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Vent Your Spleen / Wave Your Rave

Vent Your Spleen on… Saying Farewell to Facebook

I’ve done it. I just deactivated Facebook. And it almost feels like I’ve been handed an abundance of free time. In all honesty, I spent an unhealthy amount of time on it, not doing very much at all. It upsets me that ‘facebooking’ has even become a verb and therefore has actually been accepted in society as an activity. Sitting on your ass at a computer is classed as ‘doing something’. Now that’s depressing.

I’m not denying that Facebook is an absolute genius of a website, far beyond anything I could ever create. But I just feel it’s gone too far. I like to be in touch. I like to know what’s going on. But knowing that “Sarah is at Starbucks on Stockport Road with Melissa, Alex and Sam”. REALLY? Now that is just encouraging real-life stalking. You wouldn’t find it acceptable if someone followed you into Starbucks, would you? And where will it end? Will next week tell us that Sarah is in Starbucks drinking a Caramel Frappuccino on the third table from the window next to the man with the blue hat? It’s ridiculous.

The days before Facebook weren’t that bad, were they? Maybe I didn’t know as many useless details about people that I probably don’t even speak to, but in hindsight I would say that ignorance is most definitely bliss. There are many things that I just don’t need to know. And if I do, then surely someone would pick up the phone, or, God forbid, actually have a face-to-face conversation.

That’s the other thing that grates about Facebook. With a click of a button, people can wander into your life, see how you’re doing, what you’ve been up to, stare at your pictures and then leave. All without a word. What happened to the good old conversation? People who actually make an effort to text, call or come and see you are the ones I really want to welcome into my life. Those are the people I would classify as ‘friends’. Not the ones who just ‘like’ your pictures or write on your wall once a year to say “Happy birthday”.

So with that I say farewell, Facebook. I realise I’m probably fighting a losing battle standing against the majority but I’m sticking to my guns with this one. At least for now. So if you want to know if I’ve gained twenty pounds, dyed my hair turquoise or got a new boyfriend I guess you’ll have to pick up the phone and speak to me. I’m not asking you to get your pigeon to deliver me a handwritten letter, it’s just dialling some numbers. And if that’s too much effort, I guess the sad fact is we were never really friends anyway.

So… no more invitations to Farmville. No more ‘liking’. No more friend requests from Abdul in Mongolia. My life is looking brighter already.

Rachel Vora

Wave Your Rave on… The Risk Averse

Some people call me paranoid. I call it cautious. I salute any dedication to being ‘sensible’. If someone coughs near me, sometimes I hold my breath until I find clean air. I once had a debate with a friend who was planning on skydiving; when I asked why he wanted to throw himself out of a plane he reasoned that “it’s just one of those things you have to do”. Funnily, it’s really not up there on my list. Neither is potential premature death by freefall compatible with any immediate plans to graduate and travel. Life on this planet is fleeting enough without willingly soaring to stratospheric levels and then jumping back down to earth. It’s sort of like taking the elevator to the top floor only to decide that it’s easier and quicker to jump out the window on the way down. Why not just fly a kite and experience much the same thrill of flying with your feet still on the ground?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fairly outdoors-y kind of girl – I like change, new experiences and I’m not afraid of a challenge. I like to live a little. Once, walking into campus, I even walked in the road when it was too icy on the pavement. So I’m not the incarnation of health and safety gone mad. But do believe in doing everyone a favour and remembering to look before crossing the road. And no, of course you won’t be able to hear that car approaching if your headphones are in your ears. When driving I keep to the speed limit. There are plenty of other ways to live life in the fast lane. Ideally, go lane swimming at your local pool.

I have more respect for those that take life into their own hands instead of relying on a piece of rope or parachute. A leap of faith? How about a tame game of leapfrog? Dangerously over-excited recklessness can easily lead our young and healthy bones astray. I still think you should do something that scares you every day, as long as the ultimate result is confidence boosting and not pointlessly and utterly terrifying. Let’s hear it for good, clean, old-fashioned fun! One day I will find my soul mate, at a party buffet where we are both removing the cocktail sticks from finger food. Do you want an internal splinter with that sausage?

Emma Harwood

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