The Social Dilemma & Why You Should Look at Your Social Media Use.

The Social Dilemma is a documentary from Netflix that explores the damage of social media within our culture. Driven by the work of Tristan Harris, it brings together former creators of social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Google for a scary examination of what their work has created.

The documentary itself is very interesting, but there is nothing flash about it. It’s very up front and on the nose with what it is trying to tell you. There is a dramatic story to help illustrate it’s message, but it wasn’t needed.

What it does do well is get you to think about how you use media, or how you think you ‘use’ it. The scariest part of the documentary is how they explain that what was once a conscious choice to take in what our friends and family are doing is now a trap that actually decides for you.

The driving forces behind growth, engagement and monetisation all talk about how they built machines to predict our behaviour to deliver content in the ‘smartest‘ way. Put simply they would show is what we needed to stay looking at their page. This in turn keeps us engaged and drives in revenue through advertisements.

The fact that this is so close to Westworld season 3 doesn’t bode well, is you’re suspicious at all.

Why Should You Consider Your Usage?

What I couldn’t help but agree with when watching this documentary is that everything they said throughout, I was nodding along to. Do I check my phone before anything when I wake up? Yes. Do I scroll endlessly and refresh my feeds? Yes. Have I been caught in a rabbit hole on Youtube? Yes.

Do I also notice how easily social media can influence our culture and society? Absolutely, and in truth it’s scary. Fake news is liable to travel 6 times quicker than the genuine story. Through social medias fanning of the flames we eat up any dramatic story but don’t question it’s source.

Have you ever read something, that sounds ridiculous and not even questioned it, maybe even shared it? Once we are aware of this, people with money and influence are able to use this, almost weaponize it for gain.

Radical ideas and groups are able to grow exponentially through social media’s precise predicting and targeting. An algorithm doesn’t choose between radical ideas and wholesome content. Their systems are designed to learn everything about you. How you go about your usage on Google, Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, Twitter and more is your true identity.

Feed this into a computer that is able to calculate billions of formula before you can blink and the result is that you’ll only ever come across content that you don’t realise you’re looking for.

If you use google in a different location, the results will change to suit the current culture. This works with extremely serious matters such as elections. If you go to place that votes in a certain way, you’ll see content to help make you see the same way as everyone else in your area, without knowing, social media is assuming the role of a Shepard.

There’s a much, much darker side.

Not only is social media feeding you content based on your behaviour and their needs to make billions in revenue, it’s becoming a leading cause in mental health issues.

The very nature of my Instagram, this blog, my Twitter is designed to drive in likes and engagement. I’d love to have more engagement than the 10 I got on Wednesday. Fortunately for me, I can brush this off. Every time I write I’m learning more, every post is out there but I’m used to it drifting off into an ocean without any fish to bite on it.

So for me, I wouldn’t say the impacts of social media are detrimental, it only reinforced what I already know, I’m never really part of a conversation, I’m just outside of it.

Unfortunately for millions more, that ‘like’ button is worth much, much more to them. In fact, it’s more or less what will dictate their behaviour and mental wellbeing. For those that are born from 1996 onwards are most likely impacted. That means that about now the majority of them are starting to shape our society by taking those roles in finance, politics, IT, the Army, science, health and way more.

What we have done to them is make them so anxious that their life is judged by likes and positive reinforcement that where it is not supplied they are being unbalanced and they struggle to find any self worth. They aren’t able to use their brilliant minds to help make a difference in society. Their kind souls aren’t making friends and helping the lives around them. Instead they’re jumping off bridges, cutting their wrists because a stranger from Taiwan called them ugly on their phone.

The rate of suicide has increased by over 150% in some age groups from as little as 11 years old. Growing up with depression and anxiety wasn’t common with my friends, family or anyone I came into contact with.

Since then we have put in time and effort to not only understand it more but we’ve seen it spread everywhere, it’s about the same rate as social medias growth, and the coincidence is there for everyone to see.

Black Mirror have done an episode that is essentially this take on society. ‘Nosedive’ is the one to check out, it’s pretty good objectively.

I’ve been at my place of work and seen people post pictures then delete them because there’s not enough interaction and then seen attempts 2 and 3 at different times later in the day, until they have satisfied their own need for attention.

This is just one, simple way that Instagram, for example, is able to dictate someones behaviour, mood and emotions. It’s in their power to reach out to as many people to dictate how many will like the content.

What the likes does is also double edged. The user (the only other industry to call its customers users) needs a number of likes to satisfy themselves. But by doing that they’re also putting it out there as a sort of bench mark that damages others. That like number is a weapon that you don’t realise you’re firing.

What Can You Do?

Switch off. It sounds so simple but we’re triggered by the same chemicals we are with any other form of addiction. The best thing you can do is limit your usage. Whether that’s to time of the day or a set amount of hours.

Question your content. Have you found the source of what you’re taking in. Is it credible and is it true? A quick search through various other places will soon point you in the right direction.

Does it matter to you? What we often find is we follow a bunch of people/ accounts that mean nothing to us but we don’t get rid of it. This is where more of that targeted posts are coming from. Filter through what you’re choosing to take in so you can take in less of what you don’t choose.

Consider your privacy. The default options for privacy are usually pretty open so that they can be used openly by the developers. Does this suit you, make sure you lockdown how much you share.

Only post positively. There’s nothing to be gained by ‘shitposting’ anywhere. Putting someone down will not lift you up. It’s never worked that way and it doesn’t on social media. it doesn’t matter if it’s someone with 10 followers or a celebrity with millions, everyone reads it.


As social media has grown, we’ve let it take over and filter into every aspect of our lives. Without realising it knows more about us than anyone, or anything possibly could do in the same amount of time.

Being conscious of your time on social media can make a massive difference. Being positive and making sure the content you take in is the content you wanted and not rabbits on skateboards at 3am.

Be mindful of those around you and check in on them. You don’t know how their recent post could have impacted them. Support your friends that believe likes are more important than air. Make sure you’re in control of your own media because it has the power to do so much greatness.


All the facts and figures in the post come from The Social Dilemma documentary and their website thesocialdilemma.com

Tickets to My Downfall – Machine Gun Kelly’s cannonball into pop punk.

I’ve never been a fan of Kelly’s previous work but his most recent projects peaked my curiosity. Tickets to my Downfall has my attention.

The title track, quite literally it’s name, lays out Kelly’s approach to this new direction.

“I sold tickets to my downfall and saw friends in the front row”

He states in an interview with Kerrang he has no further height and people will only be interested in watching him fall.

Well this albums ferocity and exciting pop punk vibes will not be his downfall. It’s like he and Blink 182 had a child, perhaps not helped by Travis Barkers influence on the record.

Tracks such as bloody valentine, forget me too and WWIII all bring the Warped Tour feeling to you.

It feels perfectly placed in a caffeine rush of scribbled lyrics, band posters and late nights in the field drinking crappy beer.

Kelly hasn’t so much cannonball’d into the water with this record but strategically dived to make a big splash.

P.s. ‘forget me too’ featuring Halsey is a 10/10 song. My obsession with Halsey continues.

Enola Holmes Review

When you hear ‘Holmes’ it sounds like an all to familiar story to write. However when you realise this is about a teenager carrying the name we see she lifts it very high to standout as a detective to take seriously.

Enola Holmes, played by the brilliant Millie Bobbie Brown, is out to find her mother after being left on her own before her infamous brothers come back to dictate her life.

Enola was raised by her eccentric mother, the most respected and loved person in her life. Her brothers left early and did not have any influence on her upbringing as we see when they return and try to correct her mothers ‘mistakes’.

Through her mothers tutelage she rejects the idea that she should have learnt to be a proper lady of the house and likes the idea she learnt some proper skills to use in life and maybe some useless ones (she’s clearly not a tennis player).

Sharing the screen with the iconic Sherlock and the outdated Mycroft, Enola stands tall to match their wit and carve her own story, without the need for anyone’s approval except for that of her mothers.

Enola carries the burden or being a Holmes, female and teenager with her and the audience on her back. Her pieces to camera work excellently to to give us a glimpse at her thoughts, whether this is in humour or to raise and eyebrow at the 1800’s period silly expectations.

Having Enola be fierce, intelligent and full of wit fills this film with substance and character. Her interactions with the other characters and the environment around her make for interesting viewing and each scene brings something worth watching.

Despite being set in the 1800’s it does a good job to bring modern normality to such a strange period that Enola must fight through. Millie’s excellent portrayal of Sherlocks younger sister shows just how talented Millie really is.

She leads this film with ease, shouldering many ideas that would normally fall flat without charisma or talent. The film runs at a pace to give the fast action a contrast from the sweeping countryside and chivalry of middle class England. Enola’s lack of respect for the ideals she is expected to portray add to the excitement of the mystery.

The final layer that Millie is able to portray as Enola comes as a story of a teenage girl trying to find her place in an ever changing world. This narrative gets her mixed up with a young Lord and trying to save women everywhere. It’s her growth from an introverted countryside girl to a captivating city female pointing at the world around her that gives this film extra dimensions and shows how Harry Bradbeer is great at blending genres.

At the very best this film is charming through its characters or score and it’s lows make for some silly detective work backed by a good story. There’s really not much to dislike here and I hope Netflix continues to back this lot and maybe give us a franchise backed by Nancy Stringers original literacy and Jack Thorne’s adaptation.

Starring: Millie Bobbie Brown – Enola, Henry Cavill – Sherlock, Sam Claflin – Mycroft & Helena Bohnam-Carter – Mrs Holmes.

Directed by: Harry Bradbeer

Written by: Jack Thorne (Nancy Springer adaptation)

Where: Netflix

Hades – Reaching way above the underworld

I’d heard of the game Hades from developers Supergiant games a while back in one of the many directs we’ve had in the last year. Little did I know that on full release I would be playing, possibly one of my favourite games of the year.

If you’ve been keeping up with the some of the gaming posts you’ll realise that Greek mythology within gaming is my Achilles Heel. Hades, as you can imagine fits right into that.

Hades is a roguelike dungeon crawler. In simple terms the objective of the game is to escape from the Underworld as Zagreus. However it’s unlikely you’ll do it on your first try and will need to start again.

With each attempt you learn more and level up a little bit. Each attempt is unique due to the random assortment of rooms that are put together. Each room needs clearing of enemies until eventually you are free.

As you progress, the enemies do get tougher but so do you. Each room completion provides you with a boon to add to your arsenal of weapons and skills. As it’s a roguelike these are only temporary for that particular ‘run’ or ‘attempt’.

The combat is excellent, a fast blend of skills and weapon use allows you to deal combos and waste your enemies in seconds. The movement matches this with an intrinsic ‘dash’ that lets you zip around the room avoiding any incoming attempts to squash you.

The aesthetic is such a fascinating style that matches the mood and the pace of the game. Fitting in somewhere between the 2d side scrollers and a manga comic it perfectly fits the personality of Hades.

Add in a heavy rock soundtrack, some cool dialogue and the ability to pick it up and put it down on Switch and you’ve got yourself one Hell of a game. It’s currently £17.99 from the Nintendo store!

NEw Mutants: New Characters same struggle

I finally got around to watching Fox’s last X-Men production yesterday and I wasn’t as disappointed as quite a lot of critics said I would be. Sure there were somethings that could have been better but I enjoyed a lot more than I disliked.

The plot

When we are introduced to the ‘New Mutants’ we see that the main character Dani Moonstar (Blu Hunt) is being hunted down before waking up in a hospital.

Here she is informed of the New Mutants programme, designed to help those transitioning through their powers. It’s much like you’d imagine a mental hospital to come across, with an old aesthetic, a kind nurse and lots of cameras and suspicious security. Dani is thrown into group therapy, there’s good patients and bad ones and in this case, powers.

As Dani begins to explore why she is truly in the programme, with some help from Maisie Williams’ Rahne (Wolfsbane) and Anya Taylor-Joy’s bully character Illyana (Magik), she begins to realise not everything is as it seems.

The other patients also begin to realise that something has changed when they start to vividly visualise nightmares that weren’t there before. Pointing the finger at each other they realise it’s time for out.

You’ll probably think that, with this plot, there’s nothing new about it and you would be absolutely correct. In my opinion it is a fairly safe plot to use just with added mutants.

The Good

There’s more good than bad, so it’s a good place to start. To begin with the characters are interesting. Whenever we are introduced to new Mutants (especially the ones we don’t traditionally know) it’s always fun finding out their story. In this case as they are in a hospital there’s even more to it.

With how the plot is worked each character has some really good set pieces. We are introduced to them by way of what really drove them to use their powers and find themselves needing help.

This is where the horror element we heard about years ago comes from. This horror part is both good and bad. It works as a really good angle to tell the story from. Some of the scenes do have a genuine tension to them. The setting is dark, the characters are alone and it’s all a bit weird as we don’t really know their powers or what’s going on.

Thing is, it’s a comic book movie about people with powers, so how scared can we get for the characters fate?

When the characters do use their powers they have been well done. The CGI is good and they feel almost down to earth, with maybe the exception of Illyana. We’re not bombarded with this constant display of CGI.

Illyana’s Magik does steal the show when we talk about powers. She’s the most ‘badass’ with her powers and would probably make a good protagonist in like a Deadpool kind of way. She has the ability to teleport, a dragon and a magic sword she wields in an armoured arm.

Her ‘hate everything’ grungy attitude means it feels cool when she launches into using them.

The film also has some serious issues such as racism and sexuality. The sexuality is a first for the comic book world in this sense. It’s something that maybe deserved more recognition for the way it’s so normally dealt with in the film. There’s no big moment or bells and whistles its just normal as it should be.

The Bad

So where does this film get it wrong? It’s the same problem I think a lot of the X-Men films have and that’s bringing it all together.

As I have said the characters are interesting enough and when we’re exploring their stories it’s really good cinema, New Mutants fails to bring it all together cohesively. The same can be said for Apocalypse and Phoenix.

New Mutants looks to be the product of what started of with a lot of passion that has been drained by studio interference, delays and Disney’s merge.

There’s some really lazy script writing, it’s relatively short and is missing something. That bit of flair or charisma that you would normally get from group movies. You get the feeling that this film was clearly to far along to cancel but not close enough to carry on supporting.

Final Thoughts

I hope this project gets picked up again in the future. I’m probably biased towards X-Men films for some reason as I normally love them. The idea is really cool and some of this film is very strong.

They needed to show conviction in making a horror or an action film. They needed a better script to really draw out these characters relationships with themselves, each other and the world around them.

There isn’t really a villain, which is okay but we needed more of a direction to the film. It shifts a couple of times towards the end.

Having actors that represent the characters better would be an improvement. Half of them had fake accents and I’m not sure why as their heritage was never a major factor in their stories.

It’s well worth a watch and if Illyana had a spin-off somewhere I’d be happy to see more of her character.

Quick Read: Ubisoft Forward

Yesterday Ubisoft had they next ‘direct’ to showcase a few bits they didn’t last time. It really only included details of 4 titles, Immortals: Fenyx Rising, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, Riders Republic and Watchdogs: Legion (again).

So lets talk about my favourite, Fenyx Rising.

This game is an Assassins Creed x Breath of the Wild love child. It looks amazing with the scaled back, less realism graphics. It promises open world with 7 Greek god inspired regions, fluid combat and traversal and customisation.

Game Informer were able to play for 2 hours and have some really good thoughts, out in December I’m glad it’s so soon. Check out some images below.

Prince of Persia: Sands of Time Remake

Ooft, this looks rough to be honest. I’m excited the franchise that kicked of Assassins Creed is getting a remake but the graphics look dated, like PS3/ Xbox 360 dated.

Not out until January I wonder if there will be any enhancements.

Riders Republic

A racing game based online and in US National Parks (geographically accurate. Includes up to 50 players at once. Not much else to it, I think it’s trying to branch out from the very introverted Trials franchise that is pretty popular and bring in some more fans that maybe miss the likes of SSX.

Watch Dogs: Legion

They talked about some of the DLC content that would be coming to Watchdogs including a Stormzy character. Seems a bit like forward thinking before release so let’s check back on that one.

The Division: The Summit

Division are launching a new PVE (Player versus Environment) game mode called the summit. It’s 100 floors of a skyscraper that you fight enemies on each to progress gradually getting harder.

Personally I love The Division and will at some point check this out. When, I’m not so sure I just need to buds to squad back up!.

Final Thoughts

All in all I liked what they had to show. Fenyx appeals to me massively as I’m a huge Assassins Creed and Greek mythology fan. I’ll likely be putting in a pre order for that one. Also Ubisoft are a good dev company, with some flaws but some good products.

Going forward Ubisoft are likely in for a good ride with Watchdogs, Valhalla, Far Cry and more launching in the next 6 or so months.

Avengers – PS4 REview

The Avengers recently found their way onto our consoles for a serious action RPG based on the comics. It’s an original piece of work with a lot going for it, unfortunately it’s a big hot mess right now.

Since Friday I think I’ve played around 30 hours worth of this game, but I’ve finished the ‘main’ campaign. I say ‘main’ as it has a campaign that includes multiple different sets of missions and stories but ‘Reassemble’ is clearly the main one.

The Plot

So what is this about then? Well as you can imagine it wanted to carve out it’s own story. The games from movies era ended long a go where we might have seen an Infinity War game to go with the blockbuster film.

In essence the plot of this game is actually a Ms Marvel story, with the main Avengers in support. All throughout the story it centers around Kamala Khan, a massive fan of the Avengers.

She is the representation of the proper Fan Girl type, she’s 11 when we first meet her and by 16 nothing has changed. Her room is adorned with Avengers posters and she has all the memorabilia to go with. During ‘A-Day’ we see how she is unapologetic for her fan girl status and it’s great to see. I know I’ve always struggled to show off about the things I really love.

During her time in A-Day, searching for comics, meeting the Avengers and generally ‘geeking’ out it all goes to turmoil when there’s an attack on the Golden Gate bridge and later the Helicarrier where A-Day happens.

We come to realise the Avengers have been set up and 5 years in the aftermath AIM (an evil tech company) have taken over. When The Helicarrier was attacked it released a gas that turned everyone into Inhumans. If you have seen Agents of Shield it’s all very familiar.

Kamala vows to try and find out what happened that day and in doing so pulls the wrong strings. She finds herself in the middle of a plot to kill all Inhumans with the Avengers to support her.

Gameplay

The gameplay is very hack and slash, just with punches and kicks. It’s what you would imagine a comic book to feel like as a game. You get to play as each Avenger (Ms Marvel, Black Widow, Hulk, Captain America, Iron Man & Thor). Each one feels different to the last but it is all a bit button bashing to throw light or heavy attacks.

The enemies come in many varieties but don’t always feel different from the last. It’s all based in AIM’s robots so there’s not many people enemies and it makes sense because you end up fighting thousands of them.

One of my hopes was that we’d see some really cool bosses. Marvel have a tonne of cool villains that might finally get some screen time. We start the game off with a fight against Taskmaster, which is cool as fuck but that’s all we see of him until post game.

Together with Abomination they are the only meaningful character bosses you face, the rest are just big machines.

Once you finish the main story the game is then just rinse and repeat. You have 2 levels to work simultaneously Power and Character. Neither impacts the other and I find the whole RPG side a little unsatisfying.

Character levels unlock skill which improve your gameplay. I would recommend getting your characters level up a bit before finishing your story as it helps immensely (i didn’t do this and hated it).

Power level comes with gear and adds to your stats and gives bonuses. This can help if you know what you have as it will make you play in certain ways to maximise your build. Loot is thrown at you all the time and it becomes very not important. If you’ve played Destiny 2 this will feel familiar overall as the system is almost identical.

Post game feels a lot like The Division where you just repeat old missions to power up to play higher level old missions to power up etc etc. There’s no purpose to any of it right now in the game. The gear needs to have more meaningful choices.

Final Thoughts

Overall I did enjoy my time. My favourite character to play as was Black Widow, her style suited my own as I could zip to enemies, go invisible and had a really good ranged ability.

Once I put some time into level up her character I had more fun with it. However playing as anyone else at low levels then felt a chore and not very fun.

The game has a lot of bugs, like way more than a release should have. Cut scenes won’t have audio, very low frame rates and gameplay will freeze AI characters. Sometimes buttons won’t work so you can’t progress and I had a weird one where the level like overlapped.

The loot/ level systems need a bit of work and the post Reassemble content needs some work. I was happy that microtransactions aren’t an issue but the ‘character pass’ isn’t a quick level up (you’re restricted how much you can do a day if you don’t pay). But still it’s all free with the base game.

I reckon by the holidays this game will have a few patches and fixes that it’ll make a great present or cheaper buy. For now, unless you absolutely LOVE Avengers or action RPG games maybe just watch someone else on Twitch.

Tenet Review – Spoiler Free

Sorry posts haven’t been as frequent as I would like them to be, I’ve finally moved and settled in (&fixed my WiFi). However I did find time to watch Tenet in the cinemas.

First up my return to the cinema after AGESSSSS away was probably my worst trip ever! (Nothing against Tenet as you will see). Forget screaming kids, lights, mess or noisy neighbours no, this was sound mixing! Our screening started to go out of sync after about an hour. Awful business, so I’ll be going again.

Anyway, to the actual film. My god what a film. Early impressions are that it’s my favourite Nolan film. For some context Inception was my favourite before Tenet as I am not a massive Batman fan.

So, what’s it ACTUALLY about?

Tenet is for all intents and purposes a traditional spy flick. A lot of people around the internet has said this is like Nolan taking on James Bond. Which in some ways it is, just not as stylish in terms of characters.

The plot in essence is to prevent a bomb from going off that would end the world as we know it. Problem is we don’t know where the bomb is, hence spy.

Although as we have come to expect with Nolan’s original stories it’s not that simple. This also includes a version of time travel we have seen before but also we have not seen before. What haven’t we seen? Inversion.

What takes this away from a traditional spy action film is the use of time travel to tell the story. The Protagonist of this story must understand how time travel works and then find and disarm the bomb. Getting interesting now eh?

Inversion/ niosrevnI

One of the key things to understand about this film is the inversion mechanic that it is based on.

When we meet The Protagonist (that’s his name, seriously) played by John David Washington he’s in an extremely good mission to retrieve an asset. The score for this sequence and all sequences is incredible and high octane. This is from the first minute as well.

From the very start, this film fills you with intensity and pulls you in, which is something that I absolutely loved. It was immersive from start to finish.

During this sequence The Protagonist notices how a bullet rushes past his head, as though it had already been shot. Next thing we see is The Protagonist is ‘dead’ and being escorted for another mission where he is introduced to inversion.

The explanation of this is that everything that uses energy flows forward and inversion is the process to swap that so it flow backwards. This means you catch bullets, get cold from fire and even steer in the wrong direction.

The discovery of this then leads to its source and the discovery of time travel itself. How it is used in the film is extremely clever and it will amaze you.

Characters, what characters?

You’ll notice in this film that character development isn’t really a thing. It flashes forward so quickly we just don’t have time to understand the characters as people. John David Washington plays The Protagonist extremely well. He comes across as cool, cold and charismatic.

Robert Pattinson plays a character called Neal. For a Neal he’s not in any way boring. His chemistry with Washington is great and Neal’s story is one that is probably worth paying attention to the most. Pattinson definitely has a future as a cool, spy/ detective kind of role, (maybe even in a black suit and cape?).

The villian isn’t a nice person and has a rough time with Elizabeth Dibicki’s character Kat. They both anchor the film and begin to be the reason for the plot moving forward. Kat is troubled as you would expect (damsel in distress) and the villian is Russian and selfish for reasons we never really know why. There’s a lot of tropes with the characters and I think that’s intentional from Nolan as he was focused on the plot.

Will I Understand It?

One of the questions normally asked is will I get it. I know that not everyone will go to the cinema to be challenged and have to put pieces together and that’s okay.

This film will not hold you hand through the film.

The time travel and narrative can get confusing. There’s scenes designed to help you keep up but they’re not instructions. The voice/ score audio isn’t the best balanced as well you could easily miss some dialogue.

Final Thoughts

As I said at the top, this is my favourite Nolan film. It appeals to me in so many ways. The characters are simple but there’s enough to get their personal motives. The narrative is good and well thought out and the plot matches that. The time travel element is the spice that is needed and elevates it to that level for me. Being asked to think during a film is something I love. Keep me guessing and surprise me still is the route to my heart most of the time. Inception did this, Shutter Island did this and Se7en does this all really well.

Most likely my film of the year. I said it would be in my article previously. I’d be surprised if there’s a film as good as this in the next 4 months.

PVRIS – USE ME

The third album from PVRIS moves them from a pop rock trio to a genre bending duo (with the recent announcement). This album marks a separation from PVRIS’ emo roots to an excellent writer capable from controlling the mood from herself into her songs.

The album as whole feels like the journey through a break up. Gimme A Minute talks about a lot of changes and brings a bit more chaos but is really asking for a moment of clarity.

It feels good to be alive but I hate my life.

Lynn writes about how emotions are constantly swinging from one to another. Stay Gold is about wanting to write a song about someone but not making them that important. Wish You Well is a final moving on piece, about having no bad feelings, sort of a letting go.

These songs all bring a bit more energy and more of a rock sound we are used to. They still however blend in punk, pop, electro beats for a unique sound. With Lynns powerful vocals they have carved out a unique sound.

Lynn Gunn from Instagram

The albums title song Use Me has hip hop influences throughout and shows the experimentation within PVRIS but fits well into the end of the album.

Overall expect a bit of everything within this album. Lynn’s song writing is excellent and the production is high. It possibly marks the end of PVRIS and the start of Lynn as a powerhouse in the scene.

Renting while saving, is it sensible?

Normally in your twenties you will go in one of two directions when it comes to buying a house. You either stay home with your parents and save as much as possible and buy around early to mid twenties or you move out and rent.

The first will be celebrated as a fate equal to the generations before us. Despite the stories that circulate of Jack and Jill eating grass for a year to buy their £300,000 house, it’s normally backed with a massive gift from their folks to have enough of a deposit.

If I sound salty or jealous it’s partly because I am, however it’s more because these aren’t a representation of the struggle most of us face when buying a house.

I’m ending my long 6 year relationship with renting this weekend. It just hasn’t worked out, I’ve made some mistakes but its just taking too much from me, is what I would say but I’ve actually enjoyed my experience.

Why is Renting a Struggle?

When you save for a house it’s all about sacrifice. You forgive things like holidays, eating out and possibly more. When renting a lot of people have to give these up just to afford a normal lifestyle. Rent can range anywhere from low hundreds to thousands and the return is tiny.

I’ve always led with the idea that we shouldn’t need to have your life compromised when trying to save for a house. Part of life is having a balance, we should be able to enjoy the good and the sacrifice in equal measure otherwise it’ll drive you crazy. This is even more so when renting as you already give a large portion away for rent and you’ll likely be saving for much longer.

I’m saying this from a household with two incomes and having the privilege to be able to have a balance, moreover I’m led to feel guilty for taking a balanced lifestyle and not everyone is able to.

Renting is often thought of in the long term, i.e. ‘you’ll have nothing to show’ at the end, which is true but we need to change that to a short term ‘I’m independent and planning my future’

This brings me back to them Jack and Jill articles or that our past generations had it easier with much cheaper house prices that renters are constantly compared to. Even when renting there is still an expectation to be saving and matching those that had a lot given to them, bought houses at MUCH cheaper prices or have the ability to live comfortably at home.

I have been part of those conversations and spoke to people in a similar position and it’s almost as if renting has a stigma. Your choice to rent and have an independent life doesn’t fit in to the generic house buying formula so it must be wrong.

Combine that with the insecurity you could be asked to move out at any time, the restrictions of personalising your rented property and how expensive it is to start renting and it’s an accomplishment if you do rent.

So How can You be the Exception?

Me and my fiancé have made mistakes since renting, we haven’t always used money wisely but I have no regrets. For a couple in our twenties we have enjoyed holidays to Disney, weekend breaks and buying the things we love.

We’re taking a step back to try and undo those mistakes and finally get our first home. So much so that we’re going to stop renting. This is purely to speed up the process to buy our first home, we could carry on renting and buy a home many years later.

Looking back I would say that I wouldn’t have taken any credit cards out since I started renting. I would have also gone straight into some sort of shared renting situation to reduce the overall costs.

The debate of needing some form of credit card or overdraft to boost your credit score will go both ways but there’s more to that and that’s for another day.

I was fussy and didn’t end up sharing and started immediately paying over £650 a month + service charge for my independence. It was a nice place I rented and real close to my work, but it was tiny. Sharing a place would have given me the same amount of space but a fortune in savings on monthly bills.

Next I would have learnt more about money. I work for a bank now and knowing what I know now it’s night and day in terms of how I approach finances. I’ll do a myth busting article next but the gist is to be careful when and where you borrow (some will be mandatory for a mortgage).

Photo by maitree rimthong on Pexels.com

I guess the answer to your question is to be the exception you need to get to the end goal quickly. The longer you rent the harder it is to stop renting and finally buy. You’ll rely on something like a big step in your career or an injection of funds.

Split your costs and reduce your outgoings, its simple to say but hard in practice. As you come to learn about your lifestyle and what costs you need to facilitate it you might realise that the sacrifice is too much and decide renting is your future, and that’s okay!

You also need to enjoy your time and not resent those years you spent renting and saving and thinking how bad it all was. For a lot of people that’s their twenties and thirties, remember to enjoy them the best you can.

The way our country is going it’s likely the moving out age will only increase and renting will be more popular. We need to have a positive outlook on it and understand how we can use it as part of our young adult life.

Fall Guys – Standing Out of the Crowd

The sensation that has swept right through mainstream gaming and media is the hilariously fun and down right silly Fall Guys.

A game that places you as a jelly bean with arms and feet against 59 others to race, grab, push and jump to be the last one standing.

A fresh take on the enormously popular battle royale genre Fall Guys is refreshing and a much needed shake up to the stale shooters that are dominating at the moment.

Fall Guys takes inspiration from the likes of Takeshi’s Castle or Total Wipeout putting you in soft battle arenas surrounded by slime. You can knock, grab and bump into other players as you race to the objective.

Sometimes doing one thing really well works, well, well. There’s only three controls in Fall Guys, move, grab and jump. Its really easy to start playing.

The core concept that is so strange to everyone is the ides of just having fun. Fall Guys doesn’t track stats. You can’t brag about winning so many times and there’s a competitive edge that is so joyfully missing.

The satisfaction of winning a game is brilliant though and having that crown for a menu screen before it is lost is enough to satiate that need to win.

When you don’t win its ‘thats bullshit, he knocked into me’ or ‘I definitely jumped’ or I ‘have a crap team’. These may or may not be taken from Nathan Biggin 2020. But still you get over it quickly cause its fun and you’re having a blast.

There’s a season style pass that grants outfit options and currency for its microtransaction store but its all fun cosmetic stuff you can grind for.

They have promised more maps, outfits and fixes coming forward. Their PR is really good to follow so I recommend that. Its free to play on PlayStation and about £15 otherwise.