Messaging for dummies: how to not be a douche

Posted on Updated on

Facebook people, we need to talk. I don’t care who you are. I don’t care what you do. I don’t care how busy you think you are. If you can see someone’s social media messages, you could at least do the courtesy of sending some kind of a response.

Now, I understand we do get busy. Sometimes we accidently open messages in our sleep. Sometimes we forget. Sometimes we genuinely don’t have time to respond to every little whim. Sometimes we may not even reply. Even so, call me crazy, but if I am talking to you about something important, I kind of expect a response. Any response. Particularly if I can see you a) online, b) posting other whimsical things and c) what I’m talking to you about needs an answer.

So, to make it simple for you, here’s my quick and handy guide on how to not be an inconsiderate jerk when messaging people on Facebook. You should answer someone if:

  • It’s a question.
  • It’s an important question.
  • It’s time-sensitive.
  • It involves organising a meeting.
  • It’s something you said you’d do—or try to do.
  • They’re a good friend.
  • They’re relying on your response for something.

Do not respond if:

  • You are inconsiderate.
  • You are a jerk.
  • They’re stalking you.
  • It’s stupid.

There you go—refer to that guide if you have this problem. Or tag someone in this post to send a message. Really, it’s about respect—and common courtesy.

Maybe I’m being superficial. Maybe I’m overreacting. Maybe you’re sitting there thinking I complain too much—and you’re probably right. But for all my faults, at least I reply to my damn messages. Don’t be rude. Respond.



Life inside a book: wouldn’t it be nice?

Posted on Updated on

I can’t help but think life would be better if we lived inside the universe of a novel. Probably not Game of Thrones, though dragons are pretty awesome, though still: how amazing would it be to practise magic or shoot lightning bolts out of your fingertips?

That last part—sadly—is pretty irrelevant to my point and this article.

Some of you may have heard of the best-selling Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead—it recently also became a film (one I am particularly upset with. I mean, seriously. What is up with filmmakers ruining perfectly good books?). Calm down, I’m not writing about Vampire Academy. But I am going to write about Richelle Mead—sort of.

Richelle Mead is a brilliant author, and has written some of the best material I’ve ever read. She also happens to be the one who ignited my passion for writing and all things wacky. Sadly, her adult novels—which I’d argue are some of her best work—are largely unknown.

Her most recent venture is the mind-blowing Age of X series, which is set in a futuristic world nearly destroyed by religious extremists who unleashed a deadly virus. Obviously, the deadly virus part is bad. But how she describes society adapting to overcome this danger is truly remarkable.

Gameboard of the Gods, the first instalment in the series, is mostly set in the Republic of North America (AKA RUNA). In this society, religion has all but been extinguished, thus eliminating religious conflict. Gene pools have been rigorously mixed in order to fight off the disease before a cure was created, so there is no racism or underprivileged minority groups. Gender equality has finally been achieved, as well as equal pay. RUNA also has strict birth control regulation—citizens are embedded with a contraceptive implant until the age of 20, where they are able to conceive up to two children.  If citizens are able to prove they can financially support their family, they may be allowed up to four children—though strictly no more. This removes many issues we experience today, such as teen pregnancies, childhood poverty and a population that is too large for the Earth to possibly sustain. Education is also strongly embedded into RUNA’s culture, with a year of compulsory tertiary education for all students.

I understand some of this stuff is pretty controversial—particularly the control of procreation. I have had many discussions with friends about this; do people have the right to choose? What are the consequences of this?

I fully support a person’s right to choose—within reason. This policy is nothing like China’s disastrous one-child policy, in which 400 million births (mainly female) were prevented. There is no gender inequality in RUNA. And proving you can support your children isn’t paying for them—it’s not elitist, it’s logical. It encourages parents to first further themselves (and the country) before they procreate. In Australia, the average couple has 1.7 children—four is a lot.

This issue isn’t about control; it’s about sustainability. The Earth doesn’t have enough resources for our growing population, and it will be the poor who suffer.

Whether or not you agree with this strict kind of control, you have to admit they solve many issues with a few simple steps—steps that allow society to flourish. The needs of the many should outweigh the needs of the few—somewhere along the line, I think we’ve forgotten that.

I know RUNA isn’t perfect. There are a lot of issues that haven’t been addressed. But you do have to admire the superior—in theory—society. We could end world hunger, end gender inequality, end religious wars (mostly). It sounds great until the banished gods return—with a vengeance, I might add—in a power-scramble for followers. It’s called Gameboard of the Gods for a reason. But that’s beside the point.

My point is: RUNA sounds great. I would gladly live there, and I think we could learn a lot from fictitious worlds like this—admittedly, with some modifications. Someone should notify the politicians immediately.

Guess who’s back?

Posted on Updated on

So, I have been super slack with this blogging thing for about a year. But have no fear! I am back!

So basically, this will be articles i’ve written for the University of Wollongong website (and magazine), as well as assessments and other opinion pieces. If you’re reading this, you’re awesome. I will strive to make this a fairly entertaining and informing blog! Stay tuned!

ItBeginsWithZ 2.0!

It begins with Z: It begins with me

Posted on

If you’re reading this, I guess you must be pretty bored. That, or i’ve forced you to look (Mwahahaha!). My name is Zoe and i’m studying a Bachelor of Journalism at the University of Wollongong. 

My only blogging experience to date has been what i’ve had to do for uni assignments; turns out I kind of like this. I’m not completely sure what will be posted on this blog, but i’ll figure something out. Most likely it will be humerous rants on social injustices.

You can view my other academic blogs here:


The Diversity of University

I’m pretty sure you should stay tuned!