Sunday, August 4th, 2013
So I’ve been away for a couple of weeks, in a place where wifi was in short supply. An enforced period of online abstinence was both necessary and fulfilling. I returned to home to East London this week to hear all sorts of stories of women being trolled hard on Twitter with rape threats. Barely back in the country for 24 hours and my blood was already boiling. Then I was online last night and kept seeing the #TwitterSilence hashtag and decided to investigate. So basically Caitlin Moran created it as a response to all the trolling and online misogyny women experience. The best response, in her eyes, is for us all to shut up, silence ourselves, ’cause that’ll show ‘em – show ‘em what exactly, I’m not sure. Having thought about it for about 10 minutes, I decided I would not be participating in #TwitterSilence.
Tuesday, April 9th, 2013
I decided at the beginning of the year I need to reconnect a bit (well, kind of a lot) with real life. My whole life is online and while I love that to an extent and enjoy communicating through that medium, last year I just felt that something was missing. I really just felt an intense need for reconnection to the real, if that makes sense. So, to me that means getting tactile and exploring different avenues of inspiration and creativity. Having a pin board as a visual stimulus was one of the first logical steps for me to start experimenting with that.
Thursday, April 4th, 2013
Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to the Bangs Brand Consultancy. Whether you’re new online and floundering about trying to figure out how to get your word out, or you’re a seasoned internetter who wants to take things in a new direction, I’m here to help you do just that. Having been doing this behind the scenes for quite a while, I’ve decided to put it out there and make it one of the main parts of my business. So, if you need some help building your personal brand online and shaping your business identity by upping your social media game, get in touch!
Monday, March 11th, 2013
We’re all putting ourselves out there online, some more than others. We share through blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and the like. There are apps where we can share what we’re reading, how we’re working out, how many calories we’re ingesting, what images we like, the videos we make. We are really leaving no stone unturned in our sharing these days. We’re sharing each other’s successes, likes and dislikes and in some cases, some of this is turning into us straight up resenting people. It’s important to remember, now more than ever, what we share may not actually reflect the reality. To all extents and purposes, we are essentially curating our lives online.
Monday, April 30th, 2012
When I started running, it was a solitary experience. Running at 5:30am, under the cover of darkness, hoping no one would see me having to take a walk break and nurse a stitch. For my first half marathon in October 2010, Charlie Dark came to my aid and offered to run it with me. Without his support that day, I would most likely still be on the course in floods of tears. That day, I realised the importance of a little encouragement. When I asked if people would like to run my next half marathon in Paris with me, I honestly expected two people to reply. Twenty did. And so, Team Bangs on the Run was born. A happy accident to start with, it has become more than I could ever have imagined.
Monday, February 13th, 2012
You’d be hard pushed to find someone these days who isn’t on some sort of social network. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram…the list goes on. People use them for all sorts of different reasons but more and more often the connections made on these networks can lead to work or real life connections that matter. What’s funny is that even as adults, these things can become a popularity contest. Are we forgetting the real life rule that it’s not how many people you know, it’s who you know?
Monday, June 6th, 2011
People use Twitter for all sorts of different reasons; to network, promote, try out material, converse, vent. Never before have we had the technology at our fingertips to allow us to share our every passing thought with total strangers. But therein lies the problem: real life rules don’t always apply to online life and the lines get blurred. Why is it that the filter we use in every day life gets all but switched off when we connect to the internet? This is especially true when it comes to the public meltdown, Twitter style.
Wednesday, May 11th, 2011
In my first relationship when I was 17, I’d just gotten my first mobile phone. Back then, you only used it if you were actually out and couldn’t be reached on your home phone. Texting was complicated and took us all a while to figure out. No one was really using email that much. Basically, the only way to know what was up with your significant other was to actually hang out with them. Fast forward to 2011 and managing your relationship has become a complete clusterfuck as we all attempt to navigate our way through the myriad of technology that now plays a part in our love lives. So, does blogging and social media ruin relationships?
Wednesday, May 4th, 2011
When the video of 16 year old OG Niki surfaced on YouTube a few weeks ago of her rapping about her various sexual conquests, it seemed the whole of Twitter sat up and took notice. Her opening line about getting it from behind and having ‘six man and a camera’ (for those not catching on, she’s talking about filming an orgy she had with six men), made a few jaws drop. It got me thinking about teenagers and sex in the digital age. Online life moves so quickly and there’s no handbook for how to appropriately handle relationships in that forum, so what is the answer?
Thursday, January 6th, 2011
I spend so much time at my computer, a friend of mine jokes that when we meet in person, there should be a computer screen between us to make me more comfortable. I blog, tweet, email and Facebook my way through every day. Phone conversations are kept short, if they’re had at all and meeting in person can only happen once I’ve finished blogging, tweeting, emailing and Facebooking. It was only over Christmas that I realised how exhausting my constant online life has become. I’m always connected and while I wouldn’t change my life as a blogstress for anything, I gotta admit, it ain’t always easy. So I decided to unplug. Yup, I would go cold turkey. No social networking for a while.
Truth be told, I was going through a bit of writer’s block. I reached a point where I honestly felt I’d said everything I needed to say. Try as I might, I couldn’t find anything I wanted to talk about. My usual methods of twitter conversations, following links, checking online versions of mags and papers for blog ideas were yielding nothing. Could it…is it possible….did I need to step away from the computer and actually….*gasp*…get a life? Then I might possibly have something to write about? Say it ain’t so!
I am a pretty prolific tweeter, guilty of tweeting whatever mind numbing nonsense comes into my head, so switching that off was pretty hard. Admittedly, I did roam around the house for a few hours just saying things out loud and expecting people to hold up an ‘@’ sign and reply to me. It was all a bit weird.
Right, I’ve unplugged from Twitter – what do I do now? Well, how about read a book? Heck, with everything I’ve had going on, it’s been a while since I did that. I picked up a big hardback and tried to dig in. Reading sentences that are longer than 140 characters is hard. I kept having to fight the urge to check Twitter. I felt I was missing out on whatever conversation might be happening over there. Before I knew it, I was 20 pages into this book with no idea what had happened. Clearly, I tried to do too much too soon. A meaty book with an interesting plot line was too much. There was only one thing for it, I had to go with something easier – ChickLit. This was an awful moment of realisation for me. I’d been sent a tacky ChickLit book a few months ago, so I dug it out and got to reading. It was every bit as terrible as I expected, but at least I could whizz through it.
Waiting at a bus stop, being on a bus, fighting through crowds of sale shoppers, enjoying a quiet hot chocolate in your favourite cafe, wanting to share a hideous fashion faux pas you just saw – all of these things are startlingly different when not shared on a social media platform. I only had myself to share my mundane thoughts with – and I’m a pretty harsh audience, I don’t laugh as much or anything, so the whole thing was unrewarding.
However, I did start to get some ideas and all of a sudden, I could string a few words together and write them down. Offline life ain’t all that bad after all.