NYAS Digital Technology Consultant

Today is not one of my usual meetings or blog posts, rather it is the beginning of my career as NYAS Digital Technology Consultant [and record of the day for personal reflection] where I will be training and supporting staff alongside the Digital Ambassadors* to improve their services and promotion.

The past few months you will be aware that I have been involved in a consultation regarding greater access for media to the Family Courts, this is something I strongly oppose along with many other children and young people which is why my first real task was to research the best platform for us to host a petition calling on the President of the Family Court Division to halt any changes to access and to urge parliament to hold public consultations/ parliamentary debates taking into consideration the views of young people. [Keep an eye on this blog for a link to the petition.]

Now I have promoted one of my key interests we also had to go over what funding was available to us (this would have to cover training, publicity materials, stationary, travel, coordination, etc.) along with how best to recruit new members. The idea of the Digital Ambassadors* is for them to help maintain and update our social media [Facebook and Twitter] along with contributing to a regularly updated blog on the young persons’ section of the website.

Along with the social media aspect, we also want to develop a mobile application so children and young people can get information and in contact with NYAS services if they so wish. Again we have to decide the best way to market this with some young people, but the ground works are being set so they can get involved straight away rather than having to wait for agreements to be made with companies.

On top of this we also intend to train young people on developing videos for our [proposed] YouTube channel. Training will be provided for all aspects of the project where it is wanted which will enhance our young peoples’ CVs as we can provide them a certificate detailing what they have been involved with.

To recruit new young people we discussed a variety of ideas including weekly competitions where a subject would be set for the blog, young people could contribute for the chance to win a prize, and we would then tell them all about the project and offer further interaction. We are still in discussions with how to best get the initial message of the competition and project out there and what to offer as prizes but a lot was decided on the day.



Tinder, not everyone is DTF

Recently I have read a few blogs and tweets on what people think of Tinder and the people on it so I thought I would put in my two cents, dispel some myths and reply to some thoughts.


Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, not everyone is looking to ‘get laid’ when they use Tinder despite what @Tinderfessions may have you believe. With the prominence of lad culture and the abhorrent nature of some of today’s generation you may be forgiven for thinking that a social networking app predominantly based on looks may just be a playground for people who want to hook up but not everyone is the same, whilst I do not like being single I am not going to ‘get down’ with the first match I get, or indeed any match unless a relationship blossoms. Using Tinder I have met some nice people, in fact just the other day I went to my local coffee shop with a match I had who lives in the block of flats opposite me and we ended up talking for almost four hours; if it wasn’t for Tinder we probably would have never met.

Now I know I said that the app is predominantly based on looks but that is down to the way in which people use the app, each user can upload a selection of six photographs and write a short piece about themselves making it similar to many other social networks, where it differs is that you can only speak to people who you are ‘matched’ with meaning that you at least have an interest in getting to know each other. It’s basically an app to find new friends. So called ‘power users’ will swipe left [to indicate they do not like someone] and right [to indicate they like someone] in seconds in order to find someone to match with for what ever reason they like, this may enforce a millennia of stereotypes in relation to looks but it may also mean that they are basing their judgements on what the situation is in the image.

Let’s say their first picture is a selfie and their in the drivers seat of a car, great they drive, their buckled up and you can see out of their window, there is another car headed the opposite direction which is moving judging by its blur, it looks like they’re on a motorway taking a selfie whilst driving. Their eyes are on the road, so whilst not safe points for trying.* Their cute and have a nice smile, snappy dresser and you like them (swipes right). All that happened within three seconds so whilst it is a snap decision it is an informed decision.

Whilst it’s true there are people out there who are just DTF isn’t this true of any situation? If you go to the local club or pub there are people who go out just with the aim of ‘pulling’, if you go on any dating site the same is true there. Much like Craigslist and its stigma of being for creeps, murderers, stalkers and other less than reputable characters; if you stigmatise what could be an amazing app for networking with its users being a bunch of harlots and gigolos that is what it will turn into. If you actually make a Venn diagram of its users, and those who fit into the categories prescribed above, then you will actually find the cross over very small.

With people using the app for various reasons it can be uncertain what to expect, probably the biggest issue with this app is not being able to specify why you are using it such as dates, friendship, hookups, instant relationships, hitmen, partners for other criminal enterprises, etc.; and then you’d only get matched with people looking for the same things as you because it’s very awkward having to break it to the cute girl on your screen that you just need someone to cook meth with.

In conclusion people will always be what they always were, people, and whilst there are a lot of awful ones you have to wade through metaphorical swamps to find the true winners in all walks of life. Do not let the stigma and idiots dissuade you from trying the app because you could miss out on some amazing stories with some amazing people. Keep on Tindering.

*I do not advocate this behaviour, it is a fictional situation. Drive safely now!