‘Curiously Grotesque Images’ – Selfies With Celebrities


“It is a curiously grotesque image. While a tightly packed crowd all took selfies with the Democratic party’s US presidential candidate, a sly photographer slipped around the side. The resulting view is unflattering – not only to Hillary Clinton but the crowd. They all have their backs turned to her while they hold up phones to take pictures of … themselves, with the blue-suited HRC in the background. No one seems to want a picture just of the candidate. It’s a selfie or nothing. Meanwhile, waving and smiling, Clinton cuts an eerily isolated figure on her little stage, up against the wall, separated from the selfie-shooters by a railing, like a Francis Bacon Pope in his glass booth.”
– from The Guardian, 26 Sept 2016

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Imagine meeting somebody you’ve always wanted to meet, and then turning your back on him or her!

‘I feel less anxious and less like a failure’ – Young People Quitting Social Media

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‘I feel less anxious and less like a failure’- Daisy, 23, Manchester

After a romance ended with a guy I really liked, I kept trying to avoid Facebook so I wouldn’t have to see him. It was after this that I gradually switched off from it, but before that I’d been wanting to quit for a while.

Facebook made me feel anxious, depressed and like a failure. When I went online it seemed like everyone was in Australia or Thailand, and if they weren’t travelling they were getting engaged or landing great jobs. I felt like everyone was living the dream and I was still at home with my parents, with debt from my student loan hanging over me.

I also felt that if I wasn’t tagging myself at restaurants or uploading photos from nights out, people would assume I wasn’t living. I remember a friend from uni said to me once, “Yeah, but you’re still going out having fun, I’ve seen on Facebook.” I tried to present myself as always having a great time. If my status didn’t get more than five likes, I’d delete it.

My life has changed for the better since deleting social media. I now enjoy catching up with my friends, and when they tell me new plans my response isn’t just, “Yeah, I saw on Facebook.” It makes you realise who your real friends are and how social media takes the joy out of sharing news with people. I also feel less anxious and less of a failure.

I’m planning to visit a friend in Australia next month, and she and my mum and a couple of other friends want me to go back on Facebook to share my pictures. I’d really prefer not to, though. I’m on Instagram, but I mostly follow sarcastic quote pages. I’ve never had a Twitter account.

from ‘Does quitting social media make you happier? Yes, say young people doing it’, Sarah Marsh, The Guardian, 21 Sep 2016

Entrepreneurs promote‘NoPhone Air’ for people tired of being glued to their devices


“We are very proud to introduce the least-advanced NoPhone ever,” he said at a technology conference in Canada this month. The NoPhone is a plastic rectangle that looks like a smartphone but does absolutely nothing. More than 10,000 have been sold in the past two years for about $10 each.

The latest model is simply a plastic package with nothing but air inside. Mr. Sheldon and his business partner, Van Gould, call it the NoPhone Air.

“We took away the headphone jack. And then we took away everything else,” Mr. Gould said to the crowd. “It may look like nothing is in this packaging. But that’s what’s so beautiful about it.”

As millions of people around the world race to buy Apple Inc. ’s new iPhone 7 and wireless AirPods headphones, Messrs. Sheldon and Gould are part of the growing smartphone-resistant counterculture. They were inspired to make the NoPhone, pitched as “a fake phone for people addicted to real phones,” after seeing everyone at a rooftop bar in New York glued to their smartphones.

– from ‘Hey, Check Out My New Phone! It Does Nothing.’, by Ryan Knutson, WSJ, 20 Sep 2016

‘Dysconnected’ on CBC Radio’s BC Almanac with Gloria Macarenko (20.Feb.2016)

It was a very pleasant experience, visiting the CBC building in Vancouver for the first time, and meeting Gloria Macarenko, a very gracious and skilled host who Canadians have been listening to on-air for 25 years. I enjoyed the discussion: I’m sure it could have gone on and on, as there are so many facets to this issue. Take a listen to the ‘Dysconnected’ interview, it starts at 24:28 in the mp3:

You can also find the audio for the interview HERE.
And the CBC released a news article based on the interview, HERE.