I know it has been a while since my last blog. I was waiting til I felt a bit more settled and knew what to say but I can see that this is not going to happen anytime soon so here I am.
I am feeling overwhelmed by social media and am a bit reluctant to add to the outpourings of very real emotion with my own thoughts. I guess if I feel like this then others do too.
I am struck once again at the sophistication needed by young people to be able to cope with the immediacy and rawness of social media. I have grown up and been used to my news being filtered through lenses that may have, to a greater or lesser extent, been relevant. I have spoken before about my dependence on the Guardian to provide my news with a slant that I find comfortable.
That dependence seems somehow naïve and obsolete in the new world. For example: young people had seen images of the public apprehending the terrorist van man outside the mosque long before the papers reported on the story and the way that information is freely available to them means that the papers seem to be withholding information and acting in an untrustworthy, mealy mouthed, manner.
It feels unfamiliar and strangely upsetting to me.
It feels normal to young people.
Children and young people are coping because they have to.
I spent last Sunday at the Cally Festival and it was a lively, buzzy, wonderfully hot day. The set up time was affected by a violent incident very close, an incident that could have caused the festival to be delayed but everyone worked hard to get it all on track and in spite of that incident and all the other terrible things that have happened in London over the past few weeks, thousands of people and their families turned up and celebrated together.
Of course they did.
There was a massive police presence but they seemed to be part of the community, as they actually are, eating food from the stalls, chatting to local people and enjoying the sun.
It was heartening to see that life goes on and people can get on with enjoying their lives in the midst of the upset and worry of recent events- but this is one of the things that we can most easily learn with the children and young people: Feel what you are feeling, be where you are and do things that are real, in your community, with people you like.