Privacy in the digital age

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God, that’s a wanky title. It’s the sort of title someone who puts “social media expert” in their Twitter bio would give a blog. If you’re lucky I’ll come back and change it. But to be honest I probably won’t.

Anyway – I’ve been thinking a bit lately about how to hold on to some degree of privacy in the 21st century, when we all live online, pretty much all day every day. It’s pretty hard is the conclusion I’ve come to.

Now that’s not much of a blog, is it, so I suppose I better ‘flesh out my ideas’ or whatever it is ‘bloggers’ do.

I was trying to think why I update this place so infrequently. I enjoy blogging, I have plenty of ideas for posts, it’s just getting round to doing it – that’s what I thought.

But that’s not it at all. It’s because of privacy. Yeah man.

I used to do those wildly (a bit) popular 99 girl problems posts where I basically treated you all as a therapist and you laughed at me for being shit at life. But as a therapy session it didn’t work out too well (for me). I wasn’t getting a lot out of the deal. I tended to start them in a weird mood and end them in a weirder one. So I stopped.

Then I thought I could blog about work – but what’s the point in that? Work is work, nobody wants to come home and do more stuff about work when they’re not at work. And anyway, you can’t say anything too interesting as you’re risking giving away secrets and/or getting yourself into trouble with your bosses – unless you’re anonymous – which I reckon defeats the point of blogging. Or boring everyone shitless. Probably mostly boring everyone shitless. Yeah you’re bored shitless reading this blog anyway, I know, I know, you’re a comedian.

Then I was thinking about the more personal stuff I’ve put on here and I thought, maybe I just don’t want to open myself up like that any more? I don’t know what I was expecting when I wrote those posts, really I don’t, but I wasn’t after being laughed at so much. Sure, it’s reassuring, for about a second, that I’m at least providing some entertainment for people, but then after that you just feel shit.

I also stopped posting personal stuff as I’ve been getting into too much trouble for stuff I’ve said – so I’ve been trying not to say stuff that might get me into trouble. I’ve realised this is really dull though, so I’ll probably pack that in in a bit.

And I don’t really want to talk about feelings and stuff anyway. It’s not very manly – and I am very manly. VERY MANLY. And anyway, quite often they’re not very uplifting so I dunno why anyone would want to read them.

And THEN (I’m getting to the point, promise), I realised the reason I seem to have stopped blogging is about privacy. Everyone has gone a bit batshit mental on the internet. Over-sharing is rife. I’m pretty bad for it, as any one of my followers on Twitter would agree. But my argument for that is way before I used Twitter in a semi-professional way (I mean when I got a proper job), it was a very warts-and-all (I don’t really have warts – that’s a metaphor – if I did I certainly wouldn’t blog/tweet about them) thing. Watering it down would make it a bit pointless. Nobody wants to read someone who just tweets about their dinner or some boring fucking conference they’ve gone to.

I stopped blogging because I just didn’t want to share any more. I’ve been considering giving up Twitter as an experiment for the same reason, but frankly I’d rather cut my right ball off and I don’t think I could anyway – tweeting is completely automatic these days, I don’t even think about it. What would I do on the bus? Who would keep the #busnews tag going? These are big questions, questions I do not have an answer to.

But blogging is different. You have to sit down and analyse something, really give yourself (urgh) to the topic. It’s pretty exhausting, emotionally (yeah I went there), and I just don’t think I want to do it any more.

I’m not expecting people to beg me to keep blogging. I wouldn’t want them to – well…maybe a bit. But it’s rude to just leave something hanging empty, so this will be a final post. For a bit. Until I’m bored of keeping things to myself and then I’ll be FLINGING bits of information you really don’t want at you. In the face. So there.


A cover feature

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Hi fans!

Sorry for being quiet again. After unleashing all that rage in the last post I thought I’d give it a rest for a bit.

Anyway, I have news.

There is going to be a magazine, an actual magazine, a printed thing, with my words in it. Better than that, my feature’s on the cover. No laughing at the back – this is a big thing!

Anyway the big thing is Trisickle magazine and you can order it online from, well, now, and it’ll land in a few days. How exciting is that? It’s very exciting.

My feature is about the revival of rock music from the north-east of the country and has an interview with Kingsley from the Chapman Family. I do say so myself, but it’s worth reading. If I was the sort of person to use such words – and let’s face it, I am – I’d call it explosive. BOOM! Like that. Yeah.

Elsewhere in the magazine, you get an interview with a chap called Neil Blender, another with another chap called Ali Menzies, another with Benjamin Sniddlegrass from Cockfosters, some words about Tess Burnet, some words about graffiti, some stuff about games from Scott Goodacre, some horoscopes almost as funny as the ones we used to run in Degrees North (ask your parents, oh actually they won’t know), reviews and all that usual magazine stuff AND a picture of the editor’s cat.

All for less than £3. Please buy it.