True Life: I’m Addicted to Social Media

Intervention of Social Media Addicts: Meeting #1

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Interventionist: “Who’d like to share next? Any takers?

…silence…

Interventionist: “How about you; over there?”

Me: “Um, okay. Hi everyone, My name is Melyssa and I’m a social media addict.”

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Everyone: “Hiiii Melyssa.”

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Haha! Now settle down people. Before we get to the fun stuff, let’s get some of the facts straight:

What is Social Media Addiction?

  • Addictions are about fulfilling something. Some people are drawn to addictive substances or behaviors because of the way they make them feel. By their very nature, humans possess a strong feeling to be connected to others and constantly have a sense of needing to belong somewhere. Social media has offered people a way to accomplish this like never before. You can be connected to the world around you twenty-four hours a day, three hundred sixty-five days a year.

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How can you determine a Social Media Addiction?

  • If you check your Facebook page first thing in the morning, does that make you a social media addict? The reality is that an addiction to social media can be marked with many of the same symptoms as an addiction to drugs or alcohol or other behaviors, including:
    • Feelings of anxiety when you don’t have access to your social media outlets.
    • An inability to step away from social media for a set period of time (usually at least 24 hours).
    • Choosing time online over actual face time with immediate friends or family, or letting work slip because you are spending too much time online.

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Okay, enough with the formal sh**t. Let’s get real. There’s a bunch of you reading this and saying, “Melyssa, relax.” Trust me, I know it all sounds a bit dramatic, but that’s because we’ve reached that point people!

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^we’re so obsessed that we still find ways to take pictures of ourselves even if our hands are busy. How about like no, maybe I don’t needed to take a photo of myself right now and post it everywhere?! 

So yes!

We, yes WE, have taken obsession to a whole new level. We went from being obsessed to being addicted; good job guys! Haha, seriously though, I understand there are people with real addictions out there. However, it’s important to take a moment to check in and evaluate our own social media addictions.

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I didn’t always see myself as someone addicted…until my first ever 24-hour social media cleanse. Damn, that was hard as hell. Safe to say, my first try…didn’t go so hot.

I LEGIT COULDN’T DO IT!

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I couldn’t resist texting, posting on Facebook, Snapchatting my day (no matter irrelevant the parts I was sharing were) and especially, going on Instagram. Instagram is my drug of choice, if we’re speaking in addiction metaphors here. There is no way you could keep me off Instagram for more than 30 minutes.

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^Awkward cause he dropped out of the race tonight…


We have gained so much from social media. It’s power is strong and its ability to connect and bring people together is unprecedented. However, like many other things, it all sounds too good be true. Just think about all the downfalls. Who are we anymore without our phones? Can we even survive without social media; we all know I sure as hell can’t.

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Where do we go from here? We live in a world where teens and young adults can’t properly communicate verbally. We bug out when the phone rings. HOLY SH**T, what do we do? Um, answer it. If I ever got a phone call from a boy I liked, I would literally fall off whatever I was sitting on. No joke, maybe I would even faint!

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Do we know how to sit at a dinner table without our iPhones sitting happily next to our silverware. Probably not. Can we have a full meal without checking our phones once? Instagramming our dinner? Snapchatting what we ate and who we’re with? Trust me, I’m not judging. I’m at fault for ALL of these things.

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Sherry Turkle wrote an article entitled, “Stop Googling. Let’s Talk.” She’s been studying the psychology of online connectivity for over 30 years and the last 5 years she’s focused on what has happened to face-to-face conversation. Clearly, it’s disintegrating, but Turkle, a professor at MIT can say it far better than I.

Her studies have shown that now, more than ever before, people aren’t hiding the fact that they divide their attention.

“College students tell me they know how to look someone in the eye and type on their phones at the same time, their split attention undetected. They say it’s a skill they mastered in middle school when they wanted to text in class without getting caught. Now they use it when they want to be both with their friends and, as some put it, ‘elsewhere.'”

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In other words, sitting at dinner with one friend isn’t good enough because we want to know what our other friends are doing, where our crush is and if anyone has posted an Instagram from formal yet. Yes, I am that crazy. However, we’ve mastered it and accepted this behavior as the ‘norm.’

“One college junior tried to capture what is wrong about life in his generation. “Our texts are fine,” he said. “It’s what texting does to our conversations when we are together that’s the problem.””

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That kid is right. The dangers of social media are much stronger in a group setting. Realistically, sitting alone in your apartment, is a great time to be a social media addict. You’re alone, not being rude to anyone. That’s social media primetime.

One of the most interesting things Turkle brings up is about our level of conversation. Cellphones, silent or not, are a distraction. Even just being out on the dinner table, they are creating a disconnect between the person or people you are with. Turkle says people keep their conversation on topics that they won’t mind being interrupted. Therefore, people aren’t as invested in each other.

The problem is we have this constant need to be stimulated. We want more than what we get from a face-to-face conversation. We yearn to be in the loop and up to date. Tony Schwartz said it well in a NYT article entitled, “Addicted to Distraction.”

“The brain’s craving for novelty, constant stimulation and immediate gratification creates something called a “compulsion loop.” Like lab rats and drug addicts, we need more and more to get the same effect.”

What’s even crazier is that we knowingly accept that the net and social media are all part of a major interruption system that affects our lives in more ways than one. Our attention span has shrunk drastically and we do like things like, “reading the same paragraph over and over, a half dozen times before concluding that it was hopeless to continue,” (Schwartz) because we simply cannot focus.

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^totally feel ya Paris! 

That’s sad, especially for us college folk. How are we expected to study and pass our classes if we spend ten minutes reading the same sentence over and over until we eventually give up. See how well that explanation goes over with your professors.

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Have you ever thought about the way social media makes you feel?

Like any good drug, do Facebook and Twitter ignite certain emotions within you? Do you look for that; do you need those feelings? Sometimes I think I turn to social media to feel something or maybe I get a certain feeling from social media depending on the day. It’s mostly subconsciously, but it’s something I think is a part of my social media addiction. 

 

As the video above explains, Facebook performed a study which manipulated the newsfeeds of almost 700,000 users to either see more negative or more positive posts. The outcome was that the emotional contagion of Facebook, and other social media networks, is indeed a real thing.

People who see more negativity on their Facebook pages post more negatively, and vice versa for those who read more positive posts.

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^yeah, OMG is right! 

More formally, here’s what the Facebook experiment did…

“This tested whether exposure to emotions led people to change their own posting behaviors, in particular whether ex- posure to emotional content led people to post content that was consistent with the exposure—thereby testing whether exposure to verbal affective expressions leads to similar verbal expressions, a form of emotional contagion.”

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^He must have been part of the study as well. Don’t worry Jason, you’re just experiencing emotional contagion!

Why are you telling us this, Melyssa? You may find yourself asking. I am telling you this because what I have taken away from this study is important.

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Relax Justin, I’m about to explain it. Here’s the thing, as a social media addict, I understand that I am getting something by constantly checking in and updating my social media pages. Sure, I’m receiving information and connecting with people, but I’m also experiencing people’s emotions online.

Part of an addiction, is getting to that feeling you desire. Whether it’s the high you get or the rush of excitement you feel, your addiction takes you somewhere emotionally. From what I have learned from this study, the same goes for social media.

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If I’m not feeling great, I immediately go to Snapchat because I know for sure one of my friends is doing something hilarious or dumb on their story. I’ll keep checking and going through stories until I find the one that gets my out of my funk.

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Once I’m in a full on ‘LOL’, I have what I need and I can move on. However, that feeling isn’t always guaranteed which is why a social media addict can’t be reliant on one form of social media.

What about the fact that this study showed people who read and saw more negative post started to post more negatively? Um, it’s a little nuts. However, it’s all a perfect example of how beholden we are to the the things we see on social media.


How about this for a brain blast:

You may be addicted to social media for the emotions you catch, you may never know what emotion it is, but you do know your addiction to social media circulates around finding ways to feel something.

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^excuse me, but WTF?!?!

Well, now that I have officially blown your mind, and forced you to admit you’re addicted to social media, give me just a little longer to finish up.

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And yes, I preface that because my readers and I are not known for our attention spans. But seriously, I promise my rant is almost officially done!

As I’ve stated many times, I am addicted to social media.

  • I get a certain high from posting something and receive lots of positive feedback on it
  • I couldn’t survive a day without all social media
  • I feel a constant need to be connected to people
  • If I post an Instagram and it doesn’t get a lot of likes, I literally feel sad/disappointed (#notnormal)
  • I feel anxiety if I’ve been off social media or not active enough because I’ll be out of the loop

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^”Oh god, come on, I need at least 100 likes or I must take it down!”

 

My point is these are pretty common thoughts shared between my friends and I. Therefore, I believe this blog post is helpful in allowing a lot of us to come forward with our addictions.

Aside from all the negative effects associated with our addictions (you know like struggling to talk to someone on the phone, multi-tasking and screwing everything up, not having face-to-face conversations and creating a disconnect between the people in front of you…just things like that), I do actually have a positive piece of news.

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This is not entirely our fault. By ‘our fault,’ I am referring to our generation. According to Claude Fischer, the absence of conversation is NOT NEW. Say whaaaat?!?!

People have alienated themselves from other people for centuries. The difference? In 2016, we’re doing it constantly and with a plethora of devices and social media forums.

Whether it was newspapers or the invention of television, people have found ways to alienate themselves and have some alone time. However unlike finishing today’s newspaper or turning off the TV, social media is always present. We can’t seem to shut it down and that’s not our fault.

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Last, but not least. What can be do to alleviate our addictions?

Simple.

UNPLUG.

  • Monitor your time online. 
  • Limit how often you have access to the sites. 
  • Find a group or buddy to help keep you accountable.

Seriously though, get off your phones and get out there. Look around and live in the moment. Spark up a conversation and actually talk to people. Promise yourself to have at least one meal a day without your phone or any social media.

Trust me, we all need a break.

You’ll thank me later for this.

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GIFS: courtesy of giphy.com
Images: courtesy of Instagram (@elitedaily)
Bibliography
Fischer, C. (2015) Turkle, times, technology, Trauma–Yet again. Available at: https://madeinamericathebook.wordpress.com/2015/09/30/turkle-times-technology-trauma-yet-again/ (Accessed: 1 May 2016).
Kramer, A., Guillory, J. and Hancock, J. (2014) Editorial expression of concern and correction. Available at: http://www.pnas.org/content/111/24/8788.full.pdf (Accessed: 3 May 2016).
Schwartz, T. (2015) Addicted to distraction. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/29/opinion/sunday/addicted-to-distraction.html?_r=0 (Accessed: 2 May 2016).
Staff, A. (2012) Social media addiction. Available at: https://www.addiction.com/3334/social-media-addiction/ (Accessed: 1 May 2016).
Turkle, S. (2016) Stop Googling. Let’s talk. Available at: http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/09/27/opinion/sunday/stop-googling-lets-talk.html?_r=0 (Accessed: 3 May 2016).

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Advice to my Freshman Year Self

The end of college means a lot of things. Most of those things are too traumatic for me to even think about; you know, like making money, getting an apartment, succeeding a work, finding love and staying in touch with friends…yeah, no biggie!

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Before stress kicks in, remember the end is always a good time to reflect on the beginning. In this instance, I am referring to college seniors, like myself, reflecting on their freshman  years.

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The reason it’s important to take this time to reflect is because four years ago you were a different version of yourself. As each year passed, we’ve grown, developed and, hopefully, matured. We might have even changed or altered in unexpected ways, which is normal.

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People always say college is where you find yourself and even if you didn’t set out to ‘find yourself’ you were finding yourself little by little, day after day, without even realizing it.

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^that’s because no one can recognize you anymore, Kylie! You have a totally different face…

 

Maybe my change wasn’t as drastic as 18 year old Kylie versus 17 year old Kylie, but I’ve definitely seen changes in myself. Therefore, this post is dedicated to the advice my senior self, 22 years old, would give my freshman year self, a mere 18 year old girl.

 

Freshman me may not like what she hears, but it’s certainly some of the things I wish I knew back in 2012.

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^too bad, I’m gonna tell you anyways!!!

Advice Senior Me gives Freshman Me:

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  1. The Freshman 15 is real. Beware of dining halls and a variety of unhealthy food choices available to you 24/7 without the surveillance of a mom who steers you in the right direction (aka good, healthy choices!)
  2. Shots aren’t mandatory! There are other ways to drink and get drunk. You can make yourself a mixed drink, girl! Take a shot of vodka, put it in a red solo cup, add some seltzer and a splash of cranberry. It takes better, you can sip it like a lady, get little buzz and save your dignity.
  3. Life exists off-campus. It’s easy to get accustomed to your ritual, but remember there’s a city out there that you should explore. These are experiences you don’t want to miss out on. Restaurants, museums, parks, theater, you name it and I’m sure it’s out there.
  4. There’s more to college than going out. Sure, going out is fun and a good way to meet people, but it’s not the end all. If you have your group of friends, whether it be just girls, just boys, or co-ed, there’s plenty of things you can do that don’t involve partying or drinking. So every once in a while, remember to throw a G-rated night or day in the mix. You’ll thank me for these memories later!
  5. They probably just want sex. Yes, unfortunately this is the reality most of the time. This applies to girls and guys. In fact, if you’re a freshman and he or she is a senior who is only wants to see you Thursday-Saturday after 12 am, you are 10000000% a booty call. Do not be a booty call. Do not settle for middle of the night sex for a person who wouldn’t even acknowledge you on campus.
  6. You’re not finding ‘the one’ at a bar or a nightclub. He or she is NOT there. Well like, let me reword it. He or she may be there, but that’s not where you will have the ‘conversation’ or where you realize you like one another. It’s just not realistic. Clubs/bars be too loud, too many people, too much alcohol and too many distractions. #truth
  7. It’s okay to cry. I cried A LOT freshman year and that’s okay. If you feel it, let it out. Cry because you need to and I promise you will feel a whole lot better afterwards. You don’t always have a reason to cry, but it could sneak up on you at any moment. You are going to go through a lot of emotions freshman year and sometimes crying helps you manage them.
  8. ALWAYS remember to call home. This one’s a biggie. Never forget that you have a family at home who worries about you constantly. They want to hear from you and, even if you can’t admit it, you need to hear their voices as well. So, take time out of your busy week and go somewhere quiet on campus, sit down and call/facetime the fam. It’ll make their day!
  9. Go to class. If you don’t class, how will you find out what interests you? How will you find out that math is definitely not your thing, but you write like a rockstar? Attendance is important, especially in small discussions. So be present and get the most you can from the classes you’re in. It can only help you in the future.
  10. It’s okay to make mistakes. This is the time to do them. This is the time to mess up. Why? Cause you’re going to learn from it, obviously. Making a mistake as a freshman in college is far different from a mistake you made back at home. Why? Because now, it’s up to you to fix it. Mom and dad aren’t here. This one’s on you. So practice that new found independence and fix your mistake and grow from it.
  11. Breathe. Everything is going to seem like a big deal. It’s probably not; so take a moment to yourself and breathe. Put things in perspective and it will be alright. A lot is going to be thrown out you, so get to know what you can handle and learn how to manage your time better.
  12. Get Involved. Sure, sounds easy. But we are all little lazy and if we don’t jump in now… we never will. So find something that interests you and that you can stick with. Maybe you want to join Greek life, play a club sport, join the dance team or participate in group fitness activities. Find your thing and get involved now!!!
  13. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. That’s pretty self-explanatory. Just know you are going to need help and there are professors and people ALL over your campus who are willing and able to help you. Get help because you cannot do it all alone!!!
  14. All-nighters are not fun! Sure, in movies they look cool and like the totally rad college thing to do. Well, they suck and the next day you’ll hate yourself. So, instead of procrastinating, get your sh*t done in a timely fashion. Be one step ahead of the game rather than ten steps behind. All-nighters are no fun so figure out how to do your work and get sleep….major key alert for college students!
  15. Sloooooooow down. Freshman year is just 1/4 of it all. So get sh*t done, yes, but don’t expect to accomplish it all this year. Set some goals, but make them tangible. As much as you want to get things done, this is a year to adjust, adapt and enjoy. You’re in college, baby!

 

Welcome to the GOOD LIFE!

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20 Must-EATS before your Graduate

For this post, I’m bringing it back to a topic I know very well- food.

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While you might have not known this about me, based on my prior topics, I am a               MAJOR  foodie.

…which means, by definition,

I AM

a person who has an ardent or refined interest in food and alcoholic beverages. A foodie seeks new food experiences as a hobby rather than simply eating out of convenience or hunger. 

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^which is sooooo me it’s scary (just ask my friends!)

I believe food is important. It’s a huge part of our culture. It’s a great way to socialize. I don’t know how or why it is, but people connect over food. This is why I think it’s super important to get out there and try new restaurants, new cuisines and try dining with different groups of friends.

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Going out to eat is an activity that I would say made up about 75% of my college years. My friends and I aced the DC food and drinks scene over the last four years. We’ve tried more restaurants than I can even count and we’ve shared some of the best conversations over delicious food at places throughout the DMV.

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Now, as my senior year is coming to an end, I find it to be a perfect time to disclose some of the best #eeeeeats in the area. I know good food, trust me, and it’s time to share my experiences and let you all in on a world of delicious bites, located right here in the Nation’s capitol.

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(^Oh, and unlike Olivia Pope, I promise to provide more than just great wines and healthy popcorn brands)

Therefore, below I am listing the 20 MUST-EATS, prior to graduation (or leaving this amazing city!)

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^ YUM!

  1. Tropical Paradise Acai Bowl @ Equinox Sports Club (super delicious and refreshing; I recommend ordering it with almond milk, also makes for an awesome food Instagram)
  2. Super Grilled Cheese @ Stoney’s (buttery bread with melted cheese and tomato, onion AND bacon, sounds f**king good to me!)
  3. Patatas Bravas @ Boqueria (you’re going to need like three orders of these, that’s how good they are!)
  4. Vegetable Paella @ Barcelona Wine Bar (actually amazing, so make sure to save room for the paella after eating their delicious tapas!)
  5. Guacamole and chips @ Rosa Mexicana (you can get guacamole a LOT of places, but the table-side, freshly made guac at this place will blow your mind!)
  6. Peanut Butter & Banana Toast @ Founding Farmers (anything on their breakfast/brunch menu is unhealthily delicious, but this shared plate is a definite winner!)
  7. Rigatoni Con Pollo E Vodka @ Filomena (The best Italian food; plus, this version of homemade penne a la vodka includes shiitake mushrooms and chicken breast slices on top!)
  8. Gnocchi @ il Canale (soooo good, I could eat a serving made for 3 people by myself; it’s mouthwateringly delicious and tastes great after trying one of their flatbread pizzas!)
  9. Steak Frites @ Le Diplomate (there’s no way you’re going here and NOT ordering this dish…so, that pretty much says it all!)
  10. Oak-Fired Prime Steak Burger @ BOURBON Steak (unreal burger, looks as good as it tastes people!) 
  11. Provence Roasted Chicken @ Fig and Olive (a light meal that tastes incredible, the sauce is bomb and it tastes eve more epic with a class of Miraval Rose!)
  12. Peacock Eggs Benedict @ Peacock Cafe (a great way to start your day is with this breakfast dish, goes great with a mimosa and a hangover, but seriously its a decadent dish you shouldn’t deny yourself!)
  13. Kotopoulo Youvetsi @ Zaytinya (a dish I will NEVER be able to pronounce, but doesn’t make it love it any less!)
  14.  Fried Chicken and Waffles @ Lincoln (this is a sick place for brunch; the music is dope, the atmosphere is super trendy and the food is unbelievable, this dish brings some southern swag to the nation’s capitol!) 
  15. Spicy Miso Ramen @ Daikaya (the best ramen in the city, for sure; a little spicy, but definitely worth the extra glasses of water you’ll need to finish the bowl!)
  16. Breakfast Pizza @ Graffiato (I would love to live in a world where pizza is acceptable at ALL times of day and this yummy dish makes that possible!)
  17. Black Cod @ Rasika (by far THE best dish on the menu, even if you’re not a fan of Indian food, I promise you’ll enjoy this entree!)
  18. Volcano Roll and Angry Zengo Roll @ ZENGO (an awesome combo of sushi rolls, both are too good to choose one over the other; also a great place to go for brunch as well as lunch and dinner!)
  19. Shrimp Mac and Cheese @ Co Co. Sala (the combination was shocking at first, but once I tasted it I was in heaven, this is the best mac and cheese I’ve had after four years in DC!) 
  20. Nobadeer Sandwich @ Jetties (if you love Thanksgiving, then you will LOVE this sandwich no doubt! It’s got turkey, cranberry sauce ANNNND stuffing….no words!)

So get out there and get eating because the clock is ticking (especially for us seniors in college!)

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Enjoy! Comment below and let me know if you have any feedback or other food suggestions. I’m always down to try something new!!!!

 

What your drink order says about YOU

Being thirsty isn’t a bad thing.

(granted you’re in a bar and not thirsty for gossip like the bitches on The Real Housewives of Atlanta!)

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But the thirst is real

So grab a straw and a seat and let’s walk through what your drink order says about you…that’s right we’re going in on the psychology and stereotypes that develop based on what you ask your bartender for.

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DISCLAIMERthe following drinks pertain to a bar scenario. Who you are in regards to what drink you order at dinner or what you drink in the privacy of your own home is a whole other therapy session. I’m just here to hook up you with what your drink order on a Friday night says about you. 

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“I’ll have a Vodka soda please!”

Ordering a vodka soda says you’re not about making a fuss behind the bar. You’re a simple drinker. You’re down for Tito’s with your soda, but if it’s a special occasion, you’ll up the ante to Grey Goose. You also may be watching your calories and this is the skinniest way to get a bit of a buzz going. However, when you start adding ‘splashes’ of extra juices…you’re becoming more high maintenance. You need a splash of cranberry or pineapple. You only want the splash of these juices got mad sugar, but you also know it’s a waste of $14 for a vodka soda that’s so strong you can’t even drink it. So, go ahead, splash away. Personally, I opt for a splash of cranberry, but to each his or her own.

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“Yeah, uh, I’ll take a scotch.”

So this one’s little less common in a college bar setting, but hey, anything is possible. That frat boy who typically downs like 14 Budlight beers and only wears Vineyard Vines may surprise you by ordering a scotch in a snazzy button down on a Saturday night.

If you are ordering a scotch, it means someone taught you that the beauty of drinking is sipping, not chugging. This method of drinking doesn’t really work in college, but if you start sipping now, you may actually enjoy the taste of scotch in 5-10 years.

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“We’ll take 5 shots, hell yeah!!!”

Shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, shots! Shots are a group activity. If you are approaching the bar, solo, and just throwing back shots…I’m worried for you. Unless you’ve had like a really bad day, it’s probably not the move. When you do go with a group to the bar, you best believe it’s never just one shot. It may start with a round, but you throw it back so fast and feel nothing, usually. So, before heading back to the dance floor, you and your pals go for another round. Because, why the hell not?

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“I’ll have a glass of Pinot Grigio. Something light and fruity, please!”

You told yourself you weren’t going to drink tonight. You decided since you can handle a glass of wine after doing homework on a school night that you could obviously drink wine at the bar and feel fine. But, one glass of wine turned into a bottle to yourself and maybe even a second before closing time. While the wine probably didn’t make you white girl wasted, you’re probably feeling wavy. AKA, you’re the most tired of all your friends and you’d rather have romantic sex tonight than grind with a stranger and have a dance floor makeout. Wine makes you sensual, or maybe that’s just me, I don’t know.

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“I’ll take a Budlight, thanks.”

If you started your night with beer, you’re just chill. You’re an easy going person and know how to have fun without being blackout. Maybe you’re a frat boy at a big 10 school or a student at a university in the south and when you think of going out, all you see is beer. Maybe you’re my dream country boy or a semi-country girl, like myself, who every once in a while enjoys a refreshingly cool beer (Budlight with a lime, obviously)!

If it’s like 2 a.m. and you’re just switching to beer, you’re probably belligerently drunk and want to keep drinking, but also want to stop yourself from getting any drunker. I wouldn’t say this is a good plan, but I’ve seen it done many times. When I order a beer at a bar in front of a guy, in my head I’m thinking, “Yeah, that’s right. I’m that cool.” Haha!

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(note: if you’re not a country fan…this is Thomas Rhett with his high school sweetheart turned wife on a vacation, looking like the coolest, cutest couple having a blast while enjoying a beer. Same.)

“A Cosmopolitan.”

If you’re underage and ordering a cosmo, a Manhattan or any martini, your favorite show is clearly Sex and the City and ordering one of these drinks is your Carrie Bradshaw moment. Enjoy it. If you’re legal and ordering it, clearly you enjoyed the taste and have accepted that your drink order makes you a cosmopolitan, chic and maybe even bouji drinker. No problem with that though! #doyou

Especially if me drinking a martini, looks like this:

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Soooooo, the only question left is….

 

What will you order?

 

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I’ll let you decide. 

Our Instagram life Vs. Our real life

We are a part of a generation that constantly and thoroughly contemplates the following question…

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To Instagram or not to Instagram, that is that question in 2016!

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to any of you, but, in case you don’t know already, we are addicted to social media. I mean, some of us are more in need of technology rehab than others, but as a generation, we have a serious social media problem.

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^side note: I don’t know who this guy is, but damn he’s cute and right!

I can’t speak for everyone, but I can be brutally honest about my own social media habits. I am most definitely addicted to social media. I’m active on practically every platform out there and I live for it, love it and NEEEEEEEED it. I would love to be instafamous, I prefer my profile pictures to have at least 100 likes, I’m super anal and OCD about the appearance of my Instagram page and if my friends don’t think my snaps are funny, I’m just not doing my job right.

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So yeah, kinda sounds like I would need an intervention, but before my friends and family lock me in a room somewhere, let me share what I learned from an intervention entitled:

Our Instagram Lives vs. Our Real Lives

Exhibit A)

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YIIIIIKESSS Demi!

Exhibit B)

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Instagram makes it easy to create a fabulous life via photos and videos, but behind the posed photos…does your online life match your real one?

In most cases, I assume it doesn’t.

However, we must remember that the point of Instagram is basically to show people what you’re doing and how awesome our life is. So who the hell wants to show their followers the realities of dinner at a normal restaurant with food that isn’t Instagram-worthy or a boring movie night. Not me, that’s who.

Your Instagram should reflect the fabulous side of your life. You don’t need to be Kylie Jenner to so this because we all have something great to share. Oh and if you don’t, then do us all a favor and DO NOT share it.

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Sorry to sound harsh, but the world of social media is tough and critiques from your followers will be even worse. Therefore, think carefully about what goes online because, and this is even harsher, everyone is judging you. It’s shitty, but true.

People be throwing shade left and right, you feel me?

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Ways to avoid shade on Instagram:

  1. Don’t post gym selfies (unless it’s a one time thing and you look freaking UNREAL)
  2. We get it. You have a boyfriend/girlfriend, but STOP making them your #MCM or #WCW every week. That is way, way too much!
  3. Food Instagrams are amaze! However, unless your food looks impeccable and actually delicious, so like a 10/10, save yourself some time and just start eating.
  4. #OOTD is a popular hashtag, but unless your outfit is something WeWoreWhat’s Danielle Bernstein or SomethingNavy’s Arielle Charnas would wear, it’s probably not as chic and fabulous as you think.
  5. Never drunk post. Not a good idea. Plus, I promise you the image will look a lot different to you at 10 am than it did at 2:30 am.
  6.  Choose photos that look so good even you can’t believe you pulled off looking that artistic, cool, trendy, candid and fun.

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^just a few tips to remember next time you go on Instagram.

Now, if you sit back and think about it. It’s rather comical how social media has taken over our lives. It’s actually sick how much time we spend on social media and how much time we spend creating content for our social media accounts. However crazy it may seem, it’s our generation’s reality.

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^Yes, you tell them Big Ang!

Since there is so much hype surrounding social media, especially Instagram, it’s easy to get caught up and loose all sense of reality. It’s happened to me, like a few times. HA!

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But just remember, reality continues to exist whether the Instagram is good or bad. So relax. Keep up your social media accounts, but don’t loose sense of the world right in front of you.

AKA, your friend who vows never to have dinner with you again because all you did was take pictures of the food and spend the meal editing it and thinking of captions. Don’t be this person!

Now, let’s discuss what separates our Instagram lives from our real lives! 

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Instagram: You’re look trendy in a super casual and candid pic and tagged the location at the famous street or fabulous city you’re in. The background looks awesome, but your outfit is even better!!

Reality: You’re probably on vacation in LA and asked your mom to take this photo. It took 15 mins and you took about 100 photos in different poses. You actually posed yourself for this supposedly candid photo and stopped traffic by yelling at people not to disrupt the photoshoot you’re having with your mother.

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Instagram: Delicious food, perfectly placed with awesome lighting and a glimpse of designer sunglasses or a Chanel bag in the background or on the sidelines (just for that little extra something!) Of course, you only upload food from the most bouji restaurants in town. God forbid you post the pancakes from IHOP!

Reality: The food came and you made the whole table wait five mins to eat their hot food so you could snap about 10 different photos. Prior to actually taking the photo, you moved all the plates around, removed ugly napkins, placed your accessory of choice in the shot and asked everyone to remove their hands from the image. Congrats, the food is cold, but you got a decent shot.

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Instagram: You and your best friend at a music festival. Your outfits are Coachella-chic, the backdrop is the concert and you both happen to be laughing and smiling sweetly to the other.

Reality: You and your bestie placed yourself in that position. You started smiling and had a stranger or a friend take like 5 photos. You looked at them and decided smiling wasn’t going to cut it for the Instagram so you had your iPhone/camera back to your “photographer.” The instructions you give him or her, “We wanna look candid. So, like, take a bunch of us laughing and stuff.” Awesome strategy. Completely defeats the purpose of being candid, but we do it and honestly, we do it well.

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Those are just of view of my favorite Instagram vs. real life moments. But really, this video sums it all up. 

^this is real life people!

All I have to say is keep doing what you’re doing, as long as it abides by the above rules, of course! But seriously, I’m not saying to get off social media. I’m saying stay on it, stay active and post better, haha! It’s a judgmental world out there so make sure you’re doing social media right. You may think that’s not a thing, but it totally is a thing in 2016. 

Good luck!!

Oh and if you wanna judge me…go right ahead. Follow me on Instagram: @melyssagranat

 

Bucket List SZN

A lot people look forward to spring because it’s officially DARTY SEASON, or SZN, if you want to be super cool.

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^ because is it even a Darty if you aren’t drinking straight from the bottle?

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^nahhhhhhhh

So yes, it is the infamous Darty season, but that’s not the season I wish to discuss.

The SZN I’m thinking about affects all my fellow college seniors:

Bucket List SZN!!!!!!!

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However cliche or basic you may think a bucket list is, it is still something I highly recommend you all making…

Like right now.

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This is your last semester, the final round…the countdown has begun people!!

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Graduation is just around the corner, but that doesn’t mean the fun should STOP. In fact, it means you should take this time to raise the fun factor to new heights!

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^Ayyyy, I mean that’s one way to raise the bar Tina!

There is not a day that I log onto Facebook and don’t see a friend sharing a sappy, we’re graduating, time to do things article on another friend’s wall.

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I see like 10 everyday…is my point. I’ve also read a few of these and checked out what all the hype is about. Some articles are too sappy, some are too focused on the future, but this post is about the NOW.

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We are living in the now and yes it’s suuuuuper easy to stress about tomorrow, about getting a job, about making money, about finding a boyfriend, but don’t because that’ll just ruin this special time.

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Never again will you be a college student, living this carefree crazy life. Sorry if that’s blunt, but it’s the truth and it’s the reason we must make the best of this  last semester.

These may be the last few months, but we can make them THE BEST.

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^If anyone knows about living life to the fullest, it’s this guy right here!

After reading article after article, I compiled the ultimate bucket list. It’ll have you screaming, “We the best,” by commencement! 

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Soooooo…here it is

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Senior Year Bucket List:

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  1. Pull an all-nighter and watch the sunrise
  2. Go on a road trip with your best friends
  3. Go on a date (yes, like a real date!)
  4. Tell your favorite professor about the impact they’ve had on you
  5. Pull a “Senior Skip” day
  6. Create a time capsule with your friends and bury it somewhere around campus
  7. Go to a game for a sport you’ve never seen
  8. Tell a crush (past or present) your feelings for him or her
  9. Pull a senior prank (make it good people!)
  10. Volunteer somewhere local (it feels good to give back!)
  11. Host a dinner party and actually cook all the food with your friends (fun and delicious!)
  12.  Complete the Philly cheesesteak challenge (leave school at the beginning of the day, drive to Philly, buy a Philly cheesesteak and get back to campus before class ends)
  13. Start a journal (what better time than now to document these amazing few months!)
  14. Switch up your exercise regime (try a spin class, run a marathon, take a boxing class, walk around your college town, etc)
  15. Go streaking
  16. Complete a power hour
  17. Protest something
  18. Finish that TV series you’ve been meaning to start (binge watching!!)
  19. Revisit your favorite frat/sorority house from freshman year
  20. Go on a bar crawl with your freshman year roomies
  21. Die your hair (or at least part of your head) a fun color (shake things up!)
  22. Visit your friend at another college (come on, you’ve been trying to do it since freshman year!)
  23. Attend a Ted Talk on campus
  24. Make the most creative and cool graduation cap EVER!
  25. Create your own signature drink!

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That’s right, there is! There is still PLENTY of time for activities.

Those are just 25 freaking awesome things to do, but don’t just take MY word. Come up with your own list. Sit down with you friends and settle on AT LEAST 20 to-do, immediately, items. 

You’ll have plenty of fun just being with your friends, laughing your way through the creation of the list. Trust me, I’ve been there. It’ll be awesome knowing that whenever you guys are bored or have some free time, you can simply turn to the list and look for the next item to get a check mark. 

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The Hangover You Never Want, But Always Have

Hangover [hang-oh-ver]:

noun

1.

the disagreeable physical aftereffects of drunkenness
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HOWEVER, my all-time favorite definition comes from none other than, Urban Dictionary:
“Nausea and headaches often caused by way too much fucking alcohol.
Can be identified by the ashtray in ones mouth,the vomit on last nights clothes,the want to never drink or eat again,the great dislike of sunlight, the undesirealbe urge to apologise to all the people you spent the night with, the stranger in your bed and need for a glass of water and many many aspirin.”
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^ Get it Jack Black!

Damn, hangovers man.

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It’s like, you start to wonder, uhh…is there anything worse than a hangover? I’m going to go with yes, but in the world of a college student, nah betch! The hangover is the enemy, but it’s the enemy you invite in your bed every night and wake up to every morning.

 

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Now replace this random dude with a headache, nausea and god knows what else, and you got yourself a hangover.

 

Let’s be real; the hangover sucks. Ain’t nothing good about it, except the fact it probably means you had one hell of a night. Maybe you even danced to this jam before pounding and throbbing head pain kicked in this morning…

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Hangover: 1 Me: 0

^says every college student AT LEAST once a weekend (and since a weekend in college is basically everyday but Sunday and Monday, you’re having like 3 hangovers a week!) Awesome.

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Waking up with a hangover, reminds me of myself when I’m watching a horror movie. I know something scary is coming, but for some reason I gotta open my eyes and face it, even if just for a split second.

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In other words, I know I drank a lot last night and the hangover is definitely going to kick in the second my eyes meet the light. But for some stupid reason, I’m going to open my eyes and IMMEDIATELY get slapped with a migraine, possible vomit and an inability to move. 

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The struggle bus IS real people.

And a hangover makes you the freakin’ driver of the struggle bus…

Sounds great!

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^cause having a hangover also makes you a complete and utter Trainwreck.

The problem is we all know what it’s like to have the hangover, but many of us have NO IDEA how to cure the hangover.

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Over the years I’ve compiled a mental list of all the things my friends and I have used to get our sh**t together and end the hangover as quickly as possible. 

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Super embarrassing to admit, but I am damn sure there have been mornings where my hangover looked like this #smh

 

THINGS YOU NEED TO END THE HANGOVER: 

  1. Water (endless amounts of waaaaaaater)                                                                      giphy-11.gif
  2. Coffee (sounds crazy, but I am a migraine sufferer and the caffeine actually helps to break up the capillaries, boom boom!)       giphy-13.gif
  3. Advil (always be stocked, you’ll go through the bottle faster than you think!)                         giphy-14.gif
  4. Cold Compress (yeah, baby! just go ahead and lay that right on your pounding head!) giphy-15                       
  5. FOOD! (when the nausea goes away, or least calms down, you gotta eat!)giphy-16.gif
  6. More sleep (let’s be honest, you went to bed at 4 am, you walk up to the hangover at 9 am, get back to bed ‘cuz you are NOT ready to face the day!)
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    You tell em, boo!

     

Those are some essentials when it comes to hangover cures. I would suggest trying all of them at once because, most likely, just one ain’t gonna cut it.

Putting them all together will hopefully lead to you saying…

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Just Remember:

***Water + Food + Advil + Coffee + Sleep and a Cold Compress***

=

The Cure to the Hangover

…that needs to end, but will probably happen at least 2 more times this week!

BUT FOR NOW…..

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Celebrate, cause you cured!!!!!!

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