Ok it’s not famous, I just made it up.
I can’t remember the first time I saw a “#prayfor___” tweet but one of the first was definitely #prayforJapan after the deadly tsunami last year.
In more recent times #prayforMuamba made headlines. The Sun even published a “God is in control” headline on their front page as the country rallied around the young footballer.
Let me get my cynicism out of the way and then we can end on a positive note. Deal?
Who is everyone praying to? Forgive me for daring to raise the question, but it seems strange to me that few #prayfor tweeters are actually asking that question. Is there one God or many gods? Do all religions lead to God, or do just some of them or one of them?
The very fact that some of you are are now wondering “why does it matter?” proves my point.
The whole point of prayer, for me, is that your calling on a divine being to intervene in a situation. It’s not wishful thinking. Despite some empty phrases like, “You’re in my thoughts and prayers”, being used in culture, prayer itself is powerful.
But prayer is meaningless unless there is a God. Therefore anyone hash tagging #prayfor should first consider who they are praying to and not feel pressured into going along with the crowd and tweeting about prayer if they don’t believe in it.
My most pressing point is this: Do not tweet about praying if you’re not going to do it! Christians can be terrible at this, so I’m not trying to bash those outside of my faith! See here.
This Twitter hashtag that keeps appearing proves the words of the Bishop of Oxford true: “Religion is having a hard time. Spirituality is still alive and well.”
People aren’t interested in organised religion, but they still want to have something to believe in. Prayer offers a way into that.
Some Christians are forever talking about how we’re being marginalised and the world is against us. In some ways that’s true, but we need to look at the positives. When you have hundreds of thousands of people uniting in prayer, that’s powerful.
Despite what I said about “empty phrases”, to offer to pray for someone and actually mean it and actually do it is one of the most compassionate activities anyone can do. Jesus spent a huge amount of his time praying and caring for people, and it’s good to see people in the online world do that too.
Prayer works. Whether you’re tweeting it, thinking it, saying it or interpretive dancing it. If it made absolutely no difference to anyone’s life, do you really think people would bother praying?
People will occasionally stare at me and say, “you go to church every week?” or “do you really pray?” – as if it was the biggest waste of time. My response is usually along the lines of “well I wouldn’t bother if I didn’t enjoy it” or “I wouldn’t bother if it made no difference”.
People are interested in engaging in prayer, they are doing it in considerable numbers and it’s working. So the #prayfor campaign should be welcomed. Yes, it’s not perfect for the reasons I’ve already stated.
As the hash tag continues and evolves (we’ve prayed for everything from nations to presidents to kids with cancer) it will become the “cool” thing to do. But that doesn’t bother me. The more people Jesus gets to talk to, the better. Let’s face it, praying to him isn’t a bad deal. Who else can you say will always listen and always has your best interests at heart?
I love The Apprentice.
This year’s series has been the best yet with some great new tasks, classic Lord Sugar quotes and the contestants reaching whole new levels of ‘stupid’!
I first made predictions on The Apprentice in 2010. I tend to do this when there are still 10 contestants left, so apologies I’m late to the game this series. In 2010 I correctly predicted Stella English would make the final three. In 2011 I correctly predicted Tom Pellereau would make the final four. He went on to win.
So now for 2012. We have only 5 candidates left; Adam, Jade, Nick, Ricky and Tom.
Adam Corbally has developed a reputation for being constantly out of his comfort zone. He’s told everyone he’s a market trader, and comes across as being a simple, pun-loving chap. He’s made a fair few mistakes in the process but I think his ‘rough and readiness’ has made him popular with the boss. Most intriguingly, the persona he’s created for The Apprentice is the sheer opposite of his posh website I’ve found. This can mean one of two things 1) he won the apprentice and the posh website has been paid for in part by the £250,000 investment to get things going 2) Fame has gone to his head and he’s attempting to market himself as a “popular motivational coach”. Verdict: As much as I love the guy, I don’t think he quite walks the walk. Twitter – @theadamcorbally
According to Jade Nash she doesn’t have any annoying habits, but I’ve witnessed a fairly major one. Her voice. I can’t think of much else to say. I’m not sure why she’s still in the process. Verdict: She’s out next. Twitter – @therealjadenash
25 year old Nick Holzherr has already proved himself winning ‘emerging entrepreneur of the year’ from Insider Magazine in 2010. Consistently strong, he’s won plenty of tasks and I can’t ever remember him coming close to being fired. His website isn’t as flashy as Adam’s. But I don’t know if that’s a good or bad sign. Verdict: Would deserve to win, will definitely make the top 3. Twitter – @nickholzherr
Ricky Martin – I know that Holzherr is a pretty awesome surname and Martin isn’t. But when you combine Ricky and Martin together, that’s when the magic happens. Not to be confused with the Spanish Livin’ La Vida Loca singer, Ricky instead has a pineapple shaped head and spends much of his time not singing, but wrestling. Aside from gelling his quiff and hugging other sweaty men, Ricky has found the time to be a “successful recruitment manager”. I’m not going to pretend to understand exactly what that means, but I do know that since last week’s deal on the show, Ricky has risen to become a front running contender for this year’s grand prize. Verdict: Convincing but soon to go. Twitter- @Rickymartin247
Tom Gearing - admits he doesn’t handle early mornings very well. He’s certainly demonstrated that on the series so far. But blurry eyed surly Tom isn’t to be dismissed. I’m unsurprised he’s made it this far. Both Nick and Karen have spoken very highly of him, and despite coming across as arrogant, most of the time the 23 year old’s instincts are spot on. Verdict: Dom Joly has already picked him as the winner and I’m going to too. Twitter- @Thomas_Gearing
I can highly recommend Matt Edminson’s Funny Bits which should be renamed “hillarious bits” or “laugh-until-you-cry bits”.
Finally, last year’s winner Tom recently got married and tweeted pictures throughout his special day. Should I do the same? Discuss below…
I’m in the habit of writing tweets that never get read.
That’s not because I have 0 followers, but because I’ll write a tweet, stare at it and think “do I really want to say this?”. Quite a lot of the time the answer is “no way” and the “tweet” button will never be pressed.
I don’t mean to make out that I’m wonderfully controlled and am always really careful what I say on Twitter. Sadly that’s not true. I’m a work in progress in all areas of my life, including this one.
Nevertheless, three recent stories in the media have really made me think.
1. The first was the case of Liam Stacey who has been sentenced to 56 days in prison after he made racist comments on Twitter.
The tweet in question? “LOL. F*** Muamba. He’s dead!!! #haha”, presumably without the stars.
2. The second story broke about this time last night. Mrs Speaker tweeted she was tempted to try the drug Mexxi before it’s made illegal.
“Am I the only one now slightly tempted to try mexxy before it becomes illegal? I won’t, obvs”. Her comments came just days after the drug has been linked to the death of at least two people, leading to her being labelled “insensitive”. I found both the Daily Mail‘s Headline “Will She Ever Learn?” and Mrs Speaker terming the paper the “Daily Fail” pretty amusing.
3. Finally, according to Reuters, Kuwaiti authorities arrested a man on Tuesday for insulting Mohammed over Twitter.
That’s three stories about Twitter in one week. Oh wait, I’m wrong. The biggest story about Twitter this week is that the company has admitted there’s a bug going around that will make your account unfollow people randomly, without your permission (thus providing all of us with a wonderful excuse the next time someone asks why you’re not following them).
Presumably the legislature that allowed Liam and the Kuwaiti man to be arrested applies to Facebook too, and, come to think of it…this blog. I’m hardly the most controversial of bloggers, but it’s still a scary thought that what I write here could get me arrested.
I would not defend any of the above tweets. But I would question if arresting people for what they say on Twitter is fair. It’s a grey area.
Some would argue that just as someone walking up to me in the street and hurling racist language warrants arrest, the same rules should apply in the online world.
On the other hand, millions of views are expressed on Twitter every minute. Fanatic and offensive views aren’t normally read by thousands. And if they are, a large percentage of those thousands will write back and give the tweeter plenty of grief!
This happens all the time with celebrities. Let’s say I tweet that Dom Joly is the least funny person on the planet. He’ll retweet my message, sending it to his 133,000 followers. 10,000 of those followers will then hurl abuse at me in turn. It’s basically Karma. And it’s beautiful.
So which of these two philosophies on Twitter and free speech is best? I err on the side of the latter, but I’m open to persuasion either way. I look forward to reading your comments and watching the wider debate grow. I think this is an issue that will run and run as time goes on…
When famous people pass away the world knows about it almost instantly. Both my Twitter “Timeline” and Facebook “News Feed” have been dominated by tributes to Steve Jobs. So it may surprise you to learn that in the last 24 hours I’ve overheard more than one person ask the question:
“Who is Steve Jobs?”
Many who ask this question own a product invented by the man himself. Although Jobs’ popularity has soared in recent years, he was only known to technology geeks for most of his life. The wider public hadn’t really heard of him until the iPod and iPhone started taking off.