We usually get out and walk two or three miles a day. Sometimes more. It’s good to be in the real world, to feel the wind on our faces, and the watered down warmth of summer that still has the power to soothe.
Whichever route we take, dog walkers are guaranteed. Some we know, some we don’t. Some acknowledge us with a wave of the hand, others stop and chat.
Most of the time we amble along in near silence, but there are occasions when walking becomes a kind of therapy, and we tread the landscape in animated conversation. You can find any number of good things written about Shanks’s pony, from stress-busting, to maintaining regular bowel movements. But the one thing that always comes to my mind is something I read a few years ago; a piece written by someone who was about to embark on a round-the-globe walking adventure. In his article, the author mentioned how we process information at approximately 3.5 mph. In other words, average walking speed. This may or may not be scientifically proven.
It was precisely because we were ambling along this morning, that we couldn’t fail to notice a large blue bucket filled with fallen cooking apples. On top, was a note: ‘Cooking apples. Please help yourself’.
So this was a pleasant experience in the real world. Meanwhile, in that other place, where some of us spend far too much time than is good for us, information rains down relentlessly, in both volume and speed. However, I freely admit to making my own contribution. I love to share things that I think might be of interest to my ‘friends’, and with this is mind, I clicked the Facebook ‘share’ button for yesterday’s Guardian piece: Still I Rise: Feminisms, Gender, Resistance review – spells, smoke and taboo-busting. Almost immediately, I received a notification that a line had been crossed, and that this article went against Facebook’s “community standards”. I guess it’s because there was an accompanying image which included women’s breasts. So I’m sharing it here, because I feel it’s worth bringing to the attention of others. Make of it what you will.
The social media giants might do better at policing their platforms if they worried less about what they consider to be offensive art, and concentrated more on curbing abuse. In short, employ the clever algorithms they have at their disposal to recognise when something – like those fallen apples– is beneficial and well qualified for free distribution. Quality control should be focused hard on all that is rotten and potentially harmful when consumed.