Episodes

Effects of Social Media

Today’s episode is on  iTunes/Apple PodcastsSpotifyOvercastLibsynPocket CastStitcher or anywhere you listen to podcasts.

On today’s episode of The Mugly Truth, we talk (well, Kris kind of rants actually) about the effects of social media on adults, teens and kids. See, being products of 70’s and 80’s we remember life without instant answers, not knowing when a message is received, and having a small circle of friends vs 5,000. Back then, we had to go to the library, or crack open an encyclopedia (which was so expensive to boot!), or ask mom and dad for the answer to our questions (and hope they knew). To connect with friends we had to dial a landline (God help you if you had a rotary dial still) and then hope they were home…letting it ring and ring and ring ad nauseum – that is until the magic of the answering machine became a household game-changer around 1984. We’d pass paper notes in class and hope the teacher wouldn’t catch them mid-transmission and worst luck…read them out loud.

If we couldn’t hang out after school, we would make plans to watch MTV at the same time and then talk on the phone for hours as we watched and sang along with our favorite band’s latest videos. Woe to the poor person trying to reach our parents. They would just have to keep trying or give up in frustration from the incessant buzz of the busy signal since call waiting was still pretty newfangled. We personally didn’t have home computers as kids (though others did), hell, we were still marveling over the concept of using a cable box and recording movies on a Vee-Cee-Arr. The closest thing we got to instant photos was using a Polaroid camera, mix tapes were literally recorded from the radio or a record player using a cassette tape recorder, and we listened to those sweet jams later on our Sony Walkmans. We could sit for hours in a quiet corner to read a book for the fiftieth time, but we would have to wait a month for the latest celebrity gossip, makeup tips and photos of our boy-band crushes to be revealed in our teen magazines like Tiger Beat, Seventeen and Bop. Once we started driving, we had a Thomas Brothers map thrown into the back of the car somewhere…usually on the floor behind the passenger seat. And if our car broke down? We’d better have enough change to call Dad (or Automobile Club) from a payphone.

Those.

Were.

The.

Days.

Sort of.

Nowadays…it’s all literally at our fingertips. Knowledge, fellowship, support, photos of loved ones, status updates…face-to-face video chatting just like we watched on Star Trek and Star Wars! It’s all just hanging out in our back pocket, purse or desktop 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It’s there next to us as we sleep, ready to wake us up for work and then perched somewhere nearby feeding us amazing podcasts (ahem), audiobooks and playlists to get us through our daily grind. We’ve seen the rise of YouTube where anyone can be a worldwide “tv” star in a show of one’s own making. When you’re tired of watching your millionth tutorial, you can binge a favorite blast from the past or latest sensation (and Kris does) whenever and wherever you want – depending on how much money you want to shell out for any combination of Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, and a la carte cable channel apps. We can watch our favorite movie or tv show or sporting event sitting on a bus heading to work. And if we forget the name of that actor in that movie? Google’s got it.

Photo by Tracy Le Blanc on Pexels.com

Want to know how long it will take to drive from point A to point B IN ANOTHER COUNTRY? We can look that up in less than a minute. Want to watch your kid drive from point A to point B on a Saturday night next town over? There’s an app somewhere that can help you do that (Black Mirror, anyone)? Speaking of family and friends…it’s amazing how we can see what our loved ones are doing and feeling and who they’re with, even what they’re eating. Whatever they want to share, we can share with them (if their settings allow) in almost real time. Admittedly, this is sometimes to the detriment of our stomach contents (photos of severed fingers and surgery sutures and compound fractures are disgusting…please stop. Please. JUST. STAHP.) If our significant other doesn’t answer the phone, we can leave a voicemail and then send a text to cover the bases. But God forbid we get left unread. Them’s the biggest fightin’ words never spoken or typed.

Chances are unless you are someone who completely lives off the grid (though doubtful since you’re reading this), you have experienced a level of connection like all or some of what we’ve described. You may also have experienced the frustration of the quagmire of political rants clogging your news feeds. Your blood pressure may have risen once or twice (a day or hour) just reading comments from trolls in another clickbait article. Have you ever gotten so riled about a posted story your friend says is true only to discover, thanks to sites like Snopes.com, that the story was literally crap? Yeah. Us too. We have gotten so wrapped up in this miraculous link to the world that we are getting trapped in the FOMO phenomenon (fear of missing out), sometimes absent-mindedly picking up our phone and checking Twitter or Instagram or Snapchat a couple minutes after swiping the apps shut. We try to put the phones away when friends and family sit in front of us, but inevitably we sneak a peek to check What’s App. Or we whip it out to snap that delightful dinner. Or answer that damned question, “WHO was that actor???”

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

We talk about the good and the bad of social media in this episode…like we said, we love and hate the internet. But mostly we can’t picture living without this connection we have (now that we’ve had it), and we look forward to future technology that will make it even better. We just can’t lose sight of the real world around us. We cannot compare ourselves to the perfection we see on Instagram. We must continue to always understand what we read on a screen is what people present to us to be seen. Like the old saying our folks imparted to us all those years ago, before all this began, “don’t believe everything you read” Oh…and, “don’t compare your insides to other people’s outsides.” Mom and dad told us a lot of great stuff.

Remembering this will remind us that the most beautiful, lovely, wonderful things we could possible experience are the eyes of our loved ones, the sound of their laughter…the clouds and sun and fresh air of a perfectly normal day while birds fly across the sky and dogs bark at us from the other side of a fence. We know…sounds like a bunch of sappy crap. Well, maybe Ernest Cline said it better:

“That was when I realized, as terrifying and painful as reality can be, it’s also the only place where you can find true happiness. Because reality is real.” 
― Ernest Cline, Ready Player One

Links related to this topic:

Check out our “Effects of Social Media” episode on  iTunes/Apple Podcasts, SpotifyOvercast, Libsyn, Pocket CastStitcher or anywhere you listen to podcasts. Then all you need to do is 1) subscribe 2) download and 3) listen! AND!!! 4) If you enjoy what you hear, please leave a rating and a review (pretty please?). The more subscribers and reviews we get, the more opportunities we get to grow this podcast and bring you richer content.

And don’t forget to follow us here at themuglytruth.com (click that blue WordPress Follow button on the right side of your screen) so you get notifications every time we post an episode blog! You can also follow The Mugly Truth on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

© The Mugly Truth 2019 and © The Mugly Truth Podcast 2019. All rights reserved.
Intro and outro music, “Clever as a Fox”  by Espresso Music through premiumbeats.com.
Cellphone Apps Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com, via Free WordPress Photo Library.

Episodes

Please Don’t Eat the Children

TMT_Ep36_IGPhoto

Happy Tuesday and Happy National Tell a Fairytale Day!! That’s right, February 26 is all about celebrating fairytales. Naturally Kym and Kris have chosen to take what’s lovely and beautiful and seemingly happy-ever-after and turn it on it’s morbid little head. Because if you really believe all those Disney happy endings, honey sit down, because the truth is downright scary. AND mugly.

First of all, the fairytales we all know and love have been around for centuries (the oldest known tale called “The Smith and The Devil” is believed to be 7,000 years old!). Among the most well known set of stories published in the early 19th century were by librarian brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm as a way to prevent the stories of their Germanic heritage being lost forever. Prior to that, most tales were passed down in oral tradition as moral teachings and guidance. Apparently, telling children not to wander into the forest for fear of being baked by a witch was a great way to keep them playing in the front yard.

But beyond just moralizing opportunities, the tales were a snapshot of the social norms of the day. The value (or lack thereof, let’s face it) of women and children, the struggles of day to day existence, famine, disease…many of the stories we fawn over today as lovely and feel-good really were quite gruesome. So much so that over time some storylines actually became omitted. (Do you know what the ugly step sisters actually did to get that damned slipper to fit?? DO YOU??)  We’ll warn you now…many include the deaths of women and children and there seemed to be just a smidge of cannibalism going on. Remember, famine.

Interesting side-note: according to this article History of Fairytales, by Susie McGee, the oral origins of the stories made famous by male authors like the Grimms, Hans Christian Andersen, and Charles Perrault, “[go] back much further than the 17th century, and many of these stories are actually just retellings of age-old tales, many created by women and retold throughout history” and “women typically created fairy tales with a distinct purpose in mind-to protest the societal constraints that were placed upon them and to emphasis their own rights as women in a man’s world.”

 Hmmm. 

Mostly the takeaway is we’re REALLY glad we’re 21st century women and that our kids have no idea how great their lives are.

Speaking of grim, those brothers are the ones mainly responsible for the rest of the world learning about Little Snow White, The Golden Goose, Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel, Cinderella, The Brave Little Tailor, The Pied Piper, and Rumplestiltskin.

Wilhelm_Grimm _and_Jacob_Grimm_1855_painting_by_Elisabeth_Jerichau-Baumann
Wilhelm Grimm (left) and Jacob Grim, 1855, painting by Elisabeth Jerichau-Baumann. Photo from Wikipedia. This photo is in public domain.

Frontispiece and title-page
Frontispiece and title-page, illustrated by Ludwig Emil Grimm of the 1819 edition of Kinder- und Hausmärchen). Source: Toronto Public Library and Wikipedia. This photo is in public domain.

Pied Piper of Hamelin
The Deutsche Sagen (German Legends) included stories such as “Pied Piper of Hamelin”, shown here in an illustration by Kate Greenaway. Artist: Kate Greenaway (1846–1901) Engraver: Edmund Evans  (1826–1905) Photo from Wikipedia. This photo is in public domain.

But they’re not the only ones who you know about even if you don’t know you know them. Mm-hmm.

In France, Charles Perrault created the classic Tales of Mother Goose including a version of Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood, as well as Puss In Boots, The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood, and Bluebeard. In Denmark Hans Christian Andersen gained fame with The Little Mermaid, The Ugly Duckling, Thumbelina, The Snow Queen, and many others.

Clearly, ticking off popular Disney movie title after movie title after movie title, one doesn’t have to look very far in today’s entertainment industry to understand how far-reaching the legacies of these stories have been.

Don’t even get us started on how all the happy-ending purty la la renditions have caused a whole generation of people to expect unrealistic life arcs. Which makes them easily offended. Which makes life annoying a lot of times. There’s no scientific data to back that statement, we just feel VURRRY strongly that that is accurate. Just an observation.

We ARE glad certain huge movie makers are creating better female characters who are heroic, brave, and can save their own hide and a couple other people’s as well. And they don’t necessarily have to marry anyone in the end either. You go Elsa and Anna!

Anyway. Hey. Look. Looklookie here. Listen. Don’t mind us. Have we mentioned we’re getting older and hormonal? OF COURSE we’re going to find the bitching in the pudding (by the way, the story behind Jack Horner is kind of cool)…but don’t let us ruin a perfectly amazing opportunity to crack open your favorite Beauty and the Beast illustrated book and read it to a loved one (including yourself) if you’re so inclined. Because truth…mugly truth that is…be told, we’re suckers for happily ever after, so bring on the sanitized versions dear friends. Let’s all d’awwww together.

For more information on the articles cited in this episode and blog post please visit the following:

How the Grimm Brothers Saved the Fairy Tale by Jack Zipes

History of Fairy Tales by Susie McGee

The True Stories Behind Classic Fairy Tales by Valerie Ogden

And, if you’re motivated, unlike Kris, to write your very own fairytale, feel free to check this article out: Exploring genre | How to write a fairy tale

Check out our Please Don’t Eat the Children episode on  iTunes/Apple Podcasts, SpotifyOvercast, Libsyn, Pocket CastStitcher or anywhere you listen to podcasts. Then all you need to do is 1) subscribe 2) download and 3) listen! AND!!! 4) If you enjoy what you hear, please leave a rating and a review (pretty please?). The more subscribers and reviews we get, the more opportunities we get to grow this podcast and bring you richer content.

And don’t forget to follow us here at themuglytruth.com (click that blue WordPress Follow button on the right side of your screen) so you get notifications every time we post an episode blog! You can also follow The Mugly Truth on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

© The Mugly Truth 2019 and © The Mugly Truth Podcast 2019. All rights reserved.
Intro and outro music, “Clever as a Fox”  by Espresso Music through premiumbeats.com
Photos courtesy Wikipedia commons and public domain.