Mental health problems can be so very isolating at times. Last week I was a bit of a social butterfly, catching up with three friends who I've not seen in far too long. Some days it's tricky, there have been times when seeing people has just been really hard and I've avoided certain social situations. This is a message to my friends...
Networking is still left off the syllabus at our schools and universities. I gave a talk to 40 undergraduate students from the Netherlands recently. Speaking to them before the presentations, very few of them were aware of networking, other than perhaps as some concept that they had been told would be important to them.
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.
The tech boom has revolutionised how we live our lives in countless ways, one of which being that we're constantly plugged in to the internet and able to communicate with each other. However whilst this state of "hyperconnectivity" gives us access to more information and people than ever before, is being constantly contactable making us happy?
I am all too familiar with such a feeling. Often wondering what else to say in a conversation that has naturally come to an end. I'd always felt that a cure for social awkwardness didn't exist and that in time my confidence would simply turn into arrogance and I wouldn't give a monkeys what people thought of me.
The other day I was asked if I wanted to go on a day trip to Brighton. This is normally the sort of offer that I shun as I like to stay well within my comfort zone, and this felt, well...outside of it. However, born out of the sudden frustration with monotony and lack of real human experiences, I instinctively agreed, and what a decision that turned out to be.
At present, state education does not match up to private schools in terms of academic provision. Until they do, parents who are lucky enough to be able to make the choice must make a value judgment. However, once you've made your choice, don't let your decision distort your take on reality à la Murray and O'Farrell.