A podcast, finally.

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For several years I’ve toyed with the idea of recording a podcast. But as a commercial voice over artist and radio presenter, I spend enough time in studios with headphones on, ruining my beautiful hair.

Since leaving LBC last year I’ve been inundated with kind messages from listeners asking where they can hear me doing a speech programme. My Smooth Radio Drivetime show is very much music focussed, and my job is to support but not upstage the relaxing tunes.

To me, music radio and speech radio are just as much fun to work on. In fact, commercial music radio is actually harder to do well, as it’s far more scientific and precise (my former LBC boss was horrified to hear me say this last week). You have a matter of seconds to communicate, inform and entertain. I’m very lucky to be allowed to have a go at it every day.

I recently read that for the first time in six years, National Public Radio, better known as NPR in the States, was on track to break even financially thanks in part to the rising popularity of their podcasts. Hearing that, coupled with Apple’s attempt at ‘reinventing radio’ with an online radio station, was the catalyst that helped me to decide it was time to climb aboard the ‘on demand’ audio ship. Plus, everyone is now connected with a portable device, and monthly data charges are coming down. Traditional broadcasting is evolving.

These days, people have busy lives and when they have a spare thirty minutes they choose to catch up on a favourite tv series or podcast, rather than surf the countless random channels to see what’s on.

My dilemma when creating a podcast, was what to talk about? What subjects to cover? What music to play? I have such varied interests that I could have done a dozen podcasts on range of subjects from politics to show business, technology to aviation.

I made some pilots and consulted with various industry people as to what they might like to hear. My brilliant former LBC producer Victoria Hastings told me my pilots were terrible, when others said they were great – so she was invited to series produce, and thankfully she said yes! A reality check is healthy.

It occurred to me that my specialist subject is London, the city I was born in and have always lived in. I’m very much a West Ender, so by osmosis my topics will tend to focus around what’s on and what’s happening in central London. I like to eat out, see shows and try new places. I’m endlessly complaining and campaigning about the people running the city, especially the Mayor, TfL and our vast transport network.

 

On the subject of transport, I read a London Assembly report a few years ago entitled ‘Too Close for Comfort’ about how people physically shut down during the morning crush on London Underground. This gave me the idea to aim this programme at those people who might already be wearing headphones and need a distraction for half an hour whilst in a subterranean world, without phone signal. Armed with all of this and thanks to the brilliant people at Audioboom, Underground London Radio was born – see what I did there?

 

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So, we decided to just document my random activities and somehow turn it into a calming 25 minute weekly programme. London News, Arts, Culture, Politics, Transport, Tech, Interviews, Food and Music. The inside track on one man’s life in the capital. Every episode would be the same, but different – depending on what I’m up to and whom I meet. The advantage of online radio is that you can express an opinion without having to provide balance, so it’s a great opportunity to speak out.
 
I also know first hand how hard it is to break into the business, so we’re ending each episode on a song, by an unsigned London artist. This enables me to curate a playlist of original music, by Londoners, for Londoners, and showcase new talent to a wider audience.
 
Please feedback to me with thoughts and ideas for future topics or reviews and spread the word. It’s a work in progress and will evolve each week. I’m not trying to change the world, just add to it. You know what they say, “you’re only as good as your last podcast.”


Please have a listen and subscribe for free, either on Audioboom or iTunes.

 

Also follow the Underground London Radio Twitter account for previews of what’s on.
 
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GATROW or HEATHWICK?

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As an ‘independent’ report is finally published to decide on airport expansion in the south of England, it is likely the new Tory government will conveniently treat it as just a recommendation, rather than the rule. Politics has played a big part in this debate and despite respectable campaigning from the owners of both Heathrow and Gatwick, Sir Howard Davies’s job has probably been made more difficult by the fact that at least five Conservative cabinet ministers represent seats in the area affected by noise and pollution around Heathrow.

Britain is fast being left behind as the Middle East, Russia and China are building international multi runway airports at a rate of knots. Even Ethiopia is planning to open the first of three new planned airports in 2018. So with Heathrow at 98% capacity and Gatwick’s proposals relatively easy to achieve why is Britain taking so long to deliver?

As with all major infrastructure projects decisions are made at the very top as that’s where the money supply comes from. Senior Conservative party members may secretly be driving a decision for a brand-new airport outside of London. Like HS2, this type of construction project is very lucrative for those in associated industries. Even the Mayor of London, now a Tory MP wants one in his name. 

In reality, Heathrow is both the airlines’ and passengers preferred airport, as road and rail links to Central London are fast and efficient. It is already a ‘hub’ airport for connecting onto shorter European flights, or as a waypoint further afield. It is not true that all local residents have campaigned against airport expansion as many work at the airport and want to see it grow for increased employment opportunities.

Noise should really be a non-issue as new aircraft are getting much quieter and are now measured by their noise characteristics with fines levied on airlines that don’t comply. If it takes twenty years to extend or expand these airports, engine noise and air traffic control technology will have moved on significantly, making life easier for residents. The new generation Boeing 787 ‘Dreamliner’ and the Airbus A350 ‘Hushliner’ have quiet, lower emission engines and are already in operation. 

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I believe both Heathrow and Gatwick need to be expanded quickly for Britain to keep up with the rest of the world. It should never have been a question of either or, or even a political issue as the longer it takes, the more passengers and our economy will suffer. Heathrow, which is already the size of a small city, is set to be the winner this time around, with a new NW runway built through the village of Harmondsworth and the M25 redirected through a new tunnel beneath it. 

In the meantime, larger aircraft like the A380 Superjumbo, which is likely to be stretched by Airbus to carry 765 passengers, is the only stopgap to increasing passenger numbers without expanding runways.

Anthony Davis is a broadcaster, private pilot and aviation journalist. Available for interview.

Joining Smooth Radio in the New Year

From January 2nd 2014 I’ll be hosting the Smooth Drive Home, weekdays 4-8pm

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I’m thrilled to be returning to music radio and taking the reins as host of Smooth’s new national Drive programme. It’s an honour to remain in the Global family, and whilst I’ll miss the late night conversation on LBC 97.3 where I’ve been so comfortable over the past eight years, I look forward to popping up on the LBC schedule from time to time.

http://www.smoothradio.co.uk/music/buzz/anthony-davis-joins-smooth-radio/a97f9

I have some news

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After almost eight years of mostly working at night on LBC 97.3, I have decided to take a break from my regular show. It’s been such an honour to broadcast to London during its most successful years and to have the opportunity to talk to so many interesting and informed people, whom I’m certain have done more to educate me than I have them. People who work at night will know how the late hours can take their toll on health and personal life, and for that reason alone I have taken the difficult decision to step down from the show. The good news is that I’m not leaving the company, and look forward to cropping up on LBC 97.3 elsewhere in the future. I’d like to extend sincere thanks to every producer, contributor and caller that has made the programme so popular – it has truly been a team effort.

Thank you, Anthony x

I’ll have further news in the coming days. Please follow me on Twitter for updates.
http://www.twitter.com/theanthonydavis

What the World Needs Now is iGlance

Next week Apple will unveil new products that will see its share price return to an all time high. As a self confessed Apple fanboy since 1992, I have watched the company develop, innovate and deliver. I’ve invested in their products and am proud of their achievements. Lets not forget what our mobiles were like before the iPhone. Icons and touchscreen gestures were unheard of. And before iPad, who even knew they needed a tablet computer?

I’ve also learned a lot about business strategy courtesy of their model to put product and quality ahead of price and profit. Believe it or not, Apple’s ethos is not to make money, but to sell the best kit out there. Contrary to critics, it is this rationale that has made them the most profitable company in the world. The economists and analysts are almost always wrong with their predictions as to how the tech giant will evolve and why it’s share price fluctuates. As fully paid up members of the Cult of Mac, us evangelists are far more in tune with Cupertino than UK based journalists who use Microsoft Windows computers and Android mobile phones.

But there is a but. And here is my dilemma.

I am starting to feel that my life was richer in the days before iDevices. I went out more, socialised more, actually communicated more. I used my brain in different ways than I do now. I used to procrastinate, contemplate, evolve a theory. Today, I search my initial thought online from wherever I happen to be, and solve the problem.

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On the radio show I’ve been saying for a few years now that traditional education is becoming increasingly irrelevant for young people who have grown up with smartphone technology. Why learn it? Why remember it, if you can search online and have the answer in seconds? Technology like voice activated Google Search (far more accurate and efficient than Siri) coupled with Google Glass (the web connected specs) may further remove the requirement for learning.

But personal development, character building, conversation, interests and hobbies are critical, and I’m not convinced that technology encourages any of these. Technology just makes us reliant on yet more technology.

I’ve managed so far to avoid signing up to Facebook, but social networking for a younger generation has totally replaced all of the above. It is the ‘interaction replacement therapy’ that prevents them from practicing those vital people skills that by eighteen undoubtedly help us in being successfully selected for a job.

So, back to Apple. On June 10th Apple will unveil the next raft of innovation that will put them back on the map. Yes, I agree they’ve under achieved since Steve Jobs passed away, but in his passing they also made a bold and much under publicised move. They promoted their handsome Vice President of Industrial Design, Essex born Jony Ive to chief of software design. In doing so, Apple will take those clean lined, monochromatic slabs of titanium and turn every iPhone, iPad and personal computer inside out. The software will evolve to new heights, leaving every competitor’s operating system behind. At least I hope they will.

Whilst over 200 Android phones have come to market recently, Apple has stuck to the same formula for both hardware and software since the iPhone changed everything just six years ago. In fact, they have only produced four almost identical phones in that time. After all, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?

But now there is a reason to fix things. Things is broke. You can’t go to a restaurant without seeing iPhones in the hands of every diner, either catching up on Facebook, or photographing their food. On public transport the iDevice has given license for passengers to further ignore each other, and every text, email, instant message and tweet requires an immediate reply (or expect a phone call saying ‘I just messaged you, why haven’t you replied yet?’).

So in addition to a sexy software overhaul, Apple needs to fix the social disfunction they have inadvertidly created with products that we all wanted and didn’t know we needed, but now can’t live without.

Around the turn of the last century, Louis Cartier and Edmond Jaeger invented the first prototype of a men’s wristwatch, for an aviator who wished to time flight performances without taking his hands off the yoke. A momentary glance was all it took to recognise the dials and acknowledge the time. Today, the split second it takes for us to register the display of a digital watch is even more efficient. We have learned to do it whilst out at dinner, without our date noticing that we are ready to cut and run.

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In August 2011, Apple filed a patent for a thin flexible strap dubbed the iWatch. A device that seamlessly connects via Bluetooth to the iPhone hidden away in your pocket or handbag. If Apple are smart enough, the watch’s built in display will only allow you to view Push Notifications. Emails, texts, missed calls and social networking replies will momentarily appear on the strap. Just long enough for a momentary glance. For me, the success of this product will hinge on it’s lack of interactivity. If the iWatch allows you to reply or respond, then it will fail to protect users from the curse of portable technology. It must be passive, despite the technology existing to make it interactive. Less will mean more.

If such a wrist strap product makes it to market, I predict Apple’s ‘iGlance’ will win out over ‘Google Glass’ as the product that once again changes everything.

Why it is right to close St Paul’s Cathedral

Last night on LBC 97.3 I discussed the ongoing anti capitalism protest outside St Paul’s Cathedral. As the numbers grow, and the camp spreads to Finsbury Square, the Cathedral has closed it’s doors for the first time since the Second World War.

Having spent Saturday at the protest myself, I witnessed with my own eyes the peaceful, grass roots, organic demo featuring people of all ages and all social backgrounds. Not unwashed hippies, but regular hard working people who have taken time out to highlight an issue that affects us all.

Despite my support of the cause, I do have concerns about a potentially confused message. There are now so many negative effects of capitalism, that the protesters might benefit from a simpler directive. Banning capitalism ain’t possible, we’re too far gone. Instead we need a sustained effort to regulate risky investment banking, curtail tax avoidance and restructure the cuts so that key workers are not paying the ultimate price for something they didn’t cause or don’t even understand. Surely one less pointless war might have diverted enough funds to solve the housing crisis, save public sector pensions and keep local services alive? When the Government speaks of a reserve fund for Libya, what is to stop them announcing a similar secret fund for their own people? Hard working citizens are struggling, as the cost of living rises month by month, yet average wages haven’t gone up in fifty years. It just doesn’t add up.

The time bomb of rising inflation and shortage of blue collar jobs are just some of the reasons why the protesters are in it for the long haul. This is potentially the most important protest in recent history. It’s not a march, it’s not a riot, it’s not even a rally. This is a respectable sit in by intelligent like minded people who ‘get it’. Why should big businesses profit to the tune of billions, yet pay proportionately less tax than a nurse on PAYE?

Whilst a mainstream socialist political party is not on offer these days, it is left to the electorate themselves to stand up for their own rights. Where successive Governments have failed to honestly represent us, it falls to the collective power of people to address a capitalist system that is out of control. As the rich get richer, the poor will inevitably become the majority, and the rich should beware… True democracy does allow for the majority to win out in the end.

In conclusion, the protest has hurt the establishment. Not just because the MP’s and bankers have been caught with their hands in the cookie jar, but because our greatest Cathedral, a symbol of hope, strength and freedom is forced to close it’s doors courtesy of democracy. The rights of the people and their liberty is the very thing St Paul’s has stood for three hundred years to represent. Its closure is a definitive moment in time and legitimises the cries of millions to whom politicians will be forced to listen.

Hear the full programme on the AUDIO page of my website http://www.anthonydavis.com

Steve Jobs and the cult of Mac

Last night, the 5th of October will be a night I’ll never forget. As a self confessed Apple fanboy, Mac fanatic and director general of the anti-PC brigade (computer not correctness), I never imagined that I’d be the one to announce on LBC 97.3 the death of Steve Jobs.

After battling pancreatic cancer and undergoing a liver transplant he’d taken medical leave from Apple at the start of the year. Steve’s health was of concern to all who never even knew him. The only glimpse of his personal life was the health issues that presented themselves physically in recent years. We cared about him, because through Apple, he cared about us.

The Apple creator, former CEO (until August 29th) and inspirational leader of the cult of Mac, was much more than just an I.T. company boss. Jobs was a revolutionary and a visionary, who knew things had to change and knew how to change things. From the early days of Apple Inc telling us to Think Different via their advertising, to the infamous keynote speeches where Steve would save the best announcement till last with his trademark ‘one more thing’, Apple revolutionised technology, did away with the user manual, made everything intuitive and made computers sexy.

Somehow Apple created a lifestyle brand that customers had an emotional relationship with. You’d never hear a Samsung user say he was popping home to work on his RV511 and make some calls on his Galaxy S2. But the sound of Apple consumers across the world referring to their Mac or iPhone as a living breathing member of the family was nothing short of normal. Normal and brilliant. It is precisely this that has made Apple the largest tech company in the world, with more money in the bank than even the US Federal Reserve.

I would go as far as to say that along with countless others, I’ve idolised Steve Jobs. His ethos, his mantra and his passion for quality. To me, it’s always been his love of delivering products that are not only visually perfect, but also work brilliantly. I felt, maybe naively, that Apple wasn’t interested in profit. I’d stay up late each quarter to watch the delayed stream of Steve Jobs on stage. I’d ride the wave of media speculation, and try and cut through the secrecy to predict the next product annoucement. I was almost always wrong, and I loved being surprised.

Like Willy Wonka, Steve Jobs worked his magic on a generation, changing the way we consume music, video and information. Remember what mobile phones were like before the iPhone? Apple brought us the stuff of science fiction and we lapped it up. His attention to detail was they key to the company’s financial success. I never begrudged paying Apple for anything. I stood in line for four hours to get iPhone 4, with men and women of all ages. We all knew a little something about each other. We all knew a little about Steve Jobs. We all knew why we were there.

When Tim Cook took over as acting CEO recently we didn’t want to admit to ourselves that Steve Jobs was not getting better. Last night, seeing his death, aged just 56, appear on the news wires from the studio of LBC 97.3, and knowing that it was my job to announce it to Londoners was one of the toughest moments of my career. For those of us who cared, it was a Princess Diana moment. We will never forget where we were the night Steve Jobs passed peacefully away.

State of the Nation

A blog post usually covers one subject. An opinion that can be summed up in a few short paragraphs. With recent world events of such biblical proportions, it seems that no blog, conversation or published work can do justice to the issues that the world is currently facing. Even I have been lost for words, and that is saying something.

With 24 hour media, we have witnessed the plight of the Japanese people who have endured a magnitude 9 earthquake, 40 foot high tsunami and nuclear fallout all in the same day. A week later Britain took it upon itself to go to war with another oil rich Muslim country under the guise of a UN peace mission, and as the media would have it, diverting attention away from coverage of the Japanese disaster, which three weeks on barely gets a mention.

Amongst all this, the British people found time to raise £74 million for Comic Relief charities, and our Chancellor has delivered a recession busting budget, saving motorists a penny on the price of petrol, despite his 2.5% VAT increase in January.

I’ve always found solace in a fresh perspective. Looking upon the world as an entire planet can make our individual problems appear trivial against the backdrop of the bigger picture. But these last few weeks have been exceptional. I’ve found it increasingly difficult to relocate my perspective, when from all angles the world experiencing unprecedented turbulence.

Closer to home, and in the wake of violence after a TUC protest march where 140,000 public sector workers demonstrated in London against Government cuts, the city that I love so much was, in places, smashed to pieces. The Leader of the Opposition tried to jump on the bandwagon comparing the march with that of the Suffragettes, whilst professional anarchist groups compromised the very process of democracy by sabotaging a peaceful event with their own misinformed self congratulatory ideology.

It’s fair to say that March 2011 will be a month noted in history as one not to be repeated. I feel that Britain is ready for some good news, and unlike the destructive power of nature, it is the collective strength of people that will overcome the current temperament of our nation. We must find the confidence to celebrate the creativity, spirit and good humour of every citizen who is prepared to step forward, speak up and play their part.

Youth Unemployment? I blame the parents.

Youth unemployment figures have today risen to a record high, with more than one in five 16 to 24-year-olds out of work. One has to ask how the previous Government got it so wrong? They spent billions of public money on crack schemes to train, motivate and inspire young people into jobs, yet the numbers continue to climb. These schemes will remain in place until the Coalition’s reforms begin in June, meaning that today’s figures continue to support criticism of Labour, who failed to deliver for the very people that voted for them.

As a proud cross bencher (I’ve voted every which way since turning 18), I have in recent months concluded that it’s not politicians that now control this country, but the banks. Banks dictate the economy, and our parents handle everything else. Blaming the state for everything must stop, and social problems must become our problem.

I’ve never taken offence to the criticism levelled at me over the years by callers on countless talk shows, who have accused me one minute of leaning too much to the left, and on other occasions too far to the right. People love to judge and categorise others as typical. Well I’ve got news for you. There is no one size fits all ideology. Hereditary political leanings are history, and it’s time for people to ask questions of the parties their parents voted for, and read between the lines of the policy documents that form the basis of election manifestos. Having left school at sixteen and fended for myself in the employment market as a freelancer ever since, I speak with some authority on why the age old concept of left versus right is fundamentally flawed. It hasn’t actually made any real difference for decades to the jobs market, and maybe it’s about time that we woke up to what’s really happening out there? Remember, successive Governments have spent more on welfare than anything else, yet nothing has really changed.

I stupidly watch hours of live coverage of the House of Commons in session, and despite the hard work and good intentions of the vast majority of MP’s, I must conclude that many lack the eloquence and intellect of the general public at large. I know that Westminster is corrupting, but leaving your brain in the foyer should not be a pre-requisite of taking a seat on the big green bench? Increasingly, the rhetoric of politicians and ministers is straight out of the pages of The Thick of It, and on some occasions I’d rather Chris Langham was at the helm than the blindfolded donkeys, chasing their tails and waving their order papers.

For me, the missing ingredient is instinct. The public have the edge over parliamentarians with their instinctive ability to know if somethings up, is fishy, or on the turn. Whereas the donkeys rely on statistics, which are often collated by heavily biased organizations with Government interests, who often resort to bribery to get the desired results. All parties commission surveys, and whilst their results often form the basis of policy, their accuracy is rarely questioned. Hence why PMQ’s is often a volley of quotes from various polls, spun out to favour the moment, the inaccurate results of which end up on the front pages of tabloid newspapers. Well, I don’t buy it, and it’s damaging our wonderful country.

I often talk to kind hard working people who would say “I know nothing about politics, but…” and then launch into a diatribe of what they think is wrong with the country, often suggesting common sense solutions that, if applied by the authorities, could offer genuine respite to the ills of society. The reason that the ordinary man (species, not gender) has a more focussed grasp of these issues is thanks to the magic of instinct, collated by our subconscious whilst out living our lives.

Instinct is within us all, based upon our life experience, choices and parental teachings. “Don’t put your hand near the fire”, guarantees you won’t get your fingers burned. So, why is instinct not considered more in Parliament?

The unemployment rate is now 7.9%, with youth unemployment running at 20.5%. It appears that our current generation of youth need more help than ever before, but not necessarily by government. My fears lie in the future of unemployable youths, rather than the current trend of youth unemployment. As street fashion, informality and attitude become more prevalent in young people of all social backgrounds grappling for status and identity, it’s corruptive nature denies them real opportunities with employers who value the traditional, the respectable and the appropriate. Britain is increasingly being left behind by European nations for whom failure is not an option.

Every conversation I have surrounding the stagnation of society, the crumbling jobs market, welfare dependency and retirement planning, comes back to the same origins of opportunity. Making the most of what you’ve got, and capitalizing on your strengths. It’s these simple virtues that can only be instilled by our parents, through love and by example.

Getting off on the right foot, having your head together, and being prepared to roll your sleeves up is the basis for success, whether the outcome is running a multi-million pound public company or working in Clinton Cards. I consider both to represent success. Having parents whose work ethic rubs off on you, and passing that same ideology on to your children is far healthier than suggesting they vote for the party that you and your parents voted for, just because it’s a family tradition. The past has not served us well.

Since New Labour reared it’s head, party politics has lost all credibility as the line between left and right has blurred. The Bank of England decide monetary policy, and the banks continue to profit. Whilst the Coalition attempt to shrink the state, and Cameron’s Big Society remains misunderstood, real people are increasingly frustrated by the sense of denial that our country is in about how much effort is required to turn things around. This is a team effort, and everyone must play their part, especially the young.

We could start by scrapping the Office for National Statistics, and replacing it with our Mums, who always seem to have the answer.

The Social Network

For too long I have shunned social networks, affording them the same criticism as pyramid selling, or network marketing as it was once called. A process that played on the weak, requiring them to turn their friends into business partners, only to lose them over an invisible profit line. As somewhat of a traditionalist, I have always been of the opinion that great riches are born only of hard graft, and that real friends are nurtured and trusted with old fashioned methods of communication, i.e. the telephone. It’s no surprise I never joined Facebook.

Having attempted to watch the film The Social Network on a flight recently, (a fuzzy 4 inch screen and oversized headphones are hardly conducive to the cinematic experience) I learned how from a small acorn, Facebook has grown into a social tornado, sucking up everybody and everything in it’s path (500 millions users). For me it’s secret ingredient is the relationship status toggle. The movie highlighted the moment when this feature found it’s place on The Facebook page, and the rest is history. It plays on the basic human emotion of hope. Knowing where one stands, or momentarily entertaining the fantasy of relations with a stranger. It’s an aspirational tease, which some choose to exploit, whatever their present relationship status.

I have gleaned from talking (yes, talking) to addicts of this medium, that it’s hedonism that fundamentally drives the machine. Combine that with a large helping of voyeurism, and you have two killer human instincts fueling the biggest virtual phenomenon the world has ever known. Whereas hedonism and voyeurism are considered socially unacceptable in the real world, online they have license to flourish, and it’s the exploitation of this that I find most fascinating. Still won’t be signing up though.

Now of course, it’s not used in this way by everybody, and that is another reason for it’s survival. Many people use it innocently, sharing photos, thoughts and memories between family members and close friends. But amongst this set, are an increasing number of people who use it as a testing ground for a second life, and it’s precisely this that smacks of sinister. As the network grows, so does the thirst for information, with people constantly drawing mental comparisons between their friend’s lives, and their own.

The process of learning, whether social or academic must take time. Time to locate, digest and memorize the facts. The social network does away with this, and replaces it with a never ending stream of visual stimulants, for short term use only, though archived in vast invisible servers. It’s the reliance on these visuals that in my view, undermines the human condition.

The most terrifying aspect of the social network is it’s ability to lull the user into a false sense of satisfaction by simulating relationships. It is actually the guilty party in the encouragement of isolation. Accessing the thread to someone else’s life, for many, removes the onus to actually visit, call and talk. A thumbs up ‘likes this’ by way of a mouse click is enough to satisfy the criteria of affirmation. Every minute, increasing numbers of people are perusing one dimensional data on lives whose narrative is engineered towards a smokescreen of happiness. Is anyone on this planet having a bad day? No, just me then!

And that is where I draw my conclusion. The social network encourages people’s subconscious to collate experiences that only benefit the medium in a positive light, score them virtual friends, and raise their social status. Holidays, meals, celebrations are increasingly captured through the lens of a camera, and not fully enjoyed by the naked eye. Often, it’s only the good times that get posted, and with memories only being recorded digitally, people are documenting their existence for promotional purposes, and for the benefit of hundreds of ‘friends’ they may have never even met.

Whilst manageable in it’s present form, an increasing number of real relationships are being compromised by this pursuit of virtual happiness. With more of us living our lives by proxy, soon, nobody will be going out at all! I’m all for accentuating the positive, but more and more of us are living alone, shunning the family and working too hard. This lifestyle is only set to snowball if we allow technology to replace personality. Couples are now slaves to their smart phones and laptops, and have begun to lead separate lives, even whilst sharing a bed.

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be hugged by a human, than be poked with a mouse.