You Shouldn’t Have to be Scared to Fall in Love


For those of you who didn’t know, Tuesday (Oct. 11) was ‘national coming out day’ in the States. The hashtag #NationalComingOutDay and #NCOD was trending on my Twitter, and since I am very active on Twitter in different capacities; it was quite something to witness. Let’s just say, my eyes weren’t very dry that day.

Apart from reading about strangers who shared their different stories that ranged from old ‘coming out’ stories to fresh ones; I also spoke to online friends who shared theirs. One of these friends—let’s call her Sam—and I started talking privately about the day. She confessed that she’d wanted to come out to her family for a long time, but that so far she hadn’t had the courage to do so. The stories that filled both our Twitter feeds made her feel hopeful to a certain extent, but she was still scared. She told me that she’d previously tried to bring up the topic of being gay with her mother, but that she’d been instantly dismissed. Instead, her mother carried out a long monologue about how gay people are sick, how their ‘urges’ are unnatural, and so on. Of course, that didn’t help Sam very much and she was—yet again—discouraged. Over the years, as gay rights have become more of a championed, public discussion and debate in [western] media, Sam’s mother has repeatedly said that she doesn’t get it. She’s also alluded that ”none of that” would ever be tolerated under her roof.

As such, Sam, who’s describes herself as shy and who has a hard time making friends, has shied away from other women; on the account that she’s scared that she might—at some point—develop feelings for one. Which has, as she told me, pretty much eliminated her chances of making any friends whatsoever.  It broke my heart to hear her story, and it still confuses me so much, that a parent would reject their child based solely on that child’s sexual preferences. Now, I might not be a parent myself, but I just don’t get it. Your child shouldn’t have to live in fear, especially not at home. Sure, I could imagine that it might come as a surprise, or a shock for some parents to find out that their kid’s attracted to people of the same sex as they are. Fine. Sure. Take a moment, and maybe a breath or two. Don’t, however, disown them!

Sam told me that she’s taking a fall trip with her aunt and her family soon, and she’s planning on coming out to her aunt sometime during it. She told me that she was currently in the processes of writing a speech about it, since she said she’d be way too nervous to just wing it. Should a child really have to go through this? The anxiety? Having to pen a letter about it? If you ask me: no. Parents should have unconditional love for their children, and this—according to me—it’s such a non-issue. Your child isn’t a murderer, they aren’t hurting anybody, they’re just attracted to someone you might not expect them to be attracted to! Besides, it’s such a western social concept anyway, heterosexuality. People shouldn’t have to ‘come out’, and they certainly shouldn’t have to be scared to do so, but I guess that’s the next step to work toward. Let’s just start with accepting those who do and acknowledge the courage it took for them to do so. Plus, I wish Sam all the best! I’m proud of you.

Love Wins.

* Sam isn’t her real name. We’re both working under pseudonyms online and I’ve further gotten her consent to publish this.
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It changed me




The other day, while I was sitting on the train going through my LinkedIn feed, I stumbled across a post written by Pete Marsh. I knew nothing about him, I’d never heard his name before.

Marsh’s piece is titled Since my son diedI read it on the train and got all choked up. While I will not say or pretend that I know the pain that Marsh feels since I’ve never lost a child; I could however relate to a lot of what he wrote. In the beautifully written piece, he describes how the death of his son has changed him. He describes what he no longer does, or what he gets surprisingly mad at nowadays, or what he no longer worries or gets upset about.

It got me thinking about how I’ve changed since my dad died, 1,5 years ago. Truth be told, sometimes it still doesn’t feel real to me. I can still hear his voice in my head, I can still imagine what he’d say or how he’d react to certain things. Of course, the hard part is to deal with those moments when his reaction is absent, since he’s no longer here to provide it; it’s all in my head. Getting back to the point, I thought that maybe just my perspective changed, because I’m still me. However, after having read Marsh’s text, I realize, I have changed.

Since my dad died, 
I have a hard time seeing people with their fathers. It doesn’t matter what age the children are, they don’t need to be my age. Just the fact that they have fathers, just seeing it, gets to me. It doesn’t feel fair. There’s no telling how my reaction will be, however I don’t break out in tears because of it, but to various degrees I do react.

Being the [digital] nerd I am, I spend a lot of time on my social media accounts, or in Internet communities in general. And, much like Marsh, I tend to get angry or upset when people share family memories, involving their fathers. Let’s just say that for someone who loves to be active online in her spare time, father’s day (especially when it happens in America) is a day I’m not online. It’s especially on Instagram and Twitter where I follow Americans, and those feeds respectively tends to explode with pictures of fathers and father’s day love. I just can’t, not anymore.

Marsh writes how he gets surprisingly mad when he sees a tribute to a dead pet, which he finds ironic, since his son loved animals. I, embarrassingly enough, tend to get surprisingly irritated (not mad) when I see a tribute to a distant, super old relative who’s just passed away. I know it’s completely irrational, stupid and selfish of me, but there’s always this voice inside my head that says ”well, at least it wasn’t your parent! It wasn’t your dad.”

Marsh writes that while his heart might have hardened somewhat due to the death of his son, it has also softened.

I’d like to think that mine has softened too, I am even more attuned to other people’s pain and I reach out a hand if and when I can. I try to no longer sweat the small stuff, even if that’s hard at times, I do my best. Because, while it might sound cliche, life is short. Marsh writes how he’s come to appreciate the admonitions we’ve all heard a thousand times. I agree, for the first time they really mean something.

Do tell the ones you love that you love them while you can, and savor every day you get with them!

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Daily Prompt: Carry


So, today’s one-word prompt (via Daily Prompt) is carry. 

What came to mind, was a discussion that I had with an online friend yesterday. She had a bit of a rough day and felt like she often found herself in those situations where she’s the caring one, while her friends often end up taking advantage of her kindness. It’s a situation I can relate to, in fact I dare say that we’ve all been there at least once. Of course, it’s tiresome to be the one who always seem to do all the caring, while others keeps piling on you; expecting you to be there for them, because that’s who you’ve always been. Anyway, my friend was having trouble with another online friend of hers. She explained how they’d gotten closer over the last couple of months, and while the other person initially seemed very interested, they don’t seem to be as interested anymore, due to another online person having entered their lives. Now, my friend didn’t know whether she was just being paranoid, or if she was actually detecting a distancing from her friend.

What she asked me was if it mattered, being a good friend. A good person, really.

This, too, I think is a familiar thought. I know I’ve had it, when I’ve had bad day and have just felt kind of tired of the same old thing. Still, my response was that yes, I’d like to think that it matters. Having said that, it’s still not fun to feel like you’re being taken for granted, or even used, just because you go out of your way to make others feel nice. The Internet is a tricky place, and it’s easy to see how some people—who seemingly have a need to always be in the spotlight—tend to drag those people in, those who cares, only to toss them aside once they’ve gotten what they needed from the interaction. I don’t know if I believe in karma, but if you’re nice, and if you treat others the way that you want to be treated; it can never be a bad thing, can it? Sure, you might be setting yourself up for some heartache, but in the long run, isn’t it better to keep being nice? You never know how your act of kindness might impact someone, right? What if you, just because you decided to ask the question ‘you sure you okay?’ or ‘do you want to talk about it’, ended up doing something really great for someone? Like the quote above states, friends and good manners will carry you, and I believe it will. If you continue to be that nice person, somewhere along the line, your life will be better for it. You, as a person, will be better for it. Besides, when you start doubting if it makes a difference, hopefully you’ll have some real friends—those who won’t take you for granted and who recognize the effort you’ve put into the relationship—tell you that it matters. Hopefully, they’ll be able to tell you about all of those times when they were ready to give up on something, or were doubting themselves, but because you went out of your way to help them, they got through it.

So, keep being a good friend. Keep being nice. It’ll carry you places.

Publicerat i Daily Prompt, In English, Internet, my opinion, Twitter | Märkt , , , , , , , , , , , , | Lämna en kommentar

Daily Prompt: Maybe


I haven’t been updating this blog, I know, and I’m sorry! But I’m trying to get back to writing, publicly at least. So, I noticed that the Daily Prompt is now giving you a word to inspire you to write a post about said word. Today’s word, as you’ve probably guessed, is maybe. 

 To me, it’s a word that I use a lot. Not just because I’m indecisive, but I’ve found myself using it as a little bit of a crutch, or maybe even an escape. First of all, I always want everyone to like me, you know, to a fault. I mean, ultimately, there are some people’s approval you really don’t need (but still…). As such, in the past (yes, because I’ve become better at standing my ground now), I often said ‘maybe’; when in reality, I wanted to say no. Maybe I just didn’t want to hurt someone, didn’t want to be rude and just say no. Or, I was too scared (or, let’s face it, indecisive) to say either yes, or no. You see how it can be used as a crutch? It allows you to stay in that limbo, during which you don’t need to commit. Sometimes, it feels nice, but more often than not, you’re doing yourself a big disservice. Which is why I’ve tried to work on it, and I’m happy to say that I’m feeling more confident about stating what it is that I want and feel now.

Also, I’ve always been one of those ‘maybe tomorrow’ kind of people, again more of an excuse and crutch. It might feel better to think that, ‘yes, possibly, maybe tomorrow I’ll go out for that run’, which means you can continue to slouch on the couch for an extra day (disservice!).

Sure, there are times that calls for a polite, non-committal ‘maybe’, but even those become quite transparent after a while. You know, those friends that you bump into, with whom you aren’t really friends. Each time you talk about how long it’s been and that you really should get together soon. You politely nod and agree that maybe when things has calmed down, then you’ll definitely get together. We’ve all been there, haven’t we?

It’s still a nice little word, and while the ‘maybe’ might be used as an excuse that you tell yourself, in order to feel better about that run you never take, or the diet you never tried (or whatever, really). However, if you’re actually saying ”yes, maybe I’ll consider that,” and actually mean it, then it’s super great.

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Sanningen: Uppförsbacken är extra brant för kvinnor


”Du kan bli precis vad du vill. Du kan göra precis vad du vill. ”

Det är det vi brukar säga, till de yngre? Eller förhoppningsvis det vill borde säga, eller vilja säga åtminstone. Som P!nk sjöng i sin låt ‘Stupid Girls‘ så undrar hon vad som hände med drömmen om att tjejer kunde bli president, och menar på att det är en epidemi, att unga tjejer försöker att anpassa sig till det som de tror är rätt sätt att vara tjej på. Vidare menar P!nk att det är ambition hon vill se, att vi måste få de unga tjejerna att tro på att de kan bli vad som helst.

Jag håller med! Självklart, ska vi uppmana unga tjejer (och våra medsystrar generellt) till att vi kan göra det vi vill, oavsett om det är något stereotypiskt tjejigt, eller motsatsen. Absolut. Jag och mamma pratade om det bara igår, att kvinnor under arbetsintervjuer måste stå på sig själva, inte vara alltför blyga. Mamma menade att många män, under deras anställningsintervjuer, inte har alls lika svårt för att boosta med vad de är bra på. Tyvärr är det ju ofta så.

M E N, 

vi måste också komma ihåg att det inte är lätt. Vi ska inte låtsas som att det är lätt heller. Jag är smått trött på att höra, folk säga, ”bara vill du, så går det.” Återigen, så är det klart att vi ska ha ambitioner, vi ska tro på oss själva; för om vi inte gör det, vem kommer att göra det då? Men, det finns svårigheter och det har inget att göra med huruvida vi tror på oss själva, utan det är som epidemin som P!nk sjunger om. Det har blivit inbyggt i våra sociala normer, att kvinnor ska vara på ett visst sätt, ska bete sig på ett visst sätt, och gör vi för mycket för att sticka ut; ja då blir det svårt. Visst fortsätter vi att kämpa ändå, och tillsammans så kommer vi förhoppningvis att rucka på de här stereotypiska, ”såhär-ska-en-tjej-vara” förhållningen, men det är inte lätt.

För ett par dagar sedan läste jag denna artikel, med samma tema, publicerat i National Observer. Sandy Garossino är skribenten och rubriken lyder: What’s written in the scars of Hillary Clinton. Jag skulle kunna skriva ett helt blogginlägg om endast den artikeln (det kanske kommer framöver), men för att lyfta fram detta citat:

If we really want our girls and young women to aim high, we should tell them the truth. They’re in for a fight, and there won’t be anything fair about it.

Because we’re telling them the biggest fattest lie in the world if we let them believe that Hillary Clinton’s main problem is Hillary Clinton. Her problem is her gender.

Det är såhär vårt samhälle ser ut idag, tjejer såväl som kvinnor, kommer att ha en motgång–they’re in for a fight–på grund av deras kön. Ja, det är en samhällelig epidemi på hög nivå, och vi matas med den varje dag. Se bara på den här videon:

Vari diskuteras att kvinnliga atleter–i intervjuer–borde få frågor kring deras sport och deras begåvning inom denna, inte om hur de ser ut. Vidare lyfts fram att fokus kring kvinnliga atleters utseende är ännu värre under OS. I svenska medier, kan det se ut såhär när det skrivs om kvinnliga sportprestation, delar min föredetta klasskamrat Isabelle med sig av på Facebook:


Hon frågar sig, ”hur många texter om ‘manliga’ cyklister börjar såhär?” Så, vi kan ju etablera att det inte bara handlar om huruvida vi tjejer/kvinnor vågar sträva efter saker och ting, eller huruvida vi tror på oss själva. Även om denna epidemi självklart också påverkar hur mycket vi vågar tro på oss själva, det är en ond cirkel.

I dagens ledarblogg på ETC, skriver Linn Spross om att ”magasinens genomgående budskap är att vi kvinnor är dåliga människor”. När hon skriver magasin, syftar Spross på de glossiga magasinen, de som kallats (kallas?) ‘damtidningar’. Det Spross skriver är att det verkar–sedan damtidningarna etablerat sig–funnits en röd tråd:

I dessa tider är man inte misslyckad för att man jäser ett bröd lite för kort eller har fnasiga armbågar, utan för att man missköter sin kropp. Det är ett särskilt pseudovetenskapligt hokus-pokus som presenteras som fakta.

Vad som är värst, konkluderar Spross, är att mening är att man ska känna sig otillräcklig, ful, har brister och att de alla måste åtgärdas. Detta är det genomgående budskapet, vidare ställer hon sig emot att dessa magasin:

har mage att skriva allsköns hittepå som vedertagna sanningar, bara för att människors dåliga självförtroende är en särskilt lukrativ egenskap.

Ser ni den onda cirkeln formas och slutas?

Vi vill uppmana tjejer, våra medsystrar, att tro på oss själva. Säga att allt blir bra. Men faktumet är att vi tillhör ett kön, som automatiskt ger oss en strid. Vi vet ju alla vad en kvinna som står upp för sig själv riskerar att bli kallad, b*tch, för att nämna ett exempel. Som skrivet i artikeln om Clinton så ser vi ju också hur negativt hon blir utmålad, extra mycket, för att hon är kvinna.

Så, vi ska tro på oss själva, men samtidigt finns det en fin linje. Strätar vi emot för mycket, så är vi b*tches. Inte konstigt att vi då ibland känner att det är oss det är fel på, vilket då kan leda till att v,i i magasinen, kastar oss över tipsen på hur vi kan bli bättre; i hopp om att räddningen finns där. Det är ju detta koncept magasinerna vet om.

Så vad ska vi göra?

Jag vet inte riktigt. Jag är ingen expert. Men jag vill tro på att vi måste fortsätta kämpa, för självklart ska vi inte ge upp! Samtidigt, så måste vi stötta varandra i dessa uppförsbackar och tala om att dessa uppförsbackar finns. Uppmärksamma dem!. Det bidrar inte till mindre ångest, om vi inte är ärliga, såsom diskuterat i Clinton artikeln.

Kom ihåg:



Publicerat i Åsikter, Internet, Jobb, Journalistik, Media, my opinion, Nyheter/News, Sport | Märkt , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Lämna en kommentar

The Emoticon Era

First of all, let me say that I’m genuinely sorry about not posting for so long. I guess I was struggling to come up with something to write about, seeing as I didn’t simply want to write ”oh, and this was my day” or something too repetitive. Also, I’ve just started writing my masters thesis in social anthropology, and since I’m going to write it in English, I figured that until it’s done; that I’ll try to write as much as I possibly can in English. So, you’ll have to bear with me.
I spend a lot of my time on different social media platforms, when I’m not posting myself, I’m definitely spending time reading different things. It’s quite interesting. But writing has changed, to some extent. And I find it interesting. The kind of change I wanted to write about here, is about the use of emoticons, you know the smiley faces and what have you.


Of course, depending on your OS and what software you’re using, the emoticons may vary. But you get the point. They can help convey certain emotions, and that’s what they’re there for.
Emoticons aren’t new though. I remember first using them along with MSN Messenger, years back. But they weren’t that integrated back then. Nowadays, you find them attached to chat programs such as Google Hangouts, Facebook Messenger and Skype, to mention a few. Not to mention their uses in apps such as Instagram and Snapchat. And no, of course not everyone uses them, but a lot of people do. So do they matter? Are they important? Are they good to use? Do they make people’s writing better or worse?
These are some of the questions that I’ve been asking myself lately. And I guess I can see the good and the bad about them, at least when it comes to my own writing.
To be honest I sometimes feel really silly, or even embarrassed if I find myself overusing ”:)” or any of the yellow emoticons in chat conversations. I’ve just gotten so used to them, so yes, they have–to some extent–changed my writing. I feel like I should be able to just use my words and expressions, to convey what I mean, rather than relying on the emoticons. But I do know when to draw the line though, while I might use them–almost like a crutch–in conversations online; I don’t use them here or when I write more ”official” texts. Here’s what I can say, I don’t like the use of emoticons in texts like blogs, or essays. The use of them in a serious text would make it hard for me to take the text seriously.
But that’s not to say that I would write off the use of emoticons completely. Last spring, I conducted a small fieldwork project (a week long) for my ”Digital Anthropology” class online. It was on the social media site Facebook, and being inspired by anthropologist Tom Boellstorff, I wanted my research to be carried out solely online. Boellstorff’s argument for not connecting the online research with the offline (by for example conducting in real life interviews with the people you’ve interacted and observed online), is that virtual worlds are places and therefore constitute sites for cultural production. By not privileging the ontological status of offline reality, he doesn’t refer to the offline world as ”real” but rather ”actual”. Because, as Boellstorff points out, the participants online see virtual worlds just as real, just as meaningful as the actual world. So I set out to look at ”Facebook Sociality” in a specific Facebook group. I wanted to look at what it meant to ”be social online,” in this Facebook group. So I studied the group, how did people talk? How did the conversations take shape over time? What where the threads about? And when I conducted interviews with my interlocutors a lot of them, it turned out, used emoticons in our Facebook Messenger conversations.


These were some of the frequent emoticons used in those conversations, if you are on Facebook, you probably recognize them. And if you’ve had an online conversation before, over email or a social media platform, you might relate to the fact that it can sometimes be hard to gauge a person’s tone of voice or intention with a message. If you for example write about something sensitive like:
My cat just died. I’m in tears.
And the response is:
Does that convey much? Maybe it’s just because I’ve become so accustomed to the whole use of emoticons, but sometimes I actually do think that they can help. And if you interact with people online, people that you’ve never before interacted with, understanding what a person might mean by a simple ”Sorry”, can be difficult. Depending on who you are, a simple ”sorry” might not feel like enough, what does it mean? It can seem harsh, or cold to simply leave it at that. But what if that person doesn’t know exactly how to express themselves. Maybe finding the right words, in that moment, might be difficult. This is where a simple emoticon–in my opinion–can be helpful, in order to set the tone. Like adding a sad smiley face after, or a hug emoticon, or even a flower.
When I was conducting my study, I realized that emoticons could be very useful. Especially since I didn’t know these people, and they didn’t know me. But by adding a simple ”;)” could help me see that the person meant to say something in a joking manner. Conducting anthropological studies solely online, is a method that hasn’t been widely accepted within the discipline. One of the disadvantages is that a lot of the communication is text based, and when you’re deprived of sensory aspects such as tone of voice and body language, it can be difficult to understand a person’s true intentions. However if you, like Boellstorff, conduct a study on a virtual world, such as Second Life (cf. Boellstorff 2008). Then you have a virtual avatar (that looks like a human person) that you can observe some social cues (body language) from. While on Facebook, it’s all completely text based. And sure, if you spend a lot of time interacting with the same people, you will probably be able to ”read between the lines”. But if you don’t have much time, emoticons can help to understand a person’s tone of voice or intention. Just seeing a ”;)”, to me can definitely change how I read a message written to me.
So, no. I’m not writing emoticons off, I just think that there’s a time and a place to use them. And while I might use them as a crutch at times, your writing and your phrasing is what’s most important. And we shouldn’t rely too much on them, especially since some are a bit harder than others to interpret, and might also look different on different devices.
I think it’s interesting how we change, and adapt to the use of things like emoticons. And maybe, in the future, a linguistic anthropologist or someone else should look into this more (maybe even me, since this might be an odd, and even silly topic to some people). Because emoticons are becoming more prevalent, and with that, it changes the way we write online, does it not?
Do you guys use emoticons, and if so, in what way? Or are you one of those people who wants to scream, each time one of them pops up?


Publicerat i Åsikter, In English, Internet, my opinion, social anthropology, University | Märkt , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Lämna en kommentar

Surprise Apperance by Yours Truly

Jag vet inte hur många av er som faktiskt tittar på TV längre. Ja, förr i tiden tittade man på dessa burkar och såg nyheter, tv-serier och filmer på dem. Ja, ni vet innan datorerna? Nåja, jag kände bara att jag ville dela detta med er, eftersom jag själv upplevde det som rätt spännande. Och lite måste man väl få skryta?

Anyway, om ni tittar på TV, så kanske ni ibland kollar någon tv-guide? Sedan rätt många år tillbaka så har jag använt mig av den svenska-sajten: Och gissa vem som bidragit till sajten? Yes, yours truly.


De sökte någon gäst som ville tycka till om TV och/eller film. Eftersom jag gillar att skriva så tänkte jag att det vore roligt. Jag valde att skriva om The DUFF, en film som jag såg på bio för ett par månader sedan. Och den väckte även lite tankar hos mig, så tänkte jag skulle skriva om den. Nu har jag inte blivit lovad något eller så, men det vore roligt att få chansen att skriva för dem igen. Känner mig lite som en Internet-kändis nu. Ja, väldigt egocentrerat, men för mig kändes det stort i alla fall. Här är direkt-länken till det korta inlägget. Jag kanske expanderar recensionen här någon gång, för det finns mer att säga om den.

Kram på er!

Publicerat i Åsikter, Bio/Film/TV, Internet, Privat, Recensioner | Märkt , , , , | 1 kommentar