Being serious in a world that doesn’t want to be

More and more I am seeing a world where people online (especially on social media) want to be the cool, funny one, putting up gifs and memes to point fun at serious situations or people who take things seriously. This to me has been highlighted by the recent EU referendum in the UK.

It seems caring or being passionate about something is some how wrong to the Internet community. It is like playschool all over again. Serious matter or serious people seem to be easy fodder to be ridiculed. I wish more people took things seriously and were supported by others. When a situation is a serious one like the EU Referendum, with so much importance to the future of this country it just shows how unimportant it is to some people when there is a reaction like this. It was like winning the vote was all that mattered to many people and now that it is done, nothing else matters but making fun of those that didn’t and twisting the knife.

Being told to shut up

On my Facebook after the vote I did not see anyone from the leave side of the vote discuss what positives it meant for the country in their eyes, all I saw were memes and people complaining about the vote being told to shut up or being called sore losers.

Just because we lost we don’t all want a second referendum like the Internet seems to make you think. The vote happened and I respect the majority, but that has happened, that is now the past and all I care about is the future of this country. I think caring about this country and the future is something we all need to do and something we should be encouraging others to do, not belittling them for it.

A world of instant communication

Lets be less quick to jump to humour. Lets read, listen and reflect, lets sense the tone and respond appropriately. It is so easy and quick to type something and send it before you have even had time to read something properly or think about what you are saying. This instant communication world we are in can be so good for so many things but in these instances I think it contributes to the more divided society we currently live in.

I love a good joke, good comedy and funny banter but I think timing and place is everything. Being comical to be the cool kid is not the way to go to, I think being comical should be about making people happy, not just to annoy others.

Getting the best out of the Internet and TV revolution

My wife and I are always looking at ways in which we can make our money work harder for us. One thing we both recently did is move away from our iPhones. When we both recently had to upgrade we chose phones that did everything we would want but at a fraction of the monthly cost, saving us a good £40 per month and £480 per year. That money would afford us a brilliant holiday, a home improvement or many other great things.

Cutting ties

Now we have cut our ties with our iPhones we are starting to look at our TV and Internet packages. Our contracts are up in January with our current provider and we are determined to move away to lower our costs. We are currently with Sky because my wife and I are big sports fans, so we got it for the football and the F1 mainly. Since we have been with Sky however they have lost a lot of sporting rights and prices have continued to go up.

So the first thing we are looking at doing is getting our Internet and TV possibly through two different providers. Yes there are great deals out there to have them combined but the problem is you are then tied in to both services and if you start having problems with one you have to keep paying for both until your contract ends.

The other thing we are thinking of doing is purchasing a Freeview+ Box or a Youview box. Yes they are expensive but after that upfront cost everything you view is free and you are not tied in to a contract. These boxes also let you pause, rewind and record TV, these are the features my wife and I most love about Sky. Yes these options won’t have all the sport we want but they will have highlights, some games and some races. I remember growing up not having all the sports channels, I just think I got too used to having them as an adult but now I have realised that I am happy to go back to not having them.

Options

An exciting development is that there are many more specialised streaming options out there at the moment with many media companies having their own subscription service like Netflix so you can buy smaller packages, which are more closely tied to your interests. For instance I am a subscriber to the WWE Network, which I watch a lot and I hear other big players are following suit soon like Disney. I would rather pay for 3 or 4 four small subscriptions to things I like rather than one subscription to 200 channels, most of which I have no interest in.

I think its time for us all to become more media savvy. To pay for what we want and not for what we don’t. Don’t just let your contracts roll on month after month, think about what you want and get out of them if you don’t want to be in them. If you want a better deal, make it happen. My advice if you re happy with the service you have but not the price is to ring the provider up and try negotiate a better deal. The market is more competitive than ever and companies want to keep your custom, use this to your advantage.

Is all media propaganda?

In today’s world I find it very hard to watch, read or listen to any type of media without thinking that there is an agenda and then I start thinking about what their agenda is. This stops me from just getting immersed in any media I consume, because I am always trying to think of what the agenda is and if that agenda is just. It just seems that in this world everyone is trying to convince you to believe something.

Media everywhere

Media is now everywhere; at every moment we have our phone, our tablet, our laptop, our computer, our TV, our radio and our newspapers with us. It has never been easier for people to put something in front of us and try to get us to believe something or think in a certain way. No one has to fight to reach us any more and this is why media is being used so aggressively.

Media to me falls in to two forms, one is media which is overtly trying to persuade you to think a certain way, the other is the media that is subtly trying to get you think in a certain way. To me I think the more subtle pieces are the more dangerous media. We very rarely question why we think in the way we do and I think media is a big contributor to the way we think about the world around us. Sometimes media is affecting us and we don’t even know that it is, if you had to ask yourself why you think in the ways you do, you probably can’t remember the media you have consumed that made you think the way you do.

The media assault

The media assault is helping many people to convince others to think in the ways they want to. Because we are consuming so much media we can’t remember everything we have consumed, this is key for media companies who are trying to go undetected. Do we even know what is media any more? Do we know what consuming means?

When do we turn off from media? Is there any point in our waking day when we haven’t got media around us? I think many of us don’t understand what we are taking in when we have the TV on in the background, are searching the Internet or have the radio on when we are concentrating on other things. Even without realising it our opinions and thoughts are constantly being affected.

I think expecting the world to turn off from media is an impossibility but what I want is for the world to become more media savvy, a world that understands when media is affecting us and why it is affecting us. Lets not get angry when media is affecting us let’s do something about it.

The Baby Business

When you are having a baby the one thing the world wants you to buy in to is how expensive it is. The marketplace wants you to feel the need to spend hundreds of pounds on travel systems, changing stations, toys, clothes, cribs etc. etc. They want this to feel normal. For some this feeling puts them off having children, but I don’t think it would stop many that truly wanted to have a baby.

I however, want the world to stop buying in to this atmosphere, which is driven by the major companies. I would love to live in a world where buying second hand, accepting hand me downs and doing things on a budget were seen as the norm. It is the baby industry, which has driven us as a society to be working parents, with families seeing no other alternative than for both parents to be working just so they can afford all the things they think they need.

Investments

As a parent I want all my investments in my child and family to be about love and not money. My wife and I feel strongly about one of us being a stay at home mum or dad for our child until they have reached school age. We believe this is more important for her development than anything we can buy for hundreds of pounds. We know we have bills to pay, so one of us will always work but we still value time over any financial reward of being away from the house and being away from our child.

Yes we get pram envy when we see people pushing the latest and fanciest ones in the street, yes we see toys and clothes that we would love to buy for our child but what of these things is our child going to remember? I would rather invest money in her long term future like university than things she will only use for such a small portion of her life and have no recollection of when she is older, except for when she looks back at photos.

Shop around

My wife and I make sure our daughter has everything she needs and that we want her to have, we just make sure we get things for the best price. We shop around, look for deals, buy second hand and see what we can pick up for free. Just because you can afford something brand new doesn’t always mean it is a good investment and just because you can’t afford something brand new doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have it.

My wife and I proudly only use cloth nappies on our child because not only are they a great money saver, they are better for her skin and much more beautiful than disposable nappies. Yes they may be more work but that it isn’t a factor in our decision making process, as we just want to do what is best for our child. Best for your child isn’t always buying everything and buying it brand new and this is what I want the world to understand.

Ideas

Last weekend my wife and I made a sensory space for our daughter using ideas we found on the Internet, a box, tin foil and Christmas tree lights. It didn’t cost us anything to make yet our daughter loved it and I think it will aid her development. In this internet age it is easier than ever to get deals and ideas, so there is no excuse to be lazy and just buy the first thing you see.

My advice for this week would be if you have children is to enjoy them, want the best for them but don’t get stressed and worried about affording things as everyone with a bit of effort can get the best for their child.

Pride

A big way to drive traffic to a blog, is putting a link to your blog posts on your social media feeds. Last year when I started the blog I did that for every blog post, publicizing every new blog post on my Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Tumblr. This helped me attract a lot of traffic to the site, with Facebook being my biggest driver of traffic.

Last year I however stopped publicizing my blog on Facebook. I kept publicizing it on all the other platforms but not on Facebook, after I saw friends posting negative things about my blog. After reading the comments my pride was hurt and I didn’t feel confident sharing it on that platform any more, as my blog was all about trying to do something positive, so I wanted to shield myself and the blog from anything negative.

Missing out

My pride and confidence took a bit of a hit, my opinions and my blogs didn’t change but I was missing out on a huge market for my blog. My pride was hurt. I talk a lot in my blogs about stepping out and being confident, but sadly I fell short of what I blog about.

In my blog I stand for a lot of things and am outspoken because this is the way I like to live. I would rather be standing for an opinion and speaking my mind rather than standing against something or hiding my thoughts. I don’t quite 100% agree with it but I do like the quote “if you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything.” I would also rather try and fail than fail to try.

A few weeks ago I got brave and posted a link to one of my blogs on Facebook:

https://adamsibley.wordpress.com/2015/07/08/kingdom-building-not-church-building/

I was blown away by the amount of positive feedback I got and the amount of traffic that came to my blog because of the link. It built my confidence so much that I will now be putting more blog links on my Facebook. It is strange what a bunch of people clicking a like button and typing on computer keyboard can do.

Affecting people

If I was outspoken in an outrageous non-politically correct way, I would understand the negative response but I just never thought I would get any negative feedback from trying to do something positive. I will learn however, that whatever response I get positive or negative, that responses mean I am affecting people and that is a good thing.

I think we are all very prideful people at heart, but a key thing I am looking forward to master is how to take a comment and use it to help educate me, drive me and improve me. You may not agree with everything I think or believe in, but if you don’t I would be more than interested in hearing what you think and believe in. If we all instead of reacting with negative comments, used social media and the Internet to share our own thoughts and beliefs I think the world would be a better place.

A thought and opinion has more chance of impacting the world if it is shared and if you believe in that opinion enough, what people say about it shouldn’t matter.

Words are my Weapons

I truly believe that some of the most important things I have are my words. In my opinion words have the potential to change the world and through your own words you can change the world around you.

Words have the power to inspire, excite, encourage, depress, comfort, sadden, anger and a million other things as well.

Nothing happens without words

If it weren’t for words written in a contract or spoken at a meeting nothing would ever get done in this world. Without using words not much happens. This is why I believe words are one of our mightiest weapons.

I am very passionate about doing something to help those affected by Alzheimer’s and Dementia. I don’t have bags of money and I don’t have the aptitude for science and medical related subjects, so at first I didn’t know what I could do to help. These conditions need a lot more money and research plowed in to them, as I would one day love to live in a world where we knew what caused it and what would actually work as a prevention and cure.

Experiences

All I have to play my part in the fight on Alzheimer’s and Dementia are my words and I want to make sure I use them in the best way I possibly can. With this in mind, I got to work writing a book to share with others about my experiences and thoughts. The book was published last month and I am now using all forms of social media to promote it. Again I am using words to promote my book that is full of my words, which just goes to show that words are involved in everything.

Through my promotion of the book I was asked a few weeks ago to write a guest blog for a leading Alzheimer’s website which was amazing, as now my words are in front of a new audience who may not come to this blog:

http://www.alzheimers.net/4-3-15-unbreakable-bond/

I love this modern age where we can sit down, type words in to a keyboard and then post them online for the world to see and to be stored forever. Every experience can be shared and we can all learn something from each other. My wish through my writing is that I encourage others to share their thoughts and experiences too. There will never be too many thoughts and experiences to share and each one that we do share could literally change someone’s life in a real and meaningful way.

Decisions

The decisions I have made over the year, which have changed my directions in life and got me to the amazing place I am today have mainly been based on words I have read or heard. That is why I think words are so important, as they can change someone’s directions, someone’s thoughts and someone’s opinions, which could help them on the most amazing journey in life.

The Internet breeds distrust

It seems these days that no one will take anything at face value which in a way is a good thing as it means that people are more savvy and are less likely to be duped in to do something bad. If you hear or see something and aren’t sure about it today most people would go on the internet to research it and based on what they saw on the front page of google or on Wikipedia they will make their mind up.

I think this approach makes it harder for charities to raise money. If someone thinks one charity is bad they will blanket all charities with the same opinion so be less likely to give money. Not only this but if they hear one bad thing about your charity they will not look at the hundreds of positives as people only seem to focus on the negatives.

Before the internet charities did bad things but because no one knew about them people still gave to them. Today the internet gives everyone a platform and if one person says something negative about your charity people believe them. No one researches the person with an opinion.

Most information you read on the internet is out of context and if you were in the charity itself you would think differently about the way a charity operates. Charities are trying to do the most with the money they have, like profit making businesses they make mistakes but because they are charities they don’t seem to be given the same grace as profit making businesses.

Charities come under so much scrutiny and in a way that is a good thing but I think it is important that we don’t set impossible standards for them to reach as by doing this they can do nothing but fail.