Having a different point of view in the bygone days of coffee shop rendez-vous while sustaining vigorous debate used to be a good thing. Today having a different point of view means that the unusual individual is a bigot, a foe, a murderer, and a general traitor to the "established" group think on any number of subjects. Take your pick.
Sadly, both Fuck0ffee and Bricklane Coffee, appear to have misunderstood the time-old saying that "any publicity is good publicity" and, in doing so, to have missed a very simple truth: If you want to stand out in London's over-saturated independent coffee market, insulting 52% of the population isn't the best way to go about it. It's bad marketing, bad PR and, worst of all? It's not even funny.
It is anti-bullying week next week, but I raise awareness all of the time, 365 days a year. But why? The reason is because it's so important to me. I used to say that I'm a victim of bullying, but now I say that I am a warrior, because I've been through so much and come out of it the other end.
The immense reach, geo-location possibilities, culture of sharing and commitment to safety and innovation at Facebook has been an absolute game-changer for this vital and potentially life-saving system.
There is so much public pressure to maintain face of Remembrance, but what about its soul? The selfless soldier deserves more than a borrowed or bejewelled poppy.
Walls, bridges, toilet surfaces - they were all the ancestors of online rating sites. But there was one major difference between the walls of a public restroom and the forum of an online site. For all their communitarian puff, peer-to-peer ratings of human beings are fuelled by the oldest motivation of all: money.
Mark Zuckerberg should be smiling from ear to ear, right? Whilst obviously happy with these results, there is a nagging concern that Facebook is still grappling with. The platform is not attracting the younger generation, who are turning their backs to the platform in favour of alternatives like Twitter and Instagram (albeit the latter is also owned by Facebook).
When groups like Britain First turn the poppy into sharebait to spread their anti-Islamic political message, under the guise of respecting soldiers, they disrespect every Muslim service person that has played a significant role in the Armed Forces.
Images can be incredibly impactful; they can simply inform us but they also have the ability to evoke emotion in a way that words can't. They can tell stories in an instant, performing the role of a simple visual diary, whilst at their most powerful they can be a vehicle for change...more on that later.
"How can we stop Bashar al-Assad's air strikes on a Damascus suburb?" he inquired. "I know" said one. "We'll booby trap the area with cages containi...
Thrust into the high seas of celebrity with barely a paddle, they have no choice but to define themselves by their audience. Their identity is cultivated, curated and reflected back into a black mirror: 'Who is the fairest of them all?'
She's posted comments on her photos that expose the hard work and effort that went into creating them. She argues that we shouldn't let the number of 'likes' define how we feel. And it feels like something that's been rumbling on under the glossy surface of our online lives for a while.
I completely understood what Essena was saying because when I was posting inauthentic things, you start to feel like a fraud but where I differ from her is that I don't think my social media counters my message but instead is the platform I use to spread my message.
Yesterday, an 19-year old girl who is young, attractive and popular on Instagram, Snapchat and all the usual suspects "quit" her job as a social media personality after fearing she was drowning in the fraudulent life she had created for herself online.
Maybe that's what was interesting about Halloween for me this year: that the extremes of fancy dress just show us up for what we are, imposters riddled with status anxiety and insecurity, so busy playing tricks for an invisible crowd that we forget to notice the treats which lie apart from those seductive, backlit screens.
People have manifold questions about our connected online lives and this prompted me to put them together in a column that I hope will become a feature in a newspaper and maybe a book in the future.