#280 characters

So Twitter have announced they’re going to double the length of characters to be used in each tweet, from the current 140 to a whopping 280.

Twitter logo

Apparently it’s for the benefit of people who’s languages are more verbose. Which is fair enough – I mean have you ever seen some German words?

Personally I can’t really get on board with Twitter. I just don’t find it that engaging. Twitter users from the blogging community tend to be quite cliquey (controversial, I know) and I see a lot of ass kissing and bullshit on there that I just don’t find necessary or want to partake in. A lot of people use it to say the most inane stuff, which just seems pointless to me. And I think you need to use it pretty much constantly through the day to build up a real rapport and following.

I’m so negative, maybe I’m the problem!

Obviously from a work point of view I use Twitter a lot more, and the increased Tweet size will be useful, but I think the beauty of Twitter has always been it’s bite size nature; you can scroll through the screen and skim read 140 characters pretty quickly, whereas something longer requires more digestion and concentration. It will be interesting to see how it works out, and if it sticks.

What do you think?

On the off chance that you want to follow me in spite of my moaning and protestations, you can find me on Twitter here!

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

Lies, damn lies and politics – Donald Trump is at it again

Donald Trump, 2016 election campaign: “Thank you to the LGBT community! I will fight for you…”

Donald Trump, July 2017: “…the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. [It] cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”

I mean, it shouldn’t be a surprise that a politician told lies to get elected, but this is a pretty huge deal and a downright disgrace.

It’s difficult to tell, these days, whether Trump:

a) realises he’s out of his depth and is making wild decisions in the hope that he’ll get impeached

b) hates Obama so much that he’s just trying to repeal as much as possible that was passed under his Presidency

c) really is just an absolutely bonkers, narcissistic misogynist who hates anyone that isn’t like him, and belongs back in the dark ages

I could go on and on about why this is a bad decision. About how transgender people have as much right to serve in the military as people born in their correct gender. About how the training and selection process to get admitted to the military is so tough that what really counts is your physical and mental strength and resilience. About how I’m sure Trump wouldn’t care about the gender orientation of any member of the military were they protecting him from an assassination attempt (how come no-one’s tried that yet, by the way?)

I could point out that transgender people aren’t a burden to anyone; that the burden they carry is being born in the wrong body and that they’re more of a danger to themselves if they have to stay in that body, and more of an asset to society if they can be who they truly are. I could point out that anyone who has the heart and soul to defend their country and put their life on the line should be welcomed with open arms, regardless of what is or isn’t between their legs or on their birth certificate. I could point out that this is 2017 and America is supposed to be a progressive country, as well as being the land of the free.

But I won’t. Because most sane and rational people know that, right? And if you’re reading this blog you too must be a sane and rational person! ūüėČ

I’ll just leave you with this, from Twitter, instead.

James Corden tweet

Which I thought was so brilliant in it’s delivery, as well as being so powerful coming from a celebrity with a lot of followers and therefore a degree of influence (not enough influence¬†to topple the hairy tangerine, unfortunately).

Bravo James Corden, bravo. And a big fat raspberry to President Fart, followed up with a punch on the nose.

Transgender people Рknow that many of us in the world stand with you, and we admire your strength against adversity; today and everyday.

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

I love you, but…

I don’t know about you, but my social media newsfeed has a lot of people bemoaning the state of the world, the state of politics, putting each other down, putting women down, denouncing feminism and generally just being pretty grotty to each other.

I mean, there is the odd ray of light, but things generally seem pretty bleak right now.

(and I’m aware that I have contributed to afore mentioned misery, before anyone accuses me of hypocrisy!)

So I thought I’d lighten the mood with this article which collates some of the best tweets about marriage/relationships from last year. I can identify with some of them a lot (not saying which ones though, the husband reads this!) but I will admit that the very first one, about the husband not being able to find anything, is probably the bane of my homelife.

manscan-tweet

The husband can’t look properly. He can only manscan. If there’s something in front of an item he’s looking for, like mustard in front of pepper in the cupboard¬†at mealtime, or a shirt tucked slightly behind another t-shirt in his wardrobe, then it OBVIOUSLY ISN’T WHERE IT SHOULD BE. And guess who’s fault that is? Yep, mine. And guess who has to go and find it, if only to prove him wrong? Yep, me!

Anyway, have a read and have a giggle and let me know if you agree with any of them (or what you would tweet about!)

Also, do point me in the direction of any bright and breezy blog posts you’ve written lately to make me smile!

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

The bad end of the Twittersphere – the Ched Evans rape case retrial

This isn’t a post to get into the whys and wherefores of the Ched Evans retrial, or the subsequent acquittal and not guilty verdict.

(for anyone not familiar, or not in the UK, Evans is a footballer who was accused of, and jailed for, raping a drunk teenager in a hotel room. He has been in prison since, but appealed and has now been found not guilty)

If you want to read more about the background to the retrial, the Guardian does a pretty good job of outlining some of the very questionable methods used in the “justice” system.

But this post is about something different. I just want to put this out there as an example of everyday sexism, vileness and male entitlement that exists on social media.

I shared this tweet following the not guilty verdict. I stand by it.

tweet-1

My tweet was picked up by a complete stranger, who wanted to get into conversation.

tweet-exchange

He’s entitled to his opinion, as I am to mine.

What he isn’t entitled to is to say things like this:

tweet-3

I appreciate that social media – especially Twitter – is a platform for people to express their opinion. I respect that. I don’t think everyone should agree with me, and discussion and debate is healthy.

What isn’t healthy is the growing trend for strangers to be rude, aggressive and threatening to people because their opinions differ. This isn’t an “I think you’re wrong and here’s why” response. This is an “I’m trying to intimidate you and threaten you and make you feel like rubbish” response.

Why? What possible enjoyment can this lowlife have got from being an obnoxious, vile, ignorant person?

Not content with that, he expanded his hatred further:

tweet-4

Now, if not wanting to be raped makes me a feminist then yep, guilty as charged. That would also make every woman on the planet a feminist.

And why is that such a bad thing? Why is it used as a dirty word to insult women who care about themselves, each other, and women’s issues?

I love social media, with a passion. I think it’s amazing for connecting people – friends and strangers alike. But I also believe it’s contributing massively to a decline in society, attitudes and morals. There is no¬†excuse for belittling sexual abuse or¬†sexual abuse victims, or using rape as a threat or, more disturbingly as is the case here, a measure of attractiveness. Bonehead is trying to tell me I’m not attractive enough to be raped. Well, thank fuck for that, eh?

It’s alarming that people feel suitably empowered to say such disgusting things without fear of recrimination. That they’re willing to put their face to a level of vitriol they would probably never say in a face to face conversation.

And it’s alarming that the social media generation will grow up seeing such behaviour and believing it’s acceptable.

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

The phone phenomenon

Last week I read this article in Stylist magazine. And it really resonated with me, as I’m sure it does for a lot of people.

I’m hugely guilty of mindlessly flicking through my phone most nights, not with any real purpose, but just because it’s there. I’ll play a couple of rounds of Candy Crush (don’t judge me!), look up TV characters on Wikipedia while we’re watching a show, or scroll through Twitter activity. I keep promising myself that I will take my focus away from this mindless behaviour and do something more constructive, like read a book, but it rarely happens.

Even if we’re watching a film, I can never fully immerse myself and concentrate if my phone is on the sofa next to me. I get twitchy. I should probably just banish it to another room.

I’m not glued to my phone, but I do use it as a crutch – if we’re in a pub and I’m sitting on my own while someone’s at the bar, for example. And that’s just normal behaviour now I think.

One place I do totally switch off is on holiday, yet only when I’m abroad, weirdly. It used to be because the cost of using internet was so prohibitively expensive, but now it’s because of that feeling of getting away, being totally separate from everyday life, and not knowing what inane crap is going on in the real world. I relish it. I actually get quite cross with people who are very socially active during holidays. Get out there and live it people! Upload your photos when you get home. We’ll all survive if we don’t see your hotdog legs/roman ruins/swimming with dolphins pictures within a minute of it happening. The news that Mount Fuji is to get a WiFi signal because people are disgruntled that they can’t immediately upload selfies when they reach the summit is ridiculous. You’ve just conquered a mountain. Breathe in the air, check out the view. Don’t start pouting and posing and making sure you look your best for your audience at home.

Admittedly, for some reason on breaks in the UK, I do dip in and out of social media and emails. I have no explanation. Maybe it’s because they’re usually just a couple of days (I don’t know why that would make a difference). Maybe it’s because, geographically, you don’t feel as far away and therefore not as removed and switched off. Maybe I’m just a hypocrite.

However, whilst in Wales this weekend the signal was so intermittent that I hardly bothered. And it was liberating. Knowing that I couldn’t use my phone was so much easier than making a decision not to use it. Although on the odd occasion the signal did reappear I felt compelled to check in, just in case (of what, I’m not sure!)

Anyway, I’m going to try and make a change. Ditch the phone and be more productive. Now let me just go and check my texts…