✖ midsummer in the city

Sunday, 23 June 2019

Midsummer celebrations came around and went as quickly as they possibly could. I mean, I didn't really have anything special planned for the weekend, except for work. So I stayed home the whole weekend, not only staring at the wall but also went to pick some beautiful flowers. I think I struggled a little less, even though, I still am struggling.

I know it's only Sunday, but the week ahead does look a bit promising. After three evenings at work, I'm finally off to that music festival I've been going on and on non-stop these past few weeks. I'm ridiculously excited about it, even though I'm not a camping type of person.

So in general, things are starting to look out a little bit brighter. That's why I've created a little list of things I've got on my calendar for the upcoming week:

✖ find a travel back bag to borrow
✖ figure out what to pack for the weekend
✖ watch a few more episodes of Sons of Anarchy
✖ figure out how to survive the festival with period
✖ enjoy a brunch with old workmates

So I've got my eyes at the weekend! What's on your calendar for the upcoming week?

✖ dear diary, I've been really struggling lately

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Dear diary, I'm struggling to get out of bed. I'm struggling to find anything that would even the tiniest bit spark my interest and motivation in life. I haven't showered for a week, my hair is unbrushed. Gosh, when was the last time I even brushed my teeth?

I've been living in a fog, trying to please everyone else except myself. I haven't been able to sleep, I haven't eaten properly. Why is it, that each time I'm starting to feel a bit better something comes up and down the hill, I go again? Why is it, that I feel like I shouldn't be allowed to feel these feelings? And why is it, that each time I open up these things to someone I feel like a burden?

A while back, my friend wondered how I'm handling it all so well. I look so busy, how am I holding up? That's exactly how I'm holding up. I keep myself busy not to be alone with my thoughts. And it's a real struggle when I don't have anything else to do than to be alone with my thoughts.

I need to deal with things, yet I would rather choose to avoid them.

As after all, it would be easier that way. And I am very, very tired.

✖ my summer playlist

Monday, 17 June 2019

It's been a quite a while since I've shared anything music-related over here (or anything, for that matter) so I decided to share my summer playlist on Spotify. What are your go-to summer tunes?

✖ 4 x festival outfit inspiration

Sunday, 16 June 2019

It's less than two weeks until I get to sleep in a tent amongst drunk festival visitors on a camping area of Provinssi rock festival in Seinäjoki, Finland and I couldn't be more excited about it. Actually, I'm that excited that I've been doing some outfit inspiration flat lay pictures just so that I know what to pack. I'm also going to mix and match those items, as I don't really feel like dragging my whole wardrobe there with me.

I picked out four of my favourite combo's that I created, of which of three are for the day time and the last one is for the chilly summer evening. It gets surprisingly cold during the night, even though Midsummer and the "whole sun never sets" -thing has been a week before this festival. Let's remember that I am not a fashion blogger, even the funny fact about lifestyle blogs is that you can basically type about anything, so I might not be able to tell you how I got into these choices that I made. I also believe that this is a great way of showing you what kind of my style actually is, as most of these are the cornerstones in my wardrobe.

✖ for the day time

The cornerstone? That trashed Levi's denim jacket. I basically wear it with everything I possibly can imagine. And with this dress, it looks lovely simply worn or tied on my hips. The dress is from UrbanOutfitters by the way and it cost ridiculously lot, that's why I'm trying to wear it as much as possible. Perhaps not to my friend's wedding later this month, but everywhere else.

Everything in this outfit is from H&M. And the cornerstone? Those shoes. I've had them for more than five years now and they're starting to look like I should find a new pair somewhere but they feel so ridiculously good on my feet. I think they're part of my feet now.
If it's going to be raining, I'll add black tights and that denim jacket to the combo and I'm good to go.

You might recognise this clothing combo from some earlier blog posts, or from Instagram's gorgeous world. The shorts, which might very possibly be the most colourful thing in my wardrobe are from H&M, shoes Converse, and the t-shirt is from Weekday.

A funny thing about those sneakers... They've been to 8 countries during I've walked with them, I've had them for 8 years and I can see my pinkie toe and the left shoe sole has almost fallen off. I hope they'll get through this summer so I have a good excuse to buy a new pair next Spring.

✖ for the chilly evening

The only new thing here is the knit, which is from American Eagle and those trashed jeans which are from H&M. But I thought this could be cosy and perfectly warm for a chilly summer evening.

What do you usually wear to festivals?

✖ oh hello there, you evil little Instagram algorithm

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

There has been a lot of talk about the Instagram algorithm as long as I can remember. When I first created my Instagram account, it was talked about then and until this very day it has been talked about, perhaps even more. Is there really a way of beating Instagram algorithm in 2019?

Recently, I've been struggling with a little writer's block and when I asked around of what I should write about and went through unhealthy amounts of stats, I ended up on writing Instagram again. Also, "you should write something about Instagram as I haven't seen a person who knows about it as much as you do", so here we go again.

 what is an algorithm?
At first, you should know what the algorithm actually is. And algorithms are pretty effin' tricky things.
"In mathematics and computer science, an algorithm is an unambiguous specification of how to solve a class of problems. Algorithms can perform calculation, data processing, automated reasoning and other tasks."
The definition was brought here to you from Wikipedia's wonderful world. There are multiple different algorithms that can be created for different purposes. The one on Instagram basically works based on your own actions in the app. It's also designed to get the user to spend more time in the app itself.

The algorithm on Instagram is created to learn based on the user's actions in the app. It process data, on how you behave in the app. How much time you spend in it, what you are doing during that time you spend there and based on that it shows you the content first that it thinks you're most interested in.

You might've heard someone say that "Instagram isn't showing my posts to anyone". That actually isn't true itself and the better wording for the sentence could be "Instagram doesn't think my posts are relevant to my followers, which leads me to be at the bottom of your main feeds."
In reality, you can see all posts from the past two days in your main feed, but if you're following thousands of people you might not have the energy to scroll at the very bottom, where the posts that algorithm thinks that aren't relevant to you are.

And since the Instagram algorithm is learning constantly to curate the content of the app for something that is perfect to a small hand of users, the creator of the algorithm has very little control over on how it works. It's just something that runs on the background, and I don't think it should be blamed completely.
Since the Instagram algorithm is constantly learning to curate the content of the app for its users, the creator of the algorithm has very little control over on how it works.
This is something that I want people to understand. It's not the fault of the person who has created the algorithm, as the algorithm itself is genius. The algorithm itself learns along the way and when the computer is doing all the work, it can be a bit tacky at times. Because well, like humans, computers as well do their fair share of mistakes. And then they will learn for them.

I've seen a lot of tweets on blaming the creators of the algorithms and the thing is, it's not entirely their fault. They've simply just given the basics for the computer on how to solve a problem x and given them the possibility to learn how to find new solutions on solving different problems. If you were up to do some minor changes on how it works, you should create the whole damn thing from the beginning.

so how does the Instagram algorithm affect?
I'll break it down for you, as a form of a list.

✖ it is constantly learning based on your behaviour in the app
✖ it is designed to show you the content that is most relevant to you

Yeah, that's it.

Let's say you're following roughly 200 people on Instagram. You can get to the bottom of your main feed multiple times a day, and are able to see all their Instagram stories throughout the day. You've seen it all they've posted during the past two days.

Let's say you follow over 1000 people on Instagram. You might not see all the people's posts, but is it because you don't have the time to scroll at the bottom of the feed? Instagram is showing the posts of the people you're following from the past two days. If you follow over thousands of people, it's very likely that there are people who are posting multiple times a day, which gives you the impression you won't see anyone else posting on Instagram but the handful of people who dump three pictures in their feeds per day.

And that is my friends when the "it's designed to show you the content that is most relevant to you" becomes in the play. If you're more likely to like and engage with the people who post multiple times a day, of course, the algorithm will show their posts to you first. If you're more likely to interact or engage to same people's posts all over and over again, the algorithm will show their posts to you first. Because the information that you have given to it is that you seem to really enjoy the account's x content. You actually enjoy it so much, that you're most likely to interact with it so it learns that it must be something that is really relevant to you.

If you don't engage with anything, it simply guesses what could be most relevant to you and shows it up at the top of your main feed.

 is beating the Instagram algorithm actually possible?
Why would we want to beat something we could try to learn to use in our advantage?
This is going to be one of those posts where the writer isn't going to provide you with any actual ways on beating the algorithm but based on what you've just learned from simply reading this post, is there anything you could use in changing your future behaviour inside the app? If the flipping algorithm can learn things very efficiently, why couldn't we? Oh right, it's too much work for us. Why work for something you really want?
Why beat it, when you can trick it by simply changing your own behaviour?
Why wouldn't we, instead of complaining about something that simply isn't our hands (nor really the developer, to be fair) would actually try and engage with like-minded people? Create a community? Work for creating engaging captions, engaging content?

That's why follow loops, comment pods, giveaway loops, follow/unfollow game and mass liking doesn't really work. It doesn't make your content more engaging. And the more engaging your content is, more likely people will engage in it. And the more engagement the posts receives, the more relevant the algorithm believes it is to more people, and that's when you start reaching the accounts who don't even follow you by simply ending up to a search page's suggestions.

✖ learning to embrace the dull moments

Monday, 10 June 2019

Dull moments. The ones when you really don't have anything special in your calendar. The only thing that's left in there, is work but nothing special happens before or after the work. I call them dull moments because I'm the type of person who needs to do things and see different stuff unless she's bored to death. I don't know how to be still.

But there are good things in stillness, right? There has to be, right? Not so sure, as I am struggling. Everyone keeps telling me that though.

After this week is all sorted out, I luckily have filled the next three weeks with music. First, we're off to see Muse performing, then I'll be off to Provinssirock with my dear friend who's coming to Finland and later I'll be off for another backstage hosting gig for Ruisrock music festival. Exciting times ahead, and while I don't have anything to do at this very moment, I should try and embrace the boredom.

Psychology Today listed 8 reasons why we get bored, and while I read the article, I learned a bunch of new stuff about myself. I think I'm one of those who are more prone to be bored. How about you, do you get bored easily? Also, is this a sign thing? I'm Aquarius.
Aquarius can get bored easily, they need something new, unique and out of the ordinary to keep them entertained.
That's what I once read somewhere. I don't know if it's true, except that it fits for me perfectly.

Apparently, wildly successful people choose to embrace boredom and are using different techniques like Pomodoro to get out of the most boring tasks. I don't necessarily have anything where I could use the whole Pomodoro technique (except cleaning, for which I should really give it a go), but I'm going to have to keep an eye on things that could require using this technique.

It has also been said that you need to get bored to get creative. It sort of works out for me, but when you are bored enough of being bored starting something and getting bored to it instantly makes you more bored, what can you do? What a monstrosity of a sentence.

I think I'm going to have to do a little more yoga to solve this knot of thoughts.

✖ disabling my social media notifications

Sunday, 2 June 2019

I recently went and disabled my Facebook notifications. After a week, I moved on to disabling Twitter notifications and by today I've basically disabled every single app sending me notifications. What did I notice, and how did I cope? What about FOMO and all that shit, that seems to be a thing now?

We're living in an era where huge parts of our lives are controlled over by social media. Which is pretty ironic for me disabling all the notifications, considering that I'm studying to become an expert on the area. But while we are out our smartphones glued to our hands, every single red tiny ball popping around our app icons and constantly checking up if there would be a notification implying that someone has been missing us, is that life we want to live?

I'd be lying if I say I didn't take a small break here to check up a few Instagram stories in the middle of the process of writing this one out.

Guys, we have an addict here.

Here are some things that will happen when you disable the notifications from your social media apps.

✖ you will use social media a lot less
Obviously. DUH, Jasmin, why did you mention the obvious? Well, because it's not that obvious. If you check the stats from your smartphone, the ones that let you know how much time you spend daily on your phone and in which apps, you'd faint. It's said that we Millenials spend around 8 hours a day on our smartphones. It's a full day at work, how on Earth do we have the time for that? Oh right, we use our smartphones at work too. It's become something such a usual thing to do, that it's more unusual if you forget your phone home. Forgetting your phone home in 2019 feels like you've left your apartment forgetting to wear your pants.

But how does disabling the notifications help you to spend less time in social media? Because there isn't really anything drawing you towards the app. Do you know why notification bubble on top of the app is red? It used to be blue (at least on Facebook).
They did a study a while back, resulting in a massive increase in clicks when the notification bubble was turned red. So while red is a colour for multiple things, it's also a colour to increase the interest towards something.

When you haven't got any notifications, you have no actual interest in the app whatsoever.
Forgetting your phone home in 2019 feels like you've left your apartment forgetting your pants. It leaves you feeling naked, vulnerable and uncomfortable.
✖ you will realise that FOMO isn't a thing
FOMO, also known as the "fear of missing out" has become something that has been hyped around for a while now. And yes, I'm here to put an end to that, as I really don't believe it exists.
Of course, when you see your friends going out, doing things, hyping up their lives on social media, other people succeeding in things they're good at; it makes you feel disappointed.

Why you don't get to do that stuff? Why you don't succeed in life as well as others? You start feeling jealous about it. You feel like you are missing out on the cool things. And when you get caught up in that feeling, you crave it more in some weird masochistic way that you actually start fearing that you will miss out on something that you're not a part of.

And that's how we get addicted, and afraid of missing out on something we think we are interested in. Even though we just want to feed that comparing little house elf that is living inside all of us.

How to get rid of the inner house elf? Disable notifications, forget your apps, never fear of missing out on something again. How can you get FOMO, when you don't know what you're missing?

✖ you will gain the control of your own life back
The question is, are you doing all that because you want to or because it would look amazing on social media? You might choose a cafe or a restaurant you really can't afford, but because it would fit amazingly on your Instagram feed. You might choose to take a picture of a car crash scene and share it to Facebook in hope for reactions, instead of stopping by and helping out. Or moving away to let the rescue workers do their jobs. You might choose to copy-paste a viral tweet on Twitter, in hope for it to go viral too, just for a few red bubbles on your social media icon.

Would you really do all that stuff, if social media wasn't having control over you? Would you?
You might choose to take a picture of a car crash scene and share it to Facebook in hope for reactions, instead of stopping by and helping out.
 you will feel happier
Being happy is a tricky little thing. It's also a journey, not the destination, as they keep telling all of us in a seek for it. The thing is, I haven't found my happiness yet and I don't think that's even the point in all this disabling the notifications nonsense.

The point is, after disabling my notifications I haven't been spending my days mindlessly scrolling through different apps. After disabling my notifications, I haven't felt the fear of missing out on something. I have felt more content in the life I've been living. I've been more present for the people I hang out with on a daily basis.

And I think you should disable your notifications too. Not to feel happier, but to falling back on being in your life.

✖ Copenhagen stole my heart

Saturday, 1 June 2019

Happy first of June, you lovely lot! Can you believe we've already passed the half-year mark on this year of 2019? I've managed to do a lot, yet feeling like there's something I haven't had time to do yet. Do you know the feeling, when you realise that you've been on a move for every single day during these six months and still feel like you really haven't done anything? That certainly is a mindset I really need to grow out of, as well, I have done a shitload of different things. There's no chance in hell my calendar would fit any more in it than there already is.

Although, last week, during our little road trip to Denmark we managed to spend a day in Copenhagen and I absolutely fell in love with the city. Copenhagen was definitely something else that I've used to while roaming around Scandinavia. It has its own warm vibe, and I don't know if I can give it justice when I try to put it in words. It's something that needs to be experienced.

Nyhavn is iconic, and it's definitely what comes up first when you go to the Instagram search bar and put Copenhagen in it before you hit search. However, any of these pictures won't do justice for the vibe there was. We visited quite early in the morning, so there weren't that many people out there just yet but it's definitely the spot where all the tourists are first heading to.
Nyhavn had such pretty colourful houses, such a wonderful riverboat sight and the smell of fresh food. I mean, I could live there.

✖ The Union Kitchen
The Union Kitchen had the most badass cappuccino's in town. I mean, mine said "Calm the fuck down" and it was by far one of the best ways to begin my morning. We had our breakfast outside, which was this tasty cuppa and a waffle, but I had a little glimpse to the inside of what it looks like there and it was definitely the definition of "hygge".

✖ the streets of Copenhagen
The streets of Copenhagen stole my heart. All the narrow alleys, the trees, the buildings. It gave me the whole Gamla Stan vibe I tend to have in Stockholm (I'll tell you more about that later), but with different colours.

✖ Den Lille Havfrue
The little mermaid statue was also something I've wanted to tick off my bucket list since the early days of my life. Or well, since the times I used to live in the library reading different travel books that I managed to get in my hands.

After all, it was a wonderful visit to such a wonderful town.
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