You'd think a book would be the least dangerous thing you could send to your friend who's just begun their summer holiday. Nothing could be much safer, it might seem, than relaxing on a deckchair, in a peaceful garden or hotel poolside terrace, with a book and a cool drink. But this is Northern Ireland, and when we send parcels, we have to risk assess.
The people who hacked my phone and appeared outside my house a cold January morning over eight years ago, bringing my career and life as I knew it to a end, are now all in jail. And with the latest phone hacking scandal, I should feel the wheel has turned; perhaps a sense of revenge or justice.
A little round-up of some things of note that happened in the world of social media this week. Highlights include traditional media outlets being beaten to stories by Twitter, Scottish Terriers stealing the show at the Commonwealth Games ceremony and the inevitable dog gif...
It's not inaccurate to say that while British consumers have fallen head-over-heels in love with technology, they also fear what it is doing to them... consumer technologies often create contrary forces between positive and negative; a sort of Yin-Yang in our relationship with them.
As a company, Facebook has realised that the gap between "IT" and "the business" has all but disappeared, and that the ethos driving its developer ecosystem must work hand in hand with the business to grow profitability and market share. This represents a major transformation journey encompassing multiple migration initiatives.
For the first time in a major Arab-Israeli conflict, the American public has other sources of reality. All research says that young people everywhere regard Twitter as essentially a news service, and via your social network you can easily get served up words and pictures more impactful than anything on TV. By the time many Americans woke up on Sunday, these pictures were of dead Palestinian children.
The validation of opinion, though, appears to have surpassed the pursuit of truth as a priority. Conversation recedes when up against the allure of wilfully ignorant point-scoring. How rich of us to hope for a diplomatic resolution in the Middle East.
We are living in an age where we do almost everything online, from work, communicating with friends (or strangers) and finding love to watching our favourite TV programmes. As such, internet access is available in more public locations than ever before.
With the social media boom that has transformed our lives in the last decade, it is no secret that the need to connect with one another is central to our day-to-day existence. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram, among others, make it easy to communicate in an increasingly busy world, we are now able to Skype across time zones and send videos as events happen.
People tend to ignore marketers' messages on social media, mainly due to frustration over quantity and sometimes irrelevancy of adverts... The best quality content is not necessarily expensive to create; but definitely appealing to people. In different words, brands need to act more like human.
Here I am, trying to purchase an athletic looking CK bra, like the ones all the rage in the 90s. This is day three of my hunt, the shop was sold out and so far I am having little luck online. I will not admit defeat though as Calvin Klein Underwear is currently 'cooler than cool'.
My family, it appears, are a 'bunch of ugly, sad losers'. My wife is so 'desperate' to leave me that she will '**** the next man she has a drink with'. My beautiful children are, variously, 'pathetic... spoilt... probably adopted' because I am 'unable to get it up... a waste of space... a miserable, untalented tosser'. Worst of all though, my kitchen is 'hideous'. So this is what being trolled feels like... The other week I wrote what I felt was a thought-provoking, if slightly tongue-in-cheek, confessional about my enforced 12-month sabbatical as a stay-at-home dad trying to set up a new business after sudden redundancy.
By now you'll have probably heard of Breanna Mitchell, the teenage girl who posted a selfie smiling at Auschwitz concentration camp. Although she posted the photo some time ago (June 20th), it has only recently gone viral - clocking up more than 3300 retweets and a barrage of abuse over the past few days.
Was the study really as sinister as many are making out? I think not... Facebook and other big sites conduct experiments on their users every day, using data to improve their product as well as the user experience... In reality, the #FacebookExperiment is little more than website optimisation.
Connectedness, as the merging and integration of technology, people, global communities, is 'the real world' today... what young generation hasn't had their own paradigm shift to content with over the years - the sexual revolution, post-war modernism, woman's rights, gay rights, the structure of the workplace, informality, the changing structure of the family unit...
I've struggled with negative body image my entire life. Born missing my left arm and then at 18 months of age suffering third degree burns to 14% of my body after knocking boiling water on myself while struggling to get used to a prosthetic arm. I grew up looking and feeling different - in a society where so much emphasis is placed on physical appearance and the desire for perfection - I felt isolated and alone.