Monday, 10 September 2018


People constantly say – “I’m so stressed”. Not surprisingly as there’s so much going on in our daily lives. We’re  constantly fending off marketing, vouchers, free trials and those extraordinary online research questionnaires. Yes, I’m sometimes guilty of buying products on Amazon (not just guilty, I’m a serial Amazon shopper) but do I need a long set of questions about whether I was satisfied with my service and would I recommend this service to friends? If I went around saying “I really recommend buying Olaplex on Amazon it’s a great experience” I soon wouldn’t even have any friends.

We’re stressed because so many different voices are tugging at our sleeves demanding attention. The modern world has become like a needy three year old. There are a lot of things that we could do. We could do worse than remember the words of counterculture guru of the 1960’s , Timothy Leary who said: “Like every great religion of the past we seek to find the divinity within and to express this revelation in a life of glorification and the worship of God. These ancient goals we define in the metaphor of the present — turn on, tune in, drop out.”

I’m not suggesting we turn psychedelic or turn to drugs although seeing Elon Musk recently as he paraded on TV smoking an enormous joint made me wonder. I am just suggesting we “drop out”.

We are mostly not digital natives. 58% of the world’s population (nearly 70% in the USA, UK and Europe) were born in an analogue world yet a lot of us are playing a game that’s alien to us.  We are like fathers dancing – slightly embarrassing.

Twitter has been made ridiculous by Trump and by the rest of us tweeting stuff like “Eggs for breakfast today. Made me think of farmers and the CAP. What happens after Brexit? Shame.” Which is slightly embarrassing. Or Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat and the rest which have their place as marketing tools but as real tools of human communication…well I wonder. As I do about mums posting pictures of their little ones on social media whilst disallowing anyone  to take a picture of them at a school sports day.

The answer is complete abstinence. The son of a great friend is 17 and has just done GCSEs. He got 9A*s and an A. He’s now left school to devote 100% of his life to making an already highly-rated band a real success. He has cancelled all his social media accounts saying they are complete timewasters and mere organs of trivia distracting him from practice, song writing and recording. Social media to market his brand is being left to marketing guys. Time for us all to start doing the same. Look we’ve tried it, given it a decent chance and now it’s swamping us. So, be ruthless fire it.

And as for our mobiles try the Nokia 3310 and stop looking at it. It’s a tool not your lover.

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