I am continually grateful that social media didn’t exist when I was growing up.
That temptation to reply to comments and be incriminated in photos that can now be taken when you’ve no idea there’s even a photographic device present…it makes me shudder.
The opportunity to make an utter fool of yourself is simply too great.
What a vicious pond to try and circumnavigate as a mere tiddler in your teens.
How is anyone supposed to get out unscathed?
And there is not only the risk of making a fool of yourself, but the risk of being made a fool of by others.
The scope for bullying and cruelty is unsurpassed and I dread the day my kids are old enough to indulge in Facebook.
As adults, most of us (or some of us), realise how wise it is to wait before making a response to anything on social media.
Not so when you’re 14.
The old expression of our elders, regarding how things seem better in the morning, does have psychological backing.
If we wait, calm down, and act in a measured way, we are far more likely to be capable of ignoring something that’s wound us up, rather than replying in fury and appearing like unstable loons.
I once posted on Facebook about the amount the government had spent on fireworks in London for New Year’s Eve,
I suggested how those millions might be better spent elsewhere, rather than going up quite literally in smoke. The response it provoked was incredible.
One particular person was utterly incensed (and maybe inebriated given the night of the year), and went so far as to suggest I hang myself in my misery.
A ludicrous over-reaction and one that they may not have made had they waited until morning.
Or at least waited until they could make a measured response.
They may still have thought I was a miserable old bat, but they might have saved face in front of the people who were reading those public comments.
It’s like having ammunition at your fingertips, when your fingertips think before your brain has a chance to.
SUPPORTERS CAN MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE TO TOTAL STRANGERS
I’m excited to watch the London Marathon tomorrow.
Sadly I’ll only be watching on TV and not in person, for there is nothing quite like the atmosphere of watching a live marathon.
If you’ve been out on the streets to watch the Great South Run, or indeed any run, you’ll know how emotional it can be.
The sheer determination of those running, or walking, or crawling, as long as it means not giving up, is awe-inspiring.
As a supporter, you can make all the difference to total strangers.
If someone has their name on their shirt, you can motivate them, scream for them, cheer for them, and help to boost them mentally and physically.
Humanity at its best.
STRESSFUL TO HAVE YOUR HOME IN A STATE OF TOTAL DISARRAY
If you’re decorating your home at the moment, then you really do have my sympathy.
My husband and I, in a moment of madness, decided that it would be a great idea to redecorate our bedroom, both of our children’s bedrooms, and our dining room – at the same time.
We also thought it would be brilliant to swap bedrooms with our eldest.
The reason being that she’s had the biggest room since we moved in.
Like the selfish old parents we are, we thought we’d quite like a bit more space ourselves.
It’s surprising how stressful it is to have your home in a state of total disarray, even if only for a few weeks.
Because our homes are our havens, and where our hearts are.