Older Than Dinosaurs…

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Politicians & Twitter

When the candidates for leader of the Labour Party were announced what seems like years ago now so long and drawn out was the process, I decided to follow them all on Twitter. I hoped that I would be able to get a picture of the candidates outside of the rhetoric and be able to form an opinion of them as people.

Why am I disappointed that it didn’t happen? Most of the tweets from all five candidates consisted of saying “Thanks for your support!” ” Come and meet a b c d or e at such and such place” or how rewarding it was to attend events such as from Ed Balls “just cut a cake at ……. nursery school”.

Moreover, although it wasn’t specified, many of the tweets appeared to have been written by members of their team and not by the candidate themselves. Isn’t that deception?

So at the end of the campaign apart from learning that Andy Burnham supports Brentford, I have no more idea of what the candidates are really like. Trawling through the rhetoric hasn’t helped either as I am still unable to say if Ed Milliband will be a better leader than David, Andy, Diane or Ed would have been.

It’s a pity that the result of this experiment is no better than when I tried it with my local Labour party candidate during the general election. If politicians are going to use social networking sites it seems to me that they should learn how to use them first!


September 27, 2010 Posted by | oldpeople | , , | Leave a comment

Before Computers

I had one less stressor in my life before I had a computer, now my normal everyday stress is compounded by the mega stress generated by the computer. In fact the computer can generate a whole range of problems each guaranteed to cause maximum stress.

Switch it on and, on occasion, it will sit wondering whether to spring into life. This hanging around can also happen when trying to access a website, like it’s decided that, this time, it doesn’t want to go there. Each time while waiting for it to decide, I’m holding my breath hoping that the problem isn’t terminal.

Then there’s e-mail and the relentless arrival of messages telling me what bargains can be had if I just visit this or that website. I’ve tried the “to unsubscribe..click here” command but that’s just there to make you think you can actually do something about getting rid of them. Here’s a secret, they don’t really work!

Then there’s the doom laden e-mails, ‘There is a new virus. Beware all computers will be shut down. Forward this to as many people as possible’. Duh! The bad thing about these is that, although I know they are fake, it still makes me uneasy and more stressed.

Last night I had an e-mail from Twitter telling me my account had been compromised by some phishing attack and I should reset my password. Just click on the link it said. I did as instructed but all I got was an error message. I went back and tried a few more times with the same result. Finally, I got so fed up I forwarded the e-mail to J and went to bed.

This morning, J had sent an e-mail saying he had reset the password and I could get onto my Twitter web account, but by then my TweetDeck wasn’t working and although I reset the password on there it just kept telling me I wasn’t authorised.

Back to J again for some expertise; but Twitter was having fun, because, after a few attempts, it decided to ‘temporarily’ lock my account. So  bloody frustrating! “Chillax” it said and try again later. After I’d been ‘chillaxing’ for half an hour Twitter decided I’d had enough stress, relented, and J was able to finally sort it.

All of this messing around took the best part of an hour on and off during which time I was getting more and more fed up and wishing I’d never started the whole Twitter thing.  It seems to me that the more stuff I try to do on the computer the more stuff goes wrong and the more frustration, anger and stress I experience.

Was life easier when you read real newspapers and real letters, got proper bank statements and talked to real people on the telephone?

It was certainly slower and more insular; but, on reflection, I like being able to do my banking on-line, to read all the daily newspapers instead of just one, e-mails are less onerous to write than letters and, of course, I love tweeting,  I just wish my  computer was more person friendly so that when it plays up I can talk to it and ask it what the trouble is.

August 26, 2009 Posted by | oldpeople | , , | 1 Comment