I had the privilege of being a judge for this years #AUSGotTalent show at the American University of Sharjah this week and oh what a night!

Not only was I blown away by the many talented students at AUS (singers, breakdancers, musicians and even magicians!) but there were a few events that made it an evening I will never forget.

Firstly, I met a girl (who has asked to remain nameless) who DOESN’T OWN A MOBILE PHONE AND DOESN’T USE SOCIAL MEDIA! She lost her phone about a year ago and just realized the freedom she felt by not being ‘connected’ and ‘reachable’ all the time, and now she’s lived a wonderful happy and liberated life for a year! I was so inspired by her because I really feel like we have become so enslaved by our phones, chats, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – whatever it is – that we often miss out on the ‘here and now’. I have noticed that I sleep much later than I plan to simply because I get into bed and get on my phone. I think I will try and take at least a weekend of being ‘phone-free’ and see how that goes.

Speaking of that new Social Media Culture, the second thing I noticed last night was the change in the way we capture the moment. Last year I was also a judge at AUS Got Talent and after the event, several of the students came up to take photos. You know that feeling of asking someone to take a photo for you and worrying that they won’t have the proper photography skills and not get your good angle? Well there seems to be no need to worry about that anymore because last night, no one asked me to take a photo with them. Instead, they came up to me and said “Sheena!!! Selfieeee!!!” and would throw one arm around me and stick the other arm out with their smartphone at the end of it and *click* – moment captured and ready to be shared and tagged on the world wide web! After experiencing this I just had that dreadful “#Selfie” song playing over and over and over in my head… if you haven’t heard it, here you go:  (listen at your own risk :P).

And finally, the moment that will forever make me crack up whenever I think of 50 Cent!

My friend was walking next to me and she could feel this guy staring at her. She glanced at him from the corner of her eye and said to me: “I think that guy is checking me out! Or maybe I know him…” She then turned to get a better look at the perpetrator and burst out laughing. I looked over to see why she was laughing at the guy and realized that it was because it wasn’t a guy at all – it was a CARDBOARD CUT OUT of 50 Cent! Maybe you just had to be there, but I thought it was hilarious! My abs still hurt from laughing about it and I giggle every time I look at the picture of Hemani with Fiddy:

aka the weirdo who was checking her out...

Hemani and Fiddy…aka the weirdo who was checking her out…

Overall, a great event and I can’t wait to be a part of it again next year! Well done, AUS! You really do “got talent”! 🙂


Product Review: The Ultrabook

Today was a sad day. I had to return the Dell XPS 12 Convertible Touch Screen Ultrabook that I had been given on loan for a few weeks and I must say I became quite attached to it! This little gadget quickly became my best friend over the last few weeks as it came with me everywhere and helped me to do just about everything!

I finish The Sheena Show by 1pm every day and am usually out of the office all afternoon. Although people think that I only work 3 hours a day (my radio show is from 10am – 1pm on Radio 1, 104.1/100.5FM in the UAE), the truth is – the work never stops! Everything I do and everywhere I go has potential to create content for the show. This is where the Ultrabook came in super handy! First of all, the ultra-thin, light and sleek design made it so easy to throw it in my bag and carry it around with me so I always had it accessible. Secondly, I could use it for so many things from making quick notes about things I needed to remember (using a funky post-it note style interface), taking quality photos and posting them up on social media, sending important emails, sharing presentations in meetings, reading scripts for MC events and even watching Suits! The screen and sound quality were perfect for streaming Youtube videos or using Skype.

The best feature of this Ultrabook is that it’s a laptop and a tablet in one. You can actually flip the screen over to turn the full-keyboard computer into a 12″ touchscreen tablet. This allowed for ease of use depending on what I was working on. For example, when writing emails or a blog entries, I HATE using touch screen devices so being able to flip the Ultrabook into a proper laptop was so helpful and I was able to type faster with less typographical errors. The Intel processor also made sure battery life lasted virtually all day, something I need when I’m constantly running around with no power plugs to be found!

The Ultrabook uses Windows 8, which I was apprehensive about at first because it looks completely different (although much prettier) than other interfaces I have used before. To my delight, not only were there easy-to-follow tutorial videos on how to use the device and operating system, the computer itself even TALKS to you and helps you navigate through by voice. I even started talking back! (Surprise, surprise! :p)

To sum it up, it has only been a few hours since my separation from the Ultrabook and I’m already itching for it while typing this! Too bad my birthday isn’t for another 10 months!!