Category Archives: #popcult

Twitter – Join the Conservation


Twitter. Everyone’s heard of it. Most people see it as Facebook’s less popular cousin, though still far more popular than their buddy Google Plus.

While it is a social networking site, like Facebook, Twitter is really in a category of its own in terms of connecting people and exploring current events. With Facebook, you must be friends with someone in real life, however casually, before they become part of your network. And this has its place. On Twitter, however, you can follow interesting people, and you can also connect with any person talking about a topic you are interested in, simply by clicking a hashtag or typing into the general search bar. You can explore currently trending topics, and most shared tweets about certain topics. The author doesn’t have to “friend you” for you to eavesdrop on their conversations, or even join them.

Twitter helps you get involved & get educated

I have found that if you are interested in causes such as the environment, animal welfare, human rights, feminism, or really anything, you can learn a lot and get active on Twitter. You can find discussions, links to blog posts, petitions and websites. You can join the conversation, post things you find interesting, and get active in things like tweetstorms, a coordinated event during which many people tweet the same hashtags at once, in order to raise awareness of an issue or even get the topic trending regionally or locally. Connecting with people online who are interested in causes you care about… bonus!

In Egypt in 2011, people used Twitter to organize, spread news and information on the streets as it happened, and share photographs. As the world saw, Twitter evolved into something different during that time, and has continued to bring us news and photographs from the heart of the storm during civil disobedience and protests. In February 2014 on the streets of Kiev, a medic named Olesya Zhukovska was shot in the neck by a sniper and tweeted “I’m dying.” A photograph of her, holding a blood-soaked cloth to her neck, accompanied the post. While Zhukovska survived, the tweet brought the sniper-filled streets of Kiev to the computers of those around the world.

I believe that Twitter signals a return to reality for photojournalism. Our governments have attempted to sanitize and politicize war and conflict around the world, bringing us patriotic sound-bites while the bodies pile up. But Twitter brings us photos and news direct from the streets, not filtered through multi-national news media. It reminds me of the Vietnam war, and how the hippie movement grew out of seeing the photos of the realities of war. Since then, government and news media have worked together to change the message into something that aligns with their goals. But they have lost control of the flood, and reality is getting through.

Basically, sign up for twitter and start tweeting. Links that are interesting. Photos that you like. Petitions. Raise awareness about things that actually matter to you. And sure, follow a few comedians while you are at it, you could use a good laugh.


Shred This Slang

The following are a selection of slang or cliché words of the present time – found on the internet, in conversation and popular culture – that are doomed, and you should stop using them.

Because + _____

“Because science” and “because politics” are not answers. It was funny when people first started saying it, but it’s played out and sounds less intelligent than those who use it.


It’s such a unanimous way to thank and say goodbye, but it must stop. I’ve seen receptionists say cheers sixteen times in three minutes. Unless you are handing me a beer, don’t tell me cheers.

Doin’ and Goin’

This one reminds me of Doge speak – “How you doin’” – except too clear and lacking proper verbage. How doing? is better. These words should never be contracted.

Da and Tha

These one’s just need to die with the rest of the nineties. When I read these these alternatives to “the,” my mind hears only the idiocy of the speaker.


This grammatical mess is okay for four year olds.


Unless you’re legitimately tagging or discussing a real social media campaign, adding useless hashtags to your filtered instagram photos and bored tweets should stop in 2014.


This word has been so bastardized ,it’s now just a word describing the cultural outcome of the millennial generation. Everyone was a hippy in the seventies… some only just wore bellbottoms and felt bad about Vietnam. Read the definition of hipster on Urban Dictionary and tell me you don’t identify with at least some of the description. Maybe not the shag haircut, but the loose sexual identity and creative inclination, perhaps


Because naming a woman after a tool is not okay (see: hoe) – what’s next, a spade or a wrench?


For a brief period, saying totes was cute and quirky, but now it sounds totally ridiculous.


I understand 90’s revival, in fact I kind of love it – but no one knows why there’s a “T” in front of the word “work.”

Real Books vs. e-Books

For real, die-hard book-lovers, this isn’t even a question. Of course, real books triumph over e-readers! The feel of their time-worn pages turning as you plunge towards an exciting ending; the smell of old smoke, patchouli, or something altogether more mysterious, bringing you back to childhood days devouring book after book; the joy of passing a well-loved title into the hands of a friend, knowing that you are passing on a whole world to them.

My Pretties.

But the benefits of an e-reader have begun to grow on me. The convenience of carrying a few hundred titles with you wherever you may wander, this is a pure joy any book-lover would understand. Other benefits include less heavy boxes when moving into that cool new apartment, a reasonable amount of shelves in ones house, and a zen-like attitude about dusting.

While e-readers could never fully replace some books, such as art books or your favourite dog-eared classics, I believe there is a place for them in your book-lover’s heart.

The main benefit, in my opinion, is the cheaper prices, meaning you can afford to keep up with your latest obsessions at around half the price of buying physical copies, without having to order your book ahead of time and pick it up, or hoping that your local bookstore will stock it. It’s also pretty cool having a small library in your purse. Whether you are in the mood for some philosophical musings, a fast-paced fictional tale, or some edgy erotica, your e-reader will be happy to provide, and nobody on the bus next to you gets to make knowing comments. Now that’s a bonus! (Us die-hard readers tend to be on the introverted side, and often don’t even want people to know what they are reading when it’s as innocent as Winnie-the-Pooh.)

An important caveat: don’t waste your time trying to read books on your smartphone or tablet. The screen was designed to make HD images and movies look beautiful in a darkened room, not display black text on a white background in bright sunlight, and the battery won’t last a day without charging. Save your smartphone for phone calls and your tablet for Netflix. The newest e-readers use magical e-ink, drain very little power, and weigh about the same as a small paperback. It’s the only legitimate comparison to an actual book, otherwise you might as well read on your computer screen and allow your eyes to ache daily with the strain of it.

I don’t think books are going away any time soon. But, just as mp3s have become mainstream and only audiophiles collect LP’s any more, e-books are here to stay, so get used to it. Now, I have to decide whether I want a Kindle or a Kobo….