What About the Future?

From my recent blog post, I have found that a lot of my audience are very, very reliant upon social media. However, people do understand the security that is advisable, and available, and put it in place.


50% of people who voted on the poll admitted to sharing a few bits of personal information here and there, but the question is: with that small amount of information being online, is it possible to find out more than is voluntarily published? I’m not, by any manner of means, saying that you should stop sharing information, but if you’re in for a penny, you’re in for a pound. See where I’m coming from?

Of the 12 people who voted on the poll, only one person voted on the third option; which is alright, but it got me thinking about the future. If I were to conduct the same research in a year’s time, would I have a larger readership because everyone would be online? Would more people vote for the “sharing all my personal details” option?

There are lots of theories about the future of different aspects of social media by lots of bloggers (I mean just Google “the future of social media and you’ll get all sorts of information) but the best blog I have found that breaks-down the figures is this one: The Social Media Explorer

Personally, because of the votes I received, I think people will start to just live their lives online. But that’s just from the poll results of 12 people. What do you think? Will people just sit at home and live through Facebook? Or will the popularity of social networking sites dwindle?

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Keep Your Private Life Private!

The internet is the most widely used resource tool available. Fact. These days, social networking sites are popping-up all over the web and with Facebook being likened to the fourth largest country in the world by population (source: Mark Zuckerberg) it’s really no surprise that it is becoming a cultural phenomenon.

There have been previous cases of dangerous internet uses. Everyone is aware that child-groomers utilise the internet and that if the necessary precautions aren’t taken then danger lurks around the corner. But we hear the term “internet danger” so often that it may lack in meaning.

What is a danger? Surely, if we put information online, we are responsible for it, we started it and we should understand that people all over the world can access any given piece of information online. That could be anything. In Tyler Clementi’s case, someone else posted the video content, which Tyler had no control over, he probably didn’t find out until a fellow student confronted him.

The problem is that people don’t understand the power of the internet. It was created for use by the military, essentially to transmit and receive information, nothing near as complex as today – which is why nobody can begin to comprehend the vastness. Everyone is at risk and it can be avoided, particularly if you don’t share all of your personal information. Check this out if you don’t believe me:

The most obvious risk of the internet is letting your personal information fall into the wrong hands. Everyone worries about their bank details and home address being known by ‘frauds’ or people who could potentially lead to your life being miserable. But more importantly, people seem to be sharing personal information anyway.

LiveJournal, created in 1999 is the ‘original’ blog and diary website where people share everything about themselves with an online community. As of May 2, 2010, LiveJournal published that they had 26,076,807 accounts with an exceptionally large account-holders being 30-year-old women.

John Eldridge is a lecturer at the University of Glasgow and psychologist who specialises in social theory and the media. “Private people, sharing information online can be boiled-down to two things: a desire for acceptance and to burn-off steam-not necessarily negative steam. But an online journal can sometimes fill the void of needing to feel ‘in-charge’ of something, plus some people just love writing.”

Sharing personal information online on LiveJournal, Twitter and Facebook is baffling. Why would you, yourself, post such compromising information to be online about yourself? It’s bad enough having an actual diary in which to rant, but the same could happen to that as your internet site – it could be found!

For the full version of my news article, which I suggest you read, then click here.

For the news story of Tyler Clementi click here. If, after reading the story, you want to pay your respects for Tyler on Facebook, then do so here.

This page might make you change your mind about updating your private blog site.

If the Securelist site and the YouTube video don’t make you change your mind, then go to www.pleaserobme.com and have a wee mosey.

Vote on the poll:

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The Cat in The Hat, but when it’s put in a bin, well that’s just UNACCEPTABLE!

We all remember this, don’t we?

Yeah? Well, I hadn’t actually seen the video until I read a recent article about Mary Bale – the notorious “cat-in-the-wheelie-bin-lady” – and her new-found infamy. It wasn’t really a sit-down interview with a top journalist, but it did reveal that she had been visiting a dying relative every day, on top of a tedious bank job (which she has had to be signed-off of because of depression – not caused by the cat trauma, but because of her dying father). Poor Mary.

Yep, I feel sorry for her. Cats end-up in bins, virtually, on a daily basis and no one cares. She was just really, really unlucky that it was caught on CCTV and in her defence, she did stroke it before semi-traumatising it – nobody knows whether the cat was traumatised or not, which is lazy reporting if you ask me; I would have jumped right in there and gotten a cat-pshycoanalysis just to prove that she actually caused the animal no harm whatsoever.

Mary Bale (Copyright: The Mirror)

Mary Bale is still being victimised because we, as a nation, have opted to side with the cat to the point that there are Facebook groups declaring their hatred for this poor woman who has just lost her job and her father. Great Britain, you should all be ashamed!

Maybe the story acted as a diversion from the other news stories going on at the time; the floods had just happened in northern Afghanistan, there had been a street battle in Beirut, Lebanon between Hezbollah and a Sunni group and a car bomb had exploded in Karbala in southern Baghdad.

I hate to use stereotypes, but times are hard just now and lot’s of people are feeling the impact of the government cuts and are probably really angry at Nick Clegg frustrated at the price of sending their teenagers to university or are annoyed at forking-out an extra 3p for milk. I know that the cuts are shaping-up to be much more serious than just that, but we’re up-in-arms about a woman who threw a cat in a bin. There are bigger problems than who threw what cat in which bin.

Laugh at cats here!

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Philippe Croizon, My New Hero.

Every once in a while you hear stories that restore your faith in humanity. One such story is that of Philippe Croizon, a quadruple amputee who swam the channel yesterday. I don’t care what anyone else says, that’s amazing; I mean, I probably won’t ever swim the channel, and he did it with no arms or legs … Wow.

The problem with media today is the focus on negativity, never achievement or positive outcomes and I think that’s why I am so in love with this story. This is a real news story and when I first read it, I smiled like the Cheshire Cat from Alice and Wonderland.

Mr Croizon set himself a 24 hour target and managed to complete the swim in just over 13 hours and has become the fastest disabled person to complete the challenge. I’d like to reiterate, I will never swim the channel, I probably wouldn’t be able to, can you imagine doing something so strenuous for 13 hours? I can’t imagine doing something like that for anything over 30 minutes! Philippe stated that at no point did he feel that he wouldn’t complete the challenge despite the constant aches and pains that were surging through his body constantly. Yeah, this man is my hero.

Philippe’s father said that the conditions for channel-swimming yesterday were perfect for his son and that at one point there were three dolphins swimming alongside him, which he took as a “sign of good luck“. I don’t think I’ve ever been as proud of anything as Philippe Croizon’s father is of him and that’s beautiful.

To read the full story on the BBC website, click here.

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Let’s Reflect, in a Godlike Fashion.

The Pope, head honcho of the Catholic Church. We all know who he is and that he’s just finishing his four-day state visit of the UK. State visit? Yes, Benedict the XVI was granted a state visit. He doesn’t run a country does he? Well, if the Vatican City is a country, where has its Olympic team been for the last age?

I’m not going to go on about my own issues with Catholicism or the Big Man himself, but I would like to point out that in the Daily Express the day after he visited Bellahouston Park in Glasgow, the Pope acknowledged the child molestation charges that some priests have been found guilty of. I think that must be embarrassing for him more than anything, but way to point out the bleedin’ obvious Benedict!

No no, I’d much rather just think about the positive from his visit. I think it’s beautiful that so many people have such strong faith and are given such a morale boost by just seeing the Pope, which is why it’s so disgusting that the charges against the Church even exist. The Pope has a duty to spread the message of God to the people and somehow I don’t think God’s message includes feeling-up young, helpless boys. Mind you, I’ve not read the bible, so if you’ve read the bible, let me know what it says.

Although belief and faith are beautiful traits and should be admired, a great man once said Blind faith in your leaders, or anything else, will get you killed.” which is completely true, OK, maybe not killed, but your feelings could certainly get hurt; and nobody on the planet has the right to make another human being feel like their parade’s been rained-on … That’s just mean.

Anyway, I’ve found a nice wee news story about the Pope and his truly British visit … Click here.

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Social Networking … Taking Over the World?

OK, this might sound quite hypocritical, coming from someone who is an active  member of virtually every available social network, but I think it’s a waste of time. Do people really have to tweet about every minor thing that happens to them on a daily basis? Or update their Facebook status two or three times a day? Apparently that’s the world that we now live in.

I know people who say that if none of their friends on Facebook like or comment on their status, they delete it. I’m sorry, but I wouldn’t expect anyone to make a comment if I broadcast that I had just eaten breakfast. I know it’s nice to share a video or a blog entry (hint hint!), but sitting down at a computer and telling people – who you probably see and speak to on a daily basis – that you “love the sunshine just now” is a little bit attention-seeker-ish.

Anyway, as we all know, China, Burma and Iran have each banned social networking sites, but a university in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania has made the controversial decision to ban them as well. This particular university specialises in courses about the uses of the internet and the university provost, Eric Darr, decided that it would make an interesting experiment. You go Mr Darr!

I would delete my Facebook account if I didn’t need it chat to my friends all over the world (and to advertise my blog) because I just think it’s an anti-social network site; sounds silly, but let me explain … People don’t go out and meet other people anymore or they’ll happily sit at home, on Facebook chat or MSN. But  if social networking continues to boom for the next wee while, then I’m worried that in a hundred years, nobody will be able to converse.

But, you can’t argue with the statistics, we’ll you can as I have just done, but it won’t get you anywhere and people will think you’re stuck in the middle ages … I wonder if the entire Facebook and Twitter community could go a day without checking or updating their statuses. I’m going to try.

Rant over, but have a look at these awesome (in the true sense of the word) statistics published by Socialnomics.

And if you want to find out more about the Harrisburg university social media ‘blackout’, then head on over to The Guardian.

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McDonald’s is bad for you? WHAT!?

I’m vegetarian which, I’ll admit, makes me a little biased when it comes to McDonald’s, but I’m glad someone other than ye olde tree-huggers has made a stand against the grossly huge American fast-food giants.

This advert was made by a medical group based in Washington:

I wasn’t surprised at all that McDonald’s were furious, I would be too if someone went out of their way to put people off my food. The thing is, we all knew that their “burgers” were floor-sweepings and that didn’t put anyone off; in fact, the company have profited from the recession with people opting for cheaper (albeit far less nutritional) ‘restaurant experiences’.

McDonald’s weren’t the only ones who damned the advert, the National Restaurant Association (how McDonald’s are a member of that I will never know) stated it was “irresponsible”. Really National Restaurant Association? Or was it just as irresponsible as selling people the food that the company produces?

Yeah, we all remember their attempt at “healthy food”; the chicken Caesar salads were a disaster! When news got out that the fat, calorie and cost of the salads were more than those of an average burger –  and anyway, who goes to McDonald’s for a salad? It’s like going to the garden centre for milk. It makes no sense at all.

I’m glad someone has tried to tell them where they’re going wrong, maybe they’ve just been telling themselves they’ll start the diet tomorrow for the last 30 years.

Read the full article about the salad/ burger showdown from The Times by clicking here.

For your chance to run McDonald’s click here!

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