Child's Play, Material Moms

[Material Moms] How To Take Share-Worthy Pictures Of Your Kids – Delphine Tan

Cute kids’ pictures are EVERYWHERE on social media. But our Material Mom Delphine Tan (@mummydelphine) took photo-sharing one notch up when she created an adorable photo series for her newborn son. 

During my confinement period, I wanted to take a picture of David beside something I could use for comparison to gauge how much he has grown, which is why the pictures are dated. It had to be something that wouldn’t change in size and wouldn’t get thrown or given away, so I used the kids’ dolls.

The picture that started it all.

The picture that started it all.

I get my inspiration mainly by just looking around the house to see what I can use. I also love the creative photos of kids on Bored Panda, which were taken by more artistic parents with better cameras. The matryoshka one was definitely inspired by one of those photos but mine’s not as beautifully executed!

Delphine's favourite!

Delphine’s favourite!

Going by the number of “likes” on Instagram, the most popular post so far is the caterpillar one, but my favourite is still the matryoshka one. I also like the one of the astronaut going to the moon.

I was planning to stop by the end of my confinement (today!) but may take photos now and then if I’m inspired. In the meantime, enjoy!

Most popular post

The famous Caterpillar post.

Fly me to the moon and let me play among the stars.

Fly me to the moon and let me play among the stars.

Does not like being compared to a Minion

Does not like being compared to a Minion

Attacked by dinosaurs!

Attacked by dinosaurs!

All ready to play golf with Dad!

All ready to play golf with Dad!

Star Wars, as requested Delphine's sister.

Star Wars, as requested by Delphine’s sister.

Guess who's cooking dinner tonight?

Guess who’s cooking dinner tonight?

Which photo is your favourite? Share with us in the Comments section below!

Delphine - 2About The Author: Delphine Tan still feels like a kid but is married to Adrian and mother to Anya, Adam, and David. Since she has no artistic talent and does not know how to cook, she spends her free time reading, blogging, and collecting matryoshka. Besides being addicted to caffeine, Delphine also suffers from the compulsive need to Instagram every single plate of food that she eats. 

 

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Infographics, Opinions, Vanessa Tai

5 Social Media Resolutions For 2014 – Vanessa Tai

Social media usage in Singapore is intense. Just take a look at the infographic below:

SocialMedia-StatisticsSG

So, even as we make resolutions to lose weight, spend more time with our family, quit that gross habit … we should also consider making some changes to our online life. Because most of us are plugged in almost around-the-clock, it’s worthwhile examining how we can be better participants on social media. Here are some suggestions (please feel free to add your own in the Comments section below):

1. Be vigilant about your privacy settings

Yes, it can be tricky keeping on top of your many social media accounts. However, as we post more and more content online, it’s important that we regularly check our privacy settings. Not being on the ball with your privacy settings could lead to relatively innocuous situations like everyone on your Facebook knowing you have a penchant for listening to ’90s boyband hits on Spotify, to full-blown social media disasters (as exemplified by PR executive Justine Sacco). Which brings me to my next point …

2. Be more positive

While we may be tempted to fire off a string of passive-aggressive tweets about our co-workers, or rant on Facebook about the driver who cut our lane this morning, we should think about who’s going to see our posts. Everyone has their own battles to fight, and the world is angsty enough as it is. Do we really want to clog other people’s news feeds with our #firstworldproblems?

material world_social media

3. Be less hung up about numbers

Speaking of #firstworldproblems, is it really worth getting anxious over why that totally adorable picture of your pet/baby/boyfriend on Instagram isn’t getting as many Likes as it should? I know I’m not alone when it comes to incessantly refreshing my feed to see if anyone has Liked my post yet. If you do this too, please stop. One Like does not a validation make.

4. Be less of an armchair activist

Just as people Liking our posts does not equate with us being Ms. Popular, Liking a Facebook page for a social cause does not equate with social change. If we truly feel strongly about a cause, we should get off our computer chair and onto the ground to see how we can help. [Relevant: How you can keep the spirit of giving alive]

5. Be mindful that you’re talking to people, not robots

In an era where online debates are de rigueur, always remember that the person you’re arguing with is also a human being. Just like in real life, we should always aim to fight clean – that means no name-calling or personal attacks of any kind. And as much as possible, let’s avoid getting drawn into arguments with: (in this order) Internet trolls, people who are needlessly rude, and people who refuse to see another side of the argument.

What other social media resolutions should we adhere to? Tell me in the Comments section below!

About The Author: Vanessa Tai is a founder of Material World who has previously worked on magazines Simply Her and Cosmopolitan Singapore. Now a freelance writer and a full-time contributor to this website, the 26-year-old dreams of attending every single major music festival before she turns 30. She uses Hootsuite to manage her many social media accounts. Follow her on Twitter @VannTaiTweets.

[If You Like This Post, You Might Also Like]

1. Let’s Make Social Media A Positive Space
2. Social Media Envy
3. [Infographic] How Social Media Affects Your Chance At Love

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Character & Soul, Opinions, Self-Improvement, Vanessa Tai

Social Media Envy – Vanessa Tai

17-year-old fashion blogger Tavi Gevinson was only 12 when her blog shot to prominence

17-year-old fashion blogger Tavi Gevinson was only 12 when her blog shot to prominence

Mark Zuckerberg. Jennifer Lawrence. Tavi Gevinson. It seems like the world’s movers and shakers are getting younger every season. You don’t even have to look that far to meet successful young people. In Singapore, more and more young people are eschewing the traditional career path for entrepreneurship, to be a lifestyle blogger or simply to travel overseas for work. And with everyone being increasingly connected through social media, it’s almost impossible not to compare your life with those around you. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve googled somebody whose work I admire, only to be aghast – “He/she is HOW OLD?!”

It’s hard to shrug off that nagging sense of inadequacy when you scroll through your friends’ humblebrag status updates or receive LinkedIn notifications of an ex-schoolmate’s promotion (again.) Unsurprisingly, several studies have indicated that browsing through Facebook can actually make us feel bad about ourselves or dissatisfied with our lives. According to social psychologists at the University of Michigan who conducted a recent study on the co-relation between Facebook usage and self-satisfaction, there are several reasons why we could be feeling this way. One, it could be because you’re engaging in unhealthy levels of social comparisons. Or two, cooping yourself up at home surfing social networks means you’re not engaging in other healthier activities such as exercising or face-to-face interaction.

Of course, it would be unrealistic to completely unsubscribe from all forms of social networking. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn are all great tools to stay on top of current affairs and connected to your friends’ lives. You’ll just need to find a way to beat that sinking feeling of inadequacy. Here are some ways I personally find very helpful in keeping the green-eyed monster at bay.

1. Adjust Your News Feed Settings

Just an example. I would never unfollow Hugh!

Just an example. I would never unfollow Hugh!

Sounds simple, but a surprisingly large group of people don’t make use of this function. There are several people on my Facebook friend list whose achievements never fail to make me feel bad about myself. But because they didn’t really do anything to offend me, I can’t quite cull them from my friend list … so I do the next best thing. I click the “I don’t want to see this” option and voilà! Problem solved.

2. List Out Your Achievements

It may sound contrived, but I’ve found that writing a list of things that I’ve achieved can be a real confidence booster. It doesn’t even have to be major achievements either; some of the things I have on my list include things like “Spent a day alone in a foreign city” or “Volunteered at an overseas film festival.” Whenever you feel down, it helps to re-visit the list for a shot of self-assurance.

3. Constantly Seek To Improve Yourself

We may never be able to stop comparing ourselves to others, but we can always try to better ourselves. Yes, there will always be somebody smarter, richer, prettier or more successful than us, but that’s no reason to resign ourselves to our “station in life.” Nor is it worth it to get resentful either. Instead, always ask yourself, “How can I improve?” As Winston Churchill said, “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.

What are some ways you cope with social media envy? Tell us in the Comments section below!

About The Author: Vanessa Tai is a founder of Material World who has previously worked on magazines Simply Her and Cosmopolitan Singapore. Now a freelance writer and a full-time contributor to this website, the 26-year-old dreams of attending every single major music festival before she turns 30. Follow her on Twitter @VannTaiTweets.

[If you like this story, you might also like]

1. How To Overcome Self-Doubt
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3. [Infographic] How Social Media Affects Your Chance At Love

Share this story "Social Media Envy" on Facebook and stand a chance to win this prize!

Share this story “Social Media Envy” on Facebook and stand a chance to win this prize!

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Arts & Events, Lifestyle

Cats Of The World Photo Exhibition & Purrzaar Are Back! – Tan Lili

Calling all cat lovers! The annual Cats Of The World Photo Exhibition and Purrzaar will be back in August 2013 at The Arts House, with a new category dedicated to cat photos uploaded on Instagram.

Launched in 2007, this non-profit community project showcases snapshots of cats in unique situations or settings (be it in Singapore or overseas), and which capture their colourful personalities. The proceeds from the sale of shortlisted photos and postcards will go to the Cat Welfare Society, a non-profit organisation that strives to improve the welfare of stray cats in Singapore.

Some of the amazing photos from previous Cats Of The World Photo Exhibitions.

Some of the amazing photos from previous Cats Of The World Photo Exhibitions.

Think your photographs of cats can make the cut? There’s still time! Submit those photos to the organisers at sublime.carla@gmail.com by May 30, 2013. For more information on the photo criteria, visit www.gattidelmondo.blogspot.com.

This year, there is also a new category that will appeal to the Instagram-loving generation of today. All you have to do is add the hashtag #catsoftheworldphotoexhibition to your cat photo when you upload it on Instagram for a chance to be shortlisted. Make sure your Instagram profile is set to public so the organisers are able to see your hashtagged photos. Shortlisted Instagram photos will be printed in smaller prints.

Besides the photo exhibition, you can also look forward to three Saturdays (August 3, 10 and 17) of Purrzaar, a lifestyle market with vendors selling quirky cat-themed merchandise.

The animal-crazy team at Material World are proud to announce that we are the official media partner of Cats Of The World Photo Exhibition and Purrzaar. Watch this space for more updates!

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