Tuesday 26 May 2020

A cure at last!

It has been hard with Lockdown to get to grips with the virus. It creeps up unseen, an invisible enemy as President Trump says. You don't know who has it, it could be your spouse or close family, your neighbours, even as we have discovered, the Prime Minister.

It is a nasty virus to if you catch it. Some people do seem to be able to wear it lightly and get by, but for other the symptoms get worse and worse. Fever seems to be one of the maing signs, and the lying around lethargic with the odd peak of howling rage.

I am of course talking about social media addiciton virus, which is a curse of our age. All of our political and media class suffer hugely from this debilitating disease. With it, they lose most sense of reason and all sense of proportion. The current ridiculous and confected issue with Dominic Cummings is the latest example.

It proved for me though a release, having watch some loopy lady on Sky insist that he was patient zero for the North East and could be prosecuted for murder, enough was enough. Already I had been recovering (a nice email from a regular reader here helped too), but slowly I was looking less at Twitter, ignoring the daily briefings and generally getting on with a bust job and life. Now was the time for the big switch off.

I feel a lot freer for it, to limit the interaction with 24 hour news is good for the soul. One or two bouts a day for 10-15 minutes will keep you in the know but not consumed by it. The nature of the Corona virus impact and how much it changed our lives nescessarily made following the news a key element in all our lives. But now, as lockdown ends, perhaps the height of super tension will reduce too. Sadly, I fear for the media it is far too late, in their desperate search to keep up with free news, they have reduced themselves to the same level as those whom they used to criticise for sensationalism,


YDG said...

"getting on with a bust job"

I think a picture is called for.

dearieme said...

I rather think that where we live there are signs that "isolating" is becoming a thing of the past.

People are stirring; families are meeting.

Oli said...

I agree entirely CU - I had had exactly the same.

I had been wasting so much time on twitter getting cross about lockdown and telling all of my 90 followers why.

Then I gave up - and I'm much happier since ignoring the news and social media for the last couple of weeks.

And, funnily enough, National Policy seems now to be moving in my favour despite my not putting my opinion "out there" every few minutes!

Charlie said...

Twitter demanded to know my phone number after someone reported me for referring to myself as a fat c*nt. They're not getting it, so I no longer use Twitter. I can confirm it is much better to remain completely unaware of whatever today's social media shit-storm is. You'll find out about the major ones from your usual news outlets anyway, as most of them seem to exist solely to report on today's social media shit-storm.

Facebook is more comical, with my feed largely consisting of a small number of old school friends sharing either David Icke's latest guff about 5G, or the latest Momentum attack videos.

Timbo614 said...

Bravo CU, join the club. The virus news especially news had become tedious and repetitive.
I never have partaken in twatter or farcebook.
As for Cummings if you employ an oddball "genius" you do have to accept the downside.
But recently I found it better to say to my self "work on something" stop reading the damn news. So now from 9-6 I ignore it all. Much better for you.

Anonymous said...



AndrewZ said...

I might have said this before, but Twitter is an exceptionally successful example of “gamification”, the technique of adding gameplay elements to a mundane activity to drive user engagement. At its core it’s just an instant messaging platform. But it adds scoring mechanisms in the form of likes, retweets and followers, which turns it into a competition in which the participants get ahead by attracting attention.

This in turn encourages them to play a character rather than being themselves, and it encourages extreme reactions because outrageous behaviour gets attention and attention means more points on the board. Add the distancing effect of online interaction and the players – for that is what they are – lose all their normal inhibitions.

That makes it a natural home for celebrities and media figures because they already live in a world of competitive attention-seeking in which they play exaggerated characters rather than being themselves. The fundamental problem with social media is that it brings their dysfunctional culture into everyday life.

formertory said...

Well said, AndrewZ. Like Timbo, I've declined engagement with Twitter and Facebook (well, OK, I use WhatsApp for family stuff) because the potential for self-feeding, manic mob rule (and pissing competitions) was clear enough from the first to indicate the necessity for caution. And - tinfoil hat alert - for Government and other agencies / groups to control information and agendas.

Facebook and its "likes" and "friends", and Twitter with its "followers" is catnip to both the social manipulation crew, and its victims, the gullible-hard-of-thinking, infantile crew. Unfortunately, it seems there's a lot of both as we see with various "crises" of the past few years.

Everybody dead by teatime!

Elby the Beserk said...

Ha! We threw out our TV over a decade ago, refusing to fund the Propaganda Wing of the Liberal Left. For some time now, the only reason I switch on R4 news is to remind me why I don't.

Weirdly it works every time - example, item on COVID morphing seamlessly into one on racism against the Chinese. I know what will be on Today so have no need to listen.

Similarly, we buy no newspaper, and I only check online to see the headlines. Again, mostly predictable.

And yes, I jumped Twitter for a while for reasons of mental health. It's like walking into a lunatic asylum at the moment.

Peace. Silence is golden. They can all go and jump in the bloody lake. And I'll be there to hold Peston, Burley and the Hideous Harpy Rigby under the water.

Peter MacFarlane said...

I don't have an account on Twitter and only look at Faceache when I get an alert from a friend (a real friend) that they've posted a baby photo or something like that.

With those exception, I never use either of these evil echo-chambers.

I am so glad that I have nothing to do with them.

E-K said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
E-K said...

I have every faith that you will adapt and overcome any personal effects without my very best wishes. Good luck anyway though. (That's hexed it !)

The media have been continuity Remain. A disgrace.

A point in case being "Boris has killed thousands !" without mentioning just how many people a lockdown kills and the fact that Imperial told us 500,000 were at risk.

It could be said that Boris saved in excess of 470,000 lives depending on whose guesswork we choose but the anti Brexit, anti Tory Blob are not interested in that, are they !

Venessa Feltz R2 "we want to hear from you if you've written to your MP for the sacking of Dominic Cummings."

Well there's BBC balance for you !

Bill Quango MP said...

EK. The bbc business page, reporting on the latest for the government relaxing non essential retail, had ZERO information about what the governments proposed “ rules” for new social distancing were.

However, almost half the page is about DOminic Cummings.

It’s still up.
If you want to find out nothing about how shops will look and act in two weeks time, but you do want to know about a man driving a car a month ago, search

Coronavirus: All non-essential shops to reopen from 15 June - PM

Anonymous said...

Umm... lots of you proclaiming how you ignore social media, yet here you are posting on a blog.

dearieme said...

Because blogs are a healthy anti-social medium, innit?

Charlie said...

Anon, assume you are just being wilfully obtuse? Do you really not see much difference between here and FB/Twitter/Insta?

Anonymous said...

Fair point.
We choose the bubbles we live in.

E-K said...


Worth 40 minutes.

Anonymous said...

@anon 1.01 - the difference between blogs and social media is one of scale, there is a lower barrier to clicking a 'like' button and responding to a comment.

Plus, the recaptcha here is a PITA increasing the barrier, a number of times I've debated making a comment and just decided it wasn't worth the effort.

There is also a richer support for views, there are a few things I profoundly disagree with from various commentators, yet only a very few trigger an eye-roll,

Somewhere like Conservative Home, or LaboutList if it allowed commentary, would be closer.

And looks like Trump plans to do something - apparently the Prez shouldn't be held to a higher standard than some anonymous handle being economic with the truth.

Not sure what he'll do, he's an attention craving manchild, and twitter is like a jackpot for an addict like him, so shutting it down is unlikely.

He can shut down FB though, I'd even give him a rare plaudit for doing so, with a bonus cheer for him drowning Zuckerberg live on TV.

E-K said...

It's the only way a Conservative can cut through, Anon (9.21)

The BBC this morning "US has highest death toll" without mention of 'per million' nor the fact that a fairer comparison would be to compare the US to the entire EU in terms of land mass and population.

I worked it out recently (from Coronavirus Update website) that the death toll in America and the EU was exactly the same.

So Trump is right. It's such as the BBC that needs to get its house in order.

Anonymous said...

@EK, there's a difference between cutting through the volume of the crowd - which isn't so much a left/right issue, more than it is a batshit issue - and complaining about being fact checked when you're a world leader.

The reality is the nutty shit - including alt-right - can cut through due to the outrage generated, and same with the left, the left just tends to hit the batshit a lot sooner than the right does, which is why a bunch of white middle class twats can make all sorts of noise over someone off to isolate in Durham.

A regular conservative will find it more difficult, they're not there to outrage, and if any offence is generated, the batshits are there to pounce. Many on the regular left get it too. The whole "woke" thing has pretty much hijacked being a decent human being, and allows authoritarian nutjobs to hide being a facade of reason, and they'll descend like angry bees on left wingers.

That there seems to be a bigger volume of lefty nutjobs to righty nutjobs is probably down to whose got those most idle hands for the devil to find work for.

Trumps bugbear is that he's not allowed to act like George from Basingstoke, flinging angry shit like a monkey. If he wants to act like that, he can bin the current handle and do so anonymously, but then he's just another lone voice in the wilderness.

If he wants to state, as President, that postal voting can be abused - that's okay
If he wants to state, as Anon4545, that postal voting is mostly fraudulent - that's okay
If he wants to state, as President, that postal voting is mostly fraudulent - that's NOT okay

Flip it around, and say Bernie Sanders had got in instead, and we get this:

He states, as President, that right-wingers are baby-raping Nazis
He states, as Anon4545, that right-wingers are baby-raping Nazis

Which one of those is going to trigger the right-wing much as Trump triggers the left?

It boils down to this - do we expect those in power, regardless of where they sit on the political spectrum, to behave better than some random bellend on the internet?

I do.

Anonymous said...

I missed a bit, I don't mind the woke brigade will descend on the left wingers, but those on the right labelling them as woke in an effort to turn a comment into looking like something else

E-K said...

Anon - When do you hear the President make a speech and then the news channel cuts away and then starts giving a (biased) summary of what he's saying without letting the public hear the speech in the first place ?

Quite a lot.