Is Our Private Life Ever Really Private? often have you been on a night out with your girlfriends or with your man, and have woken up to your news feed covered in pictures of you from the night before?  Starting the beginning of the night looking like Angelina Jolie, eyelashes pristine and clutch bag intact, fast forward a few hours outside the cab rank looking like Amy Winehouse.  Friends status’ where they have tagged you in explaining to the world how many Jagerbombs you did and how many tables you danced on/and fell off.  Our friends and family have now become the local paparazzi’s of the decade.  Watching our every move and threatening to tag us in the end of evening shenanigans.  Not only after nights out but embarrassing quotes we have come out with or unflattering mug shot / side boob pictures of that dress that doesn’t quite sit right.

The recent pictures of young Miss Middleton go to show that not even royalty are safe from the prying eyes of social media.  Weather these were old or new pictures it does not matter.  When Ashton Kutcher posted the picture of his then beloveds behind, Demi Moore on Twitter back in August 2009.  Talk about an invasion of privacy.  Famous or not I think many women would view this as an almost dump-able offence, being snapped in your granny pants by your boyfriend for all to see.  Whatever you may think of the prank, secretly it’s nice to know that celebs are just like us and they wear big granny pants sometimes too.  That they don’t always take a flattering shot and have cellulite like the rest of us (OK maybe she didn’t have any cellulite).

Alongside unflattering photos your friends make take of you, Facebook and Twitter are now becoming excellent reasons to snoop on your partner without them knowing that you are.  Every status update now tracks exactly where you are in the country, and who he has recently become ‘friends’ with.  When he says he is at Steve’s house playing Xbox but his news feed is showing he is actually in Central London you know something’s up.  I was out with a girlfriend the other day; we had been to the cinema and then went for a few drinks afterwards.  Now before I had even ordered the drinks, she had already tagged the two of us on Facebook at ‘The Western Front’ and was taking pictures of the two of us in said pub.  Now not that I have anything to hide from my boyfriend but if for any reason I didn’t want him to know I was there or with that person then I would have no way of keeping that private.  The two of them are on Facebook so can access both mine and each other’s news feeds.  Sometimes it’s not always about wanting to keep anything from your partner or friend, its more about not wanting the whole world to know you’re every move.  Sometimes you may want to lay low if you’ve had a row with your boyfriend, take solace in the pub with a girlfriend for a few hours.  You return home and of course say you have been for a walk to clear your head only to find out when you’ve returned he actually already knows you’ve been in the bat and ball with Lucy.

You can always visit ruletka online.

It’s the pictures of your new boyfriends ex-girlfriend sprawled all over his Facebook profile which you despise the most.  Only after a few months that you demand they are deleted from his life.  Not like the old days when you could just simply hide a few photos in the back of your underwear draw.  Not only that it seems like people’s whole relationships are now decided by what ‘Relationship Status’ you have decided to put yourself in.  If he hasn’t put that he’s in a relationship after 2 months then it’s obvious he wants to meet other women and accept friend request of random girl’s right?  No not true, some men are just that lazy that they are too idle to change it.  My boyfriend’s relationship status was ‘In a Relationship’ as soon as we met (because of course I Facebook stalked him as soon as I found out his last name).  This completely freaked me out as we hadn’t even slept together at this point!  It was only a few months down the line he told me he had never actually changed it from his previous relationship.  Nice.  Personally I don’t have a status as I do not need to tell the world I’m in a relationship nor when I break up with someone to then be in breach of mass pitying on my wall.

Whether you are into social media or not, the fact is someone you know or your friends or boyfriend are more than likely are into it.  The only way to keep your private life private is to stop going out apparently.

(Becca Ripley was at Home)

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Romance is Dead. Technology Killed It

As a child growing up in the nineties my concept of dating was peppered with long phone calls and confessions shyly blurted out after school. Then I got a mobile, along came Facebook and traditional dating went out of the window.

Before if you met someone attractive you would have to speak to them, or risk never seeing them again. Now with limited information, such as a name, you can cyberstalk virtually anyone and track them down. Convenient? Yes. Creepy? More so.

Next comes courting which takes place on online messengers. Never again will you say the wrong thing, as you can think before you type. Sounds great until you take into consideration that at the same time you are talking to various other people and browsing the web. Hardly undivided attention!

The relationship is then made official by a request to make your Facebook status change from single to in a relationship. This does save time telling everyone, but it also takes away excitingly screaming the news to close friends and removes the awkwardly sweet “are we a couple?” conversation from existence.

As the dating progresses the online conversations grow longer and transfer to texts, where you lie in bed impatiently awaiting the next message. Until you fall asleep because the signal is bad and it takes ten minutes for each text to come through, leaving your partner believing they’ve said the wrong thing. No more phone calls talking about nothing for hours, in fact phones generally mean bad news and are dreaded rather then looked forward to. The dependence on text based conversations means that you have to search the deepest points of your mind to remember what your partner’s voice actually sounds like.

Finally – now this is the worse part – the break up. No more heartfelt letters, no more teary meet-ups leaving you with a bittersweet pain. No, now you’re lucky if the break up is a phone call. Dumping can take place with a nonchalant text, or, the worst offensive, changing the Facebook status back. You are left heartbroken with a bombardment of messages asking for gossip when all you want to do is cry in peace.

Then again how can you be sad when you spent most of your relationship flirting with a machine?

Don’t get me wrong. Social networks are great. They keep us in touch with far off friends and unite us in ways not possible before. Technology does have a place in finding people whom you may go on to date, but it has no place in romance. Others may disagree but I find it all impersonal and cold, the invention of the telephone moved communication forward, whilst the invention of text messaging moved it back.

I want to hear every expression of every word because we’ve all misread the meaning of texts at least once before. I want to see people face to face so I know they are genuinely listening to what I have to say. I want an old fashioned romance, chanced meetings and thoughtful sentiments, less space aged technology, more fate and, dare I say it, true love.

Read more here:


Let’s step away from the machines and find real time for each other again.

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Is It Time to Reconnect?

“It’s imperative that we bring children into close contact with the miracle of evolution…and by so doing underline man’s consciousness of being responsible to a unit much greater and more valuable than himself, of which he is part”. (Konrad Lorenz, The Waning of Humaneness)

Has the Western world lost its way? This is a question being posed with disconcerting regularity by economic theorists since the onset of the latest in a series of catastrophic economic recessions.

But one could also pose the same question in a different sense: has the western world lost its way historically, culturally and on an individual level?

We are, it seems, engaged in a frantic search to reconnect with the past, as well as with our roots and origins, whether culturally, through the fixation with retro-referentiality, or personally, through the fascination with tracing our ancestry.

On programmes such as, Who Do you Think You Are? – celebrities are followed as they trace their ancestry, often with distressing or intensely joyous consequences. Likewise, on My Long Lost Family, members of the public engage in an often emotive search for missing relations. The journey to rediscover and to reconnect with, hidden aspects of our ancestral past has become a source of fascination.

We are becoming, it seems, a society that hankers after some mythical ‘lost’ part of ourselves, some missing part of our identity, in order to feel whole again.

There are numerous reasons for this and on several levels. On the cultural level, a type of spiritual ‘homelessness’ is part of the conditions of modernity as identified by the philosopher Martin Heidegger – who coined the phrase ‘we homeless ones’ to describe how nihilism and the rise of technology have precipitated this rift with our roots and with the essence of our selves, leading to a kind of oblivion of being. Disconnection from, not simply the past, but from the higher values imbibed from religion. Indeed, from the many different etymological derivations of the word religion, the mythologist Joseph Campbell favoured the root of the word as being from the Latin re-ligure, meaning to reconnect – hence the title of this piece.

Couple with the rise of the alienating force of technology this has led to a kind of existential rootlessness.

Since Heidegger’s time ( he died in 1976 but published Being and Time, his best known work, in 1927) – we have witnessed the gradual decline of the extended family and the increasing isolation of many peoples’ lives. People – being more geographically dispersed due to job changes and improved travel – are often lonely and cut off from the networks that once enriched people’s lives. In part then, this hankering after a connection with the past is partly due to a very literal sense of disconnection with the present.

Such feelings may lead us to begin the search for our roots, not simply because we want to feel connected to our past but because often these ancestral searches lead us to family members in the present with whom we may hope to establish friendships and connections, rekindling our sense of family in the spiritual sense but also quelling a more tangible loneliness.

Julia Wood - Features Writer

In many ways this search for a forsaken inner wholeness can be an inner journey, a voyage of self-discovery and self-understanding. Knowing where we come from can provide us with a sense of certainty and a degree of emotional security. There is consolation in feeling that we know where we belong, which can help us to feel more grounded. It can reassure us, especially in these uncertain times, helping us feel less cast adrift by the shifting waves of social and economic change. In Heidegger’s worse, less homeless.

But what does it mean on a cultural level, this search for our ancestry and origins, this need to be in touch with our history; the yearning to return ‘home’?

The state of homelessness leads to collective introspection redolent of a culture which has become more introverted and inward-looking. This phenomenon – more notable during times of economic recession – is indicative of a fear of the future and of what the future holds. We don’t like what think we see ahead so we look away; we turn within and we become obsessed with the past.

Of course it is the expansion of global networks and communications that has facilitated these introspective leanings, providing us with access to ever-greater banks of information. The rise of Google and Facebook has meant that we can conduct searches for people with who we wish to reconnect: websites such as Friends Reunited and Find your Ancestry make it especially easy for us to engage with this introspective culture.

Yet, perhaps ironically, it may be the speed with which technology has progressed in the last hundred years which has also become the catalyst for this need to reconnect with our roots. The impetus to return to nature, the rise of the Green movement and the striving to implement ecologically aware ideals into our lives through recycling and grown-your-own produce also reflect a desire to move closer to nature. The rise of the machine has in many ways impinged upon our humanity, moving us from a world of animate nature to the dehumanising world of the inanimate machine.

In the twentieth and twenty-first century machines continue to replace humans: answer machines delivering endless options except the one of speaking to another human being; self-service tills, paying-in machines – these are all devices that interfere with day to day human interaction, creating a fissure between ourselves and the world we inhabit, dehumanising our world through the depersonalisation of our daily interactions and discourses.

We have brought ourselves to the condition of self-imposed exile and alienation from our human origins and only we can extricate ourselves from it, before it is too late. As Heidegger might say, perhaps it is time for us to make our way home.

What to Do About Boring Facebook Baby Talk

Adrian Fernand – Australia’s seriously stylish agony uncle and creator of – answers your questions on life, the universe and everything. This week, Adrian has advice on how to deal with Facebook friends boring you about their babies.

Dear Agony Uncle,

I’ve hit the age where all of my friends are starting to have babies. As a (still) single girl, I’m tired of the endless Facebook status updates about their children’s sleeping patterns and teething troubles. Is it rude to tell them that I don’t care and that they should spare me the detail?

Bored with Babies, Shoreditch

Dear Bored with Babies,

Ah, the good old-fashioned pressure further compounded by modern-day technology. It’s bad enough to have one’s relatives barking in one’s ear about prospective grandchildren, not least when our own peers hit that communal wave of procreation to make us feel insignificant and reproductively-challenged via—heaven forbid—Facebook. It’s as if something’s in the water—an overly fertile amoeba—that ferrets into our friends’ ovaries and makes them spawn like tree ferns, casting offspring asunder; bottled at the source in the State of Utah.

Alas, your friends have entered the next stage of their lives where late-night jaunts and disco pashes are no longer de rigeur, replaced by a demanding little person who screams and gyrates, but not in the good way. Everything that might have mattered once before has now taken a baby seat, their priorities lying solely with the nurture of their infant.

Cut your friends some slack—it’s not easy being a new parent, particularly on three hours’ sleep. If their perpetual dialogue offends you so, use the ‘Hide’ button in your Facebook feed and promptly eradicate their diatribe like a soiled Pampers. And remember: just because you haven’t given birth, doesn’t mean you can’t bang on about your new ‘babies’. Prada heels or a Vivienne Westwood tote are much sexier than news of sleepless nights and baby spit.

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