The Whole World Stops for a WiFi Crock Pot

Last night the UK government voted to start air strikes against ISIL in Syria. Whatever you feel about this action, I thought that the Members applauding was quite frankly crass in the face of the inevitable civilian loss of life. As for the decision, I’m not sure how I feel – I know that I do not have access to the information that they will have at the “top” and so from my living room it’s not a decision that I am equipped to make. From what I can see, I’m not convinced that this is the answer.

But, that’s not the point of this post. That’s just the context.

Over on Twitter journalist Caitlin Moran chose to focus on lighter moments.

Now I don’t watch The Apprentice so this just washed over me as a “whatever” tweet and I moved on. Not everyone felt that way. One woman chose to use this to grandstand a political point. Here’s the exchange that followed and that I stumbled upon this morning.

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I thought that was a bit harsh. I like Caitlin’s views on a lot of things, she often resonates with me, but she’s not the person I would turn to for an analysis on the beginning of a war. Not that her views on the subject are not worth knowing about – just that she is not a paid political commentator and would probably not be having anything other than a personal opinion just as valid as my own. So I found this response to be rather harsh and ill-placed. Caitlin’s response was perfect.

But then I got curious, and let me tell you that curiosity is not your friend on the internet! Who was this woman and why was she feeling the need to beat up on a celeb journalist for being normal? I clicked through to her twitter profile and saw her latest tweet.

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You have got to be kidding! Do people not ever read what they type? Can this woman not see the total hypocrisy in her own tweets? I do not claim to *not* be guilty of stupid comments at times, but this one takes the biscuit and the tea pot to go with it.

Now if you’re not familiar with Twitter or believe the thing about it being all about people telling others what they had for breakfast then let me tell you that in reality twitter is just a platform for people to have conversations, in public. It’s like a conversation happening in a large party – there’s heaps of others around you and they can likely hear what you’re saying. From time to time someone will interject and add their 2 cents to your conversation. If you’re really lucky someone who happens to share the same interests as you will overhear your conversation and join themselves in and you will find yourself meeting your new best friend. Most of the time, you’ll get half snippets without context and you’ll move on to the next conversation.

I couldn’t help myself. I weighed in, and less than half an hour later I got my head-desk response.

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Right. So at this point I think it’s time to close the twitter and go and do something to sooth my brain, like knit or tat.


The Tale of the Foursquare Stalker

Most people who know me know that I love social media – I’m generally one of the first to jump on and try things out. Facebook, buzz, foursquare, twitter, hotspots – you name it. Today I came across this article from a like-minded soul in the US, Shea was Foursquare stalked. It’s something I’ve wondered about, there’s an inherent danger in letting the whole world know where you are and something entirely creepy and horrible about being stalked. It doesn’t make you feel good – it makes you feel vulnerable and that’s a ghastly feeling.

Read the full story here and then read on for a few tips to protect yourself from Foursquare stalkers.

  • Don’t tell the whole story. You don’t need to tell everyone exactly where you are at any minute of the day, you can leave out some venues.
  • Save up and post later – unless you’re there specifically to meet strangers or it’s a venue even your mum would have a hard time spotting you in, check in to it just as you’re leaving or, even better as you reach the next venue, or once you get home.
  • If you’re stalked, get the guy’s details – get his phone number and then call the police!
  • Never ever ever give out your own phone number, address or that of your friends/family to an online place. Ever.
  • If you want to check in at home, as many do, set up your home so that it’s either in a big block of flats, or somewhere not actually your own home – have the map point to the middle of the river, or the shopping centre or some other such place, never have the pointer showing the world where home actually is.
  • Live a virtual life – check in in wild and exatic places that you’ve no way of getting to, make it your fantasy life – the net result is that you’ll be polluting your lifestream with erroneous information, making it harder to stalk you.
  • Above all, remember that everything you say and do online is public.