Social Media Matters?

I have to be honest, I don’t know whether to Be Kind or Wash my Hands. I am sneezing into my elbow here as I write but I think it’s due more to the blossom erupting everywhere than COVID-19.

A celebrity presenter died recently. She had clearly had enough of the gutter press rags and social media backlash and her personal life seems to have descended into freefall. Suddenly we’re all experts on depression, suicide, and Facebook has become a pulpit from which to preach.


Is it me? Am I perhaps being unkind? The celeb in question was clearly distraught. However, she knew what she was doing. Anyone who decides to end it all is getting off the bus because they want to stop it. Stop the pain, stop the hurt, stop the mess their own life has become. I do know what I am talking about. She had the right to do that and I hope she is at peace.


However, I really object to the preachers. I am kind – I think – but I don’t need to be told to be by a keyboard warrior with a halo. It’s giving me unkind thoughts! Help someone who is homeless, spend time with a lonely person, be nice to your kids, be a faithful partner, and stay the feck off Facebook.


Coronavirus is making the world we live in resemble a bad disaster movie. We’re all a little paranoid. However, a €150 mask (€1.50 last week) isn’t going to do the trick, apparently, and neither is buying all the Vitamin C down in Holland and Barrett. Continue to share your tapas with those you love, kiss your kids, but stop the handshakes with strangers and wash your hands. We all know it – we’re grown up and all – but again, I don’t need Facebook to tell me. Nor do I need to read scare stories and invented ‘facts’. The viral fiction is moving faster than the infection.  Everyone’s an expert….

Maybe I should stay off Facebook….there’s an idea!

Percolated happiness coming right up

It’s a drip feed, isn’t it? Happiness I mean. Not just happiness, all feelings, all emotions. A sort of osmosis from outside influence.

Peer pressure

We are so easily swayed these days, by adverts, by song lyrics, by reading a book or watching a decent film. Open your Facebook account and be instantly irritated by someone you have never actually met, feel emotional and sad at someone else’s bad luck, or warm and fuzzy from a cute kitten/puppy video. We’re all total suckers for it, really.



So there I was, minding my own business, when HAPPY MELLY suggested I get happy for a week; Go Positive they said. Easy, I thought. I’ll just post ‘nice’ things, and curate some positive stories. I can do that. Simple.


Hard work

It’s not, actually. My social media (personal and pages accounts) are full of some really bad shit, and I hadn’t truly taken note. I found myself SEARCHING for good news stories, and really, it was pretty trying. Forget the newspapers and media pages for a start. My ‘friends’ do like a good moan! Avoidance of 😦 reactions is also harder than you think.


So, I gaily skipped and scrolled past the RIP posts, the dead dog posts, the FFS posts and the general angst. No Angry, Sad, or even Like  (your angry mood)  responses from me – nuh-uh. I’m not on your bus, sister.

Feelgood factor

Then something odd happened. I found my finger hovering back over those Bad News stories, looking for something positive to say. That’s better, I thought. The OP would ‘like’ my comment, and I’d feel even happier.


9 September at 11:27 ·

All done and not a word of thanks from management. Not even a goodbye. Thankfully students were grateful for my efforts. #wontbeback




Carol Byrne The students are the important ones, your raison d’etre. Good that they were grateful 🙂

Like · Reply · 1 · 9 September at 12:33


I started to do the same OFFLINE. What’s all this? A new me? No, probably not. That would take some sort of miracle.


But a slow, drip-feed of happiness? Yes. like the best coffee, a sort of percolated happiness. It tastes pretty good too…want a cup?

Virtually me!

Hi Ho

Going to work used to be an actual place.  It involved someone else doing my tax, uniforms and shifts. With travel and all weather, and real people to contend with. These days I’ve discovered something different – and a whole new ‘me’.

It’s not just about being self-employed, working in pyjamas, or flicking over to helpful groups on Facebook between gigs.

I’ve discovered it’s rather satisfying to mould my own destiny, and I seem to have created a lifestyle I like and enjoy.  Being internet based, or being ‘virtual’ – doesn’t mean being out of touch.

A Clear Focus

Quite the opposite, I find I have become far more focussed than I would have thought possible – I’ve uncovered the leader in me – I had no idea one was lurking there all these years!

Folk often ask me how I can work all day on my laptop – they’d hate it, it must be so boring.  Far from it.

I use much more different mindsets and skills to master problems, than before.  I’m capable of juggling 4 or 5 different companies and jobs in an average day – one minute I’m writing snappy content, the next I’m extolling the virtues of chemical-free beauty, promoting a festival, handling a team of bloggers, using social media skills, or fronting a customer service role.

Communication is direct and easy.   I’m happy with conference calls, webinars, shared file drives, instant messaging.

Deadlines are met, problems are banished, things get done.

I never take on a role I might not be able to fulfil – and I only work with people I think I can get along with. So far, so good.  Who can say that in the ‘real’ world?  Can you?

7 Things I dislike on Facebook

Will I tell you 7 things you don’t know about me? Er, no. Not that I mind YOU knowing about my slightly interesting, occasionally hair-raising stories of my murky past – but, dear Stranger, because Keef the Identity Thief might just be reading over your shoulder. Horrors, he might even be a ‘friend’ already.

Identity theft word cloud shape

Which brings me to my point, and the title of this blog. Hmm, perhaps it should be ‘Would the Real Carol Byrne/Jenny Bloggs Please Stand Up’

1.  I dislike...the way folk are clearly uncomfortable with themselves. You know what I mean. Why does an online diary, one without a lock that you want the whole world to read, have to be given such a soft focus? Why does everyone have to pretend to be better, wittier, more interesting than they really are? It’s a sort of Wishbook, where we get to tell everyone how great we are – rather than how shitty our lives often are.

2. I dislike…doctored photos too, especially the plethora of mindless selfies.. Even my own perfectly pretty, often spotty, 16 year old has to use a zillion effects on her never-ending instagram shots. As someone said, let’s hope none of these kids go missing – we’ll never be able to distribute a photo anyone will recognise.

Yes, I used to look like this – but I sure as hell won’t ever again! And that’s alright.


3.  I dislike… the illusion everyone has that the whole world agrees with them. They’re YOUR friends, idiot. So when you throw your dummy out of the pram and then boast that everyone agreed with you on something – well…..unless you’re friends with me, you might not like me telling you you’re wrong 🙂

4. I dislike…the Chicken Licken approach. you know, The Sky is Falling Down, “I read it on Facebook so it must be true and I have to be the first to tell everyone else….” Urban Legend? Probably. Run it through Google first, you eejit.

5. I really dislike...The term Hun. Even typing that word makes me cringe. What’s that all about? Do they mean Honey? Then that’ll be Hon – and, actually,  call me that at your peril. Hun. It’s not an endearment. Also, it’s a NOUN.

6. I dislike...the random sharers. Dog – must share. Soldier – must share. Cute whatever – must share. If I share a dog that’s been badly treated it’s not to make you go awww. It’s because I like true justice and hope some of my friends in low places might just know that person and go and slice their bollocks off. Really. Stop spamming me. At least when I spam you I’m at least trying to sell you something 🙂

7. I dislike…the Blessed are We who are Special Brigade. If I see another fecking Halo on a smug emoticon I might flip. Keep your blessings to yourself, try doing something for someone else instead of telling me. If you love your son don’t share the picture, tell him, or make him his favourite meal or don’t nag him for a week – or something. I find it all a bit sad in the way some Facebookistas insist on telling us how lucky they are, how wonderful their mundane life is. I always get the feeling it actually ain’t – a bit like, if they say it enough….it might come true.

Disagree? So,go right ahead, unfriend me at your leisure – I really don’t mind.:) Yes I’m a grumpy old misanthrope – but at least I’m being honest, right? 

Next time you sit in front of that flashing cursor on the status bar – think before you type. Or better still, log off and go hug your son/dog/cute kitten.