Daddy, can I have your phone?

Daddy, can I have your phone?, she asked.
“I’d like to play my games”, she went onto explain.

We were sat there in the car, within Sainsburys carpark, and I decided just to pass over my phone.

I could have said no. But I wanted a quieter life.

As I repositioned myself in the car, I realised what this meant.

No music.
No Facebook.
No Kindle access.

And I stopped.

I did nothing but think.

I managed to think about thoughts that I decided to think. Not what my little black mirror told me to think about.

I heard someone talk awhile back how “doing nothing” was once scheduled into our lives…. waiting for public transport… walking to work… standing around waiting for people… This time naturally gave people a chance to think and process what was happening in their lives. This was argued as a reason for an increase in people having problems with stress… anxiety… sleeping…

Maybe we just don’t like being bored.

But we’re surprised when our kids complain about being bored.

Perhaps, it would help us all out if we were all a little bit bored at times?

Mission Mindfulness

I Like Facebook.

I have a confession to make. I like Facebook.
Well, I think I like the marketed idea behind Facebook. You know the one: The nice utopian idea of bringing people together in an online community.
The thing is, in order for people to come together, to share photos, update statuses, play games, and what ever else. Data is collected.
And that data, that’s worth something, which seems to be something that we took for granted.
Maybe we all thought our data was so general that it would have no real world impact?

Perhaps we didn’t care enough to read the fine print?
Perhaps it’s not just the data harvesting for the Donald Trump campaign?
It could also be that it was done through the use of an innocent looking quiz?
Maybe it’s that Facebook tried to sue to stop the story from getting out?
But now could be a good time to re-evaluate, and learn about our relationship with social networks? It’s not just the data we willingly give, but with the revelation that Facebook has been keeping track of calls and text messages from our phones, it’s also clear we need to seriously think about the phone apps we install.

Why I’m I going on about Facebook here? Two things; Parenting blogs seem to discuss social networks and smart phones on a regular basis. These conversations normally focus on the amount of time spent on electronic devices / social media, and if that time is healthy and safe? Should we also be discussing the information we willingly give up to large companies such as Facebook?

Secondly, parenting bloggers in general also seem to include a lot of time on Facebook, and Instagram. Perhaps this is a reminder for us all to check what we put on social networks about our families and ourselves?

I like Facebook.

But right now. I don’t trust Facebook.

Mudpie Fridays

Facebook Christmas Cover Photo Collection

Every now and then, people find us after doing search for a combination of words that we wouldn’t normally expect. An example of this has been the flood of people search for Facebook Nativity or Facebook Christmas Cover Photos. (Cover photos, are what you find on the top of a Facebook profile)

Well… this has ended up inspiring a random session on Photoshop, which then led to The Sofa offering a couple of Christmas Cover Photos a couple of years ago.

I’ve updated the original images to match the up to date measurements for Facebooks Cover Photos

Please feel free to download the below, link back here, and use to your hearts content:

(Left clicking, right clicking, then clicking “Save Image As” should do the trick.)


For more images, please see my portfolios over at redbubble and at

This post first appeared over on The Church Sofa.

Are you Will Ferrell The Smartphone-Addicted Dad?

Love this from Common Sense Media’s #DeviceFreeDinner campaign.

Even though I’m probably a little more like this…


We’re not bad at having a device free dinner… but its not like we have a teenager… Could I actually be Will Ferrell?

While I’m not sure how well it works for families with little little ones, if you have concerns, or just want to find out abit more about the affect of using Digital technology on family life, I recommend giving Mark Ellis’ Digitox a read.

Digitox is split into two sections; The first is looking at why taking a break from digital can be good for you. The second looks at what happened when Mark decided it was time for his family to take a one day break from digital living – every week.

Lesson 1. Plan what you’re going to do with your time in advance.

Grab it here from Amazon. 

(Affiliate links above)

I originally posted this over at Digital Caffeine.

What My Fridge Says

The iPhone. Ten Years On.

In case you don’t have an interest in all things iPhone, it has been 10 years since the original iPhone was released. Personally it doesn’t feel that long since we either had small… phones in our pockets, or were struggling with the bulkier smart phones of the time (Windows Mobile anyone?)

To celebrate the tenth anniversary, Three UK offered to sent me an old school iPhone handset. With the challenge to use the iPhone 3G for three days instead of my iPhone7.

“Why not?” I figured?


Installing Apps On The iPhone 3G

Its kinda small and cute to hold, in fact I found I could lose it in my pocket. (How long has it been since you said you could do that?) All nice, and cute to start with. I then powered it up and got installing apps.

Step 1 was navigating the old school app store, which simply felt slow and laggy to use. To the extent that some images were not loading. My attempts to download apps (once I got there) were mostly met with notifications advising me to download old versions. This didn’t seem to do the trick.

No matter, what I did I couldn’t log into my Twitter / Snapfeed accounts.

The good news was that Facebook let me log in… but. My word it was slow, and it only seemed to let me load one page of my newsfeed – and that was all.

Instagram was one big tease. On one hand – look at that beautiful icon! It also loaded up! It let me enter my username and password.
It then asked me to upgrade my phone.

So no. I must say didn’t use this particular phone exclusively.

Using The Internet On The iPhone 3G

Slow on 3G

Slow on my wifi.

Interesting reminder into how different the web must have looked 10 years ago…

iPhone 3G Camera Verses The iPhone 7 Camera

Its OK, I knew this wasn’t going to be a massively fair fight, so i thought I would get out and about around here, to find different conditions I could take pictures in.

The Group of Trees

I stumbled into this group of tree’s that can be found in our local field. I’d never found them before, and figured it would make a good test for the two cameras.

The Train Line

My attempt at going somewhere with a bit more light.

Lego Photography

I decided to give the iPhone 3g as much light as I could.

Sadly it seemed to struggle to focus on multiple objects.

What is Good With The 3G?

There were some positive highlights from the trip back in time. For one, the default map app STILL WORKS! And powered by Google Maps. AND kept up to date…

But my personal highlight must be playing… Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 3D! 

He does appear to be doing a bizarre dance – don’t take the mick out the graphics too much, it was impressive at the time!

The More Things Change..?

With all my qualms about speed and photo detail set to one side, using the iPhone 3G reminded me of Apples focus on user design. The fact that they’ve not made any massive design changes to the iOS shows that if you can use one iPhone, the chances are you can use any iPhone.

Holding the old Phone in my hands, I could help but wonder.

The iPhone 3G used to be cutting edge. What is phone technology going to look like in ten years time? 

And considering the difficulty I using current apps, what will the above progress mean to the people that get left behind?

Mission Mindfulness

Star Trek Discovery – Coming Soon!

Star Trek Discovery is coming soon to Netflix!

Perhaps its the geek part of me.

Maybe its the part of me that quite likes the more action oriented Star Trek Movies.

It could be the concept of Jason Isaacs as the Captain?

Or maybe I just have a thing for Netflix?

But stuff the whole Klingon looking different – I’m looking forward to this…