Are we still asking who pays?

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I have expressed my opionion on this for many years and it seems more and people are catching on.

Maybe Ngunan will catch on too… till then, here’s some sensible rules for those who are a little more liberated. The thing you should always do on a first date if you want a successful love life

  1. Leave gender stereotypes to Donald Trump
  2. Whilst it’s kind for someone to offer to pay the whole hog, for the sake of ease it’s always better to split or take turns buying rounds, regardless of who asked who or who has a nicer handbag
  3. Save champagne and caviar for another time, or at least until you know their last name.

Just say hello…

Bemused 1

One day I’ll meet Sarah Ryan, as she gives some great advice, this one included. The last point resonated with me .

Just Say Hello There is a chance, dare I say it, that you may come across someone dashingly handsome or delightfully beautiful in your local coffee shop or whilst picking up a loaf of bread at Waitrose. What is the worst that can happen if you just say hello, ask for the time or ask where they purchased an item they are donning? It may seem like a daunting task but we can not hide behind our laptops & iphones forever in dating- we do have to tackle the human element to make a relationship work. Top Tip:  Try saying hello to someone new everyday, wherever, whenever. You never know who you might meet!

Absolutely…!

Sarah is right, the thing which mainly stops people is the fear of rejection. I was showing my blog about myself to a colleague a while ago and they asked me, what goes through my mind when I do the things I do?

I said, I do have that level of fear which naturally comes to everybody but I dampen it down quickly and not let it fester in my mind. I feel the longer you let it fester, the more likely you won’t act or so anything.

But on the same point, the opportunities and experiences I have had, make it even easier to do it again and push myself even further.

The other day I was in North Tea Power with my headphones off as usual, working away on visual perceptive media. I heard a women next to me talking on the phone, but she happen to say….

Things would be so much easier if there was one ontology for everything….

After she finished, before the fear crept in, I repeated back to her the statement and added a question mark to it (aka raised my voice at the end) From that moment we were off talking for about 20mins. Learned a lot about her and she may have learned a lot about me. Such a lovely conversation we had…

Funny enough (on a related note) Sherry Turkle has been popping up here and there recently…

I bought her excellent book Alone Together and haven’t started on the new one, reclaiming conversation.

I was listening to the Tech news today #1418 special with her and happen to tweet it, when Martin pointed out she was on Radio 4 at that exact moment (the beauty of serendipity and being open to it)

So I checked it out,  BBC Radio 4 today,. Interesting stuff… Expect another blog entry about this and more Sherry Turkle thoughts soon..

Stop following stupid dating steps, get some advice

Ah Valentines day, the day when us singletons are meant to feel crap about the fact we are alone and unloved? Bollox, I feel great and to be honest it feels like any other day, except I imagine most restaurants will be overpriced and booked up? Brunch in Pimlico, London wasn’t… (I even said to a female friend I would love to meet up for brunch while I was down in London, forgetting it was valentines day, thats how much I care about the moneymaking day)

And its the whole, how you should be living you’re life which slightly winds me up, just like the follow my steps and this will work for you.

Just like a while ago somebody (sure it was Mancnewgirl) sent me this from the New York times. How to fall in love with anyone.

More than 20 years ago, the psychologist Arthur Aron succeeded in making two strangers fall in love in his laboratory. Last summer, I applied his technique in my own life, which is how I found myself standing on a bridge at midnight, staring into a man’s eyes for exactly four minutes.

I already had enough problems with most of the 36 questions and the setup…  For example.

6. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?

What? Seriously when would you bring that up? Why would you bring that up? What would you ultimately learn from it which isn’t a binary state?

Now I admit some of them are pretty good and I have been known to ask at speed dating, of my own mind (I knew nothing of the 36 questions)

30. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?

Which I ask as… Tell me the last time you cried?

The problem with most of these is the context and the answers will sometimes be almost useless. If it was more about picking and choosing from a few of these questions or a general guide it wouldn’t be so bad. Frankly besides the science (yeah I can’t believe I said that too, but bear with me) its not exactly much more than another buzzfeed list, which funny enough got the force of the community against it.

Just like the buzzfeedy list… there was always going to be trouble around the corner.

I had enough of this frankly bollox advice things… The problem seems to exist not because the science is wrong, although I could argue they are trying to quantify the unquantifiable. Nope its taking the science and then trying to boil it down to a easy to digest list for us common folk to follow. F-that! and F-them for doing the science a great injustice!

If you start the experiment with …

Let me acknowledge the ways our experiment already fails to line up with the study. First, we were in a bar, not a lab. Second, we weren’t strangers. Not only that, but I see now that one neither suggests nor agrees to try an experiment designed to create romantic love if one isn’t open to this happening.

Then whats the bloody point? You might as well just pick and choose the questions, modify some and do you’re own thing. Yes I understand it doesn’t sell adverts/papers but frankly I get sick of these pre-subscribed nonsense. Say this and you will get this, if this then that, because humans are well known for acting exactly the same to the same input.

Its worth saying I’m not against advice but there is a big difference between

4. Keep it fresh – Avoid the Yes/No game with light-hearted open questions. Chat matters know “who, what and how” yield greater results than “me, myself and I” But tread lightly, nobody wants a grilling.
– All bar one’s guide to flirting from Flirtology

and ask this question:

13. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?

Generic pointers are far more useful when dealing with the unquantifiable. Directed or rather specific advice will get you specific results and only work in specific conditions. Unless you can recreate the whole experiment then why even bring it up? Plus if you go back to the start, don’t tell me exactly what to do! That is no way to live life, feel the joy and energy of life in the opportunities which arise out of mistakes and being adventurous.

Never have in your dating profile picture

Ayares the Lost Terrorist

I said in the last post about how I spent some time looking at OKcupid with my mother on Easter Sunday. There were some interesting insights to be learned but also we came up with a list of things you shouldn’t have in or as your profile picture in OkCupid, or following a suggestion from The Hodge, generally as your profile/avatar picture (although I admit thats just my own hate of weird pictures as avatars).

OkCupid has their own more scientific views on what you should do with your profile picture but here’s mine, my mother and a few twitter followers…

Here’s the list of what to never have in your profile…

  • Dog & Cat
    Its ok to have a picture with your pet in the background but as your primary picture and without you even in the picture? wtf! Seriously… wish I could take a screenshot and post it!
  • Unusual pets
    Mum hates creepy crawlies and to be honest when I saw a woman with a hamster, I just thought… yawn, who cares.
  • Car or some other thing
    It wasn’t just some lady in front of a car, it was a head in a Audi TT driving at high speed. I honestly don’t even think it was her car because the number plate looked highly customised and expensive. You might be proud of your car or your hire car but ffs, not on your dating profile. Imagine if I was posing with my tablet!
  • Your House
    Is it a good idea to take a picture outside the front of your house. One where you can almost read the house number and recognise the street. Not smart and not clever.
  • Parents
    Ok its nice having a picture with the parents but as my mum said, who really wants to see your whole family before seeing you? Its about you and not your parents. One lady had 5 pictures and they were all of her parents and her. Not a single one of just her alone or a close up of her face as my mum noticed.
  • Twin
    It can’t be too clever to have your twin in the one and only picture you have in your profile. Luckily they weren’t identical but it was tricky to see the difference from the low quality picture.
  • Ex-girl/boyfriend
    Its not great to have your ex in the photo and the scissors cuts are a little rough but heck, pick the right photo to do it to. We seen a couple where the woman is literally dancing or staring into the other persons eyes which have been cut out. It would be like me using this photo (of course I’ve not, because I’m not stupid – not that woman who have done such things are necessarily stupid)
  • Your weapons
    From Eastmad this one… I haven’t seen anyone with a weapon but I can imagine on some sites, it happening.
  • Instagram photos
    Please no hipster filters…!
  • Certain holiday pics
    From Louise, the kind with bad dress sense, sunburns and too many pint glasses… Yes whats a lovely image to conjure up. I would also add snow pictures of you wearing a big massive snow coat, wolly hat and skis against a white backdrop on your ass is not a good idea.
  • Your children
    From Louise again, but with additional thoughts from my mum and myself… They have no place on a dating site as they can’t consent, among other things. Louise is right and frankly its extremely off putting. Yes your child(s) might be the centre of your world, I get that! No problem. But showing off your children on a dating site seems very wrong. I mean, whos going to say oh wow what beautiful children, shame about the mum? Ah screw it worth it for the kids… The consent issue is massive which follows in the next one…
  • Someone elses children
    This has to be a no way! If having your kids in the photo was bad then having someone elses kids has to be a total no go. How do you even explain to their parents what your going to do!
  • 10 year old picture of yourself
    Thanks Dom, also hate those pictures of people when there 10years old. You look nothing like that now and whats the point in putting a picture from the 70’s or 80’s on a dating site. Ok not seen this as of yet, but when I do there will be trouble!
  • No Sausages, pasties or other foods
    This goes without saying (Of course I’m not talking about food here)… Thank goodness Okcupid’s filters does a good job removing this type thing…!

The things Hugh Garry says

Recently Hugh Garry has been writing in his blog more often than usual. Not sure what has prompted him but he’s writing some amazing stuff. Everytime I read something I want to comment or blog it straight away, but I’ve decided to take a few bits and comment on them here.

From Rules of watching a movie

Switching ‘on’ your phone during a movie is something that the film industry is going to have to get used to. It’s a new rule of cinema – people like to share their lives and that includes capturing screen shots of the film they are watching – it’s happening and it’s creating spreadable media.

I hate it when people turn on there phone so you can see the glow of their screens in the darken cinema but love it or hate it, its not going away. Its actually spreading.

I watched Argo yesterday as part of the salford cinema club. In the darken cinema, you could see people sharing thoughts and the like. Ok no one was pointing the phone at the screen but they might as well have. I really wanted to capture the new anti-piracy advert because I kid you not most of the cinema was laughing out loud when it came on the screen. At that moment I had to resist the instant temptation to tweet it.

Capturing the anti-piracy advert surely can’t be bad? Its not like I paid to watch this propaganda. In fact it leads nicely on to Hugh’s next blog…

From Banksy on Advertising

On Friday night I stumbled upon this great quote from Banksy on advertising via the excellent The Fox is Black. Wish I’d had it in time for the lecture.

“People are taking the piss out of you everyday. They butt into your life, take a cheap shot at you and then disappear. They leer at you from tall buildings and make you feel small. They make flippant comments from buses that imply you’re not sexy enough and that all the fun is happening somewhere else. They are on TV making your girlfriend feel inadequate. They have access to the most sophisticated technology the world has ever seen and they bully you with it. They are The Advertisers and they are laughing at you.

You, however, are forbidden to touch them. Trademarks, intellectual property rights and copyright law mean advertisers can say what they like wherever they like with total impunity.

Fuck that. Any advert in a public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours. It’s yours to take, re-arrange and re-use. You can do whatever you like with it. Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head.

You owe the companies nothing. Less than nothing, you especially don’t owe them any courtesy. They owe you. They have re-arranged the world to put themselves in front of you. They never asked for your permission, don’t even start asking for theirs. Banksy”

Hugh and ultimately Bankey is right. F them. I’m sure I mentioned somewhere how growing up in Bristol. Clever defacements of public advertising was a everyday thing. It wasn’t just Banksy doing it, everyone was doing it. It was just a way of life. It wasn’t till I moved to London, that I noticed it was a uniquely Bristol thing.

Bristol has always been a counter-cultural city and the counter advertising has always had a big role. They are less a cheap shot and more a highly educated shot at some entities which need cutting down to size.

These entities are not above the law and specially above the law of common sense. No one is… The moment they think they are, things start to break down and get really ugly. I won’t mention the serious stuff which is happening about now.

Hugh’s Popup ideas shop concept is really interesting… and the weird thing is, I think I’ve been doing it without noticing.

I’m running a series of pop-up idea shops in Manchester and London. It’s not really a shop – more like me at a table in a cafe with an empty chair waiting to be filled. It’s free ideas for anyone who needs them. I’ve never done it before, and I don’t know if anyone else does them, but I’m giving it a go to see what happens.

So here’s the idea…

This Friday (November 16th) between 1pm and 4pm I’ll be sat at a table in Fyg on Tibb Street in the Northern Quarter, Manchester. If you need ideas, a new perspective or a fresh set of ears for whatever you’re working on then do drop in. You might be taking your first steps in digital or social media and don’t know where to start. You may need help shaping the story of your brand – come say hello. There’s no charge for this. I may be able to help you or I may not. Either way I’m happy to have a brew with someone new if you are.

I tend to push all my adhoc meetings to Fridays in the northern quarter. Some of the discussions are very relevant to my work in the BBC and sometimes its less so.

Of course FYG deli is a great place to do it and I’ll be there enjoying a deli platter and meeting with a few people while I sort out a few things to do with Perceptive Media.

Maybe I’ll sit next to Hugh to keep him company in between the quiet times.