Richard Ord: In search of the lost Dragons' Den rejects
The beauty of social media is that I can track my offspring from the comfort of my own mobile phone. Quick, intuitive and saves me having to send out the sniffer dogs.
Our eldest, Bradley, aged 17, is on the remarkable Snapchat app which means he can post video from his phone while his location is indicated on a map by a computer-generated version of himself.
However, rather than shedding light on his activities, like most social media usage, it only serves to obscure the truth.
On his Snapchat posts from a music festival in Leeds, his avatar - resplendent in a natty black suit and tie - directed me towards a number of videos of youngsters enjoying performances from live bands in a field.
The Bradley who returned from this six day music festival was a far cry from the clean cut computer-generated Bradley on my mobile.
He informed me he hadn’t slept, eaten, washed or changed his clothes for the entire trip. When he turned up at my doorstep, he was half a stone lighter, barely able to keep his eyes open and said he was forced to sport a baseball cap because his hair, despite washing it three times, still ‘stank of smoke.’ Youth, they say, is wasted on the young. This youth was just wasted. Online he was a picture of health and wealth. In person, he wouldn’t be out of place in a shop doorway waving a plastic cup begging for his bus fare. I’m done with social media. It’s one big lie. I mean, no-one really looks like their Facebook profile picture do they? I know I don’t. And if everyone really is having so much fun, how come they look so miserable when you see them on the street? Some might say it’s because they’ve just bumped into me, but they’re just cynics.
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As an invention, social media is a dud. Which is why I have looked elsewhere for inspiration. Namely, the Easylife brochure which fell out of my newspaper last week.
It is filled with products which the brochure trumpets as ‘everyday solutions for making your life easier.’ It should have been called, the book of Dragons’ Den rejections. But, unlike your pals’ Facebook posts, they actually brighten your day. Here’s my favourites:
Toe Straightener Wraps: Straighten crooked toes the easy, comfortable and natural way. Because there’s nothing more natural than strapping your crooked toes together! (Two for £6.99.)
The Snore No More jaw strap has to be seen to be believed. It cups your chin and stretches over you head to stop you snoring. One size fits all apparently. £12.99. I’d show you a picture but I don’t have the copyright. My favourite though is the All Day Memory Foam Comfort Shoes (£19.99). They are described as ‘shoes so comfortable, they could be slippers.’ Guess what they look like? Yep, slippers. And finall there’s the Long Reach Foot Brush: Clean between your toes with this 2ft long ‘unbreakable arm’ with built in bristle brush( £7.99). Needless to say, I’m getting Bradley this one for Christmas.