Friday, 27 March 2015

Internet friends are win-ternet friends


All the way through my teenage years, I was a very awkward person, extremely shy, and generally struggled to make friends. These days I’m still awkward and socially crap, but I’m now in my mid-20s and work from home, which we all know is basically the lifestyle where your social life goes to die anyway, so it’s not so much of a biggie. 

In real life I’ve basically had the same set of close best friends since I was tiny and have always relied on them to make my outer friends for me, but quietly sitting in the sidelines there’s also been another group of pals for the past ten years or so who fall into the unchartered territory of what should probably be called INTERNET FRIENDS. 

And last weekend, we met up.


From left to right Jenny, Alex myself and Kate stumbled very inelegantly into each other’s lives via a McFly message board (a MESSAGE BOARD, do they even exist anymore?) around 2004, with swooshing emo fringes, a lot of MySpace comments and really bad eyeliner. No offence guys. 

Along with a bunch of other obsessed teenage girls who’ve come and gone along the way, we basically ruled that niche realm of the internet for quite some time, and after progressing to MSN, then Facebook, and then Twitter to WhatsApp, we’ve been a constant feature in each other’s lives ever since.


I’d actually consider my internet friends to be some of the most consistent and reliable people in my life, yet I can count the number of times we’ve met up in real life on one hand. 

That probably seems a strange concept to anyone who’s never experienced ‘internet friends’ for themselves, and in the past I’ve had people laugh in my face at the idea of a largely online-based friendship group, but I’ve always thought it pretty odd that more people haven’t cottoned onto the idea as being something kind of great.


We found each other through what was (and errr, still kind of is but shhh) our main interest in life - a band that we all would have probably sacrificed working limbs for, and having bonded over a mutual love and discovered a shared sense of humour, we’ve literally grown up with each other, albeit from a distance, into very similar people. 

It’s a testament to online friendship that, having not seen these girls in the flesh for what must be around eight years, I had the absolute best, comfortable and fun weekend with them all, that basically revolved around eating good food and talking about the things we have in common that none of our other friends in real life ever care about. 

They just get it. They understand when it's important to Instagram something from a certain angle, they know who I'm talking about when I mention a YouTube video I watched yesterday, they fancy all the same people that I should have grown out of years ago. We connect in all these stupid ways, but also in a very nostalgic and comforting way too, and it's very special to me.


I’m currently in the process of rustling up and piecing together a vlog which I tried my very best to remember to film through everything we got up to. Seeing as I am about as useless as a soupy ice cream, I forgot most things and it’s almost certain to not do it justice, but we’ll give it a go. 

Over breakfast on the Sunday we made a vow to try and see each other again soon, so fingers crossed my online pals will become more frequent in-person pals. They'll always be my internet mates though - one day at my wedding they'll probably be sat at the table labelled 'INTERNET FRIENDS'. I'll make sure to leave the wifi password nearby. 

Here's one last photo showing us in our signature, well practiced MySpace poses, just for old times sake.


Have you got any long-term internet friendships under your belt? I wanna hear about them because they warm my cockles good and proper. Pop a comment below or tweet me @LucyJaneWood. Love you bye.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Instagram Wrapping Paper


I don’t know about you guys, but whenever I’m sat wrapping up gifts with about as much care, neatness and finesse as a one handed hippo with visual impairments, I’m always very disappointed that the wrapping paper isn’t covered in my own face. Honestly, who wouldn't want to see that under the tree every Christmas. 

But FINALLY all my gift-wrapping dreams have now become a glorious reality as I was recently contacted by wrap.me, a pretty genius new start-up company who use your own favourite photos to create completely personalised wrapping paper. LOOK AT IT.


My own awesome wrap.me roll was made from a selection of images taken straight from my Instagram feed - everything from holiday snaps to my cat being cute - and after seeing how great the final product looks, I’m definitely going to be placing a couple of orders in the future to stock up on aaaall my wrapping paper needs. Always be prepared. 

While I would obviously recommend you ordering a roll full of my own face, you can also totally customise the paper to the occasion that you’ll be using it for - family pictures for your mum’s birthday, night out pictures for your pal’s party, wedding pics for an anniversary. It’s pretty much the perfect, thoughtful finishing touch for any gifts and really reasonably priced too.


(They also sent me this EXTREMELY great sparkly Ideas Book featuring a space age cat which might be the best thing I've ever owned, so that was wonderful of them. THANK YOU.) 

I’m probably not going to be using this sheet covered in my selfies for anyone else’s presents in fear of looking like an insane person, but what’s also quite lovely about the wrap.me paper is that you could always cut it up into individual images after you’ve finished with it to make yourself a little Insta-collage. 

Basically this is a well good idea, isn't it? Definitely head over to their site to check out how to order your own personalised paper, and let me know what you think in the comments below or chuck me a tweet over to @lucyjanewood. Love you bye.

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