It’s a surreal experience to watch the world’s press crash into your life, with all their various journalistic guiles, competing in your inbox for attention.
“Where do you live? Where do your children go to school? What is your name?,” one interrogates. “Oh hi! Really sorry – you don’t like all these journalists do you?” another sympathises. Every human communication style – from the matey and casual, to the brash and, frankly, scary – were, in the space of a few hours, silently shouting over each other in the direct messages folder of a social media site. All desperate to be the first to get my attention.
I declined some of the largest global news outlets and TV stations. I ignored sometimes as many as five or six reporters from the same publication, from various online news sites for individual towns, to international news giants. I started to count them. I got to 123 journalists trying to talk to me, lost my place, and scrolled up to see a couple of dozen more uncounted and many fresh approaches. I have since turned the messages off.
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You may imagine that I had done something amazing, or diabolical. Alas, nothing so dramatic. I had posted on social media a photo of a woefully inadequate food parcel, given to me in place of the free school meals voucher that my children qualify for. The pitiful selection included a tiny tomato, three now-infamous Frubes and some unreasonably long-life bread, set against the backdrop of my cheap, beige living room carpet.
#FreeSchoolMeals bag for 10 days:
2 days jacket potato with beans
8 single cheese sandwiches
2 days carrots
3 days apples
2 days soreen
3 days frubes
Spare pasta & tomato. Will need mayo for pasta salad.
Issued instead of £30 vouchers. I could do more with £30 to be honest. pic.twitter.com/87LGUTHXEu
— Roadside Mum ???? (@RoadsideMum) January 11, 2021