Tag Archives: Facebook

Are you making Emoji Misunderstandings?

Since the advent of mobile phones and text messages people have been taking things the wrong way, reading tones of voice and attitudes into even the most innocuous communications. The written word is ripe for misunderstanding. These days many text messages and social media updates are filled with emoijis which are causing communication confusion across the board.

This month University of Minnesota has published a study which explored how emojis look on different devices, from Android to iOS and whether the differences in emoji styling can lead to different interpretations. They looked in particular at the “grinning face” emoji which on some platforms looks like a genuine smile, on others an awkward grimace. 

Emoji usage has always fascinated me and I can spend ages examining the nuances of each smiley face to make sure I’m selecting the right one (sad but true), but the smiley face I send from my Apple iOS device may appear very differently on my friends Android phone. 

Earlier this week there was a murder in a town a couple of miles away from where I live. I was watching the tragic story unfold in a Facebook group and one commenter simply added three of these emojis to the post…Emoji MisunderstandingsI was naturally shocked at the Facebook users comment, which to me appeared that she’s found the fact that someone had just been stabbed to death in their own home amusing. It irks me that so many people use this emoji during sad circumstances and according to the University of Minnesota study, this is one of the most misunderstood emojis. I’ve looked at the chart showing all of the different versions of this emoji and it is clear on each device that this is a happy person crying with laughter. But maybe people can’t see beyond the tears.

Emoji Misunderstandings

Just to double check that it wasn’t just me who saw this as a crying with laughter emoji, I threw the question out to the crowd with a Twitter Poll.

Emoji MisunderstandingsI’m not sure how well my results would stack up against the University of Minnesota study, it was a Twitter Poll and I suspect Twitter users are slightly more emoji savvy than Facebook users, and have perfected the art of brevity in their tweets, with tweets being limited to just 140 characters.

Just 32 people responded with 94% agreeing with me that it means “haha so funny I’m crying” and the other 6% saying “Other” with suggestions including happy to be chopping onions and tears of mirth. It is clear from my less than scientific sample that 100% of respondents didn’t think it was the correct emoji to use as a response to a murder.

If a picture can say a thousand words, an emoji can be a handy shorthand to explain an emotion, a reaction or a feeling. If you’re using emojis it’s worth bearing in mind how they may be seen differently by others and and how getting the emoji wrong could make you look. Sometimes it’s easier just to type “that’s so sad”. 

The Facebook Motherhood Challenge

Are you on Facebook? Are you a mum? Have you been tagged in the motherhood challenge? I pretty much universally hate this kind of thing, but since it’s only posting five happy shiny pictures of me and the boy how hard can it be?

I’ve loved looking at everyone else’s five pictures, and like them I’ve chosen to highlight the good stuff. It’s like a CV of parenting, you accentuate the positive and hide the negative stuff away and hope nobody sees it.

Like when he was 3 weeks old and we were both crying hysterically and we’d run out of tissues so I was so delirious with exhaustion I blew my nose on the duvet and we promptly fell fast asleep.

Or the time when he projectile pooed all over me and then peed on my face when I was cleaning him up.

Or all the cakes he’s coughed and sneezed in while we were making them (plague cake anyone?).

Or the times he’s shouted at me that he’s not my very best friend anymore, then cried out for cuddles before bed.

Or when he was having an operation and I almost tore my heart out with a mixture of fear and anxiety.

Or the times I’ve been too full of anxiety to do anything other than cry and rock to myself until it stopped.

Or the money troubles, the times I’ve not been able to scrape the money together to buy enough food for his tea, never mind the Lego set he dreams of.

Of the things I’ve missed out on in his life because my ruined spine won’t let me kick a ball around with him in the park, or carry him upstairs when he’s sleepy, or wrestle around in the floor playing horsey.

I’m just a normal mum, doing what I can to make sure he grows up to be a happy and productive member of society. My parenting isn’t perfect, in real life it’s not all lovely smiles and cheeky kisses, it’s not been carefully staged for Instagram, with filters applied left, right and centre. Parenting is messy, physically and emotionally, but would I change it? Not on your nelly.

motherhood challenge

Is it worth paying to promote your posts on Facebook?

Back in March this year I conduced a little experiment with Facebook. Dear old Facebook had been imploring me for months to try paying to “boost my posts”. I have a little over 2000 people who like my Facebook page and routinely everything I post on these gets very little attention, this is largely due to the algorithms Facebook uses to limit the content people liking pages will see and also to encourage page owners to put their hand in their pocket.

I was running a lovely little competition to win a limited edition print of a cartoon, it was a great prize but for some reason my competition wasn’t as popular as I hoped it would be. I looked at the stats on Facebook, it had been shared to only 67 people out of around 2000 followers. That’s pretty depressing. So I decided to see if paying for Facebook advertising was really worth it.

I paid £3 to boost my post over three days, ok so that is pretty cheap, but I didn’t want to go in high and waste my money.

Facebook advertising

The Facebook advertising ran for 3 days and apparently over those three days paying for it meant that it showed up a fairly impressive 1,152 times in peoples timelines. Am I impressed though? No. Why not? I hear you ask, well firstly it showed up in my own timeline several times each day, which just felt a little spammy for my liking, and it was my post!

Also, I’m not convinced by the accuracy of their stats which seemed to suddenly rocket in the final hours of day three, so I suspected a bit of creative accounting had taken  place to make the Facebook advertising seem more effectual than it actually was, though I can’t prove it, it’s just a hunch.

What else didn’t float my boat? Well my advert had 1,219 “impressions” in total and it only had 7 clicks. Firstly the idea of impressions makes me mad, I don’t really want Facebook to show the same thing to the same person 10 times, I want more people to see it once, twice tops. And 7 clicks? Really? I suspect at least half of those were before I’d boosted the post in the first place.

My rationale for boosting my post and buying some Facebook advertising was to generate additional clicks on the link and more entries into the competition I was hosting. I wasn’t looking to increase my page likes, but that would’ve been nice too. Generating just 7 clicks and no engagement or interaction was beyond disappointing.

My conclusion: I paid £3 for 7 clicks to my blog which seems pretty darn expensive. I also felt like Facebook had maybe spammed some people on my behalf, which could potentially lead them to unfollow or unlike my page, which is the very opposite of what you want to happen. Would I boost a post again? It’s unlikely. Unless they iron out the spaminess, sort out the accuracy of their statistics and do something to improve click throughs etc, it’s probably just a big old waste of my money.

Have you used Facebook advertising? Have you had great success and have I just been unlucky?

That Facebook Positivity Meme

Ugh, I hate forced positivity about as much as I like making awkward small talk with strangers at weddings; so when I saw that Facebook positivity meme doing the rounds I kept my head down and prayed no one would tag me, but they did *sad face* and now I hate my life and all of my friends.

The premise is that some evil relentlessly cheerful person tags you in their post, and for the following five days you have to come up with three positive things and tag three poor unsuspecting people to do the same. This automatically ensures that each day you make three fresh Facebook frenemies. What joy. What endless, positive joy.

Here’s the record of my forced positivity, there was some significant barrel scraping at times, but I thought it would be interesting to keep a record of my thoughts and the reaction I got to each post. I may put together some pie charts and Venn diagrams to illustrate the results. Or not. I mean who has the time?

Day One
1. Told my husband just what he means to me today.
2. My son is making dry-nights progress.
3. Meeting a lovely friend for lunch & a catch up.

Response: Four likes and a small whinge from one of the poor buggers I’ve tagged.

Day Two
1. Had a lovely afternoon with some good friends.
2. Found out my blog is ranked 155 on Tots100
3. I heard that rarest of phrases… “I’m proud of you”

Response: Five likes and a good natured “why me?” from someone who will curse my birth within 48 hours.

Day Three
1. I’ve had a lovely day with the small boy, despite the plethora of bowel movements.
2. Hubs is ace and he makes me laugh pretty much every day.
3. I’m busy work wise, which is nice.

Response: Three likes, one “I’m pregnant so I can’t do it” and one flip this shizzle I’m at the end of my tether.

Day Four
1. Had a chilled day with the boys
2. I enjoyed watching the storms last night
3. Visited my mum & my dad, which means I’m a half decent daughter for once.

Response: Two likes and one person asking to be tagged the following day. People like this worry me, they really do.

Day Five
1. Greedy day out at the foodies festival, great fun with the boys.
2. Had a delicious and rare afternoon nap in anticipation of a loooong night ahead.
3. I’m loving the small boy to bits right now, love our proper conversations and he’s really funny and affectionate.

Response: Five likes and a “god damn you to hell for tagging me”.

Conclusion: Facebook memes were fun like five years ago, now they’re just dull. Put your bra colour as your status, but don’t say it’s your bra just to confuse the boys. Really? No thanks, is this the most fun thing you could think of?

Whilst I think the hellishly annoying Facebook Positivity Meme was started with all good intentions, I pretty much hated doing it, it was a chore and it annoyed me that I had to publish it publicly, if it’d been private I might have been more honest and less Facebook “isn’t life just peachy” about it.

From the responses I got, and from seeing other peoples positives each day, I think the meme is loved and loathed in equal measure. Me, I’m falling down firmly on the side of loathing it. So whatever you do, don’t tag me again. That would not elicit a positive response from me.

A New School for Didsbury

A little while ago I blogged my support for the bid to create a new free School in Didsbury. I know free schools have had a mixed reception, but there is some evidence that run well free schools can be an excellent asset to the community.

I have high hopes for Didsbury CE Free School, for a start it’ll be run by the team who run the massively successful and horribly oversubscribed Didsbury CofE (also known locally as Elm Grove).

In 2013 Didsbury CofE had 180 applications for just 30 places in their reception class. What we do know about the new school is that it will be two-form entry which will massively alleviate pressure on all the schools in Didsbury.

Didsbury CofE has been a part of Didsbury for 400 years and generations of my family attended the school, some of their names are on a memorial plaque dedicated to former pupils who died in WW1. It is an integral part of the community and a place that means a lot to me.

Not everyone wants their child to go to a church school, but some do, in fact there are quite a lot of us who do want our children to go to a church school and that’s our choice. It’s not that they’ll get the bible rammed down their throats, because I’m pretty sure that’s not what’s going to happen. What I am pretty sure about is that my son, should he be lucky enough to go to our local CofE school, will be taught to be polite, considerate and mindful of the world around him. Yes of course he gets that at home, but to me manners and respect are everything.

As for religion and religious education, they state that the school is open to, and welcomes children and families of all faiths and none, with their intake reflecting the religious and cultural demographic of the surrounding area. Which is as it should be.

I’m excited about the new school, I’m excited about the possibilities it’ll bring to Didsbury and the difference it will make within the community. It’s just exciting.

Apparently the bid for the school received the most amount of positive support for a new free school in the country, they don’t know where it’ll be located yet, the Department for Education will decide that, but it will be in Didsbury and it will be for me at least, an exciting and positive step forward for families like mine.

The school will open in September 2015.

You can find out more about the school and its ethos on their website and by following the Free School on Facebook and Twitter for updates and further information.

 

Why I support the application for a local Free School

Didsbury Free School

I love my son and I want the very best for him in every conceivable way. I want him to be happy and to grow and become a good person. I want him to be confident but not arrogant. I want him to be creative and musical. I want him to have fun in life and to love and respect others.

I am writing this post in support of the bid to create a new school, Didsbury Free School. It will be run by the team behind Didsbury CofE which is an excellent school. I did a tour of the school last year with the Headmaster. The children were happy, engaged, interested, incredibly polite and well behaved. A number of them came to chat to us and were lively and articulate. I want that for my boy.

We live in Didsbury, Manchester. For those who don’t know, Didsbury is heaving with young families all struggling to get into the excellent local schools. Here are a few numbers to highlight the problem parents face:

  • Didsbury CofE received 180 applications for 30 places
  • Beaver Road over 340 for 90 places
  • St Paul’s 170 applications for 45 places
  • St Catherine’s RC Primary 199 for 60 places
  • Cavendish Community Primary School 190 for 60

It’s clearly an alarming picture for any local parent and clearly needs addressing urgently. Nationwide, there is a huge shortage of school places and one of the answers to the problem is Free Schools.

A Free School is funded by taxpayers and free to attend. It isn’t controlled by a local authority and local authorities are no longer able to set up maintained schools due to changes in legislation. The idea is based on similar models in Sweden and as we know Scandinavian education is amongst the very best in the world.

I want a great deal from my sons education and it means a lot to me that he attends a local school which upholds the values and beliefs we have at home. From the kind of behaviour expected from him; bags of creative learning; respect and kindness; to believing – becoming – belonging as part of a wider Christian family.

The bid will be submitted to the Department for Education on 9th September and it needs all the support it can get.

Didsbury is desperate for more school places. I urge you to register your support via the website and by following the Free School on Facebook and Twitter for updates and further information.

Thank you.

Just Ok

I don’t need your validation.

Recently I’ve been meeting a good number of my fabulous Twitter friends who have supported me over the past few months, I’ve got on famously with them all and had some really great times. But…

When you meet someone you admire and respect. Someone worldly and intelligent they can turn your head, make you think differently and view your place in the world from another perspective. That is usually a really good thing.

You admire them greatly, this wonderful charismatic friend who shares so much in common with you but broadens your horizons and helps to underpin some of your flagging self esteem. And then you meet them and they are as great as you think they’ll be.

But they know everything about me. I’ve poured my soul out to a select group of online friends over the past few months and they know my vulnerabilities and the chinks in my armour. They know how to wound, they know how fragile I can be.

I met up with a friend, a wonderfully supportive and open friend. They said I was ok. What the hell is that? Ok? I thought they were amazing and good company and said so. I’m just ok. Well I guess that’s me. Just ok. I’ve brooded on that for a few days. Just ok.

Tonight my husband shot me a look which said that I wasn’t just ok that I was his world. That’s all the validation I need. There is a caveat. That is all the validation I need when I’m calm and happy. But otherwise I’ll probably continue to brood on being just ok.

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