Posted tagged ‘social media’

Chopped Liver – Social Living

December 5, 2010

Finally got out to see The Social Network – the film about the creation of Facebook.

It’s a funny old world we live in.

We will watch countless hours on Reality TV showing people sitting in a room every day with nothing to do – and we call it entertainment.

And when we’re not doing that, or more than likely, when we actually ARE doing that, we are tweeting and posting comments on Facebook – about the fact that we are watching the same people doing the same thing every day on that box in the corner of the room.

Ha! Ha! Super Great Fantastic!


If we are watching a football match on the telly, or BBC Question Time, or a Strictly or X Factor or whatever else we might be watching – our experience is not complete unless we have Twitter or Facebook open at the same time so we can read strangers’ comments about what we are watching.

It’s as if it’s not actually happening unless it’s on a Social Media site.

It reminds me of the time around 30 years ago when the Mount St. Helens volcano erupted in Washington State. People who could watch it from their back garden, and sense the real danger to their lives, would be indoors glued to their TV set – as if somehow it was only real if it was on TV.

But we are where we are – and there is no sense in hiding from it – it is all-consuming. We want to hear the insightful comments first and fastest. We want to make the insightful comments and have an instant and often appreciative (see “RT”, or “Like”) audience at our fingertips. It is compelling.

And so last night I travelled 20 minutes in the freezing cold, paid 20 quid to sit in a jam-packed (still!!) cinema to watch a geek creating the first of trillions of posts and making billions of dollars doing it. And you know what? It’s bloody brilliant. Couldn’t wait to get home to tweet, post blog about it – that’ll make it feel more real.

Now there… are 3…. steps to… carry a donor card – ooh, wap wap!
Just follow steps 1, 2 and 3.

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Chopped Liver – Trust Yourself

September 9, 2010

I have been asked by the British Liver Trust to write a piece for their bi-annual magazine. The topic is about me, my fundraising and my blog. Below is what I’ve just knocked up and intend to send to them. I reproduce it here for these reasons:-

a) It saves me writing another blog post today
b) I’d like your feedback
d) what happened to c)?
c) ah, there it is
e) I think it’s quite appropriate after almost 200 posts and the completion of 6 months since I started to re-visit why I’m doing this

    The Article

Dealing with the news that you need a liver transplant affects people in different ways – dependent on your physical state at the time. If your liver is functioning so poorly that it affects your daily existence, then this news should be greeted with optimism and eager anticipation.

However, if, as in my case, I am able to function fairly normally, save for bouts of colangitis, then dealing with the situation is less straightforward. How much longer can I get away with a failing liver? Weeks? Months? Years?

How is it I can feel fine some of the time and yet still have to face such a life-changing operation?

I decided to put my faith and trust in the team of medical experts to deal with my physical state in the best way they can – and I will concentrate on my mental well-being.

We live in the age of communication and information at our fingertips, on our desk PCs, on our mobile phones, so let’s seize this opportunity and bear all as I travel on my journey of discovery. I am naturally a private person so this was somewhat of an anathema to me, but I started writing a daily blog of my feelings.

Topics ranged from the gory needle-fest of my medical assessment, through personal events that affected my personal life e.g. the recent death of my father, the death of one of my fellow-transplant patients. Both of those events had a direct bearing on my emotional state.

As regards my father’s passing, I had to leave London to attend to affairs and funeral activities so had to temporarily leave the transplant waiting list – not something I was keen to do. The death of my “colleague” brought home two factors to me:- 1) that this is no joke and 2) that we all suffer from different conditions and we should not let the misfortunes of others hi-jack our positive attitude – especially as the general prognosis is good-to-excellent for many.
And so I continue to write my daily blog and yes, it has turned out to be a cathartic exercise for me, and perhaps an inspiration for others. But, more than that, I feel that I not alone. Sure, I have loving and caring family and friends, but I also have an unknown audience out there who never miss my daily postings. I know this as, one day I had not written my blog post by 23:30 and I got a “tweet” on Twitter from someone I did not even know asking if I was alright.

Ah, social media. Twitter and Facebook have really transformed the way we communicate – we live our lives in the moment – we live in global real time – and this helps knowing that when I need to bare all about my feelings – I tweet, and it is seen. And I have made a community of friends in Twitterland from interested people, and transplanted people, and people just like myself – on the list.

I can add links in every posting and on my blog page to show people just how easy it is to register as an organ donor, or to contribute to the liver charity page I set up using JustGiving – and it thrills me when I hear from people that they want to thank me – just for giving them the kick-up they needed to click my link and register.

It has been 6 months now since I was told I needed the transplant – 6 months of daily blog posts. I’ve had my ups and my downs – and they are all there for people to read.

Now there… are 3…. steps to… carry a donor card – ooh, wap wap!
Just follow steps 1, 2 and 3.