Social Media … The Lack Of

I’m back in social media civilisation and after a week of no social media, the verdict is – I am into social media just as much as I am into tattoos :p  That means I’m intrigued and curious, don’t mind hanging around people who are into them, learning more about them but essentially neither tattoos nor social media play a critical role in my everyday living.

I enjoy reading about what’s happening and recognise that these platforms are great ways to stay in touch but are also great at sucking up all MY time.  So from today onwards, I’m going to try and balance social media and my life.  Hmmm … which is pretty much what I do with all aspects of my life coz truth be told, everything can suck up all your time … like TV too :p

So I’m going to upload the pictures on FB, tweet a little about the trip and update my blog with the low down.  In the name of balance, it’ll have to wait after breakfast, work and getting some sunshine outside of my hotel room 🙂

Shanghai 1 Beijing 0

If China was the US, Shanghai would be my answer to New York city and Beijing is LA.  Yep, I want to live in Beijing as much as I would want to live in LA … which is not at all.  Between the pollution and the traffic, Beijing does nothing for me.  Unlike Rome, which I was hoping Beijing would be like, the immense history is lost in the cacophony of urban crap stuck in traffic.  Maybe I haven’t given Beijing a chance, maybe because our schedule there was so grueling, maybe because it was my first stop into China, whatever it is, I’m not looking forward to going back there.

Shanghai, on the other hand, I could consider moving here, despite the rude and somewhat uncivilised cab stealing nature of the locals >_<  It’s probably the much nicer weather too and the fact that I haven’t had to sit in the car for unreasonable lengths of time.  Anyone who knows me well, knows my pet peeve of being stuck in traffic, so far in Shanghai it’s been reasonable *knock on wood*  That means in Carlene’s little corner of the world, Shanghai versus Beijing sees a resounding win for the former!!!  Yay, Shanghai!!!

In between Beijing and Shanghai, I was also in Tianjin .  That city deserves a post all on its own.  I’m kinda organising my thoughts about the Eco-city, which is a collaboration between Singapore and China.  Once my thoughts are ready, the post will be up.

Till then, next stop, Suzhou.  It’s been 4 years since I was last there, wondering if anything’s changed?

No Social Media

Yes siree, no social media for me in China. To my family and friends who still read this blog, that’s the only way to stay updated with me till I get back to Hong Kong this Sunday … which is technically China too but one can access social media there … go figure … anyway … since I’ve only been on social media for about a week, there shouldn’t be too much of a cold turkey effect.  So why do I feel a little out of touch … …

I don’t need to know everything happening at every minute.  I don’t need to know everything happening at every minute.  I don’t need to know everything happening at every minute.  I don’t need to know everything happening at every minute.  I don’t need to know everything happening at every minute.

Someone once told me, “Repeat it enough and it comes true.”  I’m no millionaire yet but hey, there’s a first time for everything 🙂

Meanwhile, I’m all ready for bed.  We checked in a 7:10pm, had a meeting at 8pm, dinner at 9:30pm and it’s 11:15pm now.  My next meeting is 8am.


Social Media

At the end of 2006, I started a Facebook account, a friend from the US was my first friend.  Strangely, he and I haven’t heard from each other since I left Facebook in 2008.  Sometime in late 2007, when Jules was in Japan, upon her encouragement I started a Twitter account.  She’s also was why I started this blog.  Where would I be without her  🙂

I digress.

Circa 2008, I left the world of social media and wasn’t worse off for it.  My friends and family knew where I was and what I was up to.  I was kept updated with their lives via phone calls, emails, actually meeting up, the occasional holiday together.

Granted, I still kept this blog but if you’ve been a loyal follower you’ll realise it hasn’t been very current :p

Anyway, fast forward to 2011, I’m now back on Facebook and Twitter.  Mostly part work and then some curiosity.  While I knew most things about my friends, they do upload all their pictures on Facebook.  So unless I wanted to be yelled at for being the only one that needed to be emailed pictures, I had to imagine how the party/event/catch up I missed looked in my head O_o

It’s been about a week since I got back actively in Facebook and Twitter.  The verdict … I could live without it >_<  It has an insidious effect on me.  The reason why I left most things social media in the first place was because it took up ALL my time without giving much back to me.  You remember the days of ‘poking’ and email updates when someone did it?  That was a big reason why I left Facebook.  So with better update settings, I don’t get distracted with unnecessary updates anymore but but but there’s SO MUCH MORE happening online than 3-4 years ago.  24hours isn’t enough to sift through all the information that’s online.  And and and if you know me, you know how much of a busybody I am, so I have to look at every latest picture that pops up.  Lament on how I missed a party/event/catch up or two.  Before I know it, I was suppose to be asleep like hours ago!!!  That’s just Facebook.

Don’t get me started on Twitter because I shouldn’t be wasting my time writing this post when I can actually be reading what’s happening on everything I’m possible remotely interested in.  Yes, I’m following animators, artists, designers, technocrats, entrepreneurs, friends, my cousins and my sister.  Everyone has something to say about something and I’m so worried that I’ll miss something, I read EVERYTHING!!!

That was the first three days.  I proud to say, while I haven’t figured everything out, I can now gloss over most information and unless something catches my attention, I go back to real life.  I’ve relied on friends telling me that the pictures are on Facebook before seeking them out and I’ve controlled my reading of tweets to about fifteen minutes, three times a day.

So yah, I’m old school in some ways.  I’ve realised I don’t need to know everything that happens at that very moment.  I think it’s about getting older, knowing that regardless the earth keeps spinning and tomorrow there’s going to be another day.

Or is that what old people tell themselves when they can’t keep up with the younger people?

Hong Kong, After 4 Years

Nothing much seems to have changed.  Granted  I arrived at night and it’s raining so I can’t see much but the Airport Express works as well as I remembered.  The shuttles to the hotel just as dingy :p

All in all, it’s good to be back in Hong Kong.  It’s one of those cities I actually really like and given the chance I honestly wouldn’t mind working and living here for a couple of years.

No one really knows what the future holds so you never know.  As I grow older that’s something I realise is more true than ever.  10 years ago, if you asked the 20something Carlene, the last thing she reckon she would be doing at 36 is starting from scratch with a start up.  Yet as the world would have it, that’s exactly what I’m doing 🙂

The last time I was in HK was when I was a civil servant with airport transfer arranged.  This time, like the time when I was with my first start up, it’s the Airport Express and the Shuttle to the 3star hotel.  Ah … the life of start ups, daunting yet exciting.  It’s not for everyone but I know now it’s been way easier to wake up every morning.  In fact, I feel a distinct bounce 🙂  I may be a little nervous about going to China but that fueled by a vision to change how animators may one day work, is pretty much what 36 year old Carlene didn’t plan for and is so grateful to be doing 🙂

Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough

Post May 7, 2011 I am quietly encouraged by my fellow Singaporeans.  There were enough voters who stood behind what they believed to show me that fear no longer motivates how Singaporeans vote.  Whatever it is, we are a pragmatic lot but at least we aren’t all sheep that can be scared into paralysis.  Well, not anymore anyway.  That said, we still lost some of the better people in our government.

That’s the fact of elections.  You win some and you most definitely lose some.  Both had great love for their country and wanted nothing more than the opportunity to make real the vision they have for making Singapore a place we can truly call home.  Now the both of them will have to find other ways to continue contributing to Singapore and by their track record, I’m sure this isn’t the end for the both of them.

I learnt though that you may have great passion and love for something but if you don’t have your act together … it ain’t going to be enough.  On a personal level, this election had me wondering about making sacrifices, dreaming the impossible and making it all happen.  How does one stay balanced between the heart and mind?  To have enough fuel to keep your passion burning and the fortitude of logic to stay on track. I hope I learn how to maintain that balance way before I get too old to actually do it :p  More than that, I hope when I am faced with defeat as these two have, I will have the grace that they carried themselves with.

So my new adventure, as daunting as it may be, is my opportunity to make something out of the little corner of my world.  I’m going to win some and lose some but I’m going to keep these two men in mind.  Love what you do, have a clear vision, build a good team you can trust, keep learning and after all that if the chips still fall, gracefully and humbly remember you’ve done your best and there’s just someone who may be able to do it better than you.

With that, I’ll be keeping myself busy with my new adventure but I’m most certainly looking forward to the next elections and am optimistic about Singapore … more than I have ever been 🙂

Why Alternative Voices Are So Important?

What happens when you fall asleep while you’re driving and someone slaps you awake?  You wake up and say sorry.

Would the government apologise if these questions weren’t raised over the last few days?

If you think about, they have been raised before but never addressed.  Not until yesterday.

Why?  I reckon it’s because the force behind the questioning only existed over the last few days.  A couple of alternative voices in parliament doesn’t quite carry the same weight.  The PAP has just shown why it is important to have more alternative voices in parliament.

Not you.  Not me.  Not the opposition.  The PAP.  They have shown that only with emphatic fervour will they start to address the concerns of the people.

This is why we cannot allow ourselves to be complacent.  No one is perfect and no system is but let’s not hide behind the usual “that’s how it is and nothing really is wrong” position, because one day when things do go wrong, we won’t have anyone else who can possibly right the wrongs.

An American friend told me yesterday, compared to most places in the world, even in the US, we have a great government.  Things work in Singapore and the majority have basic needs met.  I don’t disagree at all and everyday I am very grateful for it.

In my books though, things can always get better.  I want a home where things work, basic needs are met, people dream, innovate, create and treat each other with empathy and compassion.  Nothing is perfect but we sure as hell can try 🙂

Season for Change

It’s been a while since I started a new job and this week I did.  There’s a lot I’m not sure about the change and at the same time, it’s exciting to have the opportunity to build something from scratch.  Lots to look forward to, it’s going to be exciting but … I am going to miss my cosy desk.

I really like what I did everyday for the last 4 years and 8 months, trying to make what little improvement I could to the industry that is close to my heart.  I will miss that.  More than that, I’ll miss my friends.  I know we’ll all keep in touch but there’s something different about seeing them nearly everyday.

Like Isaac Asimov said, “The only constant is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today.”  I don’t know when he said that but it still rings true today.  So it isn’t coincidence that as I’m experiencing a major personal change so is the country I call home.

This Saturday, which is also my Popo’s birthday, an approximately 2.2million Singaporeans will have the opportunity to vote.  To many in the world it isn’t anything but to Singaporeans, many are doing so for the first time in their lives.  For the first time in our lives 94% of the seats in our parliament is being contested before.

So I urge all Singaporeans to understand the gravity of the situation and make your vote count.  It doesn’t matter if you choose to vote the PAP, WP, SDP, SPP, NSP, SDA, RP or an independent candidate.  All I ask is for every Singaporean to think about the kind of home you want to have, how can we get there and who can bring us there.

Each vote is significant.

If you are happy with the incumbents, vote for them and let them know.  If you are not, change is in your hands.  For everyone who is wavering because the alternatives aren’t ready.  My humble thoughts are if we never give them the opportunity to learn, they will never be ready.  Do we really want to wait till everything goes awfully wrong before we vote in a bunch of inexperienced alternatives who aren’t ready for cabinet positions?

Either way make your vote count.