Journalist and author of ‘Why Social Media is Ruining Your Life’ shares the sites that are actually worth knowing and those that she finds depressing and aggressive.
The former Grazia and Glamour journalist saw first-hand the ever-evolving shift from traditional to digital media. She knows too well the danger of the pressure cooker of online comparison, and shares her learnings in her book. Last year, Katherine launched Work Work Work, an anti-perfectionism platform where high-profile social media people share stories from their unedited lives. This week, we asked Katherine to share the sites that are actually worth knowing and those that she finds depressing and aggressive.
My favourite website… The Pool - For commentary on female focused issues. I also watch a lot of TED talks. It’s become a great jumping off point for my research.
My favourite app… My Moment App - It lets me know when I've been using my phone too much and helps me drag my attention away from the screens.
My blog of choice… I really don’t read blogs any more, which is such a shame as I used to love it. I just spend too much time on social media but will swipe up on Instagram to read blog posts from bloggers I follow as well as articles they’ve linked too.
My internet hero… Tristan Harris - After three years of working as a design ethicist at Google, he left to set up the non-profit Time Well Spent. It is an effort to address the ways in which new media has eroded our mental health, democracy, social relationships and our children. A whistleblower of sorts, he’s often referred to as Silicon Valley’s conscience and is a pioneer of ‘humane tech’ - technology which is architecturally designed not to exploit our addictive natures or vulnerabilities, but to support and nurture our minds.
My favourite podcasts... Ctrl Alt Delete and The High Low Show.
My most recent buy online… A Nuby key teething toy from Amazon - New parents are cannon fodder for e-commerce.
Book just downloaded/ read… I'm reading Charly Cox’s ‘She must be mad.. I’ve not read poetry since school, and am very surprised at how absorbing I’ve found both Charly’s words and the medium.
Favourite tweeter… I find Twitter hugely depressing and aggressive, so deleted it off my phone a couple of months ago. Sometimes you just have to be awake to the way social media is making you feel and take decisive action.
Favourite Instagrammer… So difficult! There are so many amazing inspiring creative accounts, and so many accounts that make me laugh out loud every single day! But I really enjoy following some of my journalist friends for their reading lists. Stories has become such an incredible way of sharing interesting articles. Pandora Sykes is so well read and her recommendations are always thought provoking. I also love the Telegraph's Victoria Moss take on the news of the day. She’s a friend, but also a wit.
Social media allowed me to meet… A bunch of mum friends. I don’t know anyone living close by with a baby; most of my friends are younger than me, and my family live abroad. It can be really isolating when you have your first baby and your entire life changes. Social media has enabled me to connect with a whole new community and build new friendships, both on and offline.
Most worthwhile newsletter subscribed to… New York Times - The daily briefing newsletter.
Pet hate about life online… I’ve just written a book about my new media pet hates, so it’s hard to whittle it down. But really I think it’s the way that our digital identities are so one-dimensional. We present the most attractive, perfect versions of ourselves to the world through mediated technology and I personally prefer the warts and all IRL versions.
Stand out online memory… Watching birth stories on You Tube. Let’s just say it made an indelible mark.
Katherine Ormerod’s book ‘Why Social Media is Ruining Your Life’ is out now.