Why I dislike sharing links on Facebook

Most of us don’t think twice before clicking the “share” button on a video, link, article or picture and pushing it onto the Facebook Newsfeed. The reposted items serve as the daily mail for scrolling through with your morning coffee and I get it, these are hardly taken seriously – most of the time we remember the article but we forget who posted it, much less think about why they posted it. 

I personally have reservations towards reposting media items as my Facebook status, onto my Facebook wall and onto Newsfeed. As much as it garners eyeballs, I don’t think that a Facebook status is an appropriate place for this sort of sharing – especially when I did not create the material (i.e. it’s not mine). 

There have been opinions that these sharings result in cluttering of the Facebook community and I agree, but more than that these shared items go on my wall. My wall is about me and I wouldn’t want to fill it with pieces of news, the latest blogshop lookbook and pictures of “interesting” things or memes. 

Umpteenth times I’ve come across a great article on a certain topic, but I think twice and thrice about posting it and eventually drop it altogether. Why would I want for the world on my Newsfeed to know about this? I ask myself. Do I feel very strongly in support or in opposition of this happening? Or is it just “interesting”? Why put something so transient or controversial on my wall if everything is going to be captured by Facebook?

Many mornings I read my feed.ly, and by mid-afternoon people have posted up the same articles I read that day – but were they that groundbreaking? To each his own I guess.

Everything you share on Facebook has a topic, and technically (or theories say), the things people share on social networks are ones that they feel strongly towards. That may not be the case today because authors click share on a whim, but that is how the audience views the shared material. 

As an example (and the situation I’m facing right now while typing this), I have one amazing article I came across on children and entrepreneurship and I really want to share this. But for this one article, I found 3 to 4 other articles on the same topic, and my views are an aggregation of those 5 articles. To represent my view on children and entrepreneurship accurately, I would have to share all 5 radical articles – and then risk looking confused to my Newsfeed readers. 

This is not just a bid to cut down unnecessary link-sharing on Facebook, but a call to create your own content. I would much rather take a while to soak in the things I read or viewed, then write a piece on my opinions on how children can be entrepreneurial. Or if they shouldn’t be at all.

My point is that your opinions are more than the one-liner or one-word status you add to your shared material – and using that would be much more valuable than the mostly trivial pieces being shared and re-shared on our social networks today. 

NB: I am a Communications major and don’t get me wrong, I think new media and social networking functions move our world forward – but the information pollution is something we can definitely do away with. 

How I saved my iPhone from water damage… and other things

The last week would aptly be described by Lemony Snicket as A Series of Unfortunate Events: nearly irreparable damage to my two-month old iPhone, the ensuing panic to find ways to fix it and the car accident. Thankfully one was fixed and the other can be – I think.

Imagine my despair when last Saturday, in the rush to change into a shirt and queue for entrance to the football game my phone slipped out of my back pocket into the clean (chlorinated, I hope) toilet. And it was the second time my phone fell into water and became fully submerged.

First of all, lessons learnt:

  1. Never attempt to tuck a shirt into a pair of jeans when your phone is in its back pocket
  2. Never leave phone in pants in the loo
  3. Always turn phone off immediately after contact with water

What was different was that my phone did not shut down/blank out after falling into the water. Instead it continued to function for 30 mins. I took photos and used the GPS after shaking out all the water out.

Stanford game

But from previous experience this was nothing to rejoice about, for my phone started to become dysfunctional after awhile. Also, whatever water trapped inside it would cause corrosion and render the phone spoilt after weeks or months.

I took it to the Geniuses at the Apple store for a diagnosis the next day: 3 pools of water above the battery, logic board and A6 chip. No, they couldn’t dry the water for me. And no, they couldn’t give me an out-of-warranty replacement phone for $229 because stupid Singaporean phones are regulated differently from US phones. “You can purchase a completely new unlocked iPhone at $800, would you like that?” No, thank you.

What I did:

  • Place it in front of a cool heating vent for 30 mins
  • Put phone in rice and ziploc for 12 hours

Phone was turning on, but it was laggy.

What actually saved my phone was a product I stumbled upon by accident after the Apple diagnosis. I was looking for desiccants or silica gel packets as Kel told me to get, and also because I’m a wimp who will not crack open my own iPhone to wipe it down. It’s a common household product for mould prevention in wardrobes:

Yep, the American version of Thirsty Hippo that is probably 10x stronger. I found it in Walgreens for about USD 8, a very reasonable price for a lifesaver.

I dunked my phone in rice and left the ziploc open, and wrapped the porous side of the DampRid hanger bag around it. The whole contraption went into another large ziploc. And then I went without a phone for two full days. I won’t lie, I thought I wouldn’t survive it. I didn’t have an alarm, and I had to hand draw/print maps of downtown so I could still go out.

After that, I was still plagued by a phone-dependent insecurity that the insides of my phone weren’t dry. I found DE iPhone repair on Yelp and brought my phone there. For $50, the man said he would clean my logic board and dry the water inside my phone.

When I returned to pick it up, he told me there actually wasn’t much water inside and whatever i did to it before the repair, he said “It worked.” HOORAY!! I had my phone back.

Yesterday I made the longest drive of my life by myself to Oakland – 16 miles there and back, and scraped past someone’s open car door, effectively bending it outwards and having a damaged front fender sigh. It’s true, it’s so difficult to keep calm in a car accident. In my haste I forgot to take photos of the other car’s licence plate.

Here are some things I learnt from being in an accident (in other words, Dad is always right):

  • Brake immediately upon touching another car
  • Sit in car for one minute and calm down – Don’t get out immediately because the surroundings may not be safe
  • Take photos of everything – the car licence plate, extent of damage, person’s face
  • Don’t let them accuse you of more damage than you committed

But oh vell it was my own gross underestimation of the space on the right side of my car 😦
Hopefully insurance will work it out and as Kel said I’ve hit rock bottom I can only go upwards now!!

rockridge cafe

Shadiah’s treat of ricotta pancakes post-accident

I baked while working from home today and it never fails to make me feel better 🙂

brownie bake

Made a big almond brownie cake to end the week!

Happy weekend!!

Favorite spots in the Golden State

It’s been a month here and I’ve found my favorite spots in the big city of San Francisco. I’m not exactly an outdoorsy sort of person but what nature can offer here is overwhelming, and warm spots can be found in this windy, windy place. 

It’s not the apartment that I live in, the room I have is too empty and too cold. Sunnydale is hardly warm and winds always blow so hard the windows and doors rattle. I can hardly say it’s my garden, because we don’t have one. 

The first is the amazing grocery store down Divisadero St near my office, it’s unlike anything ever. Walking in, I’m always greeted by fruits of the season, the last time it was 3.99/lb giant snow peaches, raspberries by the bucketfuls and apricots. Every time I’m in there I lose track of time, in the aisle of gourmet roasted coffee beans, reading labels that try so hard to describe the deep, layered flavors of that particular grind.

Living in SF, I’ve learnt to appreciate good coffee. There is so much good coffee here that Starbucks is frequently a last resort. Bi-Rite has a bakery, so I can get a bagel or chocolate cake any time of the day. Right above the butcher’s counter is the daily hot dinner menu, with wonderful food like garlic mashed potatoes, risotto du jour, summer squash salad, lemon and herb chicken – and every time I try a sample, I end up agreeing to half a pint of something that I never regret.

Bi-Rite creamery’s ice cream is one of the best I’ve tasted, and I’ve only tried 2 out of the 30 flavors they have. 

The second would be the spot up on the summit of Tank Hill – rocks, one perched upon the other and leading up to nothing but the strong winds so signature of SF, endless blue skies and a breathtaking view of the whole city. 

Yesterday I went on a hiking trip through 5 hills in the city – 2 of them higher than Bt Timah hill and each spaced a good 5 miles apart from another at least. It was amazing, the whole trip was – I was hiking alongside a couple of seniors using walking aides and they were going strong throughout. 

We trekked from 16th St to Corona Heights, then down and over to Mount Olympus. We had our sack lunches while sitting in the cold winds and a lovely stranger, an engineer from Mountain View, offered me tomatoes and mint leaves from his garden.

Then we conquered Mount Sutro. It was the most challenging climb for me because we went around a circular path close to the summit and it was extremely steep towards the end. It was also a personal goal, to climb Mt Sutro – and my aim came from this picture of the night lights from the Sutro Tower. The view from the top itself made it all worth the climb. 

Then we headed to Tank Hill, at 195m, to the beautiful Vulcan Steps which we climbed up to walk down – and then had to climb back up to get on the road. I walked through gorgeous neighbourhoods like the Haight-Ashbury, and the colorful Castro – that day I forgot that the city could be a dangerous place and just fell in love with it. 

The third place I would love to be is under a tree at Alamo Square Park. The park faces a San Francisco attraction: The Painted Ladies, which is a neat row of San Franciscan houses decorated in candy colors, as if they just fell out of a Disneyland theme park. I would say they are similar to the canal-side houses in Amsterdam. Alamo Square Park is windy, so maybe, the Dolores park at Mission would be a good choice. I’d have to check them out and then decide between the two. 

Meanwhile, my first three weeks at HoneyBook have been exciting, work is getting faster-paced and we just did our first bridal fair booth today! I love having visitors over at the office and listening to conversations – whether or not we are getting their feedback on our product. It’s motivating to know that everything is going to add towards something real, that will make some lives easier and help streamline the wedding industry’s processes. 

Till next time! 

stop writing

My creative writing professor told me to stop
writing about love. I asked him why and he said,
“Because you have turned it over and over in your hands,
felt every angle, every fault, every inch,
every bruise. You have ruined it for yourself.”
I spent the next 3 weeks writing about science
and space. Stars exploding.
Getting sucked into a black hole.
How much I wished I could sleep inside of that nothingness
without being annihilated. What an exploding star
would taste like. If it would make our stomachs glow
like fireflies, or tingle and shake like pop rocks
under our tongue.

My creative writing professor told me that those poems
weren’t what he was looking for.
He tells me to stop writing about outer space.
Stop writing about science.
Again, I ask him why. Again, he says,
“You have ruined it for yourself.”
I spend the next three weeks writing about my mother,
how we are told we can’t make homes inside
of other human beings, but the foreclosure sign
on my mother’s empty womb tells me that women
who give birth know a different,
more painful truth.

My creative writing professor tells me I am both talented
and hopeless, that everything I write is both visceral and empty,
a walking circus with no animals inside
but a beautiful trapeze artist with a broken hip
selling popcorn in the entrance-way.

He tells me to stop writing about my mother. I don’t ask why.
I pick up my books and my notepad
and I leave his office with my war stories
tucked under my tongue like an exploding star,
like the taste of the last person I ever loved,
like my mother’s baby thermometer, and I do not look back.
We are all writing about our mothers, our lovers,
the empty space that we will never be able to breathe in.
We are all carrying stones in our pockets
and tossing them back and forth in our hands,
trying to explain the heaviness
and we will never stop writing about love,
about black holes, about how quiet it must have been
inside the chaos of my mother’s belly,
inside the chaos of his arms,
inside the chaos of the spaces in every poem
I have ever written.

None of this is ruined.
Do not listen to them when they tell you that it is.

Caitlyn Siehl, “My Creative Writing Professor Told Me to Stop Writing About Love” (via alonesomes)

5 months

5 months

It’s been a month and 3 different timezones but a video call with you can make anything better, even the low quality 2G ones :> From across the Pacific, happy 5th my dear xx

An update from SF

Today was such a long day guys – yesterday (which was Sunday), after my coding class, my MacBook Pro died on me. Sputtered and died, and I couldn’t get it to start.

I didn’t have my data backed up, brought it to the Genius Bar at the SF Apple Store (why don’t we have such easy access to Mac help in SG??) and they said it’s liquid damage. That’s what’s got my device down again. Corrosion a casino chip-wide on my main logic board, which explains the shorted circuits and goodness knows what other components are being affected. In short, my Mac is in big trouble.

Hardware repairs are flat rate USD 820 and would take a week. I need to stop putting my devices in wet places – there’s such a high price to pay. First my iPhone, then this. Can’t imagine the cost if I were in SG, this blob of rust was just waiting to happen.

Anyway my bosses are awesome: they went out and got a Mac Air today so I could have something to work on for a year while I figure out whether to fix my laptop or not. And I get to experience the whole 1kg, 11-hour battery life piece of genius engineering. So thankful!!

I know my blog posts are like instas of food + my tech woes, but I’ll have it sorted out soon.

In a nutshell: it’s August 12, it’s the two-week mark on my one year in Silicon Valley; I’m living in San Francisco and interning at an awesome startup you wanna check out if you’re planning on getting married, or not, or if you’re already married: http://www.honeybook.com 🙂