My Divorce from Facebook

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I know, dramatic right?  But if you think about it, divorce is a good way to look at it.

Think about your relationship with Facebook.  When you first met him, you were excited, giddy.

Look at all these people you could find!  So & so from high school?!  Wow look at how much he aged!  Friend request!  Oh, and look at her!  Of course she married a doctor.  I never really liked her.  Friend request!  Oh boy.  Look at joe schmoe requesting me as a friend, like I don’t remember all the drama that he caused in high school.  Accept!  Omg, look at her!  I am so happy she found me!  Accept!  I wonder if she is still friends with that one; let me scroll her friends to see.  Wow, she IS!  Friend request!  I totally forgot about him too!  Friend request!

Remember how that went?

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Then, look at all you could do on Facebook!  You mean to tell me that I can play games WITH these ‘friends’?!  Sign me up!  I can grow virtual produce and have that farm I always wanted?  Yes, please!  I can ‘like’ Justin Beiber, Ellen Degeneres, Kanye West and Oprah Winfrey!?  Sounds great!  Do you think they will respond to me?

All of that excitement, like a relationship, is like the honeymoon phase of a relationship.  After a while you have 100+ ‘friends’, and you are sharing quips and memories of high school, college, or the old days.  You catch up with people, and laugh at their e-card posts, and cat videos.  What a way to relax at the end of a work day.

Then, and it is a different time period for everyone, you find yourself on Facebook, looking at all the posts made by your ‘friends’, and they all start to look the same.  You are getting annoyed at joe schmoe’s political posts now; you had no idea he leaned so far to the right!  You begin to wish there was a way to block his posts without offending him.  Then, you find out how and, whew, thank goodness that is over!  Whoa, when did so & so become so racist?  We went to the same high school and hung out together all the time.  How could this happen?  Delete.  Over and over you see posts that annoy you, but you still keep scrolling.  For what?  You wouldn’t take someone talking to you like that in person, why would you accept it on Facebook?  But you ignore and keep scrolling.

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Soon, you find that you are only communicating religiously with a few people, and the rest of your ‘friends’ really don’t care.  Or, out of the 100+ friends you have, some are just trolling your posts; virtual peeping toms watching your every move, but then still asking how life is when you speak to them.  You wouldn’t let someone peep into your window in real life, would you?

At the end stages of my personal relationship with Facebook, I found myself clicking ‘like’ on mediocre things, and only commenting on a handful of people’s posts.  I was wasting time scrolling and refreshing; television shows were the soundtrack to my loafing on the couch as I did.  I read articles about deleting Facebook in the past, but I didn’t think I would take them seriously.  I remember pinning on Pinterest a link to the steps to deleting Facebook for good, just in case.  Last week, I called for my divorce.

I messaged people I wanted to make sure knew I was gone, giving them my cell number and email address.  What is funny is the people I gave that information to, had it pre-Facebook anyhow.  Think about it.  Who on your Facebook ‘friends’ list would you, sincerely, want to give your personal information to?  It’s worth pondering!  Anyhow, I then began the process of deletion.  It was scary, but I did it.

On February 12, 2015, my emancipation from Facebook was complete.

What happened after I deleted was amazing.  People could not believe I did it!  Questions like, “How does it feel?”, “How was your first Facebook-free weekend?”, “So, why no more Facebook?” began to flood in.  My answer to all these questions were simple: I feel fine.  It went fine.  It was a distraction.  It is amazing to me how difficult that simple answer is for people to accept.  How could someone NOT want to be on Facebook?!  Here is what I learned in my brief time free of Facebook:

  1. Facebook offers people a false sense of community.  Sure, you have 100+ friends, but when you are feeling low, or need someone, how many of those ‘friends’ are there for you?  This includes ‘family-as-friends’.  The same ones you would call off of Facebook are the same ones that are there for you on Facebook.  Nothing changes.  All those ‘likes’, and comments only assist you for a small amount of time.  Then, you are there with the same problem, calling the same people.  Facebook has done nothing to help you, has it?
  2. Facebook deals you drama that you wouldn’t normally accept in your life; just because it is on a computer screen doesn’t make it any different.  If you are democrat, pro-life, pro-equality, posts by your ‘friends’ and ‘family-as-friends’, are only going to annoy you if you share different views.  Often times, you don’t realize that these people have such rigid views.  Then, when you see them offline, you are supposed to pretend that you never read anything they wrote?  If you don’t accept something offline, don’t accept it online.
  3. Facebook only causes problems with the people you have offline relationships with.  How many times have you heard, “didn’t you see my post?”, “how come you didn’t ‘like’ it?”  It has become a platform for passive-aggressiveness all around.  I will admit, I used Facebook to release venom I had stored up in me as well at points in time, but it did nothing to solve my problems.  It exacerbated them.  What ever happened to having discussions with people?  Now people are throwing ‘friends’ and ‘family-as-friends’ shade online, and then expecting life to be wine and roses when you meet up at the annual barbecue.  Life doesn’t work that way, but Facebook has allowed people to think that it does.  Hell, that post got forty-three likes!
  4. Facebook makes you feel bad about your life.  Or, it makes you judge how you are living it.  Have you scrolled through someone’s vacation pictures thinking, “I make more money than they do.  Why can I not afford to take vacations like this?”  Or, “She is such a good mom.  Why didn’t I think to do that with my kids?”  I could go on and on with the comparisons we make, but it would take up the rest of this post.  Facebook makes us critically look at our lives and judge ourselves against other people’s lives.  There is that one ‘friend’ who posts that you always say, “Wow so & so, you really have your life together!”, or secretly loathe them for their successes.  Facebook certainly does nothing to boast your self-esteem.
  5. Facebook is a time sucker.  Days before my divorce, I was talking to a co-worker, and I asked her, “How do you find so much time to read with your crazy life?”  She volunteers for a dog rescue, has nine dogs in her home (some are fosters), has personal issues, attends regular college basketball games and is always busy with work.  She said she has much more quiet time than I do, even with all of those things happening in her life.  So, I assessed my time and what I did when I come home from work.  I have a million books I want to read, and I needed to find out why I had no time to do so.  After watching my hours go by, there it was.  Facebook.  Scrolling, reading, catching up on things with my ‘friends’ that I missed since I logged in that morning.  Then, logging in to see what I missed after that.  My laptop was open all the time, and when it wasn’t, I was on my cell phone.  Think about how often you are attached to electronics for no reason.  You will see how much time you have in life that is being wasted!

Now, I know the many advantages to social media, and I am not condemning social media as a whole.  I know that people are missing people are found, and lives are saved using Facebook.  I applaud Facebook for those one-in-a-million incidents.  Thank God for it!  But, on a daily basis, it does nothing for me.  So, on February 12, 2015, I signed my divorce document to leave Facebook.

In the six days I have been gone, I have finished a book, and half of another one.  Life is good.

Here is the link to the steps to take to leave Facebook.  If you feel a divorce is in your future, be sure to read it:

How To Delete Facebook

 

10 Day Blogging Challenge: Days 6 & 7

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I am behind having missed yesterday, so I decided to double up this morning!  Turn offs and guilty pleasures are on tap for today, thanks to this challenge put on by Sharon’s Book Nook!

Day 6: Five Turn Offs

  1. People with negative/bad attitudes – I try to live my life in a positive way, and when I am around people who constantly complain, it really drags me down.  Also, when people simply have a piss-poor attitude in general, I find it difficult to be around them.  I am not saying that I am above having bad days, because I have them more than I would like to admit.  I am talking about those that it is ingrained in: sucking teeth at stupid things, rolling eyes and dismissive attitude when things are not exactly how they think they should be.  I simply will not be associated with people like that anymore.
  2. Ignorant/Helpless People – I am not referring to those that have valid problems in life.  Mental illness is something that I live with in a small capacity, and I know those that simply cannot help themselves because it is clinical.  I get that.  I am talking about those that CHOOSE to have others do everything for them.  Lazy people.  The whiners that expect hand-ups when they are perfectly capable of getting up and walking across the room to get something themselves.  Also, I cannot take people who choose to stay narrow-minded and not entertain other sides of stories or situations.  I am not saying that everyone should believe the same thing, I am saying just be open to listening to someone else without placing judgement.  There is WAY too much of that going on in this country.
  3. Sheep – No, I am not talking about the animal.  I am talking about those that follow a trend, rumor or otherwise, simply for the sake of fitting in and staying mainstream.
  4. Fake Celebrity – Kardashians, Hiltons, any reality show “celebrity” – what a false message they send young people about life.  I have a difficult time thinking that Snookie has published TWO books.  Since when is the television channel, TLC a reality TV station?
  5. Politics –  Can we agree as a people who no matter who we vote in, they are going to suck at something and thrive at something?  Why are we divided like we are?  Vote for the least offensive and move on.  If you don’t like it, run for office.  It is as simple as that.  I HATE political attack ads &  people on their high horses.

 

 

Day 7: Four Guilty Pleasures

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The TV Show, Dallas – I was so excited when TNT revamped this ’80’s television drama, and was equally devastated when I found out that they cancelled it after three seasons.  Not only is the eye-candy good, but it was rich with nonsense and drama.

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Grey’s Anatomy – Now, I did not begin watching this television show in real-time until a couple of years ago.  I ended up catching up on it through a Lifetime marathon from beginning to end (at the time).  Now, no one gets between me and my TV on Thursday Nights.

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Carbs – Oh yes!  That evil food product that everyone avoids!  I love breads, chips, cheeses etc.  Until the day that I am told that it is life or death to stop consuming this heavenly group of organic compounds, I will enjoy every single bite!

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Music – Now normally this would not be considered a “guilty pleasure”, but I listen to EVERYTHING.  You can walk into my office and hear anything from P!nk, Britney Spears, Foo Fighters, Barry Manilow, Metallica, Jay-Z, etc.  I like to say that I have musical multiple personality disorder lol  I enjoy it all!!  So if you hear me singing Sweet Caroline, just join in 🙂

10 Day Blogging Challenge, Day 4

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This is one of the most difficult of Sharon’s Book Nook 10 Day Blogging Challenge.  I love all of my posts, so to choose seven is difficult.  But, I did it!  I give to you:

Day 4: 7 Favorite Blog Posts from My Blog

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A Very Pinterest Housewarming Party

I had such a blast planning and entertaining for the first time in my new home, I had to choose this as one of my favorites!  There are great links to quick and easy recipes that can be used for up and coming holiday parties!

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New Poem! Silence

As of this post, I had not written a new poem in a couple of years.  To write one and then share it is a big deal.  This is definitely one of my favorite posts!

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Casting Off My Shackles

Depression is a bitch.

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Pinned It, Did It Wednesday – Coffee Station

This, by far, is my favorite Pinned It, Did It!  I love my coffee station!

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Battle At The Family Reunion

I took the Blogging University, Blogging 101 class, and in this post I had to post original work using dialogue.  I am uncomfortable with it, but I think I did a pretty good job here!

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My Love Affair With Writing

This post reminds me why I love to write, and why I need to continue!

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My Hometown

Any time I can write about my home town is a good post.  This is my love letter to Buffalo.

10 Day Blogging Challenge – Day 3

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I don’t do much travelling as of now, and a lot of the reason why not is because of money.  But these eight places are places I will go to before I die!  I took this challenge from Sharon’s Book Nook.

Day 3: Eight Places I Want To Go

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Venice, Italy

I have had a love affair with Italy for as long as I can remember.  Every picture I see is beautiful, the landscape is gorgeous, and the food….I have to try that food!

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Vail, Colorado (In Winter)

Again, the picturesque scenery, the mountains.  It is all so romantic to me!

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Las Vegas, Nevada

I just want to go here and have fun!  Oh, and renew my wedding vows with Elvis 🙂

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The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Orlando FLA

I LOVE Harry Potter, and to think I can experience it in this theme park is amazing to me!  I joke that this is where I want to celebrate my 40th birthday in April lol  Me, a wand and butter beer!

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New York City, NY (At Christmas time)

Not at New Years Eve time, Christmas time.  When the Rockafeller Christmas tree is up, the skating rink is running and the snow is falling.  That is how I want to experience NYC!

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London

I want to go here for all of the touristy reasons!  I am not a fan of the royal family, but I would love to see the Thames river!

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Paris, France (In Springtime)

Again, for all of the touristy reasons!  But I specifically would like to head to the Locks Bridge.  I am sure my husband and I can fit our lock on there! 🙂

Where so YOU want to go?

A Very Pinterest Housewarming Party

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Last week, we were finally ready to open our home for our first celebration!   I have never been to a housewarming before, nor have I been a part of throwing one, so I headed off to Pinterest to see what others had posted for ideas.

I wasn’t sure what I wanted my pet together to look like, but I knew three things that I wanted: (1) I wanted it to be an Open House atmosphere so that people didn’t feel like they had to stay a long time and they could come and go as they wanted to; (2) I wanted the food to be bite sized and convenient in case people wanted to wander and eat.  Plates and silverware are cumbersome, so small plates were the way to go; (3) I wanted to incorporate a taste of our home town, Buffalo, NY, into our food.  A taste of the north in the south, if you will.  So, off to Pinterest I went!

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I love anything caprese, so these caprese bites were a must-have on my table.  I didn’t need a recipe for this one, but I did see a close up of the picture of it here.  I used decorative tooth picks with frills, and skewered a basil leaf, cube of fresh mozzarella cheese and cherry tomato on it, attaching the leaf at the top and the bottom, hugging the cheese and tomato.  I drizzled olive oil and balsamic vinegar on them at the last-minute before serving.  I knew that a crudite platter was something that is a must, so I made sure I had one.  I found an adorable way to house dips on Pinterest as well.  again, this is something I just did by looking at the picture, no recipe needed.

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On to the “entrée” and the tastes of home.  I made these tasty Beef on Weck Crescent Rolls and Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels.  If you are not familiar with what “weck” is, you are not alone.  The majority of the country doesn’t!  It is simply the caraway seeds and coarse salt on top of the crescent roll that makes it “weck”.  Traditionally in Buffalo, when you order a Beef on Weck, you would get a tender roast been sandwich on a roll with caraway and salt on top with beef au jus.  Here, the roast beef is rolled with mozzarella cheese and then topped with the weck topping and backed.  I found the idea for the rolls without the weck here.  The filling for the Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels is traditionally warmed up as a dip and served with celery, carrots and nacho chips, but this post showed how to spread the filling into a tortilla, wrap and cut it into pieces.  That fit right in to my “bites” theme, so I hopped on it!  These two were the biggest hit of the party!

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For dessert I found a post for Chocolate Dipped Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries, and I knew that had to be one of my choices!  I was preparing these the night before, and I was worried about the chocolate dip on the outside of the strawberries sweating off once they got to room temperature again, so I decided to fold mini chocolate chips into the cheesecake filling before I filled them.  I also made french vanilla cupcakes with vanilla frosting ala Duncan Hines for the cake lovers =)  Strawberries are light and sweet at this time of year, and they did not disappoint with that filling!

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Last, but not least, I wanted to my new friends off with a taste from our family kitchen.  We love making and canning salsa when tomatoes are in abundance, so we did just that!  We shared our recipe with them as well.   Our family could eat Mexican food forever, so salsa was the best choice to share!  We saw this idea to get addresses for thank you cards and future correspondence with our new friends, and did that as well.  I haven’t changed over my telephone book since 2005, and there were many changes to it since I started it.  With that, I used this idea as an excuse to re-do my phone book!  Does anyone else still use the traditional phone book anymore?  I know I live and die by it for cards, etc.

So that was that!  My very Pinterest housewarming party!  I was gifted a lot of wine, and shared laughs and made new friends in our new home.  I cannot wait to host my next shindig!

 

 

#30DayDetox – Could You Do It?

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The Today show featured Jill Martin and her choice to give up her smart phone, iPad, computer, etc. for thirty days starting in August.  She feels as though she is not living live to its fullest anymore, and is relying too much on an object than a person.  She is asking that viewers give up something they have been looking to part with as well!

====> Click here for the link to her story. <=====

First of all, let’s discuss the idea of getting rid of all things WiFi.  Could you do it?  Doesn’t it seem ridiculous if you say aloud that you couldn’t?  The thought of giving up my cell phone for a month is downright scary to me, I will admit it, and I know that I am not alone.  Not only have I begun to embrace all that my iPhone is capable of, but it is like my keys – I bring it every where with me!  Having an semi-independent teen-aged son, I need to be in contact with him at all times, and available to him at all times in case he needs me.  I have finally begun moving away from appointment cards by adding them directly onto my calendar on my phone.  I stay in touch with family and friends using text; ever since we relocated, this has been the go-to method of staying in touch.  So, I guess I can answer definitively, no, I could not give up my iPhone for thirty days.

This did, however, make me think of things I could go without.

 

 

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FACEBOOK

Oh yes, the holy grail of the internet and social media.  I do believe I could give this up for thirty days.  Honestly, how many quizzes can a girl take?  I already know that I am a “Balanced Bitch” who should have been in the ’80’s movie, The Shining (yes, The Shining), is a “solid liberal”, is represented by the tarot card “The Lovers”, and was a “bookworm” in high school.  (Thank goodness for those quizzes, right?!)  If I went back in my history of posts for the past few months, I am really saying nothing at all to “friends” and family on this social media website.  I post pictures of happenings, like most people, and I show off projects in my new home.  That is really about it.  And, at times, Facebook only makes me long for my hometown, taking away the joys of my new hometown.  If I calculate how much time I dedicate to Facebook, it would be way too much time.  So, yes, I do think I could give up Facebook for thirty days!

 

 

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TELEVISION SHOW REPEATS

Ok, we all have to have that show we can watch over, and over, and over again.  I have a few shows that I can put on television, almost like background noise, because they have become part of my family.   They are: Law & Order – SVU, Everybody Loves Raymond, The Big Bang Theory and Modern Family.  On any day of the week, these shows can be found on my family television, and on the one in my bedroom as I drift off to dreamland.  I am not entertaining new TV shows, not even a little.  I started DVR’ing a new comedy, but all the episodes remain in my queue and I have not watched any since the first two.  I also pay for a Netflix subscription, joining the gaggles of people who binge watch new seasons of TV shows (ahem, Orange is the New Black), and I have stopped in the middle of Season Two of OITNB, only to watch these re-runs!  What is with me?  I could also be reading the mounds of books I have purchased recently instead of watching shows I can recite from memory.  So, I think I could give up those shows for thirty days! <twitch, twitch=””>

 

As I sat here for ten minutes watching the blinking cursor, I cannot think of anything else I can give up!  Sure, I can go with something dietary; who else can stand to lose some bread and sweets from their lives?  But that is not something I am willing to touch in my life.  I do not drink anymore (though my wine cabinet is full), so that is out.  I have no vices really, so I cannot include what does not exist.  So, I wonder if I can choose between those two and give it up for thirty days?  I have decided that on August 1st, I will give up one of these things, but I am not sure which.  I will keep you filled in!

 

What could YOU give up for thirty days?  Would you like to join me in the #30DayDetox?  Share below!

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Book Review: This Is Where I Leave You

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While thumbing through an Entertainment Magazine recently, I came across an article about the most anticipated movies of 2014.  In it, it featured a movie called, This Is Where I Leave You, based on a book by Jonathan Tropper.  The cast is both an amazing comedic and dramatic force with players like Tina Fey, Jason Bateman, Dax Shepard, Rose Byrne, and Jane Fonda.  It was described to be a dark comedy, which I happen to enjoy, and I had a feeling that this book would deliver if I read it before the movie.  My assumption was correct.

I am a huge fan of books written in the first person; its like I am being told a story by a friend over coffee, which makes it personal to me.  This book is written from main character, Judd Foxman’s point-of-view, in a strong male voice.  Ladies, if you ever wanted to know how men think, this book is one to read. I was both amused and pained by Judd’s story telling about his life, family and angst.  His realistic voice made this novel easy to read, and very entertaining.

Judd Foxman comes home one day from work to find his wife cheating on him with his boss.  In them midst of his depression, he finds out that his father has passed away.  He heads home to sit Shiva for his father, a seven-day open house of sorts for the public to come and offer their condolences and share memories.  As you can imagine, getting together adult siblings at any function can be tough, but for an entire week, under these circumstances, and each having their own drama unfold beneath one roof, can make for both humorous and heartbreaking stories.

Looking ahead to the movie now, I am very happy to see how they cast it.  Jason Bateman as Judd Foxman is a spot on casting decision, in my opinion.  If you have ever seen him in movies like Horrible Bosses or The Change-Up, you are familiar with his sarcastic, quick-witted comments and fast comedic delivery.  Couple Bateman with Tina Fey, who plays Bateman’s sister, and who is equally as sharp with her tongue and quick with humor, and you have yourself a recipe for a fantastic movie.  The rest of the players certainly add to the dynamic of the movie as well.  Here is the trailer for the movie, due out in the fall:

I highly recommend this book.  It is a great summer read, with a movie to follow that seems like a wonderful compliment to it.  I am going to try to get my husband to read this book (BAHA!).  No.  Seriously.  I am going to try lol.

What have you read recently?