Technology: Great for communication, death sentence for relationships.

Technology is an amazing thing. It opens up possibilities that previously were not thought possible. With the rise of electronic communication, the art of face-to-face communication has been lost to technology.

According to a survey conducted by in 2012, Facebook has 1.4 billion users worldwide, with 98% of these being aged 18-24, a number that has surely increased now. This only equates to just 11% of the people on earth but is still a lot of people – and that is just Facebook- we did not dare to look at the rest of the apps out there.

I am guilty of spending too much time on my phone; what used to be mornings spent curled up watching tv in the arms of my other half, are now spent checking Facebook status’s, online newspapers and Twitter updates. This means that the art of conversation lost and intimacy becomes a thing of the past.

Going on a date recently was the real eye opener. Cameron and I always leave our phones on the restaurant table incase of an emergency but these are left untouched. We spend the time focusing on each other and catching up on anything that we may not have discussed via text or call during the week (we used to rarely see each other, now we live together). This appears to not be the case with a lot of people. We were shocked at how many people we saw sat there with friends/family/partner, not talking and sitting on their phones constantly. The cinema is not an escape from technology either; not only am I forever seeing the dull glow of the screen as a viewer looks at the messages and Facebook but the cinema seem to have accepted this. At the beginning of the film the cinema challenges the audience to a trivia question in order for them to win prizes. Whilst this is a good marketing strategy, I do feel a little cheated of the cinema experience.

Social networking is not all that bad. It has expanded the way we communicate; making it faster, easier and more cost effective to speak to people all across the world. I have a pen pal account where, on a day to day basis, I can talk to people from overseas with the click of a button (although I prefer snail mail). It is also a way to keep in touch with people for those who can not afford to buy stamps etc. Whilst the method of communication is expanding, I do feel the personal touches of traditional mail is lost to the clinical feel associated with technology. The generation of today will rarely feel the excitment of recieving a handwritten letter from someone – a text is just not ths same.

Due to complications of moving, I am without internet at home until 30th April, the change in productivity is apparent. I wake up in the morning and spend time getting the flat tidy or lunch prepared for work – this morning I went to the gym for two hours- and I talk more to my other half. We always sit at the kitchen table and actually talk, a novelty that had started to wear off with us as we shared the latest slogan covered picture together.

Work is not any different. On the weekends, with lack of managerial supervision, the phones come out and productivity is markably reduced.

So I am setting myself a challenge – 40 days with no social networking – only using internet to blog and email. How hard can it be?


Welcome to the Sixties?

Welcome to the Sixties

2013 marked the return of the sixties to the fashion world. Bright colours, bell bottom jeans, little flesh and sexy style hit the stores following the Spring Fashion show. I myself am guilty of wearing this fashion- I am typing this in a 60’s inspired polka dot dress with a fitted cardigan to really make the skirt flair.


Clearly perfect for the fashion of the day


The return of this fashion trend is not a bad thing- in fact I think it exudes elegance – but the thoughts of the times appear to be coming back. Listening to my mother discuss Christmas Day; she informed me that it is really a women’s holiday and that if they did not decorate, cook, clean and organise presents then nothing would be done. This is not true of every household I am sure; in fact, my boyfriend’s father is the man who decorates the whole house (and I mean the whole house) but it seems the cooking and organising is mainly down to females.

I started thinking about this more recently when I overheard a colleague of mine stating that office work ‘is more of a women’s job and that men should have more physical job’. Looking at the UK National Statistics for 2013, women are still not being paid the equivalent of men for performing the same tasks.

I am reluctant to write the following statement for fear of being branded a feminist but I do think that jobs from certain industries are suited predominantly to females- these industries are those that require a high level of empathy, organisation, patience and attention to detail – Those roles such as secretaries, mothers, nurses and carers. I am not by any means stating that men can not be good at these jobs, I am sure they can, but I feel that they are mainly suited for women’s strengths.

With the apparent resurrection of the sixties; does this mean that the world will change as much as it did in the times?

I know that for women the sixties opened their eyes to a world that they previously never knew. Women were recognised for their work and were given the opportunity to carve careers if they so wished. The women’s liberation movement campaigned for women to have total freedom in education, careers, sex, abortion and all manners that previously were frowned upon.

Men, of course, did not like the independence that women gained with having their own pay cheque. They were no longer the ‘second sex’, they could be independent if they wanted to and did not have to be stuck in loveless marriages.

The tables are well and truly turned now with just as many women, if not more, are going to university and entering high level jobs. Lawyers, Doctors and Barrister roles are no longer secluded to just men. Even our Royals are showing the rise of women; Princess Katherine secured her place at Eton with an A and 2 Bs where as Prince William got an equally respectable A, B and C.

With this in mind, I cant wait for 2014 and what change it will bring for women, can you?

Where are all the good Samaritans?

Growing up I was taught the basics; morals and ethics that at the time appeared to be the societal norm. Closely resounding that of the ten commandments I was taught a complex amount of values that I live my life by and I thought that others do to. That was before I read the appalling article in the Daily Mail about a 22 year old who was kicked off of a bus at 3am for simply being 20p short on her fare and subsequently beaten and raped by disgusting attacker Joseph Moran.

According to Daily Mails ‘Platell’s People’  the public simply passed her by. Have good Samaritans ceased to exist? Are people so scared of repercussions that it stops them from providing basic help to those who need it?
Now our family have experienced enough pain in the wake of being a good Samaritans, whilst trying to get a hot chocolate for my sick Aunt I witnessed a murder and my brother ended up in a coma as a result of protecting a women in need of help from the hands of her attacker.
Yet when my mother and I walked home and saw a women passed out on the floor I was the first to go over to help her and subsequently called the ambulance. I don’t know what happened to her, but I sleep safe in the knowledge that I did everything I could.

What has happened to the sense of community we used to have? I used to be able to simply walk into my neighbours house and relax with them, I used to climb my fence in the back garden and talk to the guys next door yet now all windows and doors are locked whilst we sit in fear of thieves, rapists, murderers and general communication.

So I am interested in your stories? What would you have done, have you been a Samaritan? Let me know, and share the blog around?

Serial killers, media and ramblings.

I realised I only have one reader of my blog so wanted to say Thank you to Miss Whiplash. I finally found her blog because my laptop decided that it liked the blog today…it is very temperamental.

I am trying to blog almost every day as my blog can be anything I want it to be I’m sure. I have 3 but 2 are professional blogs so my journalism work is what goes into that. Right now I am thinking about serial killers! Dont worry, I haven’t snapped and decided to be one but my dissertation is on serial killers and the media that creates them.
If serial killers want to achieve infamy and the media give it to them, doesn’t this in effect make us guilty. Make me guilty as an avid follower of media covered trials! I have watched the Conrad Murray (Micheal Jackson Dr) trial for the last few weeks and listened to the arguments. He will clearly be found guilty and not because he is guilty but because when such an iconic man dies people want an answer. They wont be satisfied by the fact that Jackson was an old man in a lot of pain who just wanted some relief so they find a scapegoat and Murray is it.
Fred and Rose West, Jack the Ripper, Yorkshire Ripper and all the killers in between are ingrained in our minds as people who kill. Simply put, but by watching it and buying the papers who cover it, aren’t we encouraging those ill individuals who believe that the only way to be famous is to murder?

Just a thought! Sorry for the ramble.

305 Summer task: Power

“Power is not an institution, and not a structure; neither is it a certain strength we are endowed with; it is the name that one attributes to a complex strategical situation in a particular society.””                
(Michel Foucault)

Choosing a museum was the hardest part of this task, I have spent many an afternoon trawling around London and visiting all the museums from the prolific Imperial War museum to the lesser known medical mystery museum. My favourite, that I have been to repeatedly despite the fact its attractions hardly change is The London Dungeons. Even as you queue outside, actors come out dressed as characters from history to entice you. I have spoken to a judge of traitors gate and have smelled the burning flesh of Bloody Mary.

I love this museum as it brings history to life, the way it is set out is you walk through each exhibition and they make you feel like you’re in that era. For instance they, like many other museums, have a section based on Jack the Ripper. I have read a lot on him and thought I knew everything but nothing could prepare me for walking down the alleyways and hoping that I was not Jacks next victim. The only thing I think needs to change is that the London Dungeons only tells the horrific parts of history and I don’t think you get a full picture. Sure it brings history to life, but sometimes you want to sit and read all the facts.

The museum has almost become a part of me as I have grown up, with an interest in horrible histories as a child, I believed that the only importance in historical events is the gruesome details. Obviously, as I have aged, this is changing and I’m realising that no element of history is ever ‘simple’, whenever I go to the dungeons I feel as if I am learning all over again. There is so much to learn that it is impossible to do it all in one day.
Also, I feel the museum represents my creative side. Explaining history to my next door neighbour I try hard to keep them interested. Being animated and explaining the gruesome details makes them interested for all of five minutes so the Dungeon gives me brilliant ideas.

Advertising itself as a ‘horror’ museum, I think the dungeon has put a limit on how far its attractions can go. Sure there have been some horrendous acts in history that can keep them in business for at least another 10 years, but what then? And it can not use news as features, an exhibition on horrors in the news would just be distasteful. Going into the museum with this task in mind, I found myself looking at it slightly differently, many of the ‘historical’ horrors are based around myths such as Sweeney Todd, and Bloody Mary. These people may well have existed but the stories surrounding them have been corrupted over the years through the various translations meaning we never truly know the facts.

305 Summer task: Memory

The object I have chosen is small, visitors walk past it everyday without noticing its there, but for my mother and it is a signifier of freedom, independance and alot of hard work. The item I brought back is a small wooden ornamental plate with Brandenburg gate carved into it, for me it signifies the first time I was really treated like a grown up, made to open my eyes and realise that life didn’t stop outside England and that my small town was tiny in comparison. By the time I came home from my German trip, I had decided that I wanted to study history as a hobby and that media was where I wanted to be.

My View: Growing up I was never particularly popular and spent a lot of time learning history, my mum had a degree in it and at 13 I was determined that I was going to follow in her footsteps. When my secondary school gave us the chance to go to Germany and visit Sachsenhausen Concentration camp, I jumped at the chance. I had been reading about the Holocaust and was both fascinated and horrified by what I had read. We were visiting other attractions such as checkpoint Charlie but the day I visited the concentration camp I felt as if my childhood was over, the atmosphere was dark and I felt really emotional as I went around it. The trip signified me truly becoming an adult in other people’s eyes.

Tina (Mum): I am a single mother, so money was always tight and we couldn’t really afford to go abroad on holiday every year so when this opportunity came up I knew I had to send you. I spent weeks gathering the money, borrowing of my sister as well because we both knew how important this was for you to experience. I was so proud as I watched you pull away on the coach, not just of you but of everything I had achieved. I think in a way it only helped cement the view that you didn’t need to have a Dad around as I had proved that you wouldn’t be missing out.

Looking at how mum wrote the meaning of the ornament, I realised that she doesn’t really mention herself, she is proud that she could give me this experience. I think, as you grow up and have children, the way you look at life shifts slightly. Whilst I am still seeing the world as a blur of dreams and possibilities, my mum sees the real picture and how hard life can be so wants to give me the best start. I was raised by 2 very strong, very independent women and that shows in how I am today. Our reflections may be different, but our ideals are very much the same.

The battle of wounded knee

In 1980 there was the Battle of the wounded knee, mine however is a lot less traumatic still painful though =[

Now I am the first to admit that accidents happen, and whilst no one is completely to blame. The other person, who shall remain anonymous was slightly more at fault than me.
Due to the accident at work, I spent a few hours Sunday night in the walk in centre and A n E department of Milton Keynes Hospital with my leg balanced carefully on a chair. The pain in my leg is incredible, and although I’m in no ways a wimp I cried a little to mum.
Apparently there was a bit of a contradiction between the doctor and the xray department. The doctor sent us away, stating there was no fracture, it’d be worse tomorrow then it is today (a thing she is clearly right on) and take painkillers to control the pain. Sitting outside on the cold waiting for a taxi, a member of the xray department calls me back in and says that she has seen a fracture yet somehow in the process of moving computers they have lost it.
I have to go to the fracture clinic on Thursday but until then I am frustratingly stuck in my chair. This is a brilliant academic move as I can write all my coursework and go back to university no more rested then when I got signed off but with my coursework done.

Moral of this story: Work is very bad for you lol