Social Commentary

Welcome to Instagram World!


Hand with smartphone taking food photo of fresh breakfast with coffee and croissants

Photo Courtesy of the Internet. NHYM 2016.

This week, I opened up an Instagram account. Not because I want to put a million pictures of ‘look-at-me-I’m-so-hot-cool-fit-fun’ but because I was told I needed a social media ‘presence’ for my upcoming project. So, I decided to go and do what 400 million people are doing and opened up an Instagram account. Instagram is one of the fastest growing social media platforms of the moment. It has overtaken Twitter and I decided that I needed to tag along for the ride.


The Power of Social Media

Last week, when Donald Trump won the American election, he attributed his victory to social media: This has demonstrated the power of social media and how it has infiltrated our lives. I have some friends who won’t touch social media but no one can deny that it has become incredibly powerful. Trump has claimed that instead of spending millions on his campaign, he put his efforts into social media, and it paid off.

My Instagram 

When I started posting photos and getting ‘likes’ and looking into other people’s accounts, I realised that Instagram is a legally, socially accepted form of voyeurism and stalking. Just like the photos, you can filter your life to make it look amazing/cool/fun all the time even though it really isn’t (I wasn’t going to take a picture of myself scrubbing my toddler’s poo-stained-carpet was I?). I also decided not to put any pictures of myself or my family for our personal privacy, and to only put photos of beautiful places and beautiful things.

It is also incredibly addictive. After 4 days of being obsessed with Instagram and being bombarded with 59 likes on one of my photos, I was exhausted. Social media sucks you in and I can see how you could spend hours on it. Now that I get what everyone is talking about, I can go back to being a back-seat-social-media-user.

Happiness vs. Success & Power? 

What has emerged though is that social media is making our children more stressed and anxious, especially girls: There is a much higher incidence of mental health problems in young girls today since the advent of social media, with too much emphasis on how you look, what you’re doing, and the pressure of keeping an image of perfection. It only emphasises how important it is to control our children’s social media activity. For power and success, social media may have its role, but for your children’s happiness, it may be wise to restrict their social media as much as possible.




Instagram: @nottinghillyummymummy

Quote of the day, Social Commentary

‘You Know You’re Middle-aged When…’


A few nights ago, I was having dinner with a very good friend, an ex-Londoner, turned New Yorker who was visiting London. She had invited her closest ‘London’ friends, some of whom she hadn’t seen in four or five years, to a ‘girls’ dinner for a proper ‘cocktails and sushi’ catch up. We went to Roka Mayfair, a new stalwart for its absolutely delicious food (yellowtail sashimi in truffle oil comes to mind), and the 8-person round table, ideal for big group conversations.

Just to preface it, these girls were the champagne-swirling, table-dancing, crackbaby-downing (Boujis fans, anyone?) kind-of-girls. And here we were, 10 years later, chatting about our in-laws (‘can you believe she stayed for 6 weeks?!’), competing for ‘who-has-the-most-useless-husband,’ what-cute-things-our-daugther/son-do-cue-here’s-a-photo and who-was-having-the-least-amount-of-sex when it dawned on us that we had reached Middle-Age. My dear friend, who is turning 45 this year, lamented: ‘I’m turning 45! That’s half of 90! I have lived half my life! I am officially Middle-Aged!’

Instead of getting depressed at this prospect and telling her ‘age is just a number’, we came up with 20 ways of knowing whether you are middle-aged:

You know you’re Middle-Aged When….

1)…You think the ‘Cloud’ is something that’s in the sky formed from condensed water which will produce rain. Equally, ‘cookies’ are something you bake for your children’s afternoon snack.

2)…You have never heard of ‘Zoella’ and don’t know what ‘vloggers’ actually do

3)…You don’t understand the point of Snapchat

4)…You really start to wonder what it would be like to date on Tinder

5)…You think midnight is a really late night out. And for those nights, you need to prepare with an afternoon nap.

6)…You’re the first to arrive and the first to leave a restaurant. And you’re no longer embarrassed. Ditto Parties.

7)…You start complaining at dinner that ‘this restaurant is too loud’

8)…You get really excited when someone mentions going clubbing after dinner, only to realise that your bed is a much, much more alluring proposition

9)…You go to the Chiltern Firehouse Private Bar and realise that the oldest person there (apart from you) is 10 years younger than you

10)…You look at twentysomethings at the Westbourne/Anglesea Arms/Walmer Castle/[insert trendy, young, pub or bar] nostalgically (enviously) and think to yourself ‘that used to be me’

11)…You are seriously excited to stay home on a Saturday night to watch the new season of Games of Thrones on netflix

12)…You tell your teenage nephew that your all-time favourite band is U2 and he looks at you blankly

13)…You then tell him your all-time favourite TV show is Seinfeld, and he still continues to look at you blankly

14)…You actually think gardening is something ‘fun’ to do on the weekends rather than something ‘depressing old farts do’ on the weekend

15)…You say things like ’40 is the new 20.’ Cringe. Or saying (see above) ‘age is just a number’

16)…You have a party and your neighbours don’t even notice

17)…That big plate of pasta you had last night turns into a muffin over night. Of the muffin-top variety.

18)…You watch The Good Wife/Breaking Bad/Scandal more regularly than you have sex

19)…Your sex life is in synch with the full moon cycle

20)…Your sex therapist advises you to have sex every day to rejuvenate your sex life and the thought fills you with horror



** Please add any other ways to know when you’re middle aged below in the comments!**

*** For those interested in point 20, check out this free webinar: ***