Tag Archives: social media

More home

My heart’s been itching to write all weekend. There’s so much I want to write about, but sometimes, for one reason or another, I find myself retreating to the comfort of reading rather than writing.

A lot has happened since I last posted a blog post.

I attended DIFF (too late to blog about it now, but please do watch Room and Mustang asap, and NO, Jennifer Lawrence did not deserve a Golden Globe for her non-joyous role in Joy). Mr. Love and I celebrated Christmas in Cairo (which I loved, and more on that in a separate blog post), and then New Year’s in snowy Bekaa (covered in a blanket of snow and much needed family loving). I have counted my blessings, caught the flu, joined a (real) book club, missed Dubai Sale Festival, celebrated two years of squeezing with Mr. Love, and ten years of making Dubai home.

- where is home -

– where is home –

Ten years is a long time. It freaks me out a little. When I first moved here, there was no Burj Khalifa. Mercato Mall was the talk of town, Shocho’s the ultimate outing, Dubai Taxi the only “uber”,  but there were friends who became family, and work that I loved, in a country that treated me (and still does) as its own, and I am so thankful, everyday. But I also want more. Is it the selfish nature of human beings: rarely satisfied, always yearning for more? I would like to think of myself as unselfish, but I do want more of the world.

I want more winter for starters, I want a chimney I can cozy up to, I want a local bookstore (that is not in a mall and that) I can walk into and find any book I ask for (KinoKuniya, I swear I love you), I want a hole in the wall I need not reserve in if I want to pop by for a bite. I also want museums within reach, I want a park, like Safa park that’s been taken away from me, and I want it a walk away. I want tiny shops that I can discover on my own, not from Instagram. I want a bagel shop. I want more randomness, less planning. I want small but big things.

I love #myDubai forever and a day, but on this specific day, I want more. I want more home.

 

 

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A Digital Breakup

My Digital heart wept a little this morning, as I tweeted my last nuviun tweet, and sent my last nuviun email to my incredibly inspirational Senior Editor. Breaking up is always hard, and digital breakups have just proved to be the hardest. For over a year, this homegrown concept with great minds literally dominated my life (my life here being iMac, iPad, and iPhone all combined), and although our breakup is very friendly and due to very valid personal and professional reasons, there’s no escaping this harsh void that breakups of all kinds leave behind.

-photo courtesy of doors lover Danak-

-photo courtesy of doors lover Danak-

Long before love in the time of digital, I remember people breaking up with lovers or employers or clients face-to-face, and that would it be it! “Hello, I can do this no more. Goodbye. Door slam”. This, today, is not emotionally or technically possible. You breakup but you easily get stuck! The Internet of all things can make it almost impossible for you to move on. A tweet here, an Instagram post there, a Facebook like on a friend of a friend’s page. The haunting, hence the heartache, can be endless.

But the bright case in point this morning, which eases the heaviness of my (non-digital) heart, is that I can still endeavor to make it all work in my favor, thus I am gladly (and officially) stalking my nuviun digital health veterans as of today. Even better, I’ve just subscribed to a nuviunite digital health community member account of my own, so that I can savour the digital health experience through the eyes of the consumer for real this time. A major digital shoutout to my favored go-to source for all things innovation, health, wellness (and passion and entrepreneurship at their finest). On your mark, get set, and go (stalk them immediately). You’ll never look back, I promise!

This blog post was originally published on nuviun.com and was reprinted with permission.


The Conditioned

My good friend Facebook launched its “Facebook stories” initiative back in 2010, but I hadn’t really had the chance to explore published individual stories until very recently (and am I glad I did!). This morning, I dove into stories from all around the planet, of love, reunion, family ties, education, and vocation amongst others. My favorite however was the story of a homeless poet who was “found” vagabonding the streets of Sao Paulo last year (which very much reminded me of Bliss Street’s Ali – except nobody did truly find him). Raimundo Arruda Sobrinho was saved by a woman, but more precisely he was saved by social media, and next thing you know, he has over 39000 likes on his Facebook page, the Hugffington post picks up his story, and the man’s actually got a chance to get the words he’s been writing for over 35 years heard, and to actually start afresh and earn a decent living.

That is what social media’s all really about.

Take initiative. Speak up. Make things better.

Here’s to the hundreds of thousands of Alis and Raimundos, and their potential saviors, but mostly here’s hoping social media platforms are more often put into good use!

My day? MADE! (Thanks Mark!)


The rise of the Selfie

Oxford Dictionaries have officially given in to the rise of the Selfie (also known as selfy), introducing it to their lexicon as “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a webcam and uploaded to a social media website”.

selfieAlthough selfies go back to the 1800s (Chemist Robert Cornelius took his first selfie in 1839, while Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia took her first selfie using a portable Kodak Bownie Box camera in 1913 ), but the rise of the digital selfies is quite recent (Justin Bieber, Michelle Obama, and even the Pope are now huge fans). They’ve taken over the globe in 2013 with giant social media platform Instagram  providing photo-editing and sharing services. A simple hashtag search for #selfie on Instagram this morning revealed over 51,706,771 posts compared to less than 10,200,000 in January 2013.

Being an instagram lover myself, I’m quite excited that the selfie movement is finally getting acknowledged (in London of all places). London’s Moving Image Contemporary Art Fair has just launched the “National #Selfie Gallery” which showcases a collection of selfies in the form of videos from emerging artists from Europe and the United States. “The gallery explores the range of performativity, personality, authenticity, and expression inherent in the #selfie form, from the instant gratification of its creation to the popularity contests of its publication.”

“A Visual Diary” is how a selfie is described in a recent New York Times article. I tend to agree (heart shaped-eyes, pouting lips, bad hair day, empty stomach,  employee of the month, posed- selfies all included).

I hesitated to share the below, but here we are: a somewhat weird video from one of the participating artists for your pleasure! (I’ve only seen this in movies but the geek in me is not one to judge) . Morning Selfie anyone?


#Fail

Interesting Perspective from Harvard Business Review this morning. Humans are the cause of all technical problems. possibly, but Not Steve Jobs. Only he created wonders (ipads top them all if you ask me), not problems.

The 5 Whys – Video – Harvard Business Review.


A Slightly Longer Tweet..

I was in Jordan attending the Arab Social Media forum last Friday and it was a crazy/ beautiful adventure:  from the hotel occupancy of only one floor (the 2nd one) to the scarcity of Wi- Fi in guest rooms (thus having to count sheep to sleep instead of browsing the net) to the absolutely unusual landing back in Beirut (the longest landing of my life due to the oddly stormy weather).. but what I found to be most rewarding is the fact that I have finally- like many other Arab Social Media Forum ( #ASMF ) attendees-  managed to put names to so many wonderful faces I have been interacting with on Twitter for the past year or so, people who have proved to be so simply and genuinely interested in the “handle” of a Twitter account.

I’ve always had this dilemma in my head about whether “virtual” communication could really overtake one’s “real” social life or not and the answer is yes, it could (as highlighted in many global and local surveys) , only if not well managed… BUT, if one’s online presence is well managed (i.e.: he/she can still – monotaskingly or not- sleep, eat, work, shop, socialize with family & friends AND get online) then it can only enrich his/her life -on and off the net. One of the event’s speakers (the only woman speaker and the very resourceful Sylvia Cambie) discussed the importance of using online social media (such as Twitter) to do social good- and  while she was at it, I was thinking to myself: that’s it, right here- she must be stating the obvious : social media is already doing social good – by getting people together- from all over the planet-  to the same platform and prompting them  to share their  ideas, voice their concerns, seek guidance and support , receive honest and transparent feedback (and expect  nothing in return- well OK- except for an online mention maybe or re-tweet here and there)- What is the equivalence of a mention or a re-tweet in a traditional human relationship today, I wonder? How willing are we to invest in others expecting nothing in return?

And then you attend a social event (tweet-up in the case of Twitter) such as the Arab Social Media Forum, and you meet all these wonderful smart tweeters and you figure: they’re only as delightful and shrewd in real life as they are online.. Is Social Media making us friendlier, happier, more transparent, more genuine, more giving and (most importantly) more intellectual Queens and Kings of the universe? I, for one, think it is…