K…an We Talk About Text Etiquette?

Good Morning Friends! Happy Friday! (If you’re reading this from Facebook, for the love of all that is holy, just CLICK THE LINK. Thank you) 🙂

Now that the 30 day 60 day blog challenge is over, it’s time to talk about something else & today I want to talk about the alphabet. There are numerous languages, each having its own unique means of written communication, but for today we are going to focus on the English alphabet; just 26 letters is all it takes to create all the words you see here & many, many more. It’s pretty amazing when you think about it. We can say anything we want to say with the use of just 26 letters, & maybe the occasional emoji (or not so occasional if you’re like me & people don’t know you’re kidding unless you use a smiley at the end of everything). What happens when we have all these magnificent options at our disposal and we choose to use only one of them? You know which one. That’s right…the obnoxious “K.”

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We’re all probably guilty, but let’s examine this for a moment. Why do we do this? Are we just getting so many texts that all we can manage to muster is a single letter before we move on to the next text? Like celebrities: when you get their autograph they always write “best wishes” or something arbitrary followed by an “x” (or an “xo” if you’re really lucky) and a scribble that looks vaguely like it might contain at least one actual letter of their name. Then you get shoved down the line so the super important celebrity can lather, rinse & repeat with the hundreds of people behind you. Are we that important that we can’t wrangle up at least one extra letter? “OK,” perhaps? (Though, to be honest, that’s probably only marginally less annoying than “K.”)

What about the days when you were charged by the text, both incoming and outgoing? I can’t be the only one who got more than a little annoyed when someone cost me 10 cents just to say, “K.” For 10 cents you better have been sending me a full sentence complete with no unnecessary shorthand & proper punctuation.

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I know the point I made above is now considered moot since the majority of us are fortunate enough to be on some sort of plan which allows for unlimited texting, so why is this “K” thing still so annoying? For me there are two reasons:

1.) “K” has too many possible interpretations.

K, what?

As in, “Ok, Cool,” “I’m looking forward to it,” or ‘K’ as in “whatever. I’m done talking to you, you chatty nerd.” Or, “I’m sorry, my hands were bitten off by a t-rex & I can only text with my nose. ‘K’ is the best I can do.” The most terrifying thing to go through my mind might be, “K. Because I’m going to feed you to a shark. Shark has K in it.”

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135ee6abbb34c616b6b3144d97f77e65-jpgWhat do you mean?! There are no tonal clues with the letter K. There are no facial cues, no body language we can assess to determine if this letter is friendly or if this letter has nefarious, diabolical plans which include me ending up with a hole in my neck. Those of us with anxious brains prone to over-thinking need answers to these questions.

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2.) Time. I am busy. Maybe not I get 5000 texts in a day because I’m so important busy, but I do have a husband, 3 kids, a small business, a need to take time out to exercise, errands to run, a dog to walk, bills to pay, homework to help with, & endless amounts of laundry & dishes to do. I’m busy the way most of us are busy so while my time may not be any more or less important than yours, stopping what I’m doing to find my phone (which, at this point, is basically always on a charger which is not in the same room with me) just to read one lonely letter & nearly have a panic attack over the possible meanings of that letter & how to respond (or not), feels like a waste of time, energy, & internet data.

Bonus reason: while I know this is not always the intention, it can be rude.

Of course, we’re all going to do it every now and then, but if you frequently reply with a letter when I’m trying to have a conversation with you, please know that I’ve thought about cutting you.

Me: Hey, love! How are you?

Them: k

Me: K, good? or K, bad?

Them: just k

Me: There is no such thing as “just k.”

Them: k

Me: *screams*

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Can you relate? Does ‘K’ bother you? Why or why not? Do you have any fun reasons to add or creative responses to people who frequently do the ‘K’ thing? I’m planning a post on how to respond to ‘K’ and I’d love to see your best answers!

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If You’re Not Sure, Shut Up & Wait For The Baby Shower Invitation

Recently my lovely sister told me that something I posted about weight/body issues helped her. This and this. I’m sure many of you know what a good feeling that was. Sorta felt like this:

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Apparently, someone asked her if she was pregnant & well…she’s not.

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The good news is that she handled it Like-a-i-love-strong-hipster-frau-boss-mutter-T-Shirts. She told them that she has some thyroid issues that cause her to gain weight and it’s mostly out of her control. Then that person felt like a nincompoop and that was pretty neat.

However, the opportunity for education cannot be ignored. Don’t know how you should respond to such an awkward question? I’m happy to assist. These are in no particular order because, if I do say so myself, I think they’re all awesome.

1.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atwrJ0MBw4Q

2.) When they say, “excuse me, I’m not trying to be rude, but I was just wondering…are you pregnant?” You can kindly respond with, “excuse me, I’m not trying to be rude, but I was just wondering…are you always this intrusive or does jealousy just bring that out in you?”

3.) Or you could just tell them that it’s not appropriate to ask a woman if she’s pregnant even if she’s crowning.

4.) “Yes, it’s your husband’s!”

5.) “What a coincidence…I was going to ask you the same question!”

1316015718331_99991736.) “….with a food baby.”

7.)  *act confused and wildly offended* “Um…I’m a man.”

8.) “I’m 2 days pregnant with a half human, half vampire baby. Stephenie Meyer was right…these things grow at super speed!”

9.) “Oh no, that’s not a pregnant glow. I’m just super attractive. Thanks for noticing!”

10.) “As a matter of fact I am and I’m due the day before my husband gets out of jail!”

11.) “I’m not sure. I noticed I was gaining weight, but I thought it had something to do with that alien abduction…”

12.) *with your best ‘duh’ voice* “Didn’t you see my water break just now?”

13.) “Not yet, but I will be soon. I’m going to have my placenta encapsulated. Would you like some?”

14.) “No, the doctor says I have to get off the heroine first…”

15.) *be shocked and appalled* “Well! I NEVER! I am a virgin thank you very much!” *storm off*

16.) *cut eyes at them* “I like pasta. Don’t judge me.”

17.) *with tear-filled eyes* “It’s a terminal tumor…” If you’re a lover of theatrics and you can pull it off, I would suggest mentioning that it has teeth.

18.) “No, I had a wrestling match with a spoon and a quart of Nutella. The Nutella won.”

19.) “No. I just haven’t pooped in 5 days.”

20.) “Yes, but it’s not mine…”

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So, what do you think? How would/did you handle this awkward situation? Have any responses to add to my list?

 

F(ing)-Stop

I am peeve-posting today. We all have to do it sometime so bear with me because this could take a minute, or twenty. (That phrase always gets me. I always debate with myself whether it’s “bear with me” or “bare with me”. I figure the latter is just another way of saying “get naked with me” so I never end up choosing that one. Seriously considering writing Webster’s to petition for another spelling of the word bear/bare just for the purpose of using it in this context!)

I love Flickr. It’s one of the many joys I indulge in throughout any given week. I love browsing the incredible photos there, I love commenting, posting my own and having those commented (because let’s face it, we all love to hear how awesome/talented/kickass/great we are at whatever it is we fill our precious time with). I enjoy it when someone marks me as a contact as long they aren’t pervy dumb asses. I have had that happen a few times. Hello Block Feature! 🙂

Anyway, the point is that I love Flickr. There are, however, a few things that bug me. It’s not a Flickr issue either; it’s a people issue. If you’ve ever posted anything on there or even browsed through the comments on some of the photos, you’ve probably seen what I’m talking about.

There are notes on photos that are perfectly fine the way they are that say things like: Crop this, lighten shadows, overexposed, glare, fix this, ect. There are comments that say, “please remove _______.” Fill in the blank – it could be anything. I once had someone tell me to remove my watermark. Really, dude? Really?!

You also get the “Nice. I would have liked it better if you would have adhered more to the rule of thirds and if it wasn’t so contrasty,” “I really don’t like her hair & the lighting is off, but nice try. You should bracket next time.” There are comments filled with useful constructive critisism and then there are the ones that are the backhanded almost-compliments like the examples above, only they’re usually worse than those. That was just the best I could come up with off the top of my head as an example. I especially hate when people make the “I would have _________ to make it better” comments.

ART IS SUBJECTIVE. If you don’t like it, feel free to keep on truckin’! If I think it’s great the way it is, I’m not going to change it just because one person thinks their way is better.

Everything could always be better, but if I like it the way it is and it’s my work, why waste your time and mine commenting on something just to tear it down because it isn’t in your tastes or up to your standards? Constructive critisism I can take. I like that because I’m always looking to improve. I can also take the “this would have made it better” comments if I ASK for your opinion or you are someone that I know or have regular correspondance with; in that case, I know you’re being helpful rather than malicious. But comments that serve no purpose except to tear down another individual or their art or make them feel inferior? It’s one of my biggest peeves. You would think that people who enjoy the same types of things would come together and try to encourage eachother rather than play the I’m-Better-Than-You-And-Here’s-Why game, but we’re so competitive that we can’t help ourselves sometimes.

Everyone is at different places in their journey with whatever they’re doing at any given time. I sucked at photography a few years ago. To go back and compare my work now with my work then would be both painful and hilarious to me. I can hear myself now…”I thought that was good? Ugh…”

In a few more years, I expect to look at the things I’ve done now and see even more improvement. But the technical stuff doesn’t matter nearly as much to me as the feeling that a good photo can invoke in a person. If it doesn’t make me feel anything, then I don’t waste my time with it. It’s part of the reason I don’t usually post my technicals under my photos like a lot of other people do. If you’re really interested, ask me or look at my Exif data, I don’t care. But the photo, the subject, what it makes me feel, the memories it gives me – those are the important things to me. So what if the sky is a little overexposed or I didn’t photoshop the dirt smudge off my child’s face. It’s real and it’s them exactly how they are at that moment. Sweet, innocent and covered in dirt & if I think it’s perfect the way it is, then guess what? It’s perfect the way it is.

I once had someone tell me I cropped too closely on an image which was fine because the girl’s elbow was, in fact, cut off – I knew that. But it was because I was working with a 50mm lens in a space that didn’t allow me enough room to get far enough back. This person didn’t know what kind of conditions I was working under or what equipment I had to work with, they just assumed I did it on purpose. I wasn’t mad at the comment because it was meant as constructive cristism rather than the other crap that people sometimes post, but I couldn’t help feeling a slight annoyance that Captain Obvious had to put his 2 cents in on something I was already well aware of without knowing all the details. But such is life. People often have to say their piece before they have all the information – we’re human. We all do it. We all get over it. Everything we do can’t always be perfect. It can’t ever be perfect, actually, but that desire to achieve perfection is what keeps us going.

When I see someone just starting out, I always take time to encourage them because I know just how valuable that encouragement can be. Even if they don’t share the same style as me or if the photo is under/over-exposed, I spend more time pointing out the positives than I do the negatives because there will always be that one person that comes along and ONLY highlights the negatives. I don’t know if that’s their way of helping or if it’s their way of feeling better about their own stuff, but either way it isn’t helpful. Even if it isn’t photography – let’s say it’s knitting. I don’t knit. But if you made one of those crazy-cute baby hats, I would totally take time to compliment you on the skills because Lord knows I can’t do that 🙂

Every type of art that I can think of is supposed to be about creative expression or a release for the person doing it. It’s supposed to be for you. Even if you choose to share it with others or you’re selling your artistic services – something about it is still for you. People don’t just get into arts for the hell of it, there is typically some kind of personal reason behind it. Respect that. Respect that it belongs to someone else who took care and pride in it. Respect that art is subjective and that just because something may not be done “your way” doesn’t mean that it’s wrong.

*Beth takes a big breath here…………….and let it out………And…………we’re done.*

If you made it to the bottom of this post, you most definitely deserve the AWESOMETASTICALLY SPIFFILICIOUSLY WONDERIFFIC AWARD. I will totally make such an award for anyone who comments 🙂