Don’t Cry because it’s Over, Smile because it Happened

I always struggle with this quote from Dr. Seuss, because when things are over I am usually ‘crying’ and find it hard to smile. Sometimes, over time, after I fully accept things are over, then I can reflect back and remember how happy I was and the good memories will stay with me forever.

But what if I can’t fully accept that things are over? Those are the times when it is more difficult to smile because it happened. Normally, the main reason I can’t fully accept that things are over is because I can’t fully understand why it had to end. I still have unanswered questions floating around in my head, which I can’t get rid of, and until I get them answered then I usually cannot ‘smile because it happened’.

I know that everything ends eventually, but most things have a predetermined time as to when they end and I can expect and prepare for it. So even if I have a very good time that had to come to an end, I always knew it would end and I can sometimes plan for it to happen again. This makes it easier for my mind to accept that it had to end, and I can ‘smile because it happened’.

On the other hand, there are some things that you do not expect to end anytime soon, or there is no planned ending to it. These things can hit hard. It could be the death of a friend or relative, or a break-up. These events can lead to many questions popping up, which makes it difficult to accept, because we just can’t understand why it had to end.

I think the main reason why some things are difficult to accept that they are over is because you know that they cannot happen again. If someone close to you passed away, then you know that you can never talk to them or enjoy their company again. It can be quite similar in a break-up, except maybe not so extreme, as you know you will never share the same amount of love with them again.

Endings can become a great fear for people. The ultimate ending is death, and I think everyone naturally fears death. This is why many people tell us to live life to the full, because we only have one chance at it. I agree with this and think that this should be carried over to all our life experiences, in order to make the most out of them. I think that living life to the full not only includes for ourselves, but also for everyone around us.

I didn’t want this to be a downhearted post, but to be quite the opposite, even though I know it is difficult as it’s much easier to feel sad than happy after something good ends. However we should feel lucky that we managed to experience such good events in the first place. This now makes me cherish good experiences more, because you never know when they could end.

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A Glance

You’re walking down a street. There’s a stranger walking towards you. You glance up at them and in that split second they also decide to glance at you. Whether it’s coincidence or whether there’s some sort of connection between all people, you make eye contact for that instant. Then in that moment their eyes send a message, and suddenly it doesn’t feel like you’re strangers anymore. However, you look away and just carry on walking, probably never to see them again.

Have you ever experienced this before? Whenever I experience this, I find it quite fascinating how two people can connect, yet never speak to each other and only see each other for less than a second. It also shows how effective the eyes are at communicating. What the eyes say about a person, can sometimes never be described by words. It’s hard to explain how the eyes can convey a message, but I believe that they do and I don’t think it requires deep thought to see it. I guess there is that saying that the eyes are the window to a person’s soul. This is why I think every eye contact with a stranger is special in its own positive or negative way; it can sometimes be a summary of that person in a glance.

Do you believe that there is the perfect partner for you out there? Can this be seen in just a glance? In other words, does love at first sight exist? I think it can, as a person’s eyes can show what they think about the person they’re looking at. So if two strangers feel an affection for each other and then catch each other’s eye, they can convey that message to each other without even saying anything.

When you go to a busy place, you might make eye contact with many people during the day; what if one of those contacts felt more special? What if that was actually your perfect partner, and you just walked straight past them, or they just disappeared into a crowd? Will you ever see them again? I sometimes ask myself these questions, but I usually have one answer to console them. I think that if that person was indeed my perfect partner, then we will meet again, because it’s meant to be. This might be over romanticising it, but if we never see each other again then I think we just weren’t meant to be together and it’ll only be futile to force it. I have the same mentality in relationships as well; perhaps it’s just my way to cope if things don’t go the way I want.

Therefore, I think that it is possible to develop a relationship with a stranger, because our brain can sometimes fill in the blanks the way we want them to be filled. This causes us to fantasise about a stranger, but I don’t think that’s a problem. It could just mean that sometimes, some of our best relationships are actually with a person we don’t even know.

Relationships with Objects

I am sure that most people have a personal possession that they love. Perhaps it’s because they spend a lot of time with it, or because it’s worth a lot in terms of monetary or sentimental value.

My most valued possession would be my phone. First of all, it’s because I chose it out of the hundreds of different phones available, making it special. Secondly, and more significantly, I feel that a mobile phone carries a lot of sentimental value, especially as I do not delete my messages. Looking back at messages shows me some key events in my life that my phone has also been part of, making it a sort of memory bank. I also carry my phone everywhere and probably spend more time with it than I do with anything or anyone else. This really makes my phone very personal and I think that if it gets lost then it might be like losing a friend for me. That last sentence might have sounded slightly obsessive, but nowadays mobile phones can know its owner better than anyone else.

However how can people develop relationships with inanimate objects if it cannot talk back or do anything unless prompted to? Doesn’t a relationship largely rely on communication?

In a way, inanimate objects can communicate with its user. Objects that people usually like the most are the ones that work the best, or are unique. An object that works well sends out a positive message to the user, making them happier when using it. This makes them use the product more often and so, in a way, develop a stronger relationship with it the more they use it. There can also be negative relationships with objects, if a user has suffered from a bad experience while using it. This could be because the object is annoying to use, or a bad memory is associated with it.

ford-focus-rs-2015-(4)2015 Ford Focus

Some products are even designed to carry an expression, most notably, cars. The front face of cars usually have an expression that can attract a user in different ways. Many more sporty cars have a more menacing look to give an impression to the viewer that the car is fast. This can be seen with the Ford Focus, which has an RS version – standing for ‘Rally Sport’ – shown on the left. This RS version has an exaggerated front grille, with sharper features and darker colours, when compared to the standard Focus on the right. Although it can be seen that the standard Focus design already has a slightly menacing look with its thin, inward slanted headlights and sharp lines that make up all the lights at the front. Cars can be made to carry human expressions, so the viewer can relate to the image the designer wants to portray.

This post may seem weird: relating inanimate objects with humans and even saying how relationships can develop between them. However I think that well designed objects should result in a good relationship forming between it and the user. I think that emotion should be designed into all products, and that the most important element of an object is for the user to feel the emotion it has been designed to carry.

Ticking the Right Boxes

Some people have a checklist for a dream partner. They say that if a person can meet these requirements then they will be amazing, and will instantly fall in love with them; however can this actually be true in reality?

In my opinion, love is the most powerful emotion. It can start and end wars. It can be the most painful and the happiest experience for a person. I also think that it is the most difficult emotion to define. For example, giving a gift to another person does not mean you love them and, similarly, thinking someone is pretty or handsome does not mean you love them. It can also drive people to do positive or negative things, whereas, most other emotions are usually biased on one side. The other emotions can be triggered much easier as well and we tend to experience them more often than love. This is one of the reasons why I think love is special.

So can there be a checklist for true love? I think that if the person truly believes that a person who meets their checklist will be their true love then it could become so. However not everyone has a checklist, and some people just believe that they are destined to meet their true love, if they are meant to have one. On the other hand, someone who ‘ticks the right boxes’ might not always end up being the right one, as they could have more qualities that are not desirable. The dream person who ticks all the boxes could also not exist, or even love the person back. This shows the complicated nature of love, and how it’s difficult to put a finger on.

Therefore, I think that love is more than ‘ticking the right boxes’. In my opinion, I don’t think a person who only strives to show specific qualities can call that love. I think love is going out of one’s way to show care and affection. In other words, it is impossible to be shown by just ticking boxes. It must be more than that and that extra mile is what is difficult to define. All the other emotions can be felt if the right boxes are ticked, but not love. Love is more than that and is a unique emotion.

I think that sometimes after people break up, a person can get over the other person but not the love that they received or even gave. So they could actually end up missing the love, and I think that can be more difficult to get over than a person. I think that it can make people look for another relationship immediately, to restore that special connection. This also shows that love can be different between different people and different relationships. The love between family differs from between a boyfriend or girlfriend, or between friends. This complicates it even more. There are rarely different types of the same emotion for emotions other than love.

All in all, love is difficult. There is no formula for it, or boxes to be ticked for it. So how comes we all know how to love?

The Mobile Domination

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Above: Apple WWDC 2014

Screen Shot 2015-04-01 at 9.33.35 pmAbove: Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2015

Two decades ago, in many countries, owning a mobile phone was considered a privilege. Nowadays, it is considered a necessity by many, and so it will be rare to find a person without one; and so as more people own one, the larger the mobile phone market grows. This creates fierce competition between companies, most notably between Apple and Samsung, or Apple and Google. This puts a lot of anticipation on the new phones these companies have to offer, as they try to respond to their rival’s best efforts, resulting in extravagant events when they are announced attended by thousands and watched by millions online.

About a decade ago, not many companies would hold an event just to announce a new mobile phone. This largely changed when Apple held an event to announce the iPhone in  2007. Apple did this, as they would usually hold an event to announce a new product, since Steve Jobs took over as CEO. Their event to announce the iPhone was seen as a huge success as it introduced the world to a revolutionary mobile phone at the time. This caused other companies to react, and soon every company released their own ‘smartphone’ and also began to hold their own events to do so. This has resulted in more people attending and watching these events in anticipation to see what innovative features a company could offer in order to compete in the market. This is shown in the images above when thousands of people went to watch an announcement of only an update to Apple’s mobile operating system, and when Samsung announced the Galaxy S6.

iPhone-6-Launch-Lo_3044263b

The amount of attention to the mobile phone market can be seen to extend much more beyond the extravagant events held by companies, and onto the sales. This can be seen most clearly on the first day a new iPhone is on sale. The image above shows the queue for the iPhone 6 in 2014 at the Apple store in Covent Garden, London on the first day of sale. There were similar sights across the world at almost every Apple store, as people camp overnight to be first in the queue. Other phones have still not seen this type of hype, possibly as they do not have as large a fan-base as Apple.

This is partially what I mean by ‘the mobile domination’: that mobile phones have become such a personal object in people’s lives that they develop a sort of relationship with the brand. This creates fierce fans who say that they can never be persuaded to own a phone from a rival company, and also those who camp overnight outside a shop to be among the first in the world to own the new model. The other way ‘the mobile domination’ is happening is by the advances in technology in mobile phones. They now dominate our lives, as they can perform many tasks that make our lives much easier, and so we use them more often. Therefore they have grown to dominate our lives emotionally and in terms of time we spend on them. This can be seen to be quite dangerous as companies that produce phones potentially have more control over many people, especially with the growing mobile payment market. Could this mean that soon mobile phone companies will have large amounts of power, such as oil companies have, or perhaps they already do and we don’t even know it.