There have been two interesting viral stories this week. One: Katie Hopkins declaring her opinions on both 'lower class children's names' and 'ginger babies' and two: Dustin Hoffman's tearful reflection while remembering an epiphany during the filming of 'Tootsie'.
Drugs, sex, alcohol - and now, social media. The first three are, shall we say, "traditional" routes to risky and sometimes troublemaking behavior for teens. Now, in an age of hyper-narcissistic virtual networks, social media has become a new avenue for people, especially young people, to entangle themselves in unseemly behavior.
I think the way we invade the private lives of others including our children have reached a point where we all need to step back for a moment and re-assess how we live as humans. On the one hand a comment about our children can be innocent enough as part of our daily social lives and conversations.
On average, two campaigns a week win on Change.org in the UK - most of them powered by incredible stories of how big, structural issues impact on peoples daily lives. What they have in common is that one person wanted to change something so much that they told their story and built a movement around it. In doing so they shifted how power works: from the top down to the bottom up and have often sparked a much wider debate on the bigger issue around their campaign.
At the talk, Trevor Beattie, responsible for French Connection's notorious FCUK advertising campaigns, remarked that the secret to success is being constantly curious, "we should be childlike but not childish and in a constant state of wonderment."
It's that time of year again. 'Premier League Years' is being aired on Sky Sports, confused men in fading replica shirts are being dragged around shopping centres on Saturday afternoons and the only people gracing the pitches of our major football stadia are ageing rock stars. Welcome to the no man's land that is pre-season.
So many people warn about the dangers associated with the use of social media (including me!) and rightly so. One wrong move (or Tweet) and you could find yourself only one click away from disaster. The recent example of Emma Way's tweet which led to her being labelled a "twit and run driver" was like watching a car crash unfolding in slow motion.
I see young girls tweeting their idols saying they wish they were them. Wish they had their hair, their boobs, their teeth, their talent, their fame. These tweets break my heart. I want these girls to have their own ambitions and realise that fame doesn't necessarily equal happiness.
So what if the 11-year-old has shone round after round in the competition, excelling at every test of intelligence put before her? She's got a bit of hair between her nose and her mouth and it is holding her back, people. Take out the tweezers, heat up the wax and roll up your sleeves: we've got an innocent 11-year-old waiting to be objectified.
The first go-to excuse that requires little explanation. You've already got plans. This only really works on people who won't ask what you're doing because then you have to lie through your teeth on the spot which can sometimes lead to a Joey-esque Racoon-related excuse.
I don't see the point of photo apps which exist to make reality look prettier. Well: I mean I see the point; it's perhaps more the case that I don't see the value. Surely a photograph is a representation of reality with the kind of accuracy which a sketch or a painting can't achieve?
While social media tends towards the small, there is one thing that has become big as a result, and this is data. We now all live within a thousand datasets, each one of which is like a compass bearing on our identity. This fact is overturning all our concepts of privacy, data protection and the significance of information.
Another couple, just walking down the aisle on any given Friday/Saturday/Sunday is now 'surprised' because their 'flashmob' wedding video has been shared thousands of times. 'It was just little-old-us getting hitched...we are so surprised that half the world watched the video.'
In a week when the country is collectively obsessed about a group of elite athletes running around small grass courts in SW19, it's hardly surprising a pair of running shoes topped the headlines. What's more surprising is who was wearing them. Never mind the commercial power a Nadal or Sharapova can have when wearing a certain brand of T-shirt or skimpy tennis skirt. This week, Democrat senator Wendy Davis managed to turn a pair of pink Mizuno trainers into Amazon's best-selling shoe.
On the issue of bullying, social media allowed bullies to change tactics, and with less risk involved. Psychological bullying came to the forefront, with Facebook Groups, pages and live chats all available for vulnerable kids to be targeted. Parents wrote social media off as a "fad" or a "trend" and the majority of them - through no fault of their own - left their kids to it.
I've been on Twitter since the summer of 2010, soon after my first novel was published. Three books, three years and a few thousand followers later, I think I may be getting the hang of it. So for what it's worth, here are my own five ways to get the best out of Twitter, and make sure it gets the best out of me.