Tuesday, September 17, 2019

The Evolution of My Social Media Addiction

Let's talk about the social media addiction that really is plaguing our modern society so much so that families and friends aren't really connected anymore even when they are in the same room!
What better way to describe the addiction than my own addiction!

2005 - 2009
I can't exactly remember when was my first mobile phone but it was around 2005 / 2006.
That was during my Form 4 or 5 in high school.
The first phones were of course the solid Nokia phones.

At that time, I was addicted to SMS-es.
I SMS a lot of friends.
I always had my phone with me, sometimes even to toilet.
I reply SMS-es very fast, I can type without even looking at the screen - that's the beauty of having a proper keyboard.

At that time, Hotlink was the cheapest package. Only RM0.02 for each SMS.
I spent about RM30 per month for my phone prepaid. I barely call anyone. I only misscall my mum or dad, as a sign for them to call me back.

My mum and aunties were always scolding me for "melekat je kt handphone tu"
I had to be called for meals, and I will bring my phone to the dining table.
Thinking back, it was a very ridiculous behaviour.
I was there in the room with my family, but not there with them.

2009 - 2011
Then I entered IMU in 2009.
I reduced the SMS time significantly. But I was hooked with Facebook.
Pre-IMU, I used Friendster and MySpace. Yaw, sape igt lg Friendster and MySpace?
But in IMU, people started using Fb and I joined the bandwagon.
I replied comments very quickly, and I open Facebook everytime I am on my laptop. I remembered feeling so amazed with the ability of Facebook to connect so many people together. Many of my school and college friends were on Facebook and one friend leads to another and another and another. I can't stop commenting on their pictures and chatting with them.
Thankfully I can only do that on my laptop so it sort of limits my addiction time.
There were not much SMS-es around.

I was also obsessed with Yahoo Messenger and MSN Messenger.
The 3 platforms that I must open when my laptop is open were Facebook, YM and MSN.

2011 - 2014
I went to Manchester in 2011.
After a few months, I bought a Sony Xperia Ray - a contract phone with O2, the telecommunication company in the UK.
Don't be surprised, I bought the exact same phone with Akmal and we were only friends at that time 😅.
Xperia Ray was the cheapest in the market at that time, one that is available as a contract with O2.

That was my first smart phone.
It was so cool to be able to browse Facebook and emails through a phone.
But I still has not started using Whatsapp.
So then, I was addicted to mobile Facebook.

Somewhere in 2012 only I started using Whatsapp.
Then back in Malaysia, my mother bought her first smartphone and I asked Wasil to install Whatsapp for her so that I can chat with Mama easily.

My first Whatsapp group was between Mama, me and Wasil created on 17 Dec 2012 😱
The second group was between my housemates in Sharoe Green Lane, Preston. I created it on 25 Jan 2013.

So at that time, my social media addiction was Facebook and a little bit of WhatsApp with Akmal.
I don't really have a lot of Whatsapp groups yet.
Thankfully my addiction wasn't as bad when I was in high school.

9Gag was another major distraction at that time.
I can browse 9Gag for almost an hour, and laughing at most of their posts.
I told Akmal about it and he was actually surprised. He felt 9Gag is more of a man thing, not a lady website.

All the while, I was also engrossed with blogging.
Most of my blog entries were in 2010 and 2011.

2014 - 2019
I came back to Malaysia in 2014 after graduation.
I created my Instagram profile in the same year. My first Instagram post was on 2nd March 2014; it was a picture of me and Erni Dayana's son during my holiday trip back to Malaysia. Yo Neni, kau patut sangat berbangga.

But I did not have many Instagram friends / followers so I wasn't really active there.
Then I started my housemanship in late 2014.

That was when I started to have various WhatsApp groups!
I was added into Ortho HO group, then Ortho HO + MO group then Ortho HO + MO + Sp group, and Ortho Ward 7F group and the daily Oncall Ortho group and not to forget, the Orthoban group! (Orthoban was a group we created consisting of only us 8 first posters in the group - sort of the really junior babies HO ortho group where we lash and critic and talk bad about our seniors or MOs or specialists hikss)

After Ortho, there were also many groups in the subsequent postings.
Some postings we had groups for newbies, some not.
Most of the postings will need a group for HO only and for HO+MOs and some +Sp as well.

So from these groups, we had lots and lots of conversations.
We talk about the really important stuff, as well as gossips. Sometimes very hot gossips.

So I became fixated to Whatsapp groups.
I always read and many times, reply promptly in those groups.
Akmal will sometimes be angry at me for ignoring him and only focusing on my WhatsApp group (we were already married by then).
From his critics, I tried to reduce my WhatsApp time.
I learned to differentiate between urgent matters and non-urgent ones.
The ones that I need to reply now, and the ones that I can wait and reply later.

Somewhere along the line I started to be more active in Instagram.
And then Instagram story came around.

Now, apart from Facebook, I have Instagram to browse - which increased my screen time.

So I will take my phone out and scroll Facebook or Instagram while waiting for the lift, while in the lift, or while waiting for Akmal, or while walking to the laboratory from the ward.
Basically I scroll them all the time that I was not talking to a human being, or when I was with another person but do not know what to talk about.
It consumed my time a lot!

This year, a whole new addiction appeared.
It is still in Facebook but it is now in the form of videos.

One video can lead to another interesting video and another interesting video.
The next video will automatically play and it made it harder for me to stop watching because I had to make an effort to not watch where else if I simply stare at my phone, videos will keep on playing.

And due to this nasty profiling technology, the videos that were played were all very tailored to me ie I get funny videos, baby videos, heart-warming good samaritans videos and so forth.
I can lie down and watch videos only for more than an hour!
Thats saying something!

Another addiction is Netflix.
I already have unlimited 100Mbps unlimited Unifi installed at home and with a Smart TV, I can watch Netflix anytime.
There is no advertisement within the episode and Netflox smartly play the next episode within 10 seconds.
Once the next episode starts, it really requires a great deal of effort and determination to hit the "Back" button and do other things.

And Netflix is also intelligently designed in such a way that they string related movies and dramas together and come up with a list of dramas and movies you probably like.
So far I have watched Doctors, Chief of Staff, Sky Castle, Designated Survivor, Arthdal Chronicles and many more that I couldn't even remember.
All these dramas are at least 16 hours long!

Social Disconnection
The trend is actually worrying - I am talking about my own addiction and perhaps this is happening to a significant percentage of people in the world.

We were at first addicted to SMS-es - we start to ignore those next to us, to communicate with those not with us.

We then got addicted to WhatsApp - where we can communicate with MANY MANY people at once, in real-time but in the expense of those next to us.

Then we also get addicted to Facebook and Instagrams - where we see updates from many of our family, friends, acquaintances, celebrities, politicians, influencers, online shops and reduced the quality time spent with real people nearest to us.

Now, we are addicted to videos and Netflix. Those are not even people. We aren't even communicating with people anymore.
We are being fed with such animated entertainment, that we are jeopardising the real communication with the real people in the real world.

I did not even touch the subject of video games. So many people are addicted to games be it on the phones, computers or dedicated devices like the Playstation or Wii. Akmal is also addicted to Hearthstone that many times he was unable to focus to me.

I wonder what will the next addiction and distraction be.
It is always a trial and a battle to fight these addictions, especially my latest videos diversion.
And in this crucial time of nearing my exam, the more I need to discipline myself.

With that, let's get back to study!

-Because life is a test-

Friday, September 13, 2019

Freaking RM2000


I sent my Macbook Air 2017 to an Apple Service Centre about two weeks ago.
5 days lter, I received my quotation.
RM 2,240 for my screen replacement!
And an additional of RM100 for service charge.

The words on my mind: "Crazy! Crazy! Crazy!"
The Macbook isn't even 2 years yet. I found my original receipt. I bought it in Oct 2017, for RM 4,999.
The one-year warranty ended.
The girl at the service centre rubbed salt on my wound - "Tu la kak, kalau dulu akak amik Apple Care tu, warrranty cover sampai 3 tahun"

Felt like slapping her - I didn't expect a Macbook Air to last only 2 years.
I asked how could this happen? She said maybe because I always carry it in my bagpack and thus the inside shakes eventhough I have never dropped it.
But hey, if I do not need to always carry it, I might as well just buy a desktop!

So now I don't have a laptop.
I collected the Macbook Air from the store. Plan to send it to any laptop repairer, perhaps I could get a cheaper price from non-Appple technician which means I gotta go recce around The Mines or Lowyat. Any idea?
If the cost is too crazy, I might just sell this off and get a new one.

I still want a Macbook as already get very accustomed and comfortable with Macs.
The features are comprehensive and easy to use. There are a lot of things I can do with Macs, but will otherwise need a separate software in a Windows computer.
For example editing a PDF file. I can easily edit a PDF file using "Preview" in Mac.
You will need another software (I don't know what) to edit a PDF file in a Windows laptop.

I am kind of in love with the new Macbook Air 2019.
It has a Touch ID feature. And it is a lot lighter and smaller than my Macbook Air albeit the screen sizes are the same (13").
There is a lot of "excess" space in my 2017 Air where as they designed the 2019 to be "full screen", like most of the phones now.

The two main drawbacks to me are
1) Definitely the PRICE!
It cost RM5,349 for the Macbook Air alone! Without the 3 year Apple Care extended warranty.
If I want to pay in a 12-mth installments, I must buy the Apple Care which I think is close to RM2k.

2) It does not have a USB port.
Yes, to make the macbook the lighter and thinner, they sacrificed the USB ports - that is the port that most if not all pendrives and hard drives and printers and mice and keyboards connect to. They only have two USB-C ports - which is the type of port newer Android phones have.
Out of the two, one is for charging so there is only ONE vacant port left.

They are advertised as USB-C however the Canadian Stores advertised them as "Thunderbolt 3 port"
- Yes I checked the Canadian website in case it is cheaper to buy over there since my family's gonna visit Canada this year.
Upon further reading, Thunderbolt 3 is almost similar to USB-C apart from the speed they can provide ie a USB-C cable can connect to a Thunderbolt 3 port and vice versa however Thunderbolt 3 equipments will have a much faster speed when connected to a Thunderbolt 3 port.

To use conventional pendrives and printers and mice, we are advised to buy the adapters.
This is almost as stupid as removing the audio jack ports from the iPhone.

My exam is coming soon and I feel handicapped without my Macbook. But even to repair is expensive.
I am now occasionally using Akmal's laptop but he is also studying for his exam and need his laptop too.
I have a Samsung tab but then, a Macbook is always more comfortable to use.


-Because life is a test-

Sunday, September 1, 2019

No, (Govt) Doctors are Not Rich

Well, we are not rich but we are comfortable.

My starting basic pay as a medical graduate was RM2777, and after adding all the other allowances, my take home pay was about RM3.5 - RM3.7k depending on how much was deducted for EPF.
That is definitely more than my other peers who started working as a non-doctor. It was even higher than my siblings' take home pay when they first graduated few years after me.

Almost 5 years down the road, my take home pay is a tad more than RM5k (sorry, salaries are such sensitive issues it's hard for me to disclose it in public here).
And my increment over these early years was more than some of my non-doctor peers, and even my siblings in the private sector.

But I get only RM500 bonus per year (when PH first ruled, I wasn't eligible for any bonus as the country was supposedly near the brink of bankruptcy) while some other people working in the oil and gas industry received one, two- or sometimes 6-months pay as their bonus. My sister Aisyah received her bonus of an undisclosable amount (even I don't know how much), and she can afford to treat our and my in-law families to a dinner celebrating my birthday in a fine-dining restaurant (it definitely was more than RM500 in total).

And yes, even though my increment was almost exponential these first few years, they will plateau over time.
After 10 years, I will earn less than those of my age in private sector. The trend is obvious. The more experienced you are, if you are hard working and smart, you will get paid more in the private sector. My brother is now being sought after by multiple companies for his barely 4 years experience and if all goes well, he might earn twice as much or even more as I will in 10 years time.
That is why also, many specialists are leaving the government hospitals to join private sectors.

But what government offers, which the privates can't is stability.
I know I will get my pay by the end of the month.
I will get all my allowances.
I can get my parents and hopefully children medical bills to be reduced so much, which still enjoying the first-class treatments should they ever need it.

Anyway back to my topic of doctors being not rich.
Yes, we are not rich but we are comfortable.
I can afford Sakae Sushi or hotel buffet every now and then.
I can afford a Macbook and an iPhone.
I can afford some TudungPeople shawls once in a while.
I have more than enough food in my fridge, a comfortable bed to lie on with many many comforter sets that my husband rolls his eyes every time I want to buy more beautiful comforter sets on sale.

But I am not rich because I still need to weigh and decide if I want to buy a pair of branded shoes or a handbag, or if I want to install a water heater in my bathroom because I can't afford all of them at the same time.
I have a course in KL some time this month and yes I received a complementary hotel room but if I want Akmal to come with me, I either pay for a separate hotel room, or I can use that money to buy the Tudung People tudungs that are on Merdeka Sale now, or again, install water heater in my shower. It's either one.

I gotta change my car battery anytime soon and it cost RM500, but I also want to install and air-cond for my brother's room in mum's house.
It's always a fight of luxury vs necessity and of course, necessity always have to win.
But even my necessities are luxuries to some people and I really really need to realise that and be thankful.

And now, my already-out-of-warranty macbook is giving my trouble.
The screen is flickering and it's impossible to do work on it.
I am now typing this on Akmal's computer.
I wonder how much it will cost me to get this repaired. Heck it wasn't even 3 years yet! Perhaps just passed the 2 years mark.
How can how can the macbook disappoint me like this?!

So many things to buy but also so many things to pay.
Being an adult is so difficult.
But then again, I lead this kind of life because I am still child-less.
Maybe I will learn to let my "wantings" go and work my way around my "needings" once I am with child.

-Because life is a test-