Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Going Smartphone-less for A Month - Teeny Tiny Thoughts - Wednesday

Disclaimer: Sorry this took me so long to post, I'm aware that March is already far, far gone and it's nearly May - yet I still believe this post to be important enough to be shared with the world.

Febuary 28th, 2017:
Everybody has a phone. Everybody. Okay, maybe grandma Nancy not but, I mean everyone has one. And I dare to say that at least 75% of all the phone-owners own a smartphone. Including myself. So as I like to set myself challenges every once in a while (such as going vegetarian for a year or going completely social media-less for two weeks), I've now come up with another challenge - probably one of the hardest ones yet.

Challenge: Living without a smartphone, in my case an iPhone, for the entirety of March - starting at 12AM of the 1st, ending at 12 PM of the 31st. 

The idea came up during a lunch break at school when one of my very outspoken friends for some reason started ranting about technology and how much we depend on it - so instead of only agreeing with said opinion (I do agree!) I decided that we could just go smartphone-less for a month. An entire month. That's 31 days. 
So what's happening is that me and two of my friends that were courageous enough are taking on the challenge and trying to survive with dazzlingly old Nokia phone. To some of you this may not seem like a big deal at all. For three 15-16 years young teenagers that basically live their life online it is a rather huge deal. So here are my personal experiences as I documented them throughout March:

March 1st:

"It's weird not being able to pull out my phone any second & I really want to scroll trough my instagram"

March 2nd:

"At the moment it's actually quite alright and surprisingly liberating not to have the urge to go through my social media all the time"
March 3rd:

"Not gonna lie, it's hard. Definitely harder than I thought."

March 4th:

"I studied a full 10 pages of French vocabulary - something I never could have done if there was a phone there to destract me."

- gap - 

March 24th:

"The thought of my phone almost makes me feel nostalgic because I haven't seen, touched or used it in so long."

April 25th, 2017:

It was hard. A few days in I definitely had my doubts as to whether or not I was going to survive. But every once in a while we just have to put our tiny little first world problems aside and see the world as it is. Seriously, who am I if I can't life without a phone in my pocket at all times?

It wasn't easy to connect to people the way I can with my phone and I had to pay for every SMS I wrote. DRAMATIC! Still it was one fantastic experience! It made me realise so many things; how depending we are on our devices, how much control my phone has over my life and how ridiculous things I've started caring about instead of putting my energy into something else.

After the first rough days of being phone less, I felt absolutely liberated. Incredibly free in my actions and much much more independent.

Though this has been an absolutley amazing experience and I'd recommend it for anyone to try and see, I'm back to life with a smartphone. Not in the exact same way as I was before March though, I've definitely reduced my phone-time to about half the time it was before that month and I care much less about things like my instagram followers and snapchat-streaks. Looking back at it now, it's actually pretty sad it mattered so much to me in the first place.

Anyways, I don't want to be here telling you to throw your phone out of the window, I strongly believe phones are a great blessing and they are in fact allowing us to connect to people all around the world - something I would not want to give up if it wasn't necessary! But as strongly as I believe phones to be great, they're also pretty shit at times. Let's be honest, they're addicting. We all spend too much time on them. All of us.

All in all, it was a great month and I enjoy looking back at it. If anybody's in, I'll go smartphone-less again any time - under the condition that I'm not doing it alone, haha! Maybe I'll even give up phones completely some day (believe it or not, people have been known to survive without cellphones!), who knows...

Anyways, I hope you enjoyed this rambling mess of nothingness and I'll see you again next time (which in this case means probably not very soon because I'm pretty bad at posting regularly) and I hope you have a pretty flippin marvelous day!


Friday, 7 April 2017

"Weltschmerz" - Teeny Tiny Thoughts - Friday

noun, often capitalized, welt·schmerz, \ˈvelt-ˌshmerts\
1. mental depression or apathy caused by comparison of the actual state of the world with an ideal state

2. a mood of sentimental sadness

3. the pain of being

*  *  *

warning: it's a philosophical one :)
Long time, no see, budds. But that's my fault. Anyways, it's 22:50 PM and Solange's having existential thoughts whilst listening to 'Sign of the Times' for the hundredth time on repeat at a volume so high it my eardrums are protesting rather wildly - anyways, a few thoughts just crossed my mind and I've decided to write them down and share them with the world. 

The word 'weltschmerz' is an originally German word (Google translator translates it to 'world-weariness but I find Weltschmerz much prettier.) and I don't know whether or not it can also be used in other languages - but I know that there most definitely isn't an English translation for it to be found neither in my vocabulary nor anywhere in the depths of the world wide web. To be honest, I'm not sure if the word 'weltschmerz' is 100% the right word to describe what this post is all about as there are hundreds of slightly different definitions to it and everybody concieves it a bit differently but it's definitely what comes nearest.

What does this word actually mean? you may ask. Well, I can't tell you what it is to others, but for me it's a type of feeling that has been present ever since... ever. In order to get this all completely right I need to clarify: the first definition on the top of this post is not exactly what I understand under 'weltschmerz'. To me, it's not a negative feeling. Rereading all the definitions just now makes me realise that these definitions make it seem so bad and negative but that's really not what I think it is. I don't believe it's a matter of mental health or state of mind whether or not you're familiar to this emotion.

The definition that I think fits the best is the third one. The pain of being. What an odd feeling. On one hand it's one of the, in my opinion, strongest emotions human beings can feel - set aside whether or not they notice it's existence -, on the other hand a feeling of no actual use whatsoever. Imagine nostalgia, happiness, exitement, anxiety, grace and much more emotions, all mixed together. Doesn't sound familiar? Well then I guess I haven't described it well enough because I'm sure you've felt it.

To me, music is a huge trigger. Not upbeat music, not the kind of music that makes you dance. It's the cheesy, slow music. Sometimes when I walk home from somewhere and listen to music really loudly because the dark scares me (I'm 15. And scared in the dark. Yup. The monsters never went away.) and that's the times I feel weltschmerz. When I'm alone. And I think it's a beautiful experience - sometimes it'll be just me, smiling like an idiot on my way home, sometimes it'll be just me, trying not to cry on the way home and that's not because something oh-so-horrible happened but because of the inability of life to reach for the universe. Weird, I know.

I figure that this whole thing has got something to do with the fact that we, as humans, know somewhere deep down of the complete irrelevance of our existence and can't get our minds wrapped around what or why things exist the way they do - and with things I don't mean the dishwasher and bicycles but planets, galaxies. The universe. If there are any, parallel universes. All that stuff.

Now this has gotten existencial, I genuinely hope you're holding up and haven't just yet had your existencial crisis. Let me just say one last thing:
I don't know why I wrote this post. I think it's nice to make people aware of the existence of this feeling. I think we shouldn't be scared of the universe and the fact that there's no relevance in existence of anything, whatever we do. Weltschmerz shouldn't be feared or disliked. If there's one thing we all have in common, it's the fact that we're all in this together. We were all given the chance to live, by whatever circumstance that may be, it might have been somewhat of a God that created us, it might have been complete coincidence and evolution that gave us the gift of life, we can't possibly know, but we're all in this together and all we can do to thank for that is make our short little stay in this universe as marvelously fantastic as possible.

*takes a deep breath*

That's all.

be kind.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

More Tips & Tricks for Better Studying

Hi, hey, hello, how's everybody doing? As for me, school has completely taken over once again and I know I write this all the time but that's just the truth. However, today I've found a little space in my schedule and I'm going to use it to try and help a few of you with your school-stuff. I have done another post on this subject already and you can check it out here.

I'm in no way the perfect student and there surely are times when a bit more effort and work could be put into my schoolwork and to be quite honest - homework is something I stopped doing in 5th grade (who hasn't?!). Still I like to consider myself not too much of a bad student and I've passed all my exams fairly well up until now which gives me reason to entitle myself able to give you advice. 

To stop blowing my own trumpet here - I'm just going to stop rambling and get right into it: Here come 5  more ways that make it easier to study and keep things in the part of your brain they're supposed to be (at least they work pretty well for me)!

1. Get it over with! 

I know this is much easier said than done. Procrastination seems to be rooted somewhere deep in humanity's heart and the only way to overcome it is by simply stopping to do it - a task most of us often struggle to do, myself included. So if you're ever in a situation again in which you find yourself procrastinating, think logically. If you have to do it one way or another there's really no point in postponing it, is there? This obviously doesn't only go for studying but for anything else worth procrastinating - if there's no way around it, procrastination is only going to make it worse. I think we all have experienced that everything, EVERYTHING, is much much much more fun if you don't have a voice in the back of your head telling you that you still have that assignment to finish.

2. Timing

There are always two kinds of people; one starts studying for the exam 3 weeks in advance, the other one starts the night before. In my opinion, both these techniques don't really work out. If I had to choose between the two, I'm probably more likely to be the one starting the day before but let me tell you, stuffing it all in your head in a minimal amount of time is not the way it works. You may know it all during the test but a few days or weeks later you won't remember much and as we all know that's not exactly the point of studying.
So my tip for this is not to start weeeeeks in advance -  a few days are enough! I usually start studying about two days in advance and I think with that I've found the balance pretty well.

3. Repeat repeatedly

I guess this one's pretty self-explanatory. Repeating things is what makes your brain remember whatever said thing is. Once reading through the book might not be enough to know it all (though I know a few smart people that can get away with that) so for the ones of us that don't have a photographic memory and aren't a genius in general - repeating things makes it all easier. It make take up a bit more time but especially for vocabulary in foreign languages this is the number one key.

4. Go back to it

Like the previous one, this tip comes in very handy when you're studying for languages. Personally I learn three foreign languages at school (my mothertongue is German and I have French, English and Italian as subjects at school) and I've come to find this a very good method of trying to get into the right state of mind.
Try to think about the words when you’re doing something else; let's say you're eating an apple - how would you say 'apple' in Italian? You might even be able to translate your thoughts into whatever language you’re trying to study for? All I know is that after having been ‚thinking‘ in French for a while it’s much easier to remember words and also generally the way sentences are formed and things like that.

5. State of mind
This one is a bit difficult to explain - when you study you have to be in the right state of mind. You need to be open to learn new things, there has to be a certain level of concentration and you shouldn't be distracted by any annoying thoughts. An hour of studying is worth a five minute read if you weren't concentrated or uninterested in the subject. 
This can obviously quite problematic because everybody has subjects that don't fit into their field of interests - mine for example is geography (ugh). I hate geography and you can certainly see that it's not my favourite subject by looking at my marks - still I just try to tell myself that it's interesting whenever I study for a geography test. Doesn't always work but surely makes a teeny tiny bit of a positive difference.

Well I hope these tips help you study for your next exams, as mentioned before; for a few more tips check out my previous post from October called A Few Tips and Tricks For Better Studying (throwing the shameless self-promo out there again :) )!

see yah

to see a little something to brighten your day click here.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Finding The Balance

Do I need to take a pictue of this? Is this moment one to capture or is it best to leave it as it is, settled in my memory rather than in a photograph? These are questions I ask myself quite often and as a person that tends to take pictures of everything and anything just for the sake of taking a picture and capturing moments these questions aren't easy to answer.

In the modern world of internet and media, capturing things on video or picture is everything. Not few people even capture their whole life and post it for the world to see in the form of daily vlogging and don't get me wrong - I absolutely love watching vlogs and I pretty definitely do it a bit more than I should - but sometimes I find it nothing but annoying that we all have to pull our phone out and take a picture of everyting. I'm personally very guilty of this, I can't go around town without snapping a picture every here and there because there's so many things screaming at me to be captured and I just can't help myself.

As some of you may know I'm currently on a challenge that me and a few friends have set ourselves - I'm going absolutely and completely smartphone-less for the whole of March. Crazy I know. The post on that is coming as soon as the whole experience is over! I still have a phone but it's a brick-y Nokia and there's not really much to do with it - anyways the point of it is that with my iPhone there's also the portable all around handy phonecamera locked away in my chest of drawers. My nokia does actually have a camera but as a modern teenager that grew up in the 2000s a 3.2 megapixel camera isn't really doing the job. 

So now that I don't have a camera with me everywhere anymore the fact that everybody always takes pictures of everything is getting to me even more as I'm not really part of it anymore. Just to get to the point and inspiration of this post: generally, I don't take pictures of sunsets (the head picture is just an exception, I promise, haha). The pictures never turn out the way I want them to, they are unpersonal and you can find much better and prettier pictures of sunsets on the internet. That's just my opinion. And there's a third reason: I think sunsets are just ways better in person and I don't like ruining them by taking my phone or camera out and only see it on the screen. 

I don't know if this is a very clear example (I guess you still get my point, haha) but there are just moments where it's not okay to get your phone out. Don't ruin your girls night by taking out your phone. Why even go to a concert if you'll only see it through the screen of your phone? Do you really need a gazillion pictures of that concert to post on instagram? 

Lastly I'd just like to address a last little subject linked to this; Before you take a picture, no matter what kind, ask yourself for the reason you're doing this. Is it because you love photographing? Is it because you need it for your blog? Or is it purely because you want to? If these are the questions you can honestly answer with yes, I think that's great. But please, never take pictures just to be that person that likes photography because that seems to have been soooo popular lately (I'm probably guilty of that one, too). Also, if you're taking the picture just to post it somewhere and show off your perfect life - I don't know about you but I don't think anybody has a perfect life so why bother pretending?

Anyways, this post is completely and honestly all over the place - I don't even remember with what intention in mind
I started writing this - all in all I still believe I've gotten a point across. So remember, think about whether or not it's necessary to take that shot. And if you know me personally and I'm all too caught up taking pictures again and forget to live the moment (happens ways too often...), feel free to tell me and remind me that there are moments that are better in memory than on pictures. Find the balance.

I hope you're having an absolutely fantastic Sunday and hope you have a great start of the week tomorrow :) See you soon!


Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Solange's Bloggin

Hello, everybody. I have been out of the game for quite a while - again. Haha, I don't even have an excuse - I've just generally suffered from a rather uninspired mindset lately...BUT. Things have changed quite a lot around here!

For those of you who haven't visited this blog before, here's what's new:

First of all, the name. I have changed the name of this blog numerous times, never being quite satisfied with whatever name I came up with. First it was "creativia" and let me just tell you: I'm very very glad I changed that pretty soon because it's not a very creative name for a blog, is it? The second time I named my little corner on the internet after the French phrase "c'est la vie" (it's life). Again, I changed that pretty soon after coming up with it because it just doesn't have very much to do with what I talk about in my posts - both these names just seemed very disconnected from what I want to do and write about and I never felt as though it was something that had much of a connection to the actual posts. 

The third name I came up with is probably what most of you know it under: "out of focus". This name seemed much much much more connected to the blog itself and I still really like it to this day - it hints the photography related things on here and I like to believe that it's something that sticks quite well - even though I have to admit that it really isn't the most original name ever to be found for a blog.

So as you can now see, after about two years of knowing and loving my blog as "out of focus", I've taken my naming game a step further and decided to change again. It's been on my mind for a while and I've finally come to dare to make a change. So from today onward, it's solange's bloggin. Bringing my name into this is new to me - and makes it a lot more personal. As you may also notice is the fact that my face is finally there for the world to see. 

From the first day I started blogging on to a few months ago I told myself that I was too young to put my face onto the internet for anybody to see. That was my reasoning as to why not to put pictures of myself up there. Considering that I was only 13 when I started blogging, this may be partly true. But most of all, I've just been scared. Scared of people finding out, people laughing. Yup. That was my reason not to show my face and hide behind the keyboard. 

Well, as you can see, that's not the case anymore. You're probably still not going to see too much of me because I genuinely don't feel too comfortable in front of cameras and I still don't really feel the need to put photographs of me all over the place but I'm still glad that you all can finally get an even closer look into my life.

Thanks for putting up with that huge pile of ramble, ramble and more ramble! I'll see you soon with another post - it may or may not be about books...


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