Fact Or Fiction

Thoughts

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‘Fake news’. I by no means mean to quote Trump here, but certainly much of the ‘truth’ has been contorted by journalists and social media in recent years.

We have, now, got most information at our finger tips. With thanks to the internet we can find out the breaking news and the height of your favourite celebrity; any kind of information that will satisfy your curiosity and allow you to figure out how to build that Ikea coffee table. The internet has been an incredible invention that I doubt many of us can imagine life without. However, as with all things, it has its downsides. We can get brand new information quicker then ever before which means journalists are biting at the bit to get out the next news story; this often means that much of the information has not been backed up and that it could, in fact, be just a rumour. And it’s not just the information we are given, it’s the information that news broadcasters can choose not to give us. After all, as Sir Francis Bacon once said ‘ipsa scientia potestas est’ – Knowledge itself is power.

I recently read an article from a couple of years ago by Katherine Viner (editor in chief at The Guardian) entitled ‘how technology disrupted the truth’ it was a fascinating read and really got me thinking about the society we live in now and our dependance on technology.

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Viner talked about how “In the digital age, it is easier than ever to publish false information, which is quickly shared and taken to be true”. Not only does this mean that some of the information is censored but that rumours can be quickly spread just like in high school movies. She is referring to the use of social media. It is easy for anyone to read a post and share it to let everyone they know about this information, or for anyone to make up information and share it without any evidence. And with our busy lives we tend not to have the time to check the facts, we just assume and trust that the information we are provided with is true.

Social media is not only a place to spread information but according to many articles the companies can censor what information we are presented with online. So unless we are actively searching for a piece of information, it won’t be shown on our social media feeds. Viner writes about how “Algorithms such as the one that powers Facebook’s news feed are designed to give us more of what they think we want – which means that the version of the world we encounter every day in our own personal stream has been invisibly curated to reinforce our pre-existing beliefs.” This can be particularly an issue in Politics. If we are given information about a campaign or about someone running for prime minister then that information may sway our decisions about what or who we vote for, if after the decisions have been made and we find out that that information was in fact false then we may look back on our vote and regret it – then we have the issue of whether there needs to be a revote. (Just like we are having now on the Brexit ‘vote leave’ allegations.)

Facebook has pledged to begin to do something about this ‘filter bubble’ (as Eli Pariser, the co-founder of Upworthy, coins it). Although some think even this is ‘Fake news’ too. (Facebook ‘fake news’ article here)

Many people now rely on social media to gain information on current affairs and to help construct opinions but how can we do that if that information may just be a rumour? We are unlikely to check these ‘facts’ and just regard them as the truth without any further investigation, after all the news should be something we can trust in.

Many writers in the past have talked about issues with misinformation, the most famous of all being George Orwell in his novel ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’. The phrase Orwell uses to sum this up is “Freedom is the freedom to say 2 plus 2 equals four” in other words, freedom only exists if all the information we are given is actually true. He comments on how easy it is for those in power or those we trust to say that “two plus two equals 5”. The sales of his best selling novel he wrote in 1948 shot up when Trump ran for president, with people making links between society now and the dystopian world Orwell presents for us.

Also in Margaret Atwood’s ‘A Handmaid’s Tale’ she writes that ‘there are 2 kinds of freedom, Freedom to and freedom from’.

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Im not saying that all the information we are told is false only that perhaps we need to be wary of what allegations being made by the media are true. This can only be done by checking on the sources and by reading around – To ask ourselves if the information we are being provided with is Fact or Fiction?

Who Run The World?

Thoughts

Happy International Women’s Day! A day for us to recognise incredible women from the past and inspiring women now. Life for women has changed so much in the last century, women now having the opportunity to vote, be independent and, in the words of Beyonce, run the world.

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There are so many influential women out there from Malala and other advocates to all the leaders in the UK; the Prime minister, the head of Met police, the Queen etc to talented actresses to inspiring artists. All reminding us, that as women now, we can achieve anything.  But this isn’t the case for many places around the world. I feel so lucky to live in a part of the world where we are almost at gender equality, and its awful to think that in so many places women are still being discriminated against and abused. There are many charities dealing with this issue such as the Malala fund, and I think it is so important that on this day we think about those that are worse off than us and you can donate, to help all these women who are deprived of educations and prejudiced, on their website.

Something closer to home though that we can all do, Is to empower each other! I think it is awful when there are still so many people tearing each other down when we should be raising each other up. Encourage everyone to be the best person they can be and achieve their aspirations. I bet all those women throughout history had some close friends helping them achieve what they thought would be the impossible. Just think about the suffragettes, they all worked together to get the medias attention to be allowed to vote. That wouldn’t have happened if they hadn’t empowered each other.

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There are many movies about some incredible women, here are my favourites if you fancy watching something with some seriously strong female leads on this international women day …

  1. The suffragette
  2. Wonder woman
  3. Hidden figures
  4. The iron lady
  5. Sex and the city
  6. Brave
  7. Sense and sensibility
  8. Alice in wonderland
  9. The Devil wears Prada

Or if reading is more you’re thing here are some equally inspiring books…

  1. Jane eyre
  2. Hidden figures
  3. I am Malala
  4. The diary of Anne Frank
  5. The colour Purple
  6. Yes please

I’d love to know your favourite books, movies or even songs that are about strong women in the comments! Go out and empower each other this Women’s day, you’ve got this.

Thank you so much for reading and thank you to all my girl friends and family who constantly inspire and encourage me, you know who you are! ❤

Who are the women in your life who inspire you? xxx

5 things all successful bloggers do

Thoughts

Blogging. It is so much more difficult than many think, or at least to make it successful anyway. And I by no means am talking to you as a ‘successful’ blogger. I know that I need to do more of these things, that I’ve picked up that a lot of  the bloggers we all love do that I’m about to share with you, a lot more often!

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So what makes a blog ‘successful’? I think that that all depends on what you want to achieve with your blog but personally I would like to increase my following and get other people interested in my blog posts. So these 5 things are what a lot of bloggers do to increase they’re following and get a lot of traffic to their blogs.

  1. Engagement – Liking and commenting on other peoples blog posts. Now this is something that you might get emails from WordPress of; Engaging with fellow bloggers and getting involved in the blogging community. I have to be honest, if ever I’m reading a blog, I always forget to like or comment on it but I am going to improve – i’m sorry WordPress!
  2. Photography – Creating visually inspirational posts. I am always attracted to posts with incredible photography. It keeps me interested and intrigued as to what the post is about whether its about fashion, a product or anything else its the photography that leads me in to want to find out more. The photography on a blog is a bit like the first page of a book – if you’re not hooked by then, then you’re unlikely to carry on reading. I always find the photography one of the most difficult parts though, because you’ve got to find the right location to take the photos, and if it’s a fashion post then you have to find someone who will take a good picture and you’ve got to find the right lighting… I could go on.
  3. Consistency – Publishing posts frequently and consistently. Keeping those that follow you interested and the more posts you post the more topics you will cover that will interest more people, driving more traffic to your blog.
  4. Social media – A lot of successful bloggers have youtube channels alongside their blog. And lets face it – more people are likely to visit youtube than to read a blog post which is such a shame – lets get people reading more egh? But also having instagram, in particular, is useful to advertise your blog just like a business would, apart from rather than selling a product you are selling yourself ( not in a prostitute way haha) .
  5. Interaction – replying to comments from readers on your own blog and being actively engaged with your followers is important to keep your followers keep coming back to your blog. And its all about word of mouth, if you’re followers love your blog and are impressed with your interaction with them then they are more likely to recommend your blog to their friends.

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I really hope that this helped you in some way to help grow your blog, and I think I need to start taking my own advise! haha.

Shop my outfit:

Coat – Zara (on sale)

Jeans – Zara

Jumper – Topshop (no longer available)

Rucksack – Fjalraven Kanken

Shoes – Old skool Vans

Has Feminism Gone Too Far

Thoughts

I am a feminist. I believe that both sexes should be treated equally and that all people should feel empowered by their peers.

I don’t think that women are better than men, I think that we are all individuals with different strengths and weaknesses no matter what our gender or sex is. And that is the great thing about humans; our variation, how each person is unique, not identical to any other person. I think it would be crazy to make such a statement whether it be ‘men are better than women’ or ‘women are better than men’ or making comparisons between any group of people because we are all completely different in some way or another to other people. Not all women are the same, some are interested in science, some are sporty, some are arty. Each individual is unique. Not all men are the same. Some like sport, some don’t, some are academic, some aren’t. It would be crazy to make such a statement because we would then be labelling a particular group of people based on one aspect of who they are. Each person is unique.

Which is why I titled this post ‘has feminism gone too far’ – are some trying to turn it less into equality for all and more into women are more powerful? Yes I think that we should try and empower other women because women have been seen to be the weaker sex throughout history. I walked into Waterstones the other day and saw that they had done a table of children’s books that are all about incredible female protagonists and showing children that women can be strong and can do anything. And I thought that this is how the stereotype of women will be eradicated, the stereotype is all down to society and that is difficult to change when we have all had these stereotypes drilled into us in our childhood with phrases like ‘run like a girl’ ‘cry like a girl’ ‘ladylike’ etc.  But now I wonder if this ideal had gone far, forgetting about equality altogether.

People will always try and find something to comment on about someone else, as humans we seem to always be comparing, always judging. Pointing out something different about a particular group of people; weather that be sex, skin colour, body size, religion or even hair colour.

Have other issues gone too far? For example racism, Now white people are almost discriminated against with phrases like ‘such a white girl’ or ‘thats so white’. Whilst campaigning for equality for races the other side has been discriminated against. But its different all over the world, for many parts of America there is still significant segregation whilst in others it’s going the other way.

Overall, in an ideal world we would all empower each other and stop judging and comparing others so much. We are all unique and individual so cannot label people in the way we are beginning too. In an ideal world we would all respect the fact that we are all individual and unique. In an ideal world our biology wouldn’t change how others treat us.

Can we create this ideal world?

Dare To Be Different

Thoughts

Hello, I hope everyone is looking forward to Christmas, eek, only 10  days to go! I cant believe I’ve not written any Christmassy posts and unfortunately this isn’t festive either… but I will do one soon!

This is about daring to be different. Daring to be you. Embracing who you are and loving who you are and not being afraid of not looking like everyone else. I feel this is really important because nowadays in society we are all pressured to look a certain way and we can feel judged by others around us. But we are all unique, all individual.

I wish that people could feel like they could wear what they want to and show their  individualism but it’s such a shame that most don’t feel like they can.

I know it’s a small thing; clothing. But it really does show the society that we live in; to feel as though we can’t express ourselves in our own different way.

Recently we had a SPUD day which is a sponsored non school uniform day to raise money for a charity. People in the lower school can wear their own clothes and those in sixth form have a theme. Personally I love experimenting with what I wear, with bright colours and clothing that I love the look of (the more out there/ the more different the better in my opinion) but a couple of friends and my sister were all saying about how they wish they were confident enough to wear something else and how an item of clothing is out of their comfort zone. And I realized that most people around me were wearing very similar clothes, most people have the same black bag, the same sort of colour outfit etc. We live in a world where people feel like they are being judged for expressing themselves so everyone wears the same thing, shouldn’t this be encouraged?

That’s why I love painting denim jackets because each one is individual and unique, no one will have the exact same jacket so people are expressing who they are.

But I wish more people could feel like they can be themselves and dare to be different, we should empower each other to wear what they want to and to be who they are not to be like everyone else.

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No Rain No Flowers

Lifestyle, Thoughts, Travel

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Hello, Hope you are all okay!

So yesterday was world mental health day so I thought I would discuss some ways I deal with any anxieties and about why it’s so good to talk to each other about how we feel and be open about it. Mental health shouldn’t be a taboo topic as it is so common and talking about it is one of the best ways to help people with mental illnesses.

So one of the best ways to make yourself happier is to surround yourself with positive motivational people who support you and are always there for you. Make an effort to speak to these people often; with good friends you don’t need therapists.

Another way to feel less anxious is to look after yourself! Make sure you get enough sleep, eat a balanced diet and make enough time for things you like doing. Exercise is also good for relieving stress; even just a small walk around the block can really help.


I have always been quite an anxious person, I wouldn’t say I have anxiety but I’ve always worried too much about things I shouldn’t have to worry about. And through those times I tend to use an app called ‘calm’ and it really does help. Having calming music or having something to basically remind you to breathe really helps. So if ever feeling a bit panicky I would I highly recommend using it.

Life is tough. It’s stressful. It’s annoying. It can be overwhelming. There are times we all get a bit down and anxious and even if you don’t have a diagnosed mental illness it’s still good to do these sorts of things or whatever works for you and makes you feel calm and happy.

So I’ve titled this post ‘No Rain, No Flowers’. this phrase is so true, without some negatives, some failures and some unhappy moments there wont be anything good, you wont be happy and succeed. Its good to remember that in the difficult times because you know you won’t be unhappy forever; there will be flowers.

Failure is something I’ve had to battle and continue to, its something I’ve had such a massive fear of when in reality the little failures we make make us who we are, help us to grow and better ourselves.

 

Overall love yourself! You are always enough because there is no one else like you and if you’re ever feeling down or anxious about anything talk to friends and family or anyone that makes you feel loved.

I hope you liked this chatty post about mental health and happiness. Please fell free to leave a comment and please like and follow to read future posts! 🙂

(All photos are from a walk around Kingston lacy)

(What I’m wearing: topshop teal crop top, vintage striped blazer (you can find similar on ASOS), topshop Jamie jeans, vans)

The next step

Lifestyle, Thoughts

So I now have just started sixth form! I realize that I never actually seemed to do a post on the end of GCSE’s or what the exam season was like for me but i’ll include it in this post (better late than never, right?).

Year 11, for me, was really just like any other year up to that point just a lot more boring and a little more revision. Boring because you don’t really learn anything new and its pretty much recap than a whole load of exams. However I didn’t find it stressful; I just went through the year thinking my whole school life I’ve been doing exams – why should I treat this any differently? I just made sure I did as much revision as I could fit in, then I know that that is the best I can do. If you have just started year 11 then my biggest piece of advise to you would be to keep calm and stay organised. Treat yourself after a few hours of revision and make sure to keep emergency snacks of choice at hand!

Our school gave us a meal plan of the best foods to eat during exam season for ‘optimum revision and focus’ but lets be honest we need something to get us through and I definitely was not planning to have a salad after revising all day. Pizza and chocolate were my go to’s and they definitely helped 🙂

If you are anxious or stressed read this blog post on a few of the ways that work for me to relax and unwind. The biggest thing is to try and have a balance between revision and doing other things you want to do like meeting up with friends or going on a walk. To read this post click hereeeeeeee.

And to view my posts on studying and a couple of revision tips click hereeeee and hereee

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Results day- oh what a joyful word haha. To be honest, results day is actually okay, everyone is in the same boat and has different expectations of themselves, My tips to remember on results day are:

  1. remember you have your own expectations of what you can do. Some people are happy simply to pass others will not be happy unless they get straight As. Everyone is aiming for something different,
  2. On that note also remember to not compare yourself to anyone else! I knew a few people with pretty much straight A* s but that’s fine, I was really pleased for them and I was also okay with my own grades because I  knew I had done the best I could do.

So now its A levels! Already I know that they are such a big step up from GCSE. Most people told me that A levels will be the most difficult 2 years in terms of education and exams, even more of a step up than university.

I am taking chemistry, Biology, art and English literature.

I chose 2 sciences because at the moment i am thinking of studying veterinary medicine at university but I am torn between doing something in science or doing something more creative so there is no way I wouldn’t do art. And I think i’ll drop English lit at the end of the year.

AFTER GCSE you have the choice to go to a sixth form, college or do an apprenticeship as you have to stay in education until the age of 18. I chose sixth form because I know that they normally get better grades. The sixth form is also a part of the same school as my secondary school so i already know most of the teachers and where i will have to go etc. its not a massive change to get used to like going to a whole new school will be.

whereas in college you get a lot more independence but that can sometimes mean that a lot of people there might not care about what grades they get and that’s fine too. Its also great because everyone there has a chance of a fresh start. Its all down to personal preference.

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So A levels… i have been studying my subjects for around 4 weeks and i do have to admit it is so much work! everyone told me that the step up from GCSE  to A levels would be really difficult and they were right. Particularly as at our sixth form you have to study 4 subjects in the first year whereas it seems in many other schools now you only have to study 3. They don’t do AS level anymore either so it feels like we are doing a lot of hard work for nothing! Hopefully ill get used do all the work  soon aha

Have you just gone back to school/ sixth form / uni? if so how you finding it? x

I really hoped you enjoyed this post, just a little update of my student life haha, please like and subscribe! Id also love it if you have any suggestions for future posts,  just let me know in the comments 🙂