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Infiltration of emojis

Posted by Mum About Town
Mum About Town
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on Wednesday, 01 July 2015
I'm a little bit concerned about this overwhelming infiltration of emoji. These weepy/winking faces, clapping hands and dancing women have taken over our heads, words and minds. Even those with ridiculously high IQ seem to be substituting curious pictures for wordy description and true emotion and, to be honest, I'm wondering if this can end well for our world at large.

Emoji first entered our vocabulary in the mid 90s. A Japanese tech developer dreamt up the colourful team way back in that pre-iphone-era. Of course there really wasn't much demand for the technicolour smiley face cult before we had the tools to litter them. Now billions of emoji are flung through the ether each year and I'd say that we're now pretty symbol obsessed.

On any given night out, Mini (back home) can send me anywhere in the region of 50 little characters (via email) to express her love and longing. I return around 30 of the damn things hoping that this will coax into putting down her screen and placing her head on the pillow.

Instagram is infested with the latest craze of these pictograms. Thumbs up for something impressive, fire for this heat wave, ice-cream at the ready and any assortment of multicoloured hearts to tie in with real words, an image or both.

So, should I be concerned? Is it not enough that we now dream in photographic squares, communicate in status updates and tweet more than we speak? Instead of finding the words, we seem to reach for the icon. I'm all that smiley faced with tongue hanging out about the emotionless-emoji thing.

The evils of perfection

Posted by Mum About Town
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on Monday, 11 May 2015
Small brought me his maths homework last night.

'I know this answer isn't right' he correctly volunteered. 'But I don't know how to do it so I guessed a number and added 2 to it.'

I took a closer inspection and the rest of the homework was pretty much in line with what the teacher had requested. And I have this thing about perfect homework so I immediately agreed that he could kick a football in the garden.

Honestly, there really is NO place for perfect homework in this world. Not only does it feel manufactured, bad and wrong, it also happens to be poor preparation for any future life.

In fact, from where I'm sitting, perfection in general is a bit of a curse. Unrelenting, non-authentic and with very few upsides, I'd strongly advise those who feel the need to dot every i. Because the harsh reality is that nothing perfect is sustainable, especially as we live in a society flooding us with unattainable expectations around every topic imaginable. How often we eat our greens, have sex, save money, spend time with our children/elderly parents, exercise, cook from scratch.... the list is nothing short of exhausting.

So join my gang in being slightly messy, that little bit imperfect and do add a random 2 to that sum you don't know how to do...

Dating Schools

Posted by Mum About Town
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on Friday, 01 May 2015
I know we're not allowed to talk about it. I know that - along with tutors and scholarships and everything else in between – the whole damn subject is COMPLETELY taboo. However 'horses for courses' and 'go with the flow' are all very well in theory but I do need to tell you how I put 2 and 2 together and BING! right there and then I had my not-so-academic revelation....

In fact, it was while I was touring a possible senior school for our Mini that this award-winning realization hit me. You see, I'm approaching school-hunting much as I did (all those years ago) when I might have been husband-hunting. And THIS is sure to be the reason why my emotions around secondary school viewings are proving a little leftfield. I'll give you an example: I never could dig those men who couldn't look me in the eye – especially if their hands dug around in their pockets. Nor could I date the smarmies, the intellects and... what a utterly hideous turn off those A grades could be. No. Absolutely not. I was looking for someone properly fun, definitely not stupid and more than able to handle any social situation I might fling in their direction.

And – as it transpires - that's what I'm looking for when considering our Smalls and their education – at large. Yet instead I am find myself faced with exam factories, overly-keen teenagers, pushy parents and droves of stressed out over-achievers. I just can't fancy that.


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