On social media

This morning, I deactivated my Facebook account. Again.

I really struggle with the blasted thing, about a week ago I updated my status to say I was having a hiatus, if you needed me, wanted to talk, here is my mobile and email details again. Since then, I’ve had one text and one email.

I’ve popped onto the site a couple of times since then. Once to post in a book club group and once to post my contribution to the crowd fund raising campaign for survivors of Catholic church abuse to go to Rome to hear Cardinal George Bell give evidence. The support this group of people have received is heart-warming. Also Tim Minchin, yes him, wrote and recorded this song, which is simply brilliant. People are complaining that is isn’t an easy listen; totally missing the point that children were abused and the Catholic church covered up the abuse.

They have a right to know what you knew

Anyhoo, this isn’t about that subject, this is about Social Media and how, as always, two dots collided over the past few days.

Stephen Fry has come off Twitter, after Jenny Beavan arrived at the BAFTA ceremony in black, but not in black tie, and he made a joke about his friend saying How like a costume designer to come to an event dressed as a bag lady – or words to that effect.

Jenny Beavan is an extraordinary costume designer, working on films as diverse as Mad Max: Fury Road (which she won the BAFTA for), Gosford Park, The Remains of the Day, Sherlock Holmes and Sense and Sensibility. To be fair, she looked fabulous in a black leather jacket, white shirt, with a grey scarf. She could have come from work, as has been speculated about – but who cares, she looked great.

Then Lindy West tweeted a picture of a comment received on her YouTube channel, where she talked about Candy Corn Oreos, telling her she was an ‘f-ing disgusting pig. KILL YOURSELF’


This woman has been on the end of some truly incredible vitriol. One troll made a twitter account, pretending to be her deceased father, coz that’s sensible. Everyday Sexism gets trolled regularly, people campaigning to get women featured on bank notes in the UK get death threats – what is wrong with people?

I’ve been participating in a study this past few weeks, reducing my online time. Trying to get back in tune with me. Hence me taking a Facebook break, which jumped to deactivating my account as I did not miss it. I’m looking at twitter less, although I am following the Cardinal Pell story. I’ve reduced the people I follow too both on Twitter and Instagram. I’ve barely had my hands on my iPad in weeks, when I looked at Tumblr, I thought ‘meh’.

I’m playing with my son, reading more, running more. I’m still exhausted, still trying to work out what is happening with me health wise. Symptom checker tells me I’m either having cardiac issues or endocrinal issues, at one point listing them all up it told me I was potentially in cardiac failure, um?

Anyway, I like blogging. I like venting to you all. This is more for my benefit than yours, it’s great that you’re along for the ride, but I waffle on for me and clearing my head.

So I guess the study has worked? Mainly because I don’t want to spend my time staring at a screen, it appears I’m done. My friends and family have my details, come and find me. I’ll be in the real world.

On female angst and social media

I’ve not run for two weeks; I feel sluggish, lethargic and decidedly grumpy. For a recap as to why, I had a reaction to something I ate early last week and there’s been another virus run through the office with abandon at work. It has been knocking people sideways, one of my colleagues ended up with pneumonia. The normally quiet working atmosphere has been punctuated with coughing fits and sneezes. I’ve been struggling this week with a sore throat, when I swallow overnight, it wakes me up.

Monday afternoon I took myself home to bed and slept for a couple of hours. I know BossMan wasn’t impressed, but as he gave this to me by coming in fully lurgified on Friday; I knew if I was to get through any more of the week, I’d have to get more sleep under my belt. I honestly don’t think I could have worked the rest of the week out if I hadn’t slept most of the afternoon away. I had the dentist on Wednesday, (I hope he is ok and I that I haven’t given it to him), Hubs is full of the cold too, coming home from work yesterday lunchtime to take himself to bed.

We both had a bad night last night, coughing and spluttering (him), sore throat (me). At 11pm I got up, took some painkillers and a throat lozenge and tried to get back off to sleep. I wanted to go for a run this morning, even laying out all my kit before I got into bed, but I felt so rough when I woke up, I didn’t think I’d do myself any favours pounding the streets in thick fog (the weather not me). I look like a hamster as the glands under my neck are up and I’m achy in my joints to boot.

Here comes the angst part: I’m also ‘on’. One of the ladies at work would be shocked at me for using a euphemism; she’s written a book about explaining the whole process to girls, making it a celebration. Jac hates women being ashamed of our bodies, there’s no other way of saying this: the period I’m having is peculiar. Nothing like normal, I’m not going into specifics – fear not! But while I’ve not run, I’ve eaten really well taking care of myself I pulled on three pairs of trousers this morning and not one of them would meet over my middle.

In despair I shoved myself into a pair of jeans, so I’m sporting a muffin top. I know it’s my body doing its thing, I’m not well, I’m in the middle of my cycle, but I can’t get past that I felt despair because I couldn’t wear the outfit that I wanted to. When did we get to the point where a 39 year old woman, who’s fit and strong, who’s body has worked well, feels ashamed because she can’t fit into a few pairs of trousers?

This past couple of weeks I’ve taken Facebook and Twitter off my phone. I’m posting to Facebook primarily through Instagram, hopping on occasionally in the evening to look at it and only posting to twitter for my company. I’m barely looking at anything else online, therefore the irony of me putting this on a blog is not lost on me, but in no particular order here’s a few reasons why social media and I are reaching a natural pause:

· Ice bucket challenges – there are people all over the world who don’t know what ice is. They have no concept as they’re too busy walking miles to a pump or a watering hole to collect water, sometimes brown water, because that is all they have access to. And people are wasting clean water to raise awareness for a charity. I’m all for awareness, but for goodness sake, why with water? Don’t get me started on Nestle saying that water is not a fundamental right either.

· Kardashians – I wish they would crawl back into the bogan hole they crawled out of. They are not news, but they’re frickin’ everywhere, they’re only famous because one of the daughters made a sex tape. Yes, I’ve had sex too, I’m married with a child so there’s proof of at least one bonk. But maybe I should list it at the top of my CV in future if it means I get unlimited handbags?

· Adverts – the man who inadvertently invented the pop up advert has apologised. Doesn’t stop them appearing all over the place though. More than one blog I used to love reading has so many adverts on them now, the content feels squashed to the side as an afterthought. My twitter feed has gone from being full of pithy fun to full of promoted tweets, adverts for things that might interest me, (they don’t) and retweets of ice bucket challenge videos.

I do love the online community, I love being able to stay in contact with friends and family; but I am struggling with everything else encroaching on that. As money makes the world go round and people are not watching as much TV, so adverts pop up everywhere else instead. I don’t want to have to wade through chaff to get to the wheat, (not that I could eat it when I get there, but that is the only simile I could think of). I’m refusing to buy Nestle products; when we’ve used the last of the few that remain in the house, they’re no longer welcome. I’m recording programmes and fast forwarding through adverts on TV. I’m not buying or reading magazines that belittle and shame women into thinking that their bodies are anything less than awesome. I’m taking my business elsewhere, taking myself offline. I’m having conversations and making love with my husband. I’m playing games with my son and reading books. I’m picking up the phone to talk to people. I’m taking care of myself and choosing life.