/surprising to me...

I downloaded one of those fancy apps to make a little picture collage showing my most popular instagram posts for 2015 (2 out of 5 were my beauty trash, which kind of makes me sad for my kids).  The app doesn't just make nifty collages, it tracks a bunch of stuff too.  I have never used one of these apps before, because my instagram account isn't about making money or having a zillion followers, it's just for fun.  But I found myself getting sucked in (and spending $$ on expansions) because everything it was telling me was just so bizarre.

The first thing that sucked me in was the part that told me which users I was following who aren't following me back.  That was nice because in the 4 years I have been on instagram, I have never cleaned up my feed and there are a ton of SUPER RANDOM accounts I followed in a breastfeeding haze or a manic insomnia episode.  I was following nearly 500 people, many of whom I couldn't remember what attracted me to the account in the first place, and it was taking too much effort to stay caught up with my feed.

So I did a mass unfollowing, only from the list of people who don't follow me back. I kept people whose feed I love for fashion/makeup/art/whatever inspiration and a couple of Blathering ladies who I can only assume didn't realize they aren't following me or don't like pictures of empty makeup samples or awkward selfies, and ditched the rest.  (Edited to add because I am an overthinker: if you read this and maybe you unfollowed me by mistake or whatever, I will happily re-follow you...and I might re-follow anyway if I miss your pics...I really didn't put a ton of thought into this unfollowing, it was a quick way to unclutter my feed!)

The next day, the stupid app tells me that it will track my deleted comments/likes for a mere $1.99.  Thinking it might amuse me to see what people are saying and then unsaying, I bought it.  Then I realized that a bunch (okay, fine, like 6) of the people I unfollowed had retaliated by STEALING BACK MY LIKES.  Seriously, who does this?  I guess I shouldn't be surprised because a lot of times when someone likes a few of my pics, I check out their account and follow it if I like it or if they are a mom type who maybe found me via my neglected blog or twitter accounts.  So it makes sense that if someone baited me into following them by liking my stuff, they will play takesies backsies when I unfollow them. 

The thing that really surprised me was that a couple of the like stealers were people that I followed back when instagram would suggest people I followed on twitter...so even if they aren't really twitter friends I interact(ed) with, they are at least people who are friends of twitter friends.  And my twitter friends are almost exclusively real people who aren't just a bunch of fame whores / professional bloggers.  So basically it blew my mind that REAL PEOPLE will pay that much attention to who is unfollowing them, and then go back to pictures from 3 years ago of an adorable infant and unlike it.  WHO IS SERIOUSLY THAT BUTTHURT ABOUT BEING UNFOLLOWED THAT THEY UNLIKE A BABY???

So then the app tells me that for another $1.99 it will tell me who blocked me.  Since downloading the app a couple of days before I had apparently offended someone to the point of being blocked.  I haven't posted any pictures lately (slash ever) of my manicure while I was driving 70 mph or my kids releasing balloons in the wind, so I ponied up and clicked to see who this blocker was.  Sure enough, another person retaliating for me unfollowing them after a good 6 months of me liking their posts and getting no love back.  The funny thing is, I think this person got me to follow them by doing the good old mass follow then unfollow everyone a few days later trick.  So she unfollowed me first, dammit. 

I don't know why this is all so bizarre to me, maybe because it's my first foray into tracking my social media.  Are you guys trackers?  Any other bizarre behavior I should be forewarned about?  Do the like stealers have an app that will show them every pic of mine they liked so they can steal the likes?  Or is there an app that magically unlikes and unfollows and blocks everyone who slights you in some way?  Actually, I have a real app question now...is there an app that will match up twitter names to instagram names to real life facebook names because that would be actually useful.

Anyway.  The internet is weird, yo.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Updates

Here are some updates for you, in bullet form, covering the things I get emails about most frequently from people who stumble upon ye olde blogge plus some general life updates for those of you lovely folks who are still reading.  Hope you all had a delicious/relaxing thanksgiving!
  • Kids: Things are improving on the school front, but more slowly than I would like.  I think they probably both have ADHD, or at least Adriana does.  Justin had it as a kid, so I don't know why this was so surprising to me.  I knew deep down that something was not right when they were getting kicked out of dance class ALL THE TIME last year, but I was always making excuses like "they're tired" or "they would be fine if they were separated" or "they just want an excuse to see me" or "they are free-spirited and this class is too organized" or "they are genetically predisposed to be pains in the butt" instead of "oh, maybe they have an actual diagnosable issue."  I'm still trying to figure out the best way to parent them and set them up for success, especially in Catholic school where the school isn't really required to deal with the kids who aren't easy.  If anyone has experience with this and has words of advice or must-reads, please let me know. 

  • Arbonne: I still buy it, but I don't really do the full detox that often.  I mostly like it for when my weight gets higher than I like and I want to drop 5-10 pounds so my clothes fit again, or when I have blown my budget and don't want to buy breakfast, lunch, and coffee at work (which also results in me losing 5-10 pounds).  I spent so much on Black Friday that I'll probably be detoxing by default for the entire month of December.  Oops.

  • Rosacea: Still got it...the older I get, the more it kind of creeps to the other areas of my face so now it's on my chin and forehead in addition to my cheeks.  I can now say for certainty that avoiding the trigger foods definitely helps, but I'm a wine / chocolate / spicy food girl and am just not willing to compromise those things to have less red skin.  I don't use any prescription for it, I just follow a good skincare routine. I mostly use Murad products but I'm a skincare junkie and love trying all of the new things I get in subscription boxes so I do test samples (more than I should) as well. Sometimes if my skin is getting irritated I back off of all of the products I'm using and go down to the bare bones.  My holy grail most basic of all skin care routines is to wash my face with the Murad Refreshing Cleanser (2x/day) and to exfoliate with Murad's Skin Smoothing Polish (3x/week).  I have repurchased both products many times since Murad first sent them to me and they are definitely my favorites.  During the day I just use the IT Cosmetics CC Cream to cover all skincare and makeup needs, and at night I use whatever nice night moisturizer and eye cream I'm working through.  Currently I'm using Lancer cream which is $$$ but I got it in a Popsugar box last year and was tired of "saving it" because it's fancy.  My go to gentle eye cream is the Kiehl's creamy avocado eye cream.  This very simple routine is calming to my skin and usually gets it back in shape pretty quickly.  Then I can go back to playing with masks and adding in all of the fancy serums and collagen boosters and stuff. 

  • Makeup:  I still love makeup, but I am most definitely slowing down and moving my interests elsewhere.  I didn't even buy the Naked Smoky palette because I was like "ehhh...I have enough eyeshadow."  That might be a slight lie though because I did put the Bobbi Brown Greige palette and burberry shadows on my Christmas list.  I guess I am still interested, I'm just narrowing my focus to a few things.  My current obsessions are bite lipsticks and Smith and Cult nail polishes, if you are looking for fun new stuff to buy.

  • Travel: I have been taking a ton of trips recently, whether for work (D.C., New York, Philadelphia) or fun (Napa/Sonoma).  This is finally the year where I stopped packing with plastic bags and invested in some nice travel gear.  I am probably the only weirdo who has completely run out of packing videos on youtube / has seen all of them multiple times.  If I ever start blogging in non-bullet form again, I want to show you all of my precious travel things and review the wineries from my CA trip.   And one about subscription boxes because that is still my other weird obsession.

  • Speaking of subscription boxes, I just found a new one.  Well, not new, I had seen it around and was intrigued, but this was back when I was still into subscriptions that gave me zillions of samples to hoard, not ones that were actually useful.  Rocksbox is a jewelry rental service which is both intriguing and maybe slightly kind of gross.  But I'm choosing to completely ignore the fact that the earrings have been in other people's ears and focus on the fact that they carry REALLY cute jewelry and I can wear fun things without adding to my clutter.  I'll review it and post my referral link if I actually like / would recommend it to you guys. 

  • Work: I have been in my current role for almost a year and a half and I feel like I am finally in the groove.  It's not my favorite job with this company ever, but things are good.  I'm pretty darn busy though, hence the lack of updates here and complete absence from twitter.  Just trying to make the most of "individual contributer" life. 

  • Hubs: We are good!  Even though the kids are challenging this year, they are also easier in a million other ways so I feel like we are getting more quality time, both together and separately since we don't feel as guilty leaving the other at home.  We are currently spending a lot of time enjoying my Napa wine, doing puzzles, finishing up the fall hiking spree, and watching every season of big brother on the CBS all access app + iZombie on Neflix.  All of the above activities are recommended for all of my fellow boring married people. 

  • Home: Ugh, it's a disaster.  I started getting into the KonMari thing but it turns out that I really just like to watch youtube videos of OTHER PEOPLE KonMari-ing as opposed to doing it myself.  Finally purging shit is my major goal for 2016. 

  • Christmas: Nope, not ready yet. Not even close. 
That about covers it on my end.  What have you guys been up to?  I really miss my bloggy friends, so if you are reading this I would love, love, love to hear from you in the comments section down there.  Leave a sentence or a paragraph, I just want to know how you have been, even if we have never met!