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How we define ourselves: Tinder, Facebook and Kung Fu Panda

Chris Hunt Pilates WellnessAfter a week of writing (quite) serious articles about subjects like Action Bias and fitness, and why I think Pilates has been influenced too much by some Pilates educators who were former dancers, it’s the weekend so it’s the time when I talk more personally about life (and clearly write very long sentences…)

Before I begin, how many song titles did you get in my post last week?

Today I want to write about how we perceive ourselves, and how we present ourselves to others.

Social media and online dating has given us previously unknown ways to present ourselves to the world, and it fascinates me how some people do it. Maybe in a simple picture we can see how an individual portrays them self, what they think defines them.

For example, Tinder Man has recently had a lot of publicity. If you do not know what Tinder is, it’s a simple dating app where you are matched with people close to you by using a very simple set of criteria, and whether you accept the matches is pretty much determined by one picture and a simple swipe left for no or right for yes. Tinder Man has become famous by copying in his own style some of the funnier pictures that people use. And believe me people use very funny pictures of themselves. But it’s not just the strange pictures that people choose that I find interesting. I think it can be pertinent when people use pictures of their children, friends or their pets. As a way to introduce yourself to a potential partner, I think that a picture of anything or anyone that is not you is a rather interesting statement to be making to the world about yourself.

People define themselves by using very different things. It can be their children or dog, or it can be a club they support, a pop star they idolise, and sometimes by their partner. I am not criticising anyone, all I am suggesting is that my profile on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter is my profile, so why would I use for my profile picture anything other than a picture of me? That’s not being conceited or ostentatious, it’s simply my profile. My passport does not have a picture of a dog. :)

Whilst you will tell that I’m not being totally serious about the profile picture discussion, I have said before that for me the important question is “am I someone” not “am I with someone”. I meet a lot of people and I know lots of people are with someone, but I’m not sure they are someone.

Those immortal words uttered by Tom Cruise “you complete me” only serve to perpetuate the popular myth many people have that we need someone or something else to somehow complete us. Of course this is not and never can be true. The only person or thing that can “complete” us is our-selves. Even Kung Fu Panda learnt this with the Dragon Scroll that contained the secret of limitless power being a reflection of himself. Any other “fix” is a temporary band-aid to try to cover our inadequacies or issues. As we know, after a few showers, a band-aid will lose its adhesive and fall away to leave exposed the wound we are trying to hide, and so it is in relationships as well.

It also interests me how we create an image of our life using social media which is not always a true reflection of the life we are living, it’s only a glimpse. Often it an image of the life we want to have, but is not always the real life we are living. Of course it’s true as well that for every picture we post on Instagram, we live through 10,000 other life experiences that we chose not to share with the world. Would be get so many hits if we posted a picture of us crying or feeling sad, bored or lonely? No, let’s go for the one of us on holiday holding a cocktail and laughing with friends on the beach.

Talking about online image, having just flown from Barcelona to London, it always makes me smile at airports to see people standing next to the VIP lounge so they can post and tag themselves as being in that lounge. But then again, it’s also a little sad when people who are actually in those lounges post their location as some sort of status symbol? Well I’m here to tell those people that you are impressing no one, and if by chance someone is impressed, then they are probably not worth impressing.

People have lost their job, not new jobs, lost relationships and much more seriously caused upset and even suicide by using social media. Some people have also met their partner and shared a lot of love and happiness with their pictures.

We have power at our finger-tips like never before. I hope we use it wisely for good, never forgetting who we are.

Chris is an international Pilates and functional training presenter and educator based in London and Barcelona, Spain. He is the creator of Pilates EVO©, bodyFUNC©, and CEO of Pilates Rehab Limited and Sport Core Strength.  He also organises Pilates Carnival and Fitness Carnival, conventions where all profits go to local children’s charities. He organises fitness holidays and sports holidays in Barcelona, as well as retreats. For more information about training with Chris in Barcelona, please click on Barcelona Bienestar. To learn more about Chris, please read Just who is Chris Hunt anyway? You can also subscribe by completing the form on the this BLOG to receive articles and special offers straight to your inbox.

Chris pays all profits made from this BLOG to his charity partners. More details can be found by clicking on www.chrishuntwellness.com and selecting the “charity partners” tab.

“What is twerking?” Google has all the answers

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Twerking

Google have released the details of the most common searches from the UK during 2013, and there are a few surprises.

Facebook remains the most common search, but with 800 million users world-wide (I cannot help but wonder if clearly these people have access to a computer and the internet, why they do who actually doesn’t know what Facebook is?) “how to lose weight” is another common question, and it is encouraging to know that a lot of people are at least asking this question, let’s hope that they a good answer: exercise and diet with a big helping of Pilates EVO ;). The list provided by Google is a good guide to the “buzz” words of the previous year, so it’s no surprise that Twerking features so prominently. I’m thinking of releasing the next new fitness crazy as part of my bodyFUNC© franchise, bodyFUNC Twerk-fit. You heard it here first folks! So no one need doubt Ms Cyrus’ game-plan as it is clearly working.

The fastest rising personality was Paul Walker, due to his tragic and untimely death. Gone too soon… Margaret Thatcher also was popular as was Nelson Mandela so in death this world-leaders at least keep their legacy and the public’s interest alive. The late great Lou Reed also featured highly, so again it’s nice to think that a new generation of music fans will keep his memory alive.

Social and political trends are also clear. Rightmove, the housing website grew in popularity in line with rising house prices, and Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London was the most popular political search. Other interesting seasonal searches included “how to make pancakes”, “how to play guitar”, “how to get a flat stomach”, and “how to reset an iPod”. I am very proud to say that I did not feel the need to use any of these search terms. It doesn’t take much to make me proud clearly, but you can be sure that I can cook a mean pancake and keep my flat stomach!

It will come as no surprise that no only are pornographic searches excluded from these figure, but that they would feature at the top of most categories. Some things never change, but whilst the internet in general and Google in particular are much maligned, they are of course here to stay and give us an interesting insight as to how the minds of people work.

Here is the full list of “most searched”:

Facebook
YouTube
Google
Hotmail
eBay
BBC News
Amazon
Daily Mail
Argos
Yahoo