Tag Archives: Facebook

Not Facebook but Egobook

More and more these days I find that Facebook has become a seething hotbed of Egos throwing temper tantrums. Little children in their cots throwing out their toys when their demands have not been acknowledged or met. Me, me, me! Look at Me!


The types of reactions I’ve observed on Facebook when someone posts something to their wall are:

1. Indifference
2. Mild interest
3. Pawing and fawning
4. Disagreements and arguments

The corresponding types of posts that generate the above reactions are, in the same order:

1. Neutral Causes for Humanity – e.g Greenpeace, Save the Whales, Stop Fracking, Legalise Marijuana, Save the Rainforests
2. What I did/ate/made/saw
3. “I am a great Musician/Actor/Celebrity” type of egocentric posts
4. “This is my opinion, and I am expressing it” posts

It seems clear that the more one is invested in an idea, the more opinions they have. And that’s a dangerous thing on social media, especially on Facebook with its 1 billion users. 1 billion users = 1 billion opinions = major, major disagreements. Yes, I’m sad to say that it also seems clear that human beings no longer listen to understand, but instead they listen just enough to prepare for their response. That’s the part where the Ego does the talking.

The Ego is not interested in Humanitarian causes. That does not feed or nurture it. Hence the indifference to posts about Neutral Causes. The general attitude is “If it doesn’t affect me directly, it’s not important”.

(The subject of Gay Marriage does not fall under Neutral Causes on my list above. This is obviously because it DOES affect people directly, and they are invested in it, people’s lives are changing because of recent changes in legislation…therefore it is NOT a neutral, humanity-based cause. I would instead put it in the 4th category on my list).

We should count ourselves very lucky that Facebook’s algorithms only allow users to see a teeny tiny percentage of the entire Facebook feed. This percentage comprises the posts of their circle of friends and Pages they have liked or subscribe to. And even that is enough to spark off heated debates and arguments, with “Unfriending” galore.

Imagine if Facebook allowed the entire feed of its 1 billion users to be seen on every single user’s feed. The whole world would come to a standstill, there would be anarchy and chaos.

Let’s leave that fracas for a minute, and go back to the List.

1. Neutral Causes for Humanity.
People are either not invested in these causes themselves, not interested, or they don’t know enough about it to form an opinion. Posts of this ilk are generally brushed off, shrugged off, ignored. Facebook provides a handy “I don’t want to see this post” link, where one can easily draw the blinds over one’s own eyes, out of sight out of mind. If I keep my eyes closed, the boogeyman can’t get me, it’s not real…right?

2. What I did/made/ate/saw.
These posts make up most of Facebook’s individual feeds. Users seem to believe that their friends are desperate to know what they’re doing, what they’re wearing, or what their dinner looks like. There are genuine posts, of course, that share things like “I just watched this film, and here’s what I thought of it”. Fair enough. Posts of users sharing news or photos of new additions to the family, of marriages or deaths…in this way Facebook can be a very handy way of spreading the word to everyone with an investment in it. Or shares of News as it unfolds. This can be very useful to bring current events to the attention of users. For example, the very recent tragedy of the drowned Syrian refugee children – that is surely a clarion call for the World to wake up and take action.

3. “I am a great Musician/Actor/Celebrity” posts. The really great Musician/Actor/Celebrity types don’t need to bleat about themselves, they have fans to do it for them, who set up Facebook Pages dedicated to them. They’re too busy for Social Media, or more likely savvy enough to stay away from it, as they are well aware their every action or word will get quoted, misquoted, taken entirely out of context. No, for this category I’m talking about the aspiring wannabes who post their vanity up for their fans to read. That’s where the pawing and fawning comes in. Everyone these days is a musician, artist, writer, photographer, etc and Facebook is their soapbox. Sometimes it really is the case of The Emperor’s New Clothes, for example, some “artists” have no idea what Music is, but because their “fans” are pawing and fawning over their posts, their Egos get stoked and stroked and inflated…which only encourages them to post even more. Someone only has to comment “Good morning!” and the aspiring wannabe will proceed to tell them all about the weather, the morning they’ve had, what they just ate, the piece they’re working on, etc.

4. “This is my opinion, and I am expressing it” posts.
Perhaps the most contentious of all 4 types of posts. Where 1 billion Facebook users = 1 billion opinions = World War Three major disagreements and arguments comes in. I try to avoid engaging in these. Not my circus, not my monkeys. Just lots of Egos fighting for the right to be right. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, let’s just leave it like that, no need to get all argumentative about it. I’m staying well out of it, because you can’t argue with idiots without being one yourself.

What I would dearly love to see is this: a reversal of the above List and its corresponding Reactions. I would like to see people getting excited about Neutral Causes for Humanity, and indifferent about Opinion posts. Leave your Egos behind, and try to see how the World is falling to pieces around us, because of our own Greed and Selfishness, and then try to find ways to help save the World. If Society carries on the way it is now, there will be no future for our children and their children.

You don’t need to do one big thing, just start with doing one little thing. And then another, and another. It’s a Start. Not The End.

Images to Soothe, Images to Inspire

Today I’m childminding The Kid’s best friend Cooper, so it’ll be full on making sure the boys have enough to eat and to keep them occupied. Should be easy enough, as they have the PS3 and computer to play on. And Scooby Doo snack-sized hotdogs in flaky pastry in the freezer for when they get hungry. Scooby snacks. Yeah, I’m that kind of Mum 😄.

I just won’t have the time for any heavy writing today. So instead, I’ll share with you some images I either found on Google, Pinterest or saw on friends’ Facebook walls, that are just too good to keep to myself.

A friend showed me this first image and told me there’d been a Full Moon on 1st July, which was my birthday. How cool is that? The Native Americans call it a Thunder Moon. July 2015 will have 2 full moons, one on the 1st and one on the 31st. Yay!












And this last one makes me want to take up sewing. Seriously.


Unmasked (Facebook, It’s On You)

How, you ask
Does it feel
To be unmasked
After years of living
In another skin?
Does it feel like
Is it liberating
To not have another
Face to hide behind?

Listen, I say
If my life was so easy
I would have never
Needed to create a
Second Life
And if I’d never done that
Then there would not have been
Any need for all this palaver
No need to
Reveal myself
And place my life in danger
Put my neck on the line

With me
What you see is
What you get
Always has been
And always will be
It was never about the person
It was only about the name
I was
And still am
AlyZen Moonshadow
And I built a new life
Under my new name
– call it my homemade
Witness Protection Plan

I made friends
I met my chosen family
I made Art
I created my own brand
Under that name
And I was proud of
Who I was under that second skin

Until yesterday, when
As a cruel joke, perhaps
(It was, after all, April 1st)
Facebook decided
In its almighty
Impotence I mean Omnipotence
To browbeat me
Into revealing my real name
Dear benign malignant Facebook
Decided my 5-year-old persona
Wasn’t real
Wasn’t permitted
Decided I had to come out
And say my true name

Talk about an Exorcism!

So now the deed is done
The great reveal revealed
Are you proud, Facebook,
Of having made
A victim of domestic violence
Strip herself almost bare
And made it that much easier
For her abuser to track her down
And carry out long-held threats?
No, wait…
Facebook, You have just
Become an abuser yourself
Make no qualms about that

Now I have to start over
As not many of my friends
Recognise my new name
The one I never really used anyway
The one I don’t associate with
Now I have to
Run around doing damage control
Try to plug and repair
The holes and craters in my life
That Facebook created
When it decided
To murder me

Yes, if one day I am found
And my child
Let it be known now
That Facebook did it.

AlyZen Moonshadow


Hanging up my (Facebook) boots

Today is April 1st. And apparently the joke’s on me. Facebook has decided to make me its latest victim of its half-baked “real name” policy. After apparently backing down last October about users having to use their real names, due to the great outcry by the world’s LGBT community, and then again this year when Native Americans spoke out, the great cogwheels of Facebook have proven impossible to stop. On and on they go, crunching underfoot millions of users who dared, for one reason or other, use a name they were not born with.


I’m not LGBT or Native American. I am not a drag queen, celebrity or some other famous personality. I have no financial clout, no millions of followers, no influence over Mark Zuckerberg or anyone at Facebook. I’m just someone who, for personal safety reasons, does not use her real name online. (There’s an abusive ex-partner and the threat of murder and child abduction in the background, but let’s not go into that here…but if I’m found dead and The Kid abducted, Facebook is to blame).

This morning, when I tried to check my Facebook Timeline, I got a message saying I had to change my username to my real name. Not only that, if I wanted to keep my current username, I was required to provide 2 forms of ID, one of which has to have a photo and my date of birth.


“AlyZen Moonshadow” is obviously not my real name. I’ve only been using it for the last 5 years, as a professional name for my mobile photography art and design. This very blog is under that name. My email, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Etsy, eBay, Society 6, Red Bubble, Zazzle, Fine Art America, deviantArt, ArtHog, Room, Bridgeman Studios, Kess InHouse Designs pages/profiles ALL bear the name “AlyZen Moonshadow”. On Facebook I have never been known by any other name. “AlyZen Moonshadow” mobile photography Art has thousands of hits on Google. I have over the years carefully built a reputation or brand under the name.

And yet Facebook is demanding that I use my real name. As if “AlyZen Moonshadow” is less real than “John Smith”. I’m not sure if someone with a grudge against me reported me to Facebook, or whether my time just came up. After all, to implement this insane real name policy, Facebook has to employ hundreds of people to look through every one of its more than 1.35 billion users, so it could be months or even years before your name came up for scrutiny.

I searched online for others who had had the misfortune of becoming similar victims of Facebook. Jay Smooth (obviously not his real name), a famous DJ and blogger, tweeted an engineer at Facebook, Jeff Ferland in February, when his account got frozen, and in return had his Facebook account reinstated pronto, with an apology for the inconvenience. You can read about it on Lux Alptraum’s blog here.


Lil Miss Hot Mess, one of the LGBT protestors who had had his account frozen during the Facebook LGBT fiasco, is still waiting for reinstatement, 6 months later.

Lil ole me, on the other hand, who is no one in the big bad world, and who has no strings to pull, won’t stand a chance. My request for reinstatement will simply go into the slush pile and never see the light of day. I’ll have no choice but to let Facebook beat me into submission.

Facebook is Big Brother, with emphasis on Big – big marketing, big advertisements, selling your personal details to other companies for big profits, claiming your photos and artwork posted on its platform as its own, Facebook does everything in a big way.

And when Facebook fails, like now, it does so in a spectacularly big way too.


So I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for my Facebook account to get reinstated under the name “AlyZen Moonshadow”. I’ve tweeted some people about my plight, sent some messages on Google+, Pinterest and LinkedIn, letting friends know the reason I’ve suddenly vanished off the face of Facebook, and telling them to make others aware of what’s happened to me…but in the end I’ll just have to put in my real name.

I just hope my friends still recognise me when they realise my username is different now.

And if anyone finds me dead and my son abducted, Facebook is to blame.

I think it’s high time to hang up my (Facebook) boots for good now…what’s Ello like?

Just more of my favourite things

Just a random selection of images that I’ve curated from Pinterest, Google Images and Facebook. I like to post them here and reflect back later to see what patterns or trends emerge, if any.

Sometimes these images spark off ideas for new creative projects. Other times it could just be a colour I like, or a feeling I get from looking at it.













Happy weekend, all!! :-)

Quit Liking It! Say Something Instead.


There’s a new thing surfaced on Facebook just now, about how to improve your Facebook experience, by simply NOT hitting the “Like” button. Strange as that may sound, and somewhat illogical, it IS true and it actually works. The premise is that if you DON’T click on the “Like” button, but instead leave comments on posts that interest you, Facebook’s algorithms will actually stop sending you all those annoying links to “Like” this business or that organisation, that celebrity, that political party, that new diet etc. Your feed will instead become more human, with more people entering into actual conversations than never before. All those friends that you’ve  lost into the FB ether may resurface when your feed isn’t top-heavy with news, business, videos etc that your previous clicking on “Like” generated. Try it!

Read these 2 articles about this strategy. The first one by Medium is about NOT clicking on Facebook’s “Like” button and the consequences. The second is by Wired where the writer did the total opposite and clicked “Like” on absolutely everything in their feed.



So, okay, I’ve only just started this experiment, and right now I’ve no idea how long I’m going to stick to it, or whether it’ll be a lifelong practice.  Even though I actually only started 5 days ago, already I’m seeing a change in my Facebook feed, and I’m feeling way better about myself as a person, as I feel I’ve learnt a great lesson. And that is why I feel prompted to blog about it right away NOW!

Anyway, here are my thoughts on it:

1. It makes me pause and think before I comment. I may be using the 👍 button quite a bit to start with. I have found myself skipping posts that are of no concern to me, instead of simply clicking the “Like” button to acknowledge it because it may have come from a friend. So, my friends who are reading this, apologies if I no longer “like” your comments, posts or images, but rest assured you will instead find a comment from me. 👍 See, I’ve started already! 😄

2. I get more selective about what interests me. The real things that matter get my attention more than updates on who’s cooking or eating what, selfies, who’s on holiday where, online shopping deals, cute kittens (hard one, that). Hopefully, my feed will be more about the things that really matter to the world – like decriminalising cannabis, for one (this will sound strange coming from someone who’s only experience with cannabis was a puff on a joint at a party in Spain 10 years ago. But I have been following Rick Simpson and fellow advocates of the miracle cancer-beating properties of cannabis oil, and I have lost friends and family to cancer in the past and very recently, so the subject is close to my heart).

3. If everyone does this, we’ll be getting many more notifications than before, as more people engage in actual conversation instead of the passive virtual nod which is the “Like” button. As a society, we seem to have somewhat lost the art of conversation. By not clicking on the “Like” button and by saying something instead, we encourage further discussion and communication between friends, which is what Facebook should be about. It’s time to regain control of the true value of Facebook.

4. Funnily enough, with my actively telling Facebook what I “don’t want to see again” re: pages and businesses, it seems to have freed up space in my Wall feed for previously disappeared friends to reappear. So far, around 6 people who quietly vanished from my feed have returned…and without my searching for them to “like” their photos or make comments on their posts yo keep in the loop. Maybe it’s just a coincidence, I can’t be certain.

So, to those of you who have read this, I would kindly ask that you not simply click “Like” on WordPress either, but instead say something about this post. If it moves you to comment, do it. Otherwise, simply share it with your circles in another way. The same goes for every post that you read and like. Quit Liking It! Say something instead. And watch the world unfold before your very eyes. I’m waiting. :-)


Posted from WordPress for Android.


My Art Abandonment Project “BUTTERFLIES”

Having completed my previous mixed media Art Abandonment Project (links here and here), here is my next Project. This one is a series of square wrapped canvasses 8×8 inches, featuring images from my current “100 BUTTERFLIES” Project.

The square canvasses came from my local KMart and were $5 for 4. I used a mixture of gesso and acrylic gel medium to adhere my images. The images were printed onto vintage dressmaking pattern tissue paper (see my previous post “The Sartorial Butterfly“). This makes each piece unique, as I only have a fnite number of these vintage dressmaking pattern tissue paper.

Those of you who know my from my writing already know that I am a BIG FAN of RANDOMNESS, so I’m always thrilled to see how my art pieces turn out when printed on random pieces of printed tissue paper. I like to think of this technique as “digital + traditional mixed media photographic collage”.

I printed off 6 different images, but somehow managed to get a duplicate …because I forgot to delete the previous print job. So I ended up with 7 prints. No matter, the 7th is most welcome to join the others.

Here are 2 prints adhered to the canvas. I haven’t trimmed off the excess yet in this photo.

All stuck on and trimmed. The top middle and bottom prints are the duplicates I mentioned earlier. Whilst the original images may be duplicates, the fact that they were printed on different dressmaking pattern tissue paper makes them very different and unique.

I fingerpainted the edges of each canvas with black acrylic paint. The canvasses are sitting on top of spraycans and containers, to avoid smudging or sticking to my butcher paper groundsheet.

Close up of the canvas prints, waiting to their black acrylic paint edges to dry.

The canvasses have been varnished and I have adhered an Art Abandonment tag to the back of each. I have also included a business card with each as well, that I created on MOO. The artwork has been sealed in clear plastic ziploc bags to protect them from the elements. These will be going out with me somewhere to be abandoned very soon. I haven’t decided just where yet…probably somewhere in Perth CBD, I hear there’s going to be a winter outdoor skating rink put up near the Library and Museum, that might be just the ideal spot.

I know it’s unlikely that I’ll ever get an a knowledgement or email or even a post to the Art Abandonment Project Facebook page, but one can hope, right? It would be so wonderful to receive notification that someone got my Art and appreciated it enough to let me know, whether directly or indirectly.


Posted from WordPress for Android.


Pattern Observer

For those of you interested in designing and printing wallpapers, or indeed any kind of surface design, Pattern Observer is an invaluable resource. I cannot praise it highly enough. It offers an insight into the burgeoning surface pattern design industry, you can subscribe to their regular email updates (I do), join their Textile Design Lab to enter into discussion with fellow likeminded artists, keep up to date with the latest news and trends in the industry. There are even e-courses you can sign up for to improve and hone your designing skills, learn new techniques and improve your own sales and marketing.

If you are the least bit serious about becoming a surface pattern designer, or even if you just want to investigate the ins and outs of surface design before you decide, you simply MUST join or follow Pattern Observer.

I love the layout of the blog, which can be used as a launchpad to visit other areas of the Pattern Observer microcosmos, all neatly organised and categorised for your benefit. Use the drop down menu there and you’ll see what I mean.

Pattern Observer can also be found on Facebook. So you can keep abreast of the latest news without even having to leave your favourite social media platform.

One of the many highlights of following Pattern Observer is that each week a different artist is showcased, providing insight into their processes, techniques, business practice, etc. Very useful and inspiring for aspiring designers.

Here I’m simply posting the links to bring together Parts 1 and 2 of Pattern Observer’s primers on wallpaper printing techniques through the ages. A potted history, if you will, for your enjoyment.



For those wanting to take the guesswork out of designing pattern repeats, check out Pattern Observer’s 5 week self-study e-course, The Ultimate Guide to Repeats. Be aware though, this course assumes some prior knowledge of, and experience with, Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.

(Photo taken from the blog’s “About” page shows Pattern Observer founder Michelle Fifis and her family.)

Posted from WordPress for Android.


So good she deserves her own post!

No, I’m not blowing my own trumpet, haha. I’m referring to my previous blog post, where by happenstance I mentioned 2 useful articles on Copyright Law, both written by attorney Sara Hawkins. She seems to specialise in these things, so I felt it pertinent to give her more room to speak here.

This is Sara’s own website: 


I think you’ll agree it’s a treasure trove of information relating to copyright issues. Again, bear in mind that it is based on US law, and the law in your own country will be different, but not too dissimilar. 

Sara also wrote this useful article on Copyright issues on Social pages like Facebook:


Sara also writes for the Social Media Examiner, which, well, examines the implications of disclosing information on our Social Circles, what we should or should not do on such sites, etc. Worth a read, because if you are a photographer/artist like me, chances are your work will filter through Social Media circles. 


Interesting stuff, right? Food for thought.