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On Being Boring

I moved from London to Brussels with my husband nearly 10 years ago. When I told people we were moving, the news was greeted with bemusement: why did we want to move to a city that was possibly the most boring place on earth? Ten years later and I can honestly say that I've had more fun here than I ever did living in London. It might not be the most exciting city in the world but it is a fantastic place to live. It is full of hidden treasures that you probably never get to see as a tourist: wonderful shops, amazing food, great museums and galleries, beautiful architecture, a forest (yes, a whole forest), and so much more... And if that doesn't convince you, well, get on a train and you could be in Paris, Amsterdam, Cologne or, yes, London in no more than a couple of hours... Which other city can you say that about?

Favorite Social Media Channel

Blog every day in May, day 9: Are you a Twitter-lover? Or maybe you can’t get enough of Pinterest? Do you need to share every meal on Instagram? Do you waste away the hours watching Youtube? Or Facebook is your comfort zone? Tell us about your favourite social media channel and why.

OK, let’s see… Twitter: nope. I tried it once. I thought I might be able to follow interesting news stories as they broke and get hilarious insights into the lives of my favorite comedians. But I think they saw me coming and hid. The comedians, that is, not the news stories. They just stayed where they were: not on Twitter, in the newspaper. So no, I never got twitterdicted (that’s my attempt at combining the words “Twitter” and “addicted”. The alternative was “twit-addicted”. Actually, that’s even better).

Pinterest: nope. Tried that for a while too. But then I realised that the sole effect of Pinterest is to make people want (stuff mostly, but other things too, like flatter tummies and longer legs). Wanting stuff is a sure fire way of making yourself feel miserable and inadequate. So bye-bye Pinterest. I may still pop my head round the door from time to time, but I shan’t be staying for tea (even if you do have the prettiest cups and the most scrumptious cakes).

Youtube: no, not this either. I’ve never had a Youtube account. I’ve never left a comment. I’ve never gone to Youtube and randomly browsed for fun. Sorry Youtube. You and I exist in different worlds.

Facebook: I like Facebook. But I’m realising that all it really allows me to do is to feel closer to people I am far from and further from people I am close to. It gives me access to information about the lives of people I wouldn’t otherwise be in contact with so I can fool myself into thinking that I still know them. And it reminds me how little I know about what’s going on in the lives of those I truly love. It makes me wish I were physically closer so that I could actually be with them instead of just commenting on choice highlights from afar.

Instagram: I think Instagram might win this. I’ve only been on there for a few months (as “brusselsisboring” surprisingly enough) but I really love discovering so much beauty and talent. What people can do with camera phones really blows my mind (which is why it really annoys me when people post their big camera pictures on there – part of the appeal is seeing how creative people can be and the amazing images they can create with such limited technical means. So it feels like cheating to see fancy-pants camera pictures on there. But hey, who ever cared what I thought?). Here’s why I really love Instagram though: because it reminds me a little of the Flickr of yore. And Flickr was definitely my favorite social media channel back in the days.

Flickr: before I was even on Facebook, before Twitter had been invented, before the first picture had ever been “pinned” on Pinterest, Flickr opened up the world for me. It gave me a passion (photography) and nurtured it. Perhaps more importantly, though, it introduced me to a community full of truly amazing individuals. It gave me real friends. Tara and Ralph, Amanda, Erin, Cassie and Melissa, Hannah, Diyosa and Ashley, Caroline and Amélie… All of these people are people that I admired on Flickr, then met in real life and fell in love with. And there are more, people I’ve not yet met but that I really really hope to one day: Amelia and Katie, Winona and Peta, Zara, Ingrid and Donna, Mim, Heleen, Mariah and Michele and many many more. Flickr introduced me not just to beautiful photographers, but to beautiful souls: caring, giving, wise, talented people who have enriched my life, and made me a better person too.

So Flickr wins. Even if I don’t visit anymore, it will always have a place in my heart because it gave me friends that will be with me for the rest of my life.




10 May 2013 - 7:40 PM katie - love you.

10 May 2013 - 8:50 PM zara - I'm with Katie, I have so much love for you, Cass. and one fine day we will meet. whether its in Paris or here in Seattle. and I cannot wait!! I very much agree with your list. twitter, tried it and nope. not for me. although I love Pinterest.. Instagram. I feel the same as you, i kind of cringe when people post pictures from their dslr's. instagram has replaced Flickr. and Flickr brought so many amazing, magical people into my world. some that I've met and were even more amazing in person, like Katie up there :)

23 May 2013 - 11:32 PM Diyosa - regretfully I don't regular your blog. But now I've spent some time catching up. I always love the things you have to say Cass. And.. I have to agree. I feel like nothing can ever be quite comparable to flickr and the friendships I made through that site. I like to think that when i picked up photography and joined flickr was some weird perfect timing because of the group of people that were also just joining and picking up cameras seriously for the first time. I feel somewhat stalker like on your posts now... don't mind me.

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