Mind Our Minds

I’ve (in the last 5 months) become very involved with a new non-profit organisation called Mind Our Minds UK. Leading a team of Social Media and Public Relations volunteers.

Soon I’ll be raising money for the company too, as we aim to become a charitable organisation. 

We focus on improvement of NHS services and all staff on the team are service users too, with varying experiences of the UK Mental Health Services via the NHS.  

Please come visit our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter. We are currently working on our website (exciting!)

We also have an Instagram account too, where we share submissions from our members. 

I feel very honoured to be a part of this organisation. 

First Morning Phone

Most people, a soon as they wake, check their phones, they check Twitter/Facebook/Email/Texts etc, and well, I do this, and so does The Husband.

We all know children do as children see, and Emma, will always go for our phones the moment she’s awake and in our bed. It’s probably not for the same reason as grown ups/teenagers, but maybe it is, shiny noisy item that you can play with. Ok. So it probably is the same reason.

So I had to share this video.

Mommy Wars 2.0

Well. If you’re in the blogosphere, you know all about the Mommy (and Daddy) wars.

What started off as Stay at Home Moms vs Working Moms, has changed to Older Moms vs Younger Moms, Breastfeeding vs Formula Feeding, Fluffy vs Disposable, Pro-Vax vs Anti-Vax, Cry It Out vs Don’t Cry It Out, and well, everything in between. Basically anything parents can and will disagree on gets labelled as a “Mommy War”.

Well, there’s a new Mommy War, which to be fair, is expected when you stick 180+ women in one Facebook group whilst pregnant.

Which is where I found myself last October when looking for advice on one of BabycentreUK’s birth boards, being added to a Facebook group with a load of other pregnant women all due around the same time as me. It was fabulous. Full of first time mums, and second time mums, and mums with three, four and five kids, mums with pets, single mums, and well, all sorts of mums. And then it went to shit. Which wasn’t surprising with 180+ women who are all roughly 6 months pregnant.

It went to shit, and well, I got the blame. Because I asked for a group that had guidelines and more administrators to manage the dramas that unfolded. And well, the administrators, added 2 more people to their team (great) and then implemented a load of very strict guidelines, which then exploded into a lot of arguments (not great).

One of the new rules was that members were only allowed to post about pregnancy or baby related things, and therefore anything Off Topic must be kept to a minimum and that repeat offenders would be given a warning, and therefore 3 strikes and you’re out.  Well this didn’t go down too well. Especially not after closing the group to new members and then having a new member added who was notorious for OT posts elsewhere. It ended in people being nasty and mean and accusing people of bullying and then all of the admins resigning off the group, including the groups creator. When that happens, Facebook automatically shuts down the group. So, that happened.

So, one by one, Facebook threw all of the members out, and they lost all of their scan photos they’d shared, and bump photos they’d shared, and the stories of when they got their BFPs (Big Fat Positives) and all the other stories.

People tried to gain access and couldn’t, the administrators of the group blocked all of the people who disagreed with what they did. Included yours truly. I was blocked because I told them to do what they did. Apparently.

Isn’t it odd how people interpret what you say. To justify their actions and the consequences.

Me asking for guidelines CLEARLY meant that whatever guidelines were put in place meant that they obviously read my mind and plucked the exact wording out of my heavily hormone ridden brain. Brilliant how pregnancy affects you isn’t it? Did you know that being pregnant means you can read the thoughts of other pregnant women? No? Ha! Me either! But apparently it’s true. Which is why I found myself blocked by 3 silly women who blamed me for their own actions. Who then proceeded to tell everyone and sundry about what I did, omitting the part where they did anything wrong, and causing me to be blocked my more women who’s hormone saturated brains couldn’t stop to think for themselves or take the time to remember that every story has two sides.

The best part was I’ve still got all of the original messages. Sadly I didn’t think to take screenshots of the drama that ensued.

And boy was it a drama! One admin accused one lady of sending her an abusive Private Message but when asked to provide proof, refused to do so and instead kicked the lady out of the group and blocked her! One lady then tried to explain why this was an issue, by saying that anyone could accuse anyone of anything by saying it happened, but it doesn’t mean it actually happened and people shouldn’t be so quick to believe it without actual proof. She then get kicked out of the group too and blocked as well. It was like an episode of Harry Hills TV Burp, when Harry Hill says “Well I like this pregnant lady but I also like this pregnant lady, but which is better *and not a fucking liar*, there’s only one way to find out…..FIGHT”

<there was meant to be a photo of fighting pregnant ladies here but I couldn’t find one to use that I didn’t have to pay for, so you’ll have to use your imagination>

So in the process of this group falling apart and chucking everyone out and losing everyones photos (which some hadn’t backed up), I started another group.

I selected a few ladies to add, and quickly told them to add everyone who they could recall in the original, barring the administrators who’d blocked me and had been pretty nasty to quite a fair few of the ladies. Sadly we couldn’t recall everyone, and people were still being added 2 weeks later. Someone else also had the idea of starting another group and so we ended up with two groups with most of the same women in it. Then someone else made another group, and eventually there were 5!

And then after 4 months it all started again.

But I’ll share that another time. So stay tuned!

 

 

Lazy Business

When did businesses become so incredibly lazy?

Gone are the days when a business would actually pick up the phone or send a letter out to you notifying you of a change to your account, or god forbid if there was a problem.

There have been times (a long time ago) where I’ve been in a shop, buying something on my credit card, a large purchase for example, when the store clerk would come back with my card and the phone and say “your bank on the line” only for the bank (fraud department) to have called to verify it was in fact me using my card.

There have even been times that the bank have rung my mobile to confirm that I was the one using my card, and when it wasn’t me, they’d immediately stop the transactions, cancel my card and re-issue a new one.

But over the last few years I’ve noticed that this doesn’t happen anymore.

Gone are the days when the bank contacted you about anything to do with your account that’s important.

Gone are the days when any company you hold a financial account with contacts you about anything to do with your account that’s important.

Yet they still send you all the god damn spam going. Mrs Masters, apply for this credit card/loan/get a free pen when you buy this shit product/have £5 off your next shop for £100.

Instead. They send you a text message, saying “please contact us immediately on this 0844 number to discuss your account”

Really?! Why?! Surely if you want to discuss my account with me, you should ring me direct! Why should I spend up to 5p per minute, on hold for nearly 15 minutes, just for you to spout some bollocks at me. Ironically they contact you to contact them and then make you verify you are who you say you are!

The last time it happened to me was with Barclaycard. I got a tax rebate and decided to pay of a chunk of my Barclaycard. I paid £400 off of my £800 balance. Three days after the payment cleared my account, I got a message from Barclaycard asking me to “contact them to discuss my credit limit”, of course on an 0844 number.
Barclaycard wanted me to call them, simply so they could tell me they’d reduced my card limit down to the balance left on my account.

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So I wasted 15 minutes of my life on hold and 75p, to talk to a very condescending and rude advisor, only to tell me something trivial, that quite frankly they could have just put in a letter to me.

That text message and rude advisor? Well it cost Barclaycard a customer. Considering I’ve been a “valued” customer (according to Barclaycard in all their letters to me) for 11 years, sad to see that one text message and shoddy service has ruined it. I’ll take my interest and money elsewhere I guess!

Then today Argos does the same thing.

“Contact Sam at Argos immediately”

Nice try Argos, putting a name to your message, trying to personalise it. But it’s still shitty service. If you need to talk to me “immediately” about my account, why can “Sam” not pick up the damn phone and call me?!

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To be fair, 75p is nothing really, but why should I spend 75p to call a company who are too damn lazy to pick up the phone. Yet will happily send me spam every month offering me £5 off if I spend £50 with them.

Is it a cost cutting exercise?
Do businesses really need to save money so badly that they’d gladly waste money on sending spam but won’t “waste” money on actually telephoning their customers.

So I took to twitter and contacted Argos asking them, why send a text message asking me to contact you, instead of picking up the phone and doing it directly?

Argos came back to me saying “we’re checking with our card services and waiting on confirmation on whether this is legitimate or not”

It’ll be interesting to see exactly what they want to discuss about my account. I’m betting its something stupid, like you underpaid your bill by £1.23 or something equally ridiculous.

The last time Lloyds TSB credit card services did it to me was because I’d underpaid my “usual” monthly payment by £1 and was that my intention?!

The time before that was because my account went over my overdraft limit by 50p, which Lloyds then tried to charge me over limit charges of £66.
After my complaint (which resulted in over £100 compensation) Lloyds introduced a text messaging service to update you when you’re near your limits.

Why have businesses become so lazy?
Why are customers accepting this laziness?

It’s ridiculous.

Tell Me Lies, Tell Me Sweet Little Lies.

If there is one thing I cannot stand in life, it’s got to be liars.

I don’t understand why people lie, especially when they’ve been caught out more than once. Especially when it’s a known fact that they’ve a history of telling lies.

The only thing I can put it down to is that they have pathetic lives.

If you’re going to lie, then you should probably invest in a lie book.
Simply record the date, time and a short background bio with the lie you told. Because its guaranteed to come back and bit you on the ass. I’d recommend an a5 diary for this, but for epic liars then a4 diary might be better.

My mother always said a good liar needs to remember their lies. She wasn’t wrong! Smart cookie, my mom!

You should probably also do a bit of research before you fib too, after-all telling someone a lie when about 20 other people all know you’re lying is a really stupid thing to do! It also makes you look like a fool. *here, have a dunce hat*

For example, “he told me about it because he read it on the Daily Mails Facebook page”

Make sure your lie has a backbone and ribs before you start to flesh it out.
Don’t say something that possibly couldn’t of happened. Don’t say someone read it on a Facebook page when the person you’re talking about doesn’t even have a Facebook account.
Your lies need to be believable. They also have to have a basis in fact (so that the person you’re lying to can find reference to it if they looked)

Make sure you don’t get your lies confused. (This is why you need to have a good memory or a lie book)
There’s bending the truth and then there’s mixing up your lies.
Bending the truth means that your lie has basis in fact, so provided you keep it simple then it’ll go un-noticed.
The bigger the lie, the more chance you’ve got of it going wrong and the more lies you spout the more chance you’ll mix them up.

People also tend to remember what you say, and if you tell one person you have no money and another person that you’re treating your Partner to dinner at the local Chinese, and those 2 people happen to know each other you expose your lies. After you’ve done this several times, people start to label you as a liar.

Telling lies when the truth is laid out in front of you in black and white.
(This is how police and lawyers convict criminals).
Don’t tell me you didn’t accuse me or something when you accidentally cc’d me in on the email accusing me.
The people you lie to and about are not blind. When you put it in writing and then say you didn’t do it/say it, you’ve outed yourself. *maybe I need to make a cape to go with that dunce cap?*

So, in summary?
Remember your lies.
Do your research.
Make your lies believable.
Choose who you tell your lies to.
Don’t lie when the truth is staring you in the face in black and white.

Lying is a multi-tasking job. Probably best not to do it at all really.
Also probably best not to do it on social media where screenshots and captures are people best friends.
You can delete something quickly, but others can screenshot your lies quicker.

Actually there’s another thing I cannot stand in life, people who tell lies then block you on Facebook and continue to tell lies about you. It’s seriously pathetic. *no need to take off that dunce hat I gave you earlier*

Social Media Pregnancy

Today a conversation was brought up on my online pregnancy support group.

How would you react if a friend or family member announced the birth of your child on Facebook/Twitter before you did. Likewise with posting a photo.

Now, it’s clear from my blog, Facebook page and Twitter account that I am very active online. I blog about my pregnancy, I tweet about the kickboxing Flump has taken up and my husband and I have posted photos of our scans on Facebook. So it’s probably obvious then when Flump makes his or her arrival in March that we will make some sort of announcement online with photos. In fact it wouldn’t surprise me if I tweet or my husband tweets during my labour and if my sister in law and I post stupid photos during the labour. For obvious reasons I won’t be tweeting or face-booking during the delivery, I’ve heard that pushing a baby out of your vagina takes rather a lot of concentration and I know that I am multi-skilled, but that’s taking it a bit far.

However, a kind note to close friends and family. You will find out from us via a phone call or text message, rather than via Facebook or Twitter. (Now is the chance to ensure Daniel or I have the correct contact details for you)

Once we have told close friends and family, then we will make an online announcement.

God forbid anyone announce our child’s birth before us or post a photo before we do, because I will go nutso on you.

So tell me blogosphere, what’s your opinion on this question?

How would you react if someone posted details of the birth of your child or a photo of your new baby online before you did?

you are what you tweet

Have you ever actually stopped to think about what you tweet before you tweet it? Whilst Social Media is a fantastic tool, it’s also a pretty dangerous tool. It really surprises me how many people haven’t actually read the Terms and Conditions set by Twitter.

Many people seem to think that whatever they tweet is not allowed to be used by others, for example, a screenshot of someones tweet.  Twitter is a public forum and what you post (even if your account is a protected and locked account) is still public domain.  This means that at some point, your tweet could be seen by billions of people. After-all, you hear about tweets, blog posts, YouTube videos, etc, all going viral. This is because you share it with 100 people, and those 100 people then all share it with another 100 people, and then those people all share it with another 100 people, and so on.

So people, “you are what you tweet” – remember that. Otherwise you could become uncomfortably uncomfortable when your tweet is shared with a rather lot of people!

Always double check your tweets before publishing and ensure that you’ve made every effort to say what you mean and mean what you say, so that others can’t misinterpret what you’ve tweeted.

#FollowFridays

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So it’s Friday again, and to be fair, I really only have one Twitter user to share with you this week. I’ve been so busy with work that I have hardly had any time on twitter at all!

So this week, my #followfriday is @avitable and he blogs over at his own site Avitable.com

Adam is a blogger, a stand up comic (who I find hilarious) and has a law degree which he combines with his smarts and common sense to create a virtual stick and clobber stupid people who plagiarise others and then complain about their site being turned into a parody.

Not sure how to say his name?  Watch this video, then go follow him.

 

 

 

 

#FollowFridays

If you’re an avid/addicted user of Twitter (if not, then go sign up!) then you know what I’m talking about. Every Friday Twitter users worldwide use the hashtag #followfridays or #FF to tell other users who their favourite tweeters are!

This week I’m going to share with you my top 5 Twitter accounts to follow (if you’re not following already!)

  • @mamaspohr is Heather Spohr, wife to Mike, and mom to Maddie and Annie and pooch Ribgy. She writes over at her site The Spohrs are Multiplying and is also a feature writer over at Babble Voices More Spohr.  I love Heather and her family. She’s a talented writer who shares her life with thousands of people each week.  Every week you can find fabulous photos and video antecdotes of Annie, which are guaranteed to melt your heart and cheer you up!

 

  • @actiontilson is Carl Tilson, a young guy from Manchester with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. He campaigns to raise awareness of his condition and one day hopes that all the hard work of the researchers pays off and a cure is discovered. He writes on his site ADTilson.  He was an Olympic Torch-bearer for the London 2012 Olympics and is a really great guy!

 

  • @scatteredmom is Karen Humphrey, a food blogger from the West Coast of Canada. She is a Food Editor for the Yummy Mummy Club, and also writes over at Notes from the Cookie Jar.  She often posts lots of mouth watering recipes on her blog and is also the creator of Food Revolution Fridays!! She’s awesome!

 

  • @thebloggess aka Jenny Lawson. Jenny is one of my favourite people in the world. She is kick-ass awesome, and she wrote a book!!!  She writes over at TheBloggess and you can’t help but be drawn into her amazing fantastic crazy world. And if that all wasn’t enough you can buy stuff from her shop!!!! Really freaking cool stuff!!!

 

  • @Lorenzomingus is Lauren Hollands, wife of Strong Man Terry Hollands. She is a fanstastically potty-mouthed lady who is extremely funny.  She has Hyper-mobility syndrome (just like me) and writes about training with her husband in an effort to help her HMS, you can catch up on her journey over at My Gym Hell. She is also one of my colleagues.

There you have it peeps, this Fridays top five tweeters.

Go follow them!